great article on pacman

Discussion in 'Tennessee Titans and NFL Talk' started by Fry, Aug 22, 2006.

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  1. Gunny

    Gunny Lord and Master Tip Jar Donor

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    We heard about them once or twice. I actualy have never read about Bulluck.

    Pacman's life seems to be a monthly thing.
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  2. KamikaZ

    KamikaZ Ex-Hall of Famer

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    Exactly. And I KNOW that ain't the first lil expose they done on him, I know it's not. Sure, there are some passing notes on Bullock or whoever, but not where it was ever a focus.
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  3. Hoffa

    Hoffa Not Family?Then freak you you freakin' freak

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    I've never read anything about this Bullock.
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  4. nendzone

    nendzone All Titans, All the Time

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    Bulluck did not make things harder on himself by always ending up around trouble when he first got to town. And while I don't have anything against Jones and I could name a BUNCH of guys in the NFL who have done worse things than him, I think the added attention Jones has gotten was a function of choices HE made with some of the company he keeps.

    But even with a guy like Bulluck who was not thrust into the NFL spotlight until he had a couple of years under his belt, his story got LOTS of play. Somebody did a significant video story on it, complete with interviews with his foster mom and her son (Bulluck's childhood friend). And I don't think that was local, I seem to recall it was a network/ESPN kind of thing. Then it became more of a crusade for Bulluck and his work with foster kids.

    Kearse's tough upbringing got significant media play, when he was still in college and again after he got here. Once again, though, Kearse never found himself in bad situations or drew attention to himself off the field, so he got noticed first for what he did on the field and not the trouble he found himself around off it.

    Dorenbos, I heard his story on HBO's "Inside Sports" or something when he was still a Bill, then again when he ended up here.

    If Jones wants to be the guy the rest of the NFL takes notice of for his on-field skills, then unless he finds a way to stop running into strange situations off the field, that coverage is going to come with it.

    It's no different than other high-profile players around the league.

    Start making big plays a lot more often than he draws 15-yard-penalties/gets into shouting matches with fans or opposing coaches and more importantly, more often than he finds himself on the periphery or in the middle of a police blotter incident, then everyone else will focus more on football than analyzing his personality, too.

    It's not that difficult an equation.
    #34
  5. The Mrs

    The Mrs Crush on Casey Starbucks!

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    The story that Kuharsky wrote is nothing new. He didn't unearth any new tidbits on Pacman. He didn't even have to leave town to write what he wrote. Everyone knows the kind of background that Pacman came from. More players in the NFL than not came from similar situations. After spending time with Chad Johnson and others at Chad's yearly workout/training bash in L.A., Pac returned to Nashville with a new sort of attitude and the desire to be a shut down corner in the NFL.

    Last season, it was a lot of negative things that he did bring upon himself. He has made a concerted effort to bring a different energy to the field and in his life. He even changed homes to complete the turnaround. It has been noted and noticed that there is a "new" Pacman. He had a rough year and had matured a bit. He has weathered the tough start and wants to put it behind him. He does not want to rehash over and over the fact that he comes from a rough background. As I stated before, a lot of guys in the NFL have had similar or worse situations. Pac lives on a huge farm in an affluent suburb, so he's no longer the "street kid" from Atlanta.

    It's only human to get tired of your own story being told over and over and again. There are new stories about Pacman, why not tell those? A lot of good people have not so good friends. I have friends who smoke weed, I have friends who have dated guys who sold drugs and I have friends who have been strippers. My parents wouldn't approve of me having such friends and because of my occupation, I have to be careful of the company that I keep. However, I went to a birthday party that was thrown by one of my friends. As the night wore I and the party got going, things became questionable. I was getting ready to leave the party and I was looking for my friend as I walked around the party, I saw that people were smoking weed like they were cigarettes. I thought to myself that if the police were to come into this party, we'd all be arrested. While I wasn't doing anything wrong, I was there and would be treated like everyone else until things got sorted out.

