Second chances. They are typically given whenever someone makes a terrible mistake and has to show why they should be allowed to return. The main example in NFL is current New York Jets quarterback Michael Vick.
While with the Atlanta Falcons, Vick was involved in a highly publicized illegal dogfighting ring. Vick was found guilty of the illegal action, released by the Falcons, and was sent to jail for 18 months. After serving his time in prison, Vick signed with the Philadelphia Eagles, and eventually took over the starting job from Donovan McNabb.
In other cases, athletes tend to get over trouble over the ever-dangerous drug abuse. From Ricky Williams retiring from the NFL after failing multiple drug tests, to current Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon facing a yearlong suspension for marijuana, drugs have ruined many athletes’ careers, and in the case of Williams, his was never the same.
In the case of rookie Green Bay Packers tight end Colt Lyerla, drug abuse might have harmed a once promising career. While at the University of Oregon, Lyerla was considered a possible first round draft pick. But, like many other people in the world, Lyerla came to experiment with drugs, one of which was cocaine. Lyerla ended up being charged with possession of cocaine, and was kicked off the football team.
While that was the negative of his time at Oregon, Lyerla did have plenty of positives. In his freshman year, Lyerla only had seven receptions, but five of those ended in the end zone. Lyerla improved his sophomore season, starting nine of Oregon’s 13 games. He caught 25 passes for 392 yards and six touchdowns.
Heading into this upcoming year, Andrew Quarless looks like he is slated to be the starting tight end. Along with Lyerla, the Packers also have returning tight ends Brandon Bostick and Ryan Taylor, as well as Richard Rodgers, who was drafted in the third round of this year’s draft. Even though Quarless showed some promise at the end of last year, the Packers still have a big hole to fill in the absence of Jermichael Finley.
The key for the Packers and for Lyerla is to keep him out of trouble. In Oregon’s up tempo offense, a tight end catching 13 touchdowns over two years is a pretty good accomplishment. Lyerla has plenty of potential. He just needs to stay out of trouble.