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Post Players talk about struggles, criticism

Thursday November 2, 2006

Ching spoke with some defensive players about the adversity the unit has seen over the past month. Some very interesting comments in there – very good job as always.

I thought Ramarcus Brown made an extremely mature and insightful comment. He said, "Everything’s not gonna go right, so we’re all men here. College is about growing up. You’ve got to be able to handle that." When I read that, I see someone worth keeping an eye on in the next year or two. That kind of perspective is what I’d expect from the program’s leaders.

Some fans will probably focus in on and get bent out of shape about his statement that "we can’t play for the fans. We’ve got to have each other’s back." Brown isn’t denying the importance of fans or not being grateful for the support they do get. All he’s saying is that you can’t rely on that. Fan support is fickle. All you had to do was look around the parking lots and the stadium at the Mississippi State game to know that. I’m not getting into the endless "what defines a good fan" argument here; it’s just a fact that fan support ebbs and flows. We all know that. The players know that if they really need someone to lean on during tough times, they’re going to look to each other first. And I hope that’s how it will be. Brown and the other young players will have to be the core of the program’s resurgence. They are getting forged in fire right now, and they need to come through it together.

Ching also asked the players about "how much they pay attention to Internet message boards and how much criticism they hear and pay attention to." I hope that’s not for this year’s version of the tired "Internet BAD!" article that was played out around 1999. I expect not though since he seems to understand this medium well. We’ll see what comes of that.

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