I had intended on discussing each of these departures individually, but with the Westbrook signing and so much else happening, I decided to combine the two together. And really, given the timing, the type of players involved, and the comparisons between their departures, a single post is fitting. One thing I want to clarify first is that while I am extremely disappointed we blew a first and third round pick on these guys, it's in the past from a regime that isn't around at this point. Whether you want to blame McCloughan or not, there's absolutely nothing to be gained by it. Complain all you want, it's not going to change anything. Time to move on.
Let's handle Glen Coffee first. As you'll see below, I have absolutely zero problem with what went down or how it went down. I have a bigger problem with Kentwan Balmer and I'll save that for after the jump because of the length, and because he's not worthy of being first at anything.
I've read through what folks have had to say about Glen Coffee and opinions vary. I don't even think my evaluation has much to do with his religious awakening, or whatever you want to call it. He feels he has a higher calling and that's fine. I'm not an overly religious person, but if that's how he wants to spend his life, more power to him.
The problem some folks he has is that he basically signed a contract when he had a strong inclination he did not plan on following through. There is the idea that he led the team on to get some money and then move on. Certainly something that could cause some concern.
The way I look at Glen Coffee, given his college opportunity and ability to get drafted, he has probably been putting a ton of effort into this since high school and probably even before high school. I don't know enough about his history to say for sure, but to become an NFL player, you can't be some wanna-be off the street.
Given that, his identity became football. Even as a religious individual, when you're a BMOC at an SEC school, it's easy for strangers, friends, and even family to identify you by football and to continue pushing you towards the NFL. Whatever your family's station in life, there's something enticing about the NFL. It could be money for a poor or middle class family, or it could be a status symbol for a rich family. Whatever the case, Glen Coffee is not the first player, and won't be the last player to enter the NFL without the will to turn himself into a superstar.
Given that, I have no problem wishing him well in his future endeavors and hope for nothing but the best. People do stuff they wish they hadn't in a variety of careers before finally getting up the guts to step away and basically start over. I'd rather Glen Coffee figure it out now and enjoy the rest of his life, rather than go through an NFL career as a mediocre running back and then look back with great regret on his life and the choices he made. Hopefully this leads to a happier life for Glen Coffee.
As for Kentwan Balmer? Well, join me after the jump.
Some folks might look at Kentwan Balmer and Glen Coffee and equate their situations and recent decisions. I do not see such similarities. Rather, while Glen Coffee figured things out and was man enough to face Mike Singletary and express his decision, Kentwan Balmer strikes me as a cowardly and lazy person who wanted something handed to him on a platter rather than put in the effort to earn it himself.
From what I've read, Glen Coffee busted his butt to turn himself into an NFL running back. Given his apparent lack of passion for the game, I think that actually says something about his work ethic that he was willing to work his butt off putting on the muscle to become better. Kentwan Balmer on the other hand appeared to want more playing time and was happy simply complaining about it and not doing enough to prove himself.
I generally think I have a fairly solid work ethic. I can certainly be lazy at times, but at the end of the day, I'll work hard to get what I want in life, whether it be here at Niners Nation, in work elsewhere, or in law school. While we won't always succeed, if you give 100% effort you've at least tried.
Kentwan Balmer decided he wanted more of something (I'm guessing playing time, but there still hasn't been much said about the specifics) and instead of putting in more effort, he decided to skip out on practice for "family reasons" and then go AWOL and eventually force a trade (he was willing to pay $800,000 from his rookie bonus to get dealt). In forcing his way out of San Francisco, I have to say I'm slightly disgusted by him. It's not overly so because at the end of the day I'm happy he's gone. And yet, it's enough that I can honestly say I hope he does not find success in Seattle, or anywhere.
Mike Singletary's most quoted moment is his "I want winners speech." Well, as far as I'm concerned, Kentwan Balmer is not a winner. He may not be a "loser" but he's a lazy person who does not deserve success in the NFL. Coach Singletary had a conference call yesterday and he made some fairly interesting comments about the Balmer situation:
On whether he has moved forward from the DT Kentwan Balmer situation:
"I moved on the last time we talked. I was done. It's like I said the other day, when we talked about it, when he wasn't here that morning, I was done. I was already on up the road. It's nothing that I really look back at. I'm thankful that he's with another team and hopefully he's happy. I will always say, whenever I have a player like that, I will always miss that player in that capacity because I think he's a fine young man, but obviously there are some things that he needed to express and deal with. So, I'm happy for him."
On whether there is trepidation for sending Balmer to a team in your own division:
I have to say, I absolutely love his second answer when asked whether he had any trepidation about sending Balmer to the Seahawks. When you've got somebody like Balmer who isn't willing to put in enough effort, there is absolutely no reason to be concerned about facing him twice a year. And as we all know, Mike Singletary is not going to take any crap and will not let something hold him back. Rather, as he said, he was ready to move on the minute this started to go down.
At the end of the day, I will remember Glen Coffee and Kentwan Balmer with entirely contrasting views. While it's possible Glen Coffee could prove to be full of crap and be BS'ing all of us, I'll give him the benefit of the doubt for now. Coffee was a confused young man who finally figured things out and took the bull by the horn in making a change in his life. He told Coach Singletary what was up and he's ready to move on with his life. Kentwan Balmer acted in a fairly cowardly and lazy manner and now is off in Seattle, hopefully read to reap what he has sown.
I will continue to respect Glen Coffee. I have no respect for Kentwan Balmer.