The Cincinnati Bengals have hosted outside linebacker/defensive end tweener Courtney Upshaw and head coach Marvin Lewis reportedly hopes that he'll fall to the team's second first-round pick. In other words you get the sense that they like him. However one (anonymous) front-office personnel in the NFL thinks he's not worth a first-round pick according to Pro Football Weekly. And it's not for his production on the field.
"The more Courtney Upshaw talked (in the interview process), the more I got scared. He has a lot of distractions in his life. There are a lot of concerns there. We need an edge guy, but we wouldn't touch him in the first (round). I'd have hesitations in the second where we're picking, after hearing him talk about grabbing his girlfriend by the hair."
Maybe said front-office personnel is just hoping the negative perspective hurts Upshaw enough so that he'll drop. The altercation he speaks of took place in late August of 2009 in which Mike Brantley of the Press-Register wrote:
Arresting officer Rusty Romine said he spotted Upshaw following Gryzb in the parking lot. He said she appeared to be shouting at Upshaw after he caught up with her.
"At this time Upshaw grabbed Gryzb by the back of the neck and hair" and appeared to try to push her down, Romine wrote in a deposition and charge sheet.
He said she freed herself and attempted to hit Upshaw in the face but missed, then the player grabbed her forearm and pushed her away.
The irony -- or perhaps the result of an obsessionist love Alabama football -- is that Upshaw's girlfriend's father threw his daughter under the bus.
"I hate to see this guy get in too much trouble because I honestly think it was probably initiated by my daughter. I don't think he laid a hand on her. He just tried to restrain her to keep from getting hit again."
We're sure there was a "Roll Tide" at some point after the quote. Both Upshaw and Kendall Grzyb were arrested and booked on domestic violence/harassment charge. Upshaw was eventually cleared, as was Gryzb, provided they attend and complete an anger management course (which we assume happened).