    After I leave the bars, sometimes my friends and I go to the Waffle House or stop for gas. After 2 a.m., a lot of "stuff" goes on. Does that mean a person should stay in the house? Of course not! Especially on the weekends! Give the guy a break.
    #35
  6. nendzone

    nendzone All Titans, All the Time

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    Here's one of the Jevon Kearse pieces from his senior season at Florida, just for comparison's sake:

    The Sporting News; 8/17/1998; Harrison, Steve


    University of Florida linebacker Jevon Kearse is considered to be the best in the nation at his position. Kearse is trying to succeed in his sport and break a family curse that has seen his brother go to prison, his grandfather murdered, and a cousin killed in a shoot out.

    When you see Jevon Kearse in his summer apparel, you first notice he s not wearing a shirt. Then you see the big flip-flops, big shorts and gold earrings that look like miniature Hula-Hoops.

    What you come back to is the no-shirt part. It's tough not to stare at his chest, arms and shoulders because, damn, it's all muscle. And it's all good. Guys would pay $1,000 to have that body for a weekend.

    Cisco Navas, Kearse's roommate and best friend, says, yeah, that's impressive, but there's something even better. "Check out his hands, man," he says. "They're huge."

    Indeed they are. Kearse's teammates at the University of Florida laugh at how he makes one-handed catches effortlessly in practice. They say he sticks his right hand in the air lazily and snares footballs. Not soft passes, either, Bullets.

    One of his greatest feats came when he used such a trick in high school. Against rival Fort Myers High in 1994, his senior season, he was playing free safety. He was beaten deep, so he turned on the speed, then began climbing into the night sky, as if using the rope in gym class. He reached back behind his body and pulled down the interception with his right hand. Down in Lee County, they still talk about that one.

    These days, Jevon Kearse isn't chasing down many passes. He's a hybrid linebacker/rush end whose hands are only part of his wondrous package. He is a 6-5, 254-pound junior. He is rumored to have body fat, but none is visible. He runs 40 yards in 4.45 seconds, which is fast for anybody, especially a linebacker, but Kearse whispers that he has run it faster. He says he has done it in 4.39. He wants to keep that a secret so he can stun the NFL scouts, most of whom already are aware of him.

    "He showed up as a sophomore. You were aware of his presence," says Glenn Cumbee, director of college scouting for the Oilers. "This guy can run, and he's huge. He's a Lawrence Taylor type of guy who will probably be a better up-the-field pass rusher than a dropback cover guy. He makes plays. That's what it's all about."

    Kearse (pronounced curse) is one of the most amazing athletes in the country and the best outside linebacker in college football. He is a prototype of the modern defender: Agility to drop back in coverage. Speed to blow past offensive tackles. Power and violence to punish. He has been called "Freak." Fellow linebacker Mike Peterson calls him "Wrecking Force."

    "Wrecking Force can do whatever he feels like," Peterson says. "I ain't seen anyone with his size and speed. Never. He's just a big kid that does whatever he wants. It's like, `Let's see, do I want to get a sack this play?'"

    "Can I compare him to anyone?" says Bob Stoops, Florida's defensive coordinator. "No. There is simply no one with his size and speed."

    What's truly amazing is there could have been other Kearses just as good--maybe better.

    As Jevon grew up and into his body, relatives in Dunbar, a black neighborhood in Fort Myers, Fla., began talking about his striking resemblance to his older brother. Jevon was a little taller than Joseph Jr., but both were big, strong kids who were athletically blessed. Some even say Joseph Jr.--everyone calls him J.J.--was a better athlete. Joseph Jr. is a man who could have been--and still might be. For now, he is inmate No. 165539 at the Hardee Correctional Institute in Bowling Green, Fla.

    Those old enough to remember also say Jevon looks just like his father, Joseph Kearse Sr. He was a man who could have been--and never will be. Eight months before Jevon was born, Joseph Sr.'s short, lawless life was ended by a gun.

    In the next four years, three other members of Jevon's family were killed by bullets. And the violence hasn't stopped. Jevon has lost those he was too young to know and those he loved.

