The Biggest Ego on All 32 NFL Teams
All great historians of football will tell you that it is a team sport, that one player will not lead a team on his back to the promised land. After all, there are three separate units that need to play together in order to succeed.
There will come a time when a quarterback throws the ball less because the game dictates it. There will also come a time when an All-Pro running back sees less touches because the game dictates it.
What separates the selfless player from those being egocentric is how they deal with it. Whining on the sidelines (talking to you, Brandon Jacobs) really isn't going to help the team.
That said, quarterbacks need to maintain confidence in order to succeed in the NFL. This is one of my prerequisites for determining whether someone has the gull to play that position in the NFL. In this, quarterbacks must have an ego and pass that on to other players on the team.
Today, I am going to take a look at the biggest ego from each NFL team.
Arizona Cardinals: Darnell Docket
Foolish comments lead to bulletin board material and angry opponents.
This is something that has either plagued or helped Docket throughout his career—it just depends on how you look at it.
I don't hear him talking too much crap about the San Francisco 49ers this season, but the two haven't played their first game yet. That will come in two weeks.
Dockett has regressed as a player this season, and yet he remains as loud as ever, trash talking opposing teams into near laughing fits.
Hey bro, you have won two games this season—might want to check out the standings!
Atlanta Falcons: Dunta Robinson
Dunta Robinson is one of my least favorite players in the NFL.
He is a fairly mediocre cover corner, hasn't made the Pro Bowl in seven seasons prior to 2011 and continues to literally steal millions of dollars from an Atlanta Falcons franchise that signed him to be the shutdown corner that he never was.
Oh, and he is one dirty bird.
The following is a quote from Robinson himself.
“I've always been a confident guy. Now that I have experience it will show even more.”
Confident? That would have surprised me.
Sounds like his ego hasn't been bruised by less-than-stellar play over seven seasons.
Baltimore Ravens: Ray Lewis
The following is a quote from the great American President, Theodore Roosevelt, in regards to the law of the land.
"No man is above the law and no man is below it, nor do we ask any man's permission when we ask him to obey it."
There is no doubt in anyone's mind that Ray Lewis broke the law when he committed obstruction of justice in lying to the police about the murders of two men in a night club a few years back.
You are innocent until proven guilty in the United States, but that doesn't mean that a man should act above the law.
Lewis later reached an agreement on a civil case pertaining to the two murders, further indicating his involvement in the crime. The pure representation of ego is believing that the law of the land doesn't apply to you because of your social status in society.
For that, Ray Lewis needs to be on this list.
Buffalo Bills: Shawne Merriman
There are many that would conclude that Shawne Merriman only performed at a high level when he was "juiced" up, and that is hard to argue against.
The former All-Pro linebacker was suspended for steroid use during the 2006 season.
Since then, he has recorded just 17.5 sacks, which nearly equals his total from the 2006 season.
However, this doesn't really make someone an egomaniac.
Instead, the following does.
Thinking that you can contain and hold down the sexual deviant that is Tila Tequila for more than one night. Does he think he is God?
Seriously, that must take one really confident guy. Maybe he was just interested in a one-night stand before things got interesting. Only he and the Tequila know!
Carolina Panthers: Cam Newton
This is an example where confidence and ego is really good.
Just look at the lack of confidence that the Carolina Panthers played with last season (sorry Matt Moore and Jimmy Clausen).
They were for all intents and purposes a team that was lacking any possible means of thinking they could win a game.
Enter into the equation the first-overall pick from the 2011 draft, Cam Newton, who has a moxie I have not see in a rookie quarterback since Ryan Leaf.
However, that "moxie" has taken a dramatic turn from the joke that was the former San Diego Chargers quarterback.
It is okay to be confident when you put up on the football field, as Newton has so far.
Chicago Bears: Matt Forte
If Matt Forte wants to be paid like one of the best running backs in the NFL, he better start to have the mentality of the best.
His most recent quote indicating that the Bears are grinding him into a "pulp" holds absolutely no merit.
Do you hear them complaining about getting the ball too much? In fact, I know both want the ball even more than they are currently getting it.
