"He's got the big arm," says a high-ranking executive for one NFC team. "He's a great competitor. He has god-given instincts to throw. The biggest problem is, he's a natural jerk. He was a jerk in high school, and he's a jerk now."
The day after he fulfilled his Santa duty, Leaf spoke to another group of students about the importance of avoiding drugs and alcohol and of staying in school. While attention has been focused on his turnovers and blowups, Leaf has quietly made roughly 30 charitable appearances since being drafted. Rip his ass off?
Perhaps we should take the view of Shakers owner Tony Boydston, who says, "Don't crucify the guy for having a bad attitude. For the amount of pressure he's under, for the number of people poking at him and pulling on him, he's not doing that badly."
Or follow the advice of one of the frat boys Leaf reportedly splashed with beer that night, one who asked that his name not be used. "Take it easy on Ryan," he says. "He's had a tough year."