    "I don't want to see my family name dragged through the mud," Jevon says wearily. "I don't want people to think I'm the only good Kearse. I'm going to change that." When you meet Kearse, after seeing that stud body, you see a shy kid who wants to be liked. And he is. With his perpetual grin, he's more Mr. Rogers than Mean Joe Greene.

    But he also is uncomfortably numb. He knows what questions are coming. He knows the bloody past is present. He knows he's the boy who made it, the honors student who is destroying family history. Soon, everyone will want to know how. Jevon Kearse, football star? Jevon Kearse, survivor? Nah.

    Jevon Kearse, hero.

    George and Pauline Kearse came to Fort Myers in the 1950s after crossing the country, working on farms. They had 12 children, eight sons and four daughters, including Joseph. His younger brother Thorris Kearse remembers Joseph also was a great athlete, muscular and lean, though a few inches shorter than Jevon. Joseph was a great singer, too, just like Marvin Gaye. And he could flat-out dance.

    Thorris also remembers Joseph stuttered, "sometimes so much that he'd cry." That, besides their looks and size, is one of the things that links Jevon and his father. People reed to tell Jevon he talked liked his daddy, but he has worked hard to overcome it. Today, he speaks confidently but carefully, as if tiptoeing across a minefield.

    Though athletic, Joseph never could commit to playing a sport for long. He first got in trouble as a young teen and soon had a long rap sheet. One night in 1976, a man with a ski mask walked into a pool hall in Dunbar and fired two shots--one in the neck, one in the hip--that killed Joseph Kearse, 24. In the Fort Myers News-Press, police called Kearse "a shakedown artist" and described the murder as a revenge killing. A Lee County lawman was quoted as saying that Kearse was "one of the baddest men in town."

    "He was a good provider for me and his son," Lessie Mae Green says of her late husband. "And he wasn't dumb. He had started college. He was nice to me, but I can't condone what he did. He just wasn't all bad."

    Joseph Kearse left Lessie Mae with a two-year-old son, Joseph Jr. Jevon was born eight months later. Lessie Mae later had five more children. Growing up, Jevon was dose to Joseph Jr., and to his younger half-brother Jermaine Green, whom they called Rocky.

    Jevon and Joseph fished and crabbed together. When Jermaine grew up, he joined in, too. They played sandlot football. They wrestled in the back yard. Jevon has a small scar on his head from when Joseph threw a brick at him.

    "He was just a big brother," Jevon says. "If there was a bully around, he'd always protect me."

    As Joseph Sr.'s two sons grew, members of the Kearse family were still falling.

    On February 3, 1978, two years after Joseph Sr.'s death, Jevon's paternal grandfather, George Kearse, 57, was murdered outside his home. He was found holding a shotgun in his right arm.

    On July 23, 1978, Danny Kearse, 19, one of Jevon's cousins, was killed. The shooter was found to have acted in self-defense.

    On January 26, 1980, James Kearse, one of Jevon's uncles, was killed.

    Four years, four funerals.

    Not all Kearses found trouble; most led fulfilling, peaceful lives. But Jevon's family has a history of violence and tragedy that is undeniable. Consider that Marcell Kearse, one of Jevon's cousins, served time for attempted first-degree murder and aggravated battery in 1981. He died in 1997 in a prison hospital. Another cousin, Robert Kearse, then 16, shot and killed a man seven years ago. He's serving a life sentence.

    Thorris Kearse thinks Joseph Jr. and Jevon reacted differently to not having a father. Perhaps Joseph Jr. was affected subconsciously by the death--even though he was only 2. Became Jevon never knew him, perhaps it was easier for him to move on. To this day, he has never asked Thorris about Joseph Sr., and that troubles his uncle. Perhaps he built a wall around his past. Perhaps he heard too many bad things.

    Lessie Mae says Jevon was the quiet one, Joseph Jr. more outgoing. When Jevon came to Florida, teammates teased him for being more teddy bear than tiger.