Seriously, this plays right into Forte's ego. He wants them to pay him like one of the best running backs in the NFL, but he complains about being treated like one of the best on Sundays.
Mrs. Forte, do you want the money handed to you on a silver platter?
Makes absolutely no sense to me!
Cincinnati Bengals: Cedric Benson
Cedric Benson has been a tool on and off the field for the most part of his average NFL career.
The former bust with the Chicago Bears has been arrested three times in the last four years and seems to think that the problem is everybody else, not him.
Following the arrest on assault charges, Benson (through his lawyers) accused the victim of extortion. The following is from ESPN.
Cedric Benson's attorneys claim in a statement released to media outlets Wednesday that the man whom the running back allegedly assaulted last weekend is threatening to agree to media interviews if they do not agree to a "settlement" meeting.
Just because you are a famous athlete doesn't give you the right to attack your accuser's reasons for bringing charges and blame him for the situation.
A man's ego has to be pretty strong to think the world is out to get him when he is the one that continues to make the mistakes.
More than this, Benson was pretty well-known for blaming the coaches in regards to his lack of success with the Chicago Bears.
Get over yourself, man!
Cleveland Browns: Peyton Hillis
One good season in the NFL, and Peyton Hillis seems to think that he should be paid like a top five running back in the league.
How about proving yourself for more than one season before indicating you are God's gift to the state of Ohio?
Adam Schefter of ESPN, indicated that Cleveland Browns teammates openly discussed the possibility that Hillis sat out because of the contract issue.
Way to put yourself before your team, Peyton.
Dallas Cowboys: Tony Romo
Where to start with Tony Romo?
It might actually make sense to win a championship for the heralded Dallas Cowboys franchise before acting like a reincarnation of Broadway Joe.
From the onset of his starting career, Tony Romo has been more Hollywood than Texas.
He continually makes it known that he enjoys the "high life," has taken teammates to Vegas excursions in the middle of the season and hasn't proven a damn thing on the football field yet.
Rather, Romo continues to cough the ball up in crucial situations, fails to take the lead when his team is struggling and doesn't seem too upset about it.
It kind of seems like football is secondary to the former undrafted free agent.
Well, that is not going to work when you are the quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys.
On a side note, a man must be really full of himself to think that he deserves better than the incredibly sexy Carrie Underwood—although you could probably chalk that up to plain stupidity.
Denver Broncos: Champ Bailey
Champ Bailey has always been a cocky player dating back to his college days.
I remember a specific situation when his Georgia Bulldogs were playing LSU. Bailey knocked down a receiver after breaking up the pass and stood over him.
At the time, I was a San Francisco 49ers fan and had just got done watching Deion Sanders act this part a few years back.
It immediately caught my attention in regards to the way Bailey plays. He gets into the face of opposing receivers, smack talks them to no end and continues to talk himself up.
As I will repeat a couple times in this slideshow, ego and confidence are needed to play the corner position, and the future Hall-of-Famer has plenty of that.
Detroit Lions: Ndamukong Suh
Ndamukong Suh is good—really good—and he knows it.
However, there comes a time in a man's adult life where he has to stay grounded, even through the greatest of successes.
In college, Suh was said to be the greatest defensive player to ever put on a uniform on Saturdays.
The praise didn't stop there, either. Once he landed in the NFL last season, writers were quick to drool all over the rookie defensive lineman.
Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham had this to say about Suh following his rookie season:
"There are so many plays that he's made that I just marvel at," Cunningham said. "We were talking about somebody else in the league as a defensive tackle and as we're watching tape ... I stopped the tape. I said, 'Now, how many guys could do this?'
Apparently the all-everything defensive lineman has been reading his own press clippings.
A couple weeks ago, he set up a meeting with the NFL to discuss the fines that he has been acquiring since joining the league last year. The league stumbled all over themselves in regards to the meeting and played right into Suh's hands by saying that what Suh does is good for the NFL.
Still, the former Nebraska All-American couldn't let the situation play out without looking the part of a completely self-involved tool.
