In this week’s mailbag, retired NFL lineman Geoff Schwartz discusses when “voluntary” means “mandatory,” and whether he’s ever thought about coaching.
It’s time for my weekly mailbag article! It was a busy week full of NFL news, even with games still in the distance. I wrote about the leadership at the NFLPA sending out a warning to agents about players saving money for an upcoming lockout and why players need to listen to this warning. Also, Louis Riddick predicted Carson Wentz will win the 2019 NFL MVP, so I broke down the odds for that award.
Here’s what else you wanted to know this week. As a reminder, you can reach out to me on Twitter or Instagram if you have any questions you’d like answered.
Freddie Kitchens recently spoke out about Odell Beckham Jr. skipping the voluntary offseason workouts. Do you agree with him? — anonymous
Heck yes, I agree with Kitchens. Yes, this is voluntary but there are times when things that are “voluntary” are actually mandatory. Beckham was traded to the Browns and has spent a total of three days in Cleveland since then. His position requires chemistry and timing with the quarterback, which he’s not getting while training in Los Angeles.
Beckham needs to learn a new playbook, new coaching style, new quarterback, new teammates, and so on. The only way this happens is being in the facility. There’s limited time in training camp for this to occur, and it’s especially tougher when Baker Mayfield needs to work with all the offensive talent he’s got on the roster. He can’t just focus on Beckham.
“But Tom Brady is away from offseason workouts” — ha! When Beckham wins a Super Bowl, I’ll reevaluate my thoughts. Even though Brady is away, he’s had rookie WR N’Keal Harry over to work on things. Brady doesn’t need the timing reps that a young quarterback like Mayfield does, either.
Have you ever thought of coaching? — @Mic_wrecka11
I get this question often, and the answer is no. Heck no. And I’d be a great coach. But for many reasons, it’s not for me.
First, I respect the coaches in the NFL. The hours they put in are remarkable — in before the sun and out after it’s way down. Some just sleep in their office. I’m not cut out for that life. I need my eight hours of sleep.
Secondly is family time. Coaches sacrifice time with their family for the job. You can’t be an outstanding coach and have a normal family routine. Coaches regularly find new jobs every few years, and I’m done moving. My wife works, my kids have their schools, and we built a house. I’m not uprooting them to coach. It’s not fair to them.
Lastly is patience and attention span. I’m not sure I have the patience to coach through mistakes, and I know for sure I don’t have the attention span for long install meetings and film.
With Jonah Williams being penciled in at LT in Cincinnati, it seems like you were correct. All of his pre-draft scrutiny led me to wonder: can you can think of an OT who was a great prospect that didn’t succeed in the NFL strictly because of his arm length? — @tedgramiak76
I was listening to NFL talk radio the other day and they said something along the lines of “Well, we will see how Jonah plays with pads on at left tackle because we just don’t think he will end up there.” I laughed.
The Bengals moved seasoned pro Cordy Glenn for a rookie on the first day Williams showed up. Williams is playing left tackle.
To answer your question, I’d say no. If you’re a top tackle prospect but your arms do in fact hinder your ability to play that position in the NFL, you just move to guard and you do fine. Remember this and I said it about Williams: “if you can ball, you can ball.”
Williams could start at all five positions. Sometimes we need to throw out the measurables and focus on the film. The film shows Williams belongs at left tackle.