Mike Leach: A Player’s Coach

t1_leachwhiteAfter seeing stud wide receiver Michael Crabtree drop and quarterback Graham Harrell go undrafted, Texas Tech coach Mike Leach was quite outspoke about an NFL Draft weekend that was quite harsh on his former players.

Leach had this to say to the Sacramento Bee about new Cleveland Browns coach Eric Mangini, who allegedly had a bad visit with Crabtree prior to the draft:

Michael Crabtree has been more successful as a receiver than that guy as a coach at this point.

On the Browns passing on Crabtree because of diva-like behavior:

My definition of a diva is someone who’s loud and self-absorbed. Michael Crabtree is the furthest thing from loud that I’ve seen. … Let’s see how all those non-divas do up in Cleveland this year.

(Side note: Leach’s definition of a “diva” is OK, but I prefer Beyonce’s.)

In defense of Harrell, who put up stupid good numbers in a pass-happy spread offense, Leach targeted the Dallas Cowboys, who drafted Texas A&M quarterback Stephen McGee, despite being demoted to backup midway through last season :

I’m happy for Stephen McGee. The Dallas Cowboys like him more than his coaches at A&M did.

Now, if you’re 17 years old and being recruited from every major program in the country, how do you not fall for Texas Tech and a coach like Mike Leach? In an era where athletes want their egos stroked by everyone around them, Leach is the kind of guy who will put his neck on the line for his players — current and former — just to be sure respect is given when due. It might be a sign of the times, but I love a guy like Leach, even though he will probably never get the credit he deserves.

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