"I'm just a different breed. I hate to say that, but it's kind of like, no athlete in the NFL is like any other person," Suh said. "You can't treat everybody the same exact way. That would be unfair, but there's guidelines that everybody needs to follow behind, so that's more or less the understanding that I needed to see."
Let me get this straight. Normal rules shouldn't apply to you because you are not a normal player?
You are a cut above, so it is okay to literally attempt to tear the head off of an opposing quarterback?
Get real, man!
Still, the passion that Suh plays with has been one of the major reasons that the Detroit Lions have seen their franchise turn around in 2011.
It sure beats the heck out of those lovable losers of the last two decades.
Green Bay Packers: Charles Woodson
Charles Woodson has an ego because he is really good, maybe one of the best all-around defensive backs to ever play the game.
Earlier, I mentioned that quarterbacks need a certain level of moxie and/or ego to succeed in the NFL.
The same thing goes for corners, who are playing on an island by themselves, being the only player separating the offensive team from a touchdown.
Woodson does play with a confidence that few players in the NFL could even imagine. With that comes the ego level necessary to succeed.
Houston Texans: Mario Williams
Mario Williams has an ego because he is a damn good football player—there really is no way to get past that.
He continually talks trash to opposing offensive linemen on the football field and gets into teammates' faces when they make mistakes.
A lot of that has to do with his passion and drive to play the game.
Still, I have a hard time believing that Mario Williams isn't his own biggest fan.
Indianapolis Colts: Reggie Wayne
I understand that Reggie Wayne is upset over the direction of the Indianapolis Colts and how they have performed this season.
After all, he is used to being part of a winning team.
That doesn't mean that Wayne should call out his starting quarterback heading into the season.
He was quoted as saying the following in regards to Kerry Collins prior to the Colts' season opener.
"We don’t even know him, we ain’t vanilla, man, we ain’t no simple offense,” Wayne said, via the Associated Press. “So for him to can come in here and be the starter, I don’t see it. I think it is a step back."
If you are a selfless player and are attempting to indicate that you are with all 53 players on your team, you don't call out the newest member of the roster. It just doesn't make much sense to me.
Additionally, I have noticed Wayne not complete his routes 100 percent of the time and play at less than a full level on occasion this season.
That is not the way to be a team player!
Jacksonville Jaguars: Jack Del Rio
There is a thin line between confidence and ego.
Most of the time, both go hand in hand.
Jack Del Rio played with a lot of confidence as a linebacker in the NFL and trash-talked with the best of them.
He wasn't reserved on the football field, instead relying on a level of intimidation that makes linebackers so feared around the league.
This has come full circle with the Jaguars coach, as he portrays the same persona with the young Florida team.
His press conferences have a certain level of bravado, and he remains standoffish with the media. This has seemed to work well at times with Jacksonville—but for the most part, it hasn't.
Kansas City Chiefs: Jonathan Baldwin
One major knock on Jonathan Baldwin heading into April's draft was that he was a prima donna in college, and that followed him to the NFL.
Immediately after the lockout ended, Baldwin got in a fight with teammate Thomas Jones, which cost him the first two months of the season.
On the surface, you have to question the antics of both players.
However, it seems that Chiefs players have come to the support of Baldwin. There hasn't been much more that has come out of it.
Still, there have been knocks on Baldwin in regards to not throwing blocks down field, lackluster route running and standoffish attitudes with other Chiefs players.
Simply put, these are not the actions of a team player.
Miami Dolphins: Brandon Marshall
Brandon Marshall is not only a psychologically-ill individual, he is fully self-absorbed and egocentric.
Whether it was Marshall's decision to act the part of a crybaby during his final days with the Broncos or his off-color remarks about getting kicked out of a game earlier this season, Marshall is all about himself.
He doesn't add to the continuity of the locker room and alienates teammates.
It is hard to attack an individual for having a bipolar disorder—I have studied what it does to the psychological makeup of the person affected.
However, you need to get treatment in order to get better, and if you don't, the onus has to sit with you.
Hopefully Marshall is taking care of that situation.
