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Thursday, May 18, 2006

[Sport] Line him up opposite Urlacher

A former AFL player turned NFL talent scout has said that disgraced Super 14 rugby player Wendell Sailor could be a good American Football player.

Darren Bennett has invited the winger to try-out.

"My only query is his age. His age might scare a few clubs off and he's also a little undersized to play linebacker (a defensive position). But he has the build and speed to be a running back."

Bennett played for the San Diego Chargers and Minnesota Vikings (probably as a punter).

I wonder if Sailor could make it in the NFL? Let’s compare him to some other players strictly on a size basis.

Vital stats:




Wendell Sailor

6’3” (191cm)

233lbs (106kg)

Tiki Barber [RB]

5’10” (177cm)

200lbs (90.7kg)

Cadillac Williams [RB]

5’11 (180cm)

217lbs (98.4kg)

Ricky Williams [RB]

5’10” (177cm)

228lbs (103.4kg)

Deuce McAllister [RB]

6’1” (185cm)

232lbs (105.2kg)

Terrell Owens [WR]

6’3” (191cm)

226lbs (102.5kg)

Randy McMichael [TE]

6’3” (191cm)

255lbs (115.7kg)

Dhani Jones [OLB]

6’1” (185cm)

240lbs (108.9kg)

Joey Porter [OLB]

6’3” (191cm)

250lbs (113.4kg)

First I looked at running backs. Sailor has the height and weight to be a “smash-mouth” runner; so third-downs and goal-line moves. Sailor is even bigger than Ricky Williams who is considered more of a power runner than a finesse runner. I doubt Sailor’s ability to play every down and his vision. His lack of catching ability would mean he wasn’t a receiving threat. In open play, though, he would be hard to catch.

Ricky Williams is an interesting comparison considering his current ban due to recreational drug use.

Looking at Wide Reciever we can see that Sailor is close to Terrell Owens in size. They are probably quite close in speed as well, however, (despite being an arsehole, like Sailor) TO can catch. TO is a clutch receiver, if you get him the ball he will catch it. Sailor’s lack of catching ability (called “bad hands” in the NFL) would rule him out as a WR at this time.

Sailor has the height but not the weight to be a Tight End. He would also have to learn complex blocking maneuvers and I just don’t think he would be able to. And again, he would need to be a clutch receiver.

Sailor is actually too big to be a defensive back. Also he can’t tackle and turns like a truck so I didn’t bother with comparison (though if his tackling improved he could be a Strong Safety.

Is he too small to be a Line Backer? Yes. Dhani “The Thinker” Jones is a small mobile linebacker and he is almost 10lbs heavier. Joey Porter is an elite LB and he has 20lbs on Sailor. As a quick aside here is a story about Joey Porter talking about his team’s imminent visit to the White House:

PITTSBURGH (May 17, 2006) -- Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Joey Porter is backing off tongue-in-cheek comments that he plans to tell President Bush next month that he dislikes how the country is being run.

During the Steelers' minicamp last weekend, Porter was smiling and laughing when he told reporters he had "something to say to Bush" during the Super Bowl champions' June 2 visit to the White House.

"I'm going to have a swagger when I walk in there, too," Porter said. "I'm looking forward to it but, like I said, I have something to tell him, too. I don't like the way things are running right now. I feel like he's got to give me some of my money back, so I got something to tell to Bush."

The Pro Bowl linebacker issued a statement May 17 saying he regrets making comments that some apparently construed as serious.

"I regret that my quotes about our team's upcoming visit to the White House were taken out of context," Porter said in a statement issued by the team. "I am very excited to have an opportunity to visit the White House and meet the president of the United States."

Porter also said his comments were not meant to suggest he disapproves of Bush or the job he is doing.

"We will be guests of the president and I would never do anything to disrespect him," Porter said in the statement. "I consider our upcoming trip an honor and a dream come true. Our entire team is looking forward to visiting the White House and enjoying what promises to be the opportunity of a lifetime."

Porter has long been one of the NFL's most outspoken players on a variety of subjects.

I KNEW I was right!

Anyone else think he was "asked nicely" to change his statement?

Back to Wendell Sailor; he might make a good back-up running back depending on the team he plays for. For example behind the Texans’ woeful Offensive-Line he would suck, behind the Steel Curtain he might do quite well. I just hope he doesn’t go to the Jets.

ps. Brian Urlacher (in the title) is a very good, very large linebacker who would flatten Sailor.

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