BATON ROUGE — Former LSU running back Derrius Guice had a warning for NFL teams that do not select him in the NFL Draft next month.
"If you don't draft me, I'm going to give your defenses hell," he said at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, Indiana, last week.
And that may go double for whatever team it was that talked bad about his mother and asked him if he liked men.
Guice said on the "Late Hits" radio show on SiriusXM Wednesday that a representative of an NFL team during Combine interviews said, "Hey, I heard your mom sells herself. How do you feel about that?"
Guice, who had the top 40-yard dash time among running backs at the Combine with a 4.49 and has a chance to go in the first round of the draft on April 26, said he was also asked about his sexual orientation.
"I go in one room, and a team will ask me, 'Do I like men,' just to see my reaction," he said.
"A question such as that is completely inappropriate," McCarthy said.
But this is not the first time the NFL has had to investigate one of its teams concerning similar questions at the Combine, which ran from Feb. 27 to March 5 and featured all 32 NFL teams interviewing, examining and testing hundreds of draft prospects, who also do a variety of speed, agility and strength drills.
Former Ohio State cornerback Eli Apple was asked if he liked men at the Combine in 2016 by an Atlanta Falcons coach.
Former LSU running back Jacob Hester, who was a third-round pick by the San Diego Chargers in 2008, did not like a question he was asked at the Combine in 2008 and says this keeps happening more and more.
"I've heard multiple guys say they were asked the same question as Guice," Hester told the USA Today Network-Louisiana on Thursday. "I don't know if they want to see if you get rattled or what."
Hester, a Bossier City native who went to Evangel Christian Academy, got rattled when someone from the Detroit Lions asked him in 2008 if he ever cheated on his wife.
"I wanted to fight somebody," said Hester, who has been married to Katie Hester since their LSU days. "It crosses a line in my opinion."
Hester, who played from 2008-11 with the Chargers and in 2012 and '13 with Denver, went into more detail with former LSU quarterback and teammate Matt Flynn from the 2007 LSU national championship team on his radio show "Hangin' With Hester" on 104.5 FM in Baton Rouge two weeks ago before the Combine.
"It was like the second question. 'Have you ever cheated on your wife?' First off, 'No.' Second off, 'Why are you asking me that?' They said they were asking me about my loyalty," Hester said. "I was like, 'Get out of here!' That has nothing to do with how good I am in football. And again, it's like 10:30 at night. I just got back from the damn hospital for tests, and you're asking me if I'm faithful to my wife? Thank God I didn't go to Detroit. Ugh. Why ask that?"
Flynn, who also went through the 2008 Combine before being picked in the seventh round by Green Bay, was shocked at Hester's revelation.
"Really? Are you serious? That's ridiculous," Flynn said. "I would've been pissed. I would've said, 'First off, meeting over.' If it makes you feel any better, they were 0-16 the next year."
The Lions, under then team president Matt Millen in his final year, did go 0-16 in 2008, becoming the first NFL team to ever lose all of its games in the 16-game schedule format that began in 1978.
"Well, good. They deserved that," Hester said.
"Karma," Flynn said.
"I just got fired up," Hester said. "I got like sweaty palms. I was like, 'Lets go!'"
Hester and Flynn are not bitter about their NFL careers. Each made a lot of money. Flynn, who played for seven seasons with only a handful of starts, made close to $20 million in his career and has a Super Bowl ring from the 2010 season in which the Packers won Super Bowl XLV. But neither think much of the Combine, even excluding the personal questions.
"I hated the Combine," Flynn said on Hester's radio show. "And, actually, I think it’s probably one of the most overrated experiences that the guys go through leading up to the draft. There is only a handful of guys that actually go there and really help their draft stock. And that's if you run really fast.”
Such was the case with LSU at the 2018 Combine. Cornerback Donte Jackson, who had coverage issues at LSU, tied for the best time in the 40 with a 4.32, and wide receiver D.J. Chark of Alexandria turned in a 4.34 in addition to Guice's top running back time of 4.49. Edge rusher Arden Key also did well, though he brings in a lot of baggage for NFL executives due to his mysterious departure from the team temporarily after the 2016 season.
"He was impressive in drills. He was in shape, lean, fast off the mark," NFL Draft expert Mike Detillier of WWL Radio in New Orleans said, bringing up the track meet angle of the Combine again.
Cornerback Kevin Toliver II, running back Darrel Williams, center/guard Will Clapp, offensive tackle K.J. Malone of Ruston, offensive tackle Toby Weathersby and quarterback Danny Etling were the other players from LSU at the Combine. But none created the stir of Jackson, Chark and Guice.