Minnesota Vikings: Donovan McNabb
It is funny how things change within a couple of years.
Many people, including myself, believed that Donovan McNabb was the ultimate team player with the Philadelphia Eagles.
While this hasn't been completely refuted, we are seeing another side of the veteran quarterback.
McNabb's performance and attitude in his one-year stint with the Washington Redskins should have turned the Minnesota Vikings away from him prior to the 2011 season.
The constant complaining through channels should also be a part of this conversation. First, his complaints about the Eagles' lack of spending during his final couple of seasons.
Secondly, it as insinuated that the Redskins' play-calling had a lot to do with their lack of success.
I guess McNabb is much more full of himself than most of us had thought previously. Unless, of course, you are a Philadelphia Eagles fan.
New England Patriots: Tom Brady
ESPN the Magazine ran a rather large article in their Boston edition a couple weeks ago, and it was an interesting read.
The article's author, Jason Schwartz, if a lifelong Bostonian and takes a rather dark look at Brady's tenure there.
Even when Brady is here, he's not. This is his 12th year with the Patriots and yet we hardly know him. It's like he walks around in a glass shield.
In short, the franchise quarterback of the hometown New England Patriots isn't a true Bostonian. You will not see him frequent the nightclub scene or hang out with fans at a local bar.
To be fair, most cities don't have these type of athletes, but Boston is different. This is a city that saw Red Sox players fill the streets following their most recent World Series and Bruins players hanging with fans following their Stanley Cup Championship last season.
Should Brady be faulted for this? I am not entirely sure.
But it does speak volumes about where Tom Brady believes he stands within the elite circle of the city and the East Coast. He is more Hollywood than Boston.
He represents the new breed of athlete that would rather have face time on a national media outlet than endear himself to the fans that spend thousands to watch him perform.
He is that type of self-involved, egocentric individual that a lot of old-timers are growing frustrated with.
Whether it is Brady's new hair cut, the gossip about the ring he bought his most recent fling or the long offseason travels to the most uppity European hot spots, Brady represents everything that I believe is wrong with professional athletes today.
More than that, just look at him sporting that New York Yankees hat. You have to be kidding me!
In the Bay Area, this would be like Frank Gore wearing an Oakland Raiders hat, but even worse.
The only way he gets away with this crap is because he has won three Super Bowls. If it weren't for that, most Patriots fans wouldn't mind seeing him swim with the fish in the Charles River.
New Orleans Saints: Drew Brees
This is where having a little bit of a swagger helps out an organization and a city.
Prior to the arrival of Drew Brees, the New Orleans Saints were nothing more than a laughingstock franchise, existing in relative obscurity.
In five short seasons, he has turned around the prospects of an entire city.
Remember, Brees arrived in New Orleans just a few months following Hurricane Katrina and brought the city its first Super Bowl title a couple years ago.
I had a hard time finding anyone on the Saints with much of an ego, but I think it makes sense to put Drew Brees on this list, because he represents the confidence and swagger that has come to define a completely-revamped New Orleans Saints franchise.
New York Jets: Antonio Cromartie
- Apparently Cromartie nixed the wedding of his fiancee a couple years back and threw her out of his San Diego house three months before she was due to give birth to his child.
- He had had to take advances on his paychecks in order to cover child support.
- He has accused his ex-girlfriend of being a "pot-smoking prostitute" in order to gain custody of one of his children.
- It has been reported that Cromartie pays a whopping $30,000 in child support.
Oh gosh, I am probably going to get some crap for having Antonio Cromartie and not Rex Ryan on this list.
Let it ride, people.
Antonio Cromartie is a human DNA pool. According to Parent Dish, Cromartie has fathered nine children with eight different women.
According to reports, Cromartie actually needs help remembering the names of all his children. There is so much teeth to this story that I couldn't possibly cover it in one slide, but I will try with a bullet-point presentation of sorts.
And the list goes on.
Is Antonio Cromartie so full of himself that he thinks the biological mechanism upon which we were all created doesn't exist for him?
Does he actually believe that he can be a good father to children whose names he doesn't remember?
