Have you ever said something and a few weeks later wish you never said it? Of course you have. We all have.
But such situations are worse when you’re a player in the NFL, because outlandish statements tend to get put on blast.
Leonard Fournette, the rookie running back for the Jacksonville Jaguars, may soon be experiencing serious regret for a statement he made following his team’s 31-24 win over the New England Patriots on Thursday night, his first preseason game in the NFL.
After rushing for 31 yards and a touchdown on nine carries against the defending Super Bowl champs, Fournette had this to say about playing in the NFL (via NFL.com):
“It’s a lot slower than I really thought. That’s how I’ve been since I first got into the NFL. A lot of people were like, ‘It’s going to be fast.’ But by me playing in the SEC, that kind of helped me a lot. I think, to me, it was really easy.”
The best players in the league would not call the sport “slow” and “easy”, and the weirder part of the above comments may be “since I first got into the NFL,” like he’s been in the league for years.
Bro, you haven’t even played in a real game yet.
Fournette was picked No. 4 overall by the Jaguars in this year’s NFL Draft, prompting comparisons between him and Ezekiel Elliott, who the Cowboys selected fourth overall in 2016. Elliott went on to lead the NFL in rushing with 1,631 yards, the third-most for a rookie running back in league history.
Asked by NFL.com if he sees himself leading the league in rushing this season, Fournette boldly proclaimed, “Yeah. I think so.”
Fournette did look good in his preseason debut:
Fournette on 4th and inches. This is what he does pic.twitter.com/8h9sI4XGcR
— Billy Marshall (@BillyM_91) August 10, 2017
Yep, clearly Leonard Fournette needs to be eased in. Don’t believe the RBBC narrative, folks. pic.twitter.com/CLvqfXk5mJ
— Brad Evans (@YahooNoise) August 11, 2017
— NFL (@NFL) August 11, 2017
“I’ve had pressure my whole life,” Fournette continued. “I’m built for it. No matter what the circumstances, I’ve never let the game get bigger than me and I’ve always stayed humble. That’s No. 1.”
That’s all true, we’re sure, but by calling one of the world’s toughest sports “slow” and “easy”, he just put an immense amount of additional pressure onto himself. No one is going to forget those remarks any time soon, least of which the defenses on Jacksonville’s schedule.