    "Jevon was always that way," says Shirley Kearse, Thorris' wife. "He was a shy kid. Big, but gentle. In football, when he hit you, he took a little off. You have to make him be mean."

    Jevon was always self-motivated. He woke up for school without much prodding, while Joseph slept in. As the boys grew older, they made different friends. When Joseph Jr. started hanging out with a suspect crowd, he left Jevon behind.

    "Jevon wasn't around a lot of that," Shirley Kearse says. "He didn't see the bad."

    Jevon could see his brother slipping away, "but there was nothing I could do," he says.

    Soon after, Jevon met Cisco Navas, his future best buddy.

    Kearse and Navas have been close since the day they tried to kick each other's butt in the cafeteria at Lee Middle School in Fort Myers. Jevon thought Cisco had stolen his carton of milk, and the two began to wrestle--first at the table, then on the floor. They were hauled into the principal's office, where they quickly hatched a scheme to save themselves: They said they were friends and had just been clowning around. It wouldn't be the last time they saved each other from trouble.

    Soon after Joseph Jr. was seduced by Dunbar's streets, Jevon started hanging out with Cisco. Cisco's mother, Yolanda McDowell, who is from Costa Rica, moved to an isolated house in North Fort Myers when she married a U.S. Air Force pilot, who died when Cisco was young. To get there, you open a rusty metal gate, then drive on a lonely dirt road for a mile. At the end of the line is a modest ranch house, surrounded by six acres of woods, lakes and snakes.

    In Dunbar, Jevon's mother was raising the five younger kids, and life was hard. It was always noisy, and there were always diapers to change. So Jevon started staying at Cisco's. He liked being nowhere. First it was just on Friday night. Then, Friday became Saturday. And Saturday became Sunday.

    "Next thing I knew, my clothes were over there," Jevon says. "And it was good for my mom, too. It was one less mouth to feed."

    When Jevon moved in, McDowell made him agree to study daily. In middle school, he had been an average student, but in high school, living with Cisco and his mother, he really applied himself. He graduated as a National Honor Society member with a 3.6 GPA. Today, his coaches at Florida gush over his attention to detail.

    After school, Jevon would do his homework immediately. Then, he and Cisco fished in the nearby lakes or played pool in the basement. Every day, they guzzled 1,850 calories of a weight-gainer supplement. As Jevon and Cisco would say, they were serious about "blowing up."

    "If Jevon hadn't moved in here," McDowell says, "he wouldn't be where he is today."

    Who knows why one brother chooses one path and one brother chooses another? Jevon escaped. Why? Was it fate? Did he know he needed to leave Dunbar?

    "If I did change any, I changed myself," Jevon says. "I still hung out with the same people--people who weren't doing drugs and people who wouldn't hurt you."

    When he was a sophomore, he switched schools, from Fort Myers to North Fort Myers High. Wade Hummel, then North Fort Myers' coach, remembers the first time he saw Jevon.

    "I was at practice, standing on the track, when this big kid gets out of the car," Hummel says. "And right then I said, `That's my safety.'"

    Hummel knew Jevon had some baggage--in addition to the police, local coaches knew a little about the Kearses, because some had been basketball players--but Jevon never said much.

    "In high school, I didn't even know how his dad had died," Cisco says.

    Jevon, the gazelle, was a safety and tight end. Cisco, a ball of muscle, was a fullback. Both were stars. Hummel thought about playing Jevon on the line or at linebacker, but he figured offenses would try to run away from Kearse's side. The decision paid off: Jevon has the agility he does today in part because he played in the secondary.

    Soon, colleges came courting the prep All-American. He visited Florida State, but he was skeptical about playing time. He took a trip to Ohio State just to see snow. He visited Miami, which was "too fast." The two finalists were Florida and Notre Dame. He chose Florida.

    Jevon Kearse had seemingly made it. But leaving Fort Myers wasn't the end. You can't run away that easily.