For the purposes of this article, it is safe to assume that he has an ego the size of his child support payments. However, there are harsher words that many of us would probably like to use in regards to the corner.
On the brighter side, the New York Jets could probably have the corner position locked up for the next three decades with Cromartie's bloodline.
New York Giants: Osi Umenyiora
If Osi actually gave a damn about his New York Giants teammates, he would stop acting the part of a jack wagon.
Over the course of the last couple seasons, he has held out of training camp, refused to participate in organized team activities and slandered teammates.
For all intents and purposes, he represents what is bad about the game of football.
Listen, Osi, you might want to consider having two great seasons back-to-back before announcing yourself as the second coming of Lawrence Taylor.
There is no doubt in my mind that he will not be back with the Giants in 2012, and they are better off for it.
Oakland Raiders: Carson Palmer
I think that most of us can agree that Mike Brown is probably the worst owner in all of sports.
He talks about players making a commitment to their contract but doesn't hesitate to release players—thus not committing the very same contract that he signed.
He talks about Carson Palmer being self-motivated but hasn't fielded a Super Bowl-caliber team in decades, while making an incredible profit on the side.
That said, Carson Palmer is the epitome of an egocentric football player.
He practically gave up on the Cincinnati Bengals during the 2010 season, while he was still playing for them. The former USC quarterback left countless former teammates in the dark by "retiring" instead of returning to the club.
At this point, all might be forgotten, but I am sure some Bengals players still hold resentment toward him.
Philadelphia Eagles: DeSean Jackson
Let's be clear here for a second—DeSean Jackson has not proven anything thus far in his short NFL career.
Still, he wants to be paid like an All-Pro receiver when his output is anything but.
The Cal product is averaging less than four receptions a game but decided it made sense to hold out for more money.
Listen, I understand that he is underpaid right now. That really isn't in question.
However, doesn't it make more sense to actually show your stuff on the field in a contract year instead of griping off the field?
Jackson will probably get his money from a team desperate for a receiver, but I am pretty sure the Philadelphia Eagles have grown tired of his game and are prepared to move on.
Do you blame them?
Pittsburgh Steelers: Ben Roethlisberger
Oh, there could be so many jokes made about the inserted picture.
But I am pretty sure that Bleacher Report would censor me if I continue. So, I wont.
The controversial J. Edgar Hoover had the following to say about law and how it relates to American society.
The thousands of criminals I have seen in 40 years of law enforcement have had one thing in common: every single one was a liar.
I will stop short of calling Big Ben a liar, but his off-field antics really have to lead some to believe that he is.
In 2009, a civil suit was filed against Roethlisberger for an alleged sexual assault that took place the year before in Tahoe. That case has since been dropped because of character concerns in regards to the plaintiff.
In 2010, Roethlisberger was investigated for another sexual assault incident.
This time, there were more teeth to the allegations. A college student stated that the Steelers quarterback had sexually assaulted her in the bathroom of a local club while his personal bodyguard stood guard.
The DA never filed charges due to the inability to prove without reasonable doubt that Roethlisberger was guilty of the crime.
The pattern here? Big Ben's ego is so big that he not only believes the law of the land doesn't extend to him, he is willing to put himself in situations that could adversely affect his career.
I am not saying one way or another whether he is guilty of these two crimes. I am saying that he seems to think he is invincible, and that is a slippery slope.
San Diego Chargers: Philip Rivers
"This is the worst day ever," is probably one of my favorite quotes from the 2011 season so far.
This is what Philip Rivers said following his disastrous fumble against the Kansas City Chiefs a couple weeks ago.
The enigmatic quarterback is throwing interceptions and committing turnovers at a record pace. I cannot say I am too sad about it, either.
The guy just comes across as a jerk.
Dude you haven't won anything since joining the NFL as an overrated first-round pick a few years back.
You constantly lead an under-performing San Diego Chargers team to surprising playoff defeats and regular season failures.
San Francisco 49ers: Jim Harbaugh
The old saying goes that a team's identity is best represented by their head coach—this rings true with the up-and-coming San Francisco 49ers.
