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SI article on opt-outs featuring Rousseau

RadioRahim

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So far Gregory Rousseau has interviewed with more than 20 NFL teams in the lead-up to this month’s draft, and so far each video call has followed a similar line of inquiry. “Just different voices every time,” the former Miami Hurricanes defensive end says, “but it’s the same stuff.”

First the team officials on his Zoom screen start with small talk, lobbing softballs about his football background. “Like, ‘Walk me through your high school, walk me through getting recruited to Miami,’ ” says Rousseau, 21, a Coconut Creek, Fla., native whose 15.5 sacks as a sophomore in 2019 ranked second nationwide. Then the officials scooch closer to their cameras and someone segues with an ominous Soo . . . Rousseau knows what is next. “They always ask why I opted out,” he says. “It’s like clockwork.”...

...A similar attitude flooded Rousseau’s DMs after he announced that he would forgo his junior year with the Hurricanes. Members of the program had cheered him on—“My teammates all told me, “Go train hard, chase your dreams, make sure you get paid!”—but some diehards were less sympathetic. “Obviously fans were mad,” Rousseau says. “I got a lot of hate on Twitter, telling me I’m a quitter, a sellout, that stuff.” The barbs stung at first, but Rousseau got used to them. “I saw it from their point of view, like ‘Damn, this dude opted out; he quit on the team,’ ” Rousseau says. “They’re feeling hurt by that. I understand it. It’s not personal.”
 

DMoney

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He opted out because his mom was a COVID nurse and she begged him to do it.

Obviously, it was not the best football decision. He would’ve gotten double-digit sacks in his sleep and been a lock Top 10 pick. Now he’s looking at a potential Calais Campbell situation.
 

ajone228

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He opted out because his mom was a COVID nurse and she begged him to do it.

Obviously, it was not the best football decision. He would’ve gotten double-digit sacks in his sleep and been a lock Top 10 pick. Now he’s looking at a potential Calais Campbell situation.
What I never understood is why it was thought to be safer away from the team and it's safety protocols in comparison to signing with an agent an being on your own in different cities training around people who's not constantly being tested?

I think Covid was used as an excuse to save his draft stock and get some quick money. He quit, signed with an agent and bought his mother a house or whatever. Every kids dream is to be able to take care of their family so I get it but just be honest about it. I wish there was data to compare the efficacy of transmission over the past season as a football athlete compared to a normal citizen.
 
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Go Canes!!

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What I never understood is why it was thought to be safer away from the team and it's safety protocols in comparison to signing with an agent an being on your own in different cities training around people who's not constantly being tested?

I think Covid was used as an excuse to save his draft stock. He quit, signed with an agent and bought his mother a house or whatever. Every kids dream is to be able to take care of their family so I get it but just be honest about it. I wish there was data to compare the efficacy of transmission over the past season as a football athlete compared to a normal citizen.

When your mom is working daily with an unknown entity she sees killing people their perspective might be different than yours
 

Shogungts

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What I never understood is why it was thought to be safer away from the team and it's safety protocols in comparison to signing with an agent an being on your own in different cities training around people who's not constantly being tested?

I think Covid was used as an excuse to save his draft stock. He quit, signed with an agent and bought his mother a house or whatever. Every kids dream is to be able to take care of their family so I get it but just be honest about it. I wish there was data to compare the efficacy of transmission over the past season as a football athlete compared to a normal citizen.
Did you not see how many of our players/coaches got COVID?
 

ajone228

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Did you not see how many of our players/coaches got COVID?
Did you not see how many people in the world got Covid? Don't think they all play football. Who's to say the football players that got Covid got it from being around players or coaches and not family members, friends etc...

All i'm saying is I see the struggle from a parents perspective with the unknown but id rather have my child in a controlled environment with strict safety protocols and frequent testing.
 

ajone228

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So let's say he did play in 2020. Would Phillips have been the 3rd guy in that DE rotation? If so, pretty sure Phillips would be back in 2021. I'm just talking out of my ass here. Good luck to Greg, I wish him a bright future playing in the league.
Phillips would've found a way to make a print and still been 1 and done.

In the spring there were reports of a 3rd down package including Roussea, Philips and Roche all standing at the line of scrimmage with their ears pinned back lol. That package would have been lethal.
 

ajone228

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And what it did to Al Blades. Rousseau made a decision based on the information he got from his mother.
Love blades and hate what happened to him but viral myocarditis can occur secondary to any virus not just covid. Blades could have had a cold, flu, viral GI bug anything and still had the same results. The important thing in his case was that it was caught and he can let his body slowly recover.
 

DMoney

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What I never understood is why it was thought to be safer away from the team and it's safety protocols in comparison to signing with an agent an being on your own in different cities training around people who's not constantly being tested?

I think Covid was used as an excuse to save his draft stock. He quit, signed with an agent and bought his mother a house or whatever. Every kids dream is to be able to take care of their family so I get it but just be honest about it. I wish there was data to compare the efficacy of transmission over the past season as a football athlete compared to a normal citizen.
I agree with you on the first part. It was always safer to play. But we’re talking about a mother and her son in a time of uncertainty. Her fears were probably genuine after some of the things she had seen.

Rousseau never struck me as a guy who just wanted money. His background isn’t particularly rough and his coaches always gave him glowing reviews as a teammate (unlike Garvin and Bandy the year before).
 

ajone228

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Hindsight is 20/20, so I understand it's easier discussing everything now in comparison to 8 months ago when there was a lot more uncertainty.

Think the question I would ask Greg if I was a scout would be:
-Knowing all that we know about Covid and how the season transpired, if you had to go back to that moment would you make the same decision to opt out?
 

ajone228

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I agree with you on the first part. It was always safer to play. But we’re talking about a mother and her son in a time of uncertainty. Her fears were probably genuine after some of the things she had seen.

Rousseau never struck me as a guy who just wanted money. His background isn’t particularly rough and his coaches always gave him glowing reviews as a teammate (unlike Garvin and Bandy the year before).
Money, Greg is quoted alluding that he opted out to pay for his parents to stop working on the front lines. He did it to take care of his parents not because his moms pressured him.

“Really it was just that my mom and dad are both on the front lines,” Rousseau said. “My mom is a COVID nurse and for me to have the opportunity to help them…if I wasn’t able to help them, I wouldn’t be able to live with myself. That was definitely what pushed me to make that decision."

 
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