    Early in Kearse's 1995 redshirt season, two worlds collided. The troubled brother crossed the good brother. The day after the Florida-Tennessee game, Jevon was cleaning out his car at a gas station. His radio was loud, and police responded to a complaint. When they ran a check on his name, they found a warrant for his arrest. Someone named Jevon Kearse had stolen a car in Sarasota County months earlier and skipped court. Kearse spent a night in jail and pieced together what must have happened.

    A few months before, he remembered Joseph Jr. telling him he had given police Jevon's name, age and Social Security number after he had been arrested. Jevon thought he was kidding. As he sat in jail, he knew what had happened. He felt sick.

    Soon, fingerprints came. Charges were dropped and Jevon was freed. But Joseph was arrested soon after on a different charge, armed robbery, a crime for which he has spent the past two years serving a 7 1/2-year sentence at Hardee Correctional Institute.

    Hummel, Jevon's high school coach, went to Joseph's trial. As he sat in the courtroom, he realized how such a mistake could have been made. Joseph looked just like Jevon, he thought. They were big and strong, and their faces were mirror images. Joseph had been trying to get straight, playing semipro football in Fort Myers. He was a pretty good running back.

    Now, Joseph follows his brother's football career on TV and in magazines. In Joseph Kearse's file with the Florida Department of Corrections, "Jevon Kearse" is listed as an alias.

    In October 1996, three months after Joseph began serving his sentence, two cars pulled into the Sabal Palm apartment housing project parking lot in Dunbar. Shots were fired. Jermaine Green, Jevon's half-brother, took a bullet in his brain. He died in the hospital in the arms of Lessie Mae, a woman who had now lost a husband and a son.

    Jevon flew home for the funeral. "It was," he says calmly, "the hardest thing I've ever gone through." Today, he keeps a program from the funeral above the mirror in his bedroom and a photo of Jermaine's daughter inside his car.

    When Kearse first came to Florida, he as still a safety, and his teammates stared in wonder. A reporter once asked wide receiver Ike Hilliard, now with the New York Giants, if he would go over the middle against Kearse. "I would, because I go over the middle," Hilliard said. "But go ask Reidel."

    The reporter then approached wide receiver Reidel Anthony, now with Tampa Bay. "Hell, no!" Anthony replied. "I'm not that stupid!"

    Though Kearse intimidated some of his teammates, he wasn't ready to dominate college football. He was too nice, too gentle.

    "He didn't know how good he could be," teammate Peterson says. "We used to kid him, tell him he was a little scared. Other guys said, `Wow, this guy is big, he's pretty good.' But we knew how good he could be. He should have been picking guys up and doing whatever he wanted with them. Then he saw what he could do, and he turned it on from there."

    Kearse had trouble adjusting from safety to linebacker during his redshirt year. But as he continued to put on weight, Florida coaches noticed a remarkable thing: He maintained his speed, agility and flexibility.

    "God gave him things he didn't give a lot of people," says Bob Sanders, Kearse's position coach. "Most guys, when they get bigger, grow into a different body type. But he still has the same body type. He can still drop into coverage. That's what makes him different."

    Early in Kearse's freshman season, trying to find a way to use Kearse--Florida coach Steve Spurrier had expressed interest in using him on Offense--defensive coordinator Stoops lined Kearse up as a rush end. At first, Kearse was timid. Could he beat a 300-pound tackle?

    "Initially, when he came up to the line, he was apprehensive," Sanders says. "We were teaching him to do a lot of things, and he wasn't sure what the plan was."

    Last season, as a sophomore, he played strongside linebacker or rush end, usually on the weakside, in passing situations. Kearse now is comfortable in his new spot, and rushing the quarterback is his favorite role.

    He was an All-Southeast Conference selection last year and led the Gators with 29 1/2 "big plays," which is Gator-speak for sacks, tips and tackles behind the line of scrimmage.

    Now that Stoops has moved Peterson to the weakside, the strongside belongs to Kearse. He'll also play rush end on obvious passing downs. Stoops hints Jevon has much more to give.