When Alabama coach Nick Saban was LSU's coach from 2000-04, he criticized the Combine.
"When I was with the Browns (Cleveland defensive coordinator from 1991-94), we'd have scouts come back from the Combine raving about how fast this guy or that guy were," Saban said in '04. "And we'd ask them, 'But can they play? Can they cover? Can they tackle?'"
Flynn said the Combine's drills tend to be that of a track meet.
"If you're just a good, solid player, and you're not a fast guy, all you can do is hope to stay the same or maybe bump a little bit up from interviews," he said. "But you always see these guys hurting their draft stock after they put two, three, four years of great film for the NFL to see in games. And they go there and do everything else well, do their position drills really well, jump well.
"But then the 40 time is like two-tenths of a second slower than what people thought. And all of a sudden, the talking heads are like, 'Oh, he's going to go from the second round to the sixth round.' I think it's dumb. I think it's ridiculous to put that much emphasis on that one drill."
"It's not overrated," he said, but he did admit the Combine's inadequacies. "The Combine is a pebble in the evaluation bag. What it does is let you see in person the athletic skills. Then you have to see if the athletic gifts match the production in college. But we have all seen coaches fall in love with players due to their athletic skills, and then it doesn't match what they did in college on the field."
Detillier also said Chark's excellent showing at the Combine was not all sprints and dashes.
"I knew he was fast, and he could really jump," Detillier said. "What impressed me was that he caught the ball clean in drills. At LSU, he had a tendency to catch the ball against his body and sometimes double clutched catches. He caught the ball really well out front with his hands in the drills."
Of course, Chark did much the same thing at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama, in January when he caught five passes for more yards (160) than he ever totaled at LSU with a 75-yard touchdown and a 63-yard reception.
Hester has problems with the medical end of the Combine.
"It was MRI (magnetic resonance imaging test of the body) after MRI after MRI, and the last one I kind of got that feeling of being stuck in there. I panicked and started hitting the button," Hester said on his radio show.
"Probably because you were sleep deprived. You’re in the hospital all day,” Flynn said.
"Oh, no doubt about it. It was midnight-30 and I'm on a a MRI machine. It was miserable," Hester said. "I’m not going to lie to you. Then you get back from the hospital, and you’re having to meet with teams."
Hester remembers a meeting with then-Jacksonville head coach Jack Del Rio late at night after leaving the hospital.
"After being at the hospital all day, he wants me to draw up third-down protections," Hester said. "He's saying, 'So, you got your dime coming here, you got your free safety here. What if they’re in Cover 3 and they bring this guy down?' And all you’re sitting there thinking about is, 'Let me go to sleep. I’ve got a 40 I’ve got to run tomorrow.'”
Better time management between the drills and various tests, such as the Wonderlic aptitude exam, would help, Hester said.
"I had to take the Wonderlic right before I bench pressed," Hester said incredulously. "My wrists were taped for the bench press, and I'm sitting there trying to take the Wonderlic. And they're probably thinking, 'How did this guy graduate college with the answers he just gave?' But honestly, I'm a tailback switching to fullback. I wanted to prove I'm strong enough to play fullback. I wasn't worried about the Wonderlic test."
Flynn said some of his medical evaluations at the Combine actually aggravated a previous shoulder injury.
"You see all 32 team orthopedic doctors, and they’ve taken every injury you’ve ever had and pulled it and tugged it and poked on it," Flynn said. "I had a shoulder injury a month and a half before the Combine. It felt good going into the Combine, but it got yanked on so many times, I was like, ‘OK, well. now it does kind of hurt, yeah.’ And you’re sleep-deprived. After three days, you’re weary of talking and constantly having to have a smile on your face and always having to be mentally on and mentally focused."
Hester and Flynn believe game film is the best way to learn if someone is NFL ready.
"By watching film, they're going to see if you're a good player, and if you have what it takes to play at an NFL level," he said.
Both point to some good things about the Combine.
"There are ways to improve it and to streamline it more," Flynn said. "Players should definitely do all their position drills so people can see you actually doing football stuff. As far as the doctors, yes it's very necessary for teams to know you're healthy. But don't see 32 doctors. Do like two or three. But the one really good thing and why a lot of people go is the meetings. That's where a lot of people can make a big impact. And I think that's very beneficial for guys."
But easy on those personal questions.
"I can't believe they asked you that, Jacob," Flynn said. "How dumb that is."