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Colston Deserves More Recognition

Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Saints quarterback Drew Brees claims, “Usually, the guys who make the most noise get the most attention. That might not be fair, but that’s kind of just the way it is.” Brees made this statement in response to a question about his number one wide receiver. Simply asked, does Colston’s quiet nature cause him to be overlooked when discussing the best wide receivers in the NFL? Simple answer. Yes.

ESPN 1420, along with all Saints fans, have consistently pointed out that Marques Colston’s quiet nature has unfairly kept him out of the pro bowl. It’s time for that to change, and ESPN’s NFC South blogger Pat Yasinskas agrees.

Talk to any quarterback who has played in the NFL, except for Brees, and they’ll tell you they never met a wide receiver who didn’t insist he was open on every play.

“The only time Marques talks is if he gets mad at himself, or coach [Sean Payton] asks him to break down the huddle,’’ defensive back Malcolm Jenkins said.

Yes, America, there really is one big-time wide receiver who genuinely lets his play do the talking. That is Colston, a fifth-year pro out of Hofstra, who moved within five yards of 5,000 receiving yards for his career Sunday.

Teammates, coaches and opponents will tell you Colston belongs in the Pro Bowl. They’ll also tell you Colston is one of the league’s top wide receivers. But Colston is not the kind of guy who is going to tell you how good he is.

In fact, when he walked into the interview room Sunday, Colston started ripping apart his game.

“From the second quarter on, I didn’t play well,’’ Colston said.

While it’s true both of Colston’s touchdowns came in the first quarter and he failed to come up with a couple of catchable balls later in the game, he did finish with five catches for 46 yards and the Saints had complete control of the game from the moment Colston pulled in his second touchdown.

Heck, even when the Saints were getting ready to play the Cincinnati Bengals in their previous game, the New Orleans media tried for two days to get Colston to talk. He avoided the locker room totally the first day. On the second day, he ran into a couple of reporters as he walked to the training room.

Very politely, he told them something like, “I know where you’re going and I respect that. But I’d rather stay out of that fray.”

The fray Colston was referring to was the obvious story of the week — Cincinnati’s attention-grabbing wide receivers Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens going up against a player who is the anti-Ochocinco and the anti-Owens.

As a general rule, the better a receiver is, the more he talks. Think Randy Moss, Steve Smith, Roddy White, Brandon Marshall, Keyshawn Johnson, Michael Irvin and Mark Duper as just a few examples. Players such as Jerry Rice and Marvin Harrison were generally viewed as guys who didn’t seek out attention, but those who played with them and media members who covered them said each at least had a touch of the prima donna personality so common among receivers.

“Unfortunately, people want to listen to them,” Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said in a conference call with the New Orleans media a couple of weeks ago.

The question specifically was about Ochocinco and Owens, but Lewis could have been talking about virtually any receiver.

“They don’t have much substance to say very often, particularly when they leave here,’’ Lewis said. “They do have an audience for some reason.”

Wide receivers love audiences. When Smith and Johnson spent the 2007 season together with the Carolina Panthers, there was one certainty when the locker room doors opened after a game or practice — Smith and Johnson would be sitting at their lockers waiting to talk to the media. On at least one occasion one of them privately chided a reporter for using more quotes from the other receiver.

There’s even a story about a very well-known wide receiver who got an idea when Ochocinco changed his last name from Johnson. This particular receiver went to the team’s public relations department and website workers and told them he wanted to be referred to by his nickname in team record books, media guides and on the team website. Only a very stern talk — in other words, “You are not going to do that’’ — from a powerful owner and a once-powerful coach prevented that fiasco.

There’s absolutely none of that with Colston. He usually avoids the locker room when the media is in there during the week. If he talks at all, he doesn’t say much.

If you watched Colston’s body language as he spoke in front of the cameras and recorders Sunday, you would have thought he was drawing triple coverage in the fourth quarter of a Super Bowl. He wasn’t seeking attention. He was running from it, even squirming.

“It’s just me,’’ Colston said. “I’m comfortable being me.’’

It’s not just that way with the media. Colston is the same way with coaches and teammates.

Read all of Yasinskas article here: http://espn.go.com/blog/nfcsouth/post/_/id/16358/colstons-quiet-excellence-deserves-attention

Adjectives used to describe Marques Colston are different than most adjectives you would use to describe other wide receivers. One thing he does have in common with the best though, is skill. Colston is as good as any wideout in the league. It’s time the NFL, coaches, players, and fans, step up and recognize Colston with a pro bowl nod. It’s long overdue.

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