    `He just needs to take it upon himself to influence every play out there," Stoops says. "If he wants, he can have an impact on every play in the game."

    Over the summer, Kearse worked out and went to summer school, which left him nine hours short of a degree in sociology. He's only a junior, but most close to him--family members and teammates--are sure he'll turn pro next season and be an early fast-round pick in the NFL draft. In fact, he has been blocking some of his phone calls, because so many agents keep bothering him.

    He recently moved into an off-campus apartment with Navas, who is trying to make it at Florida as a walk-on fullback. Navas played at Austin Peay for two years, but when the school stopped offering football scholarships, Kearse suggested he come to Florida.

    Each time Jevon goes home to Fort Myers, he sees his grandparents. Then he'll see Cisco's mom and eat black beans and rice. He'll see his own mom and Thorris and Shirley. A year ago, he drove to Hardee and had lunch with his brother, who quickly apologized after Jevon's brief incarceration and whom Jevon has forgiven. Jevon thinks Joseph will go straight when he gets out, which might not be until 2003.

    And each time Jevon comes home, Thorris and Shirley Kearse hope he will ask about his father. They want him to know he wasn't just "the baddest man in Lee County." They want him to know the good things. He hasn't asked yet, and they know it will take time.

    "I remember the first time I saw him play in Gainesville, I almost cried, thinking about his daddy," Thorris says. "If he had seen his son in front of those thousands and thousands of people, he would have been so proud."

    RELATED ARTICLE: Gators' title hopes rest with the defense

    Jevon Kearse will be the centerpiece of a defense that is the key to Florida's national title hopes. With the offense again threatening to be the sputtering unit it was last season, Kearse and his defensive mates must play well each game. A talented defense performed poorly in one loss last season (a 37-17 setback to Georgia) and only adequately in the Gators' other loss (28-21 to LSU).

    The strength is the front seven. In Ed Chester and Reggie McGrew, the Gators have the best defensive tackle duo outside the NFL. Youngsters Derrick Chambers and Gerard "Big Money" Warren are solid backups at tackle. End Willie Cohens is an All-SEC caliber performer, and he'll get help from Tim Beauchamp, Thad Bullard, Buck Guffey and Anthony Mitchell. The starting linebackers are lethal; Kearse, middle man Johnny Rutledge and outside `backer Mike Peterson are the speediest starting trio in the nation. The depth is OK, with redshirt freshman Alex Brown a star of the future (as in next season after Kearse has gone to the NFL).

    The question comes in the secondary, although Florida looks solid at three spots. Teako Brown is an All-SEC free safety, and new strong safety Rod Graddy is a star on the rise. Defensive coordinator Bob Stoops loves the press-man defense, where the cornerbacks are used almost exclusively in man coverage. Tony George has been moved from strong safety, where he starred last season, to one of the corner spots, and coaches expect him to be fine. But at the other corner, two little-used players--junior Dock Pollard and sophomore Cedric Warren--are the top candidates. Florida recruited a bumper crop of defensive backs, but it's hard to imagine a true freshman grasping Stoops' defense quickly.

    Florida's first test comes September 19 at Tennessee. The Gators' first two games--The Citadel and Northeast Louisiana--are little more than scrimmages. That means adjusting to the Vols' speed could be tough for Florida, at least early. Then again, the Gators will be extremely vanilla in the defenses they use in the first two games, and you have to figure Stoops will have something special to throw at Vols quarterback Tee Martin in his first key SEC contest.

    COPYRIGHT 1998 Sporting News Publishing Co.


    This got brought up a lot during the Super Bowl media frenzy Kearse's rookie year, too.
    #36
  7. The Mrs

    The Mrs Crush on Casey Starbucks!

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    The only thing I noticed was that Steve Harrison, the writer, talked about staring at another dude's chest and going on and on about his body.....
    #37
  8. TitanJeff

    TitanJeff Kahuna Grande Staff

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    I think you just got your wish.
    #38
  9. Gunny

    Gunny Lord and Master Tip Jar Donor

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