At some point, the rest of the NFL isn't going to like the rookie coach. He has no problem with that, as stated with his explanation that he isn't in the NFL to make friends, he has all the friends he needs on his team.
And then there is this "little known" incident with Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz in Week 6.
The more I get to watch Jim Harbaugh on a weekly basis, the more I understand where he is coming from.
The dude is one tense individual and doesn't really care what other people think. He has quoted himself in the first person, used terminology that many of us fail to understand and has even compared himself to a jackhammer.
For 49ers fans, this will continue to work as long as the team is winning. For the rest of the NFL, he is just that new kid on the block attempting to make waves.
Either way, I am pretty sure Harbaugh regards himself in the best possible light, and it is paying off for San Francisco right now.
Seattle Seahawks: Pete Carroll
I have never really been a big fan of Pete Carroll as a head coach in the NFL—he just hasn't been that successful.
Still, you have to love the way he goes about life and coaching. The San Francisco Bay Area native is probably the most optimistic guy you will ever meet in the league.
I have come to the conclusion that he has the largest ego on the Seattle Seahawks because of how he left his previous employer, the USC Trojans.
It takes a lot of moxie to overlook numerous recruiting violations and financial under-dealings, only to leave the program and players you recruited to move hundreds of miles up the Pacific Ocean.
The same thing could be said for Jimmy Johnson, Barry Switzer and many other coaches, but this still disgusts me.
You ask the players to trust you and then bail on them when the times get tough—not really leading by example if you ask me.
It also shows that Carroll looks out for No. 1 before everyone else.
St. Louis Rams: Brandon Lloyd
I had the pleasure (or displeasure) to watch Brandon Lloyd play with the San Francisco 49ers for a couple of years.
He has always been a talented but troubled wide receiver in the NFL.
The current St. Louis Rams receiver doesn't cause many issues off the field and isn't exactly too vocal on it.
Instead, he lets his actions speak for themselves.
I never saw him throw a single block downfield during his tenure with the 49ers, and it appears he carried that over to the Washington Redskins and Denver Broncos as well.
Part of being a team player is actually helping the team win more than just catching passes.
There is a reason why Lloyd has been on five teams in his nine-year career.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Mike Williams
Again, I had a hard time finding a player on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that would fit this mold.
So I decided to go with the most obvious choice.
It doesn't say a whole lot about a player's character and selflessness when he quits on fellow teammates.
Syracuse football coach, Doug Marrone, had the following to say about commitment in regards to a player just walking out the door.
"No, I don't," Marrone said. "Because you know what? It's not about one person. It's about this team. And the people that are playing out there are giving us what they have.
What more would you want from a student-athlete? What more would you want from a professional athlete?
You put someone out on that football field and he works hard all during the week and he gives you everything he has, what more could you ask for? I turn that question to you? I'm curious.
What more would you ask when someone gives you everything that they have?
It is hard to imagine just up and quitting on your team midseason. I have no idea if Williams has matured since that dark time in his life, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers better hope so.
Tennessee Titans: Chris Johnson
Chris Johnson has struggled a great deal during the 2011 season.
This comes on the heels of him signing a monster contract extension following a lengthy training camp holdout. Imagine that!
You haven't been able to practice with your team throughout the offseason due to the lockout, and the first thing you do when players report to camp is hold out.
That seriously reeks of selfishness if you ask me. Johnson probably wouldn't be on this list if he was performing up to expectations (see Frank Gore).
However, he is playing absolutely terrible football right now and doesn't seem to be putting in 100 percent effort all the time, either.
It has gotten to the point that a couple reports are indicating that the Tennessee Titans may release the running back following the 2011 season.
Washington Redskins: DeAngelo Hall
Hall wore out his welcome in both Atlanta and Oakland in short order.
A lot of this stems from his selfish play on the football field and the fact that he puts himself before the team.
In fact, he has been nicknamed MeAngelo by former teammates.
When former teammates take shots at you, it becomes obvious that you are nothing more than a self-involved individual without any regard for your team.