If things had gone differently, this would be a nerve-wracking couple of days in Jeremy Jarmon‘s life. If things had gone as planned, Jarmon would be one of those guys zooming up and down mock draft boards. He would’ve been poked and prodded at the NFL Scouting Combine,stared at during a Pro Day or private workout, and wined and dined at practice facilities across the league.
Instead, an over-the-counter weight-loss supplement cost him his final year of college eligibility and he was selected by the Redskins in the supplemental draft last year at the cost of this year’s third round pick. He appeared in eleven games, accounted for eight tackles and one forced fumble, and suffered a season-ending knee injury in a November game against the Eagles.
Which is why, instead of spending today with family or friends or an agent, waiting to find out where his professional career would begin, Jarmon spent it the way he has most of the last several months: coming into the facility to rehab from his injury, working to resume a career that’s already begun.
So far, the efforts seem to be going well. The training staff tells him that he’s ahead of schedule, especially in the mental aspects of recovery; Jarmon says that head athletic trainer Larry Hess told him that “he’s never had someone that ran without any hesitation from day 1. When I started running I just jumped right back into it, and in my honest opinion I felt like I had never stopped running.”
Which figures. Jarmon used crutches less after his surgery than any player I’ve seen, and his response to the injury seemed to be anger more than anything else. “I don’t like depending on other factors to help me out,” Jarmon says. “I used [the crutches] to the point where I felt that I could do it myself.”
Jarmon spent the past weekend’s minicamp doing ladder drills and straight-ahead running and a lot of watching and learning, but expects to have more restrictions lifted soon. And he expects to be back full-go by training camp at the latest, possibly the final minicamp.
So he’s got plenty of things to keep him busy, but that doesn’t mean he’s completely unaware of what could’ve been.
“With this draft comin’ up,” Jarmon says, “I have kind of thought about it a little bit, because I have some of my friends that are comin’ out at UK. You know, we went in together, this was the year that we were all scheduled to come out, and I’ve just been thinking about that.”
The thing that he wonders about most is how long he would’ve had to wait, especially given the new three-day, primetime draft format. “I think about what day I would’ve gone this year,” Jarmon says. “Comin’ into this last year, it was projected that I would’ve gone probably low first, maybe somewhere in the second, so…. It’s gonna be weird once we get to Friday and the third round comes around and we don’t have that pick, I’ll know that technically I’ve been drafted.”
At general manager Bruce Allen’s pre-draft press conference yesterday, he noted that when the Philadelphia Eagles’s 37th pick in the draft came up, “there’s going to be a nice cheer that we selected Donovan McNabb this year” in the Redskins front office. Jarmon jokes that the third round should be celebrated as well.
“I think Bruce should cheer and toast bottles with Coach Shanahan,” he says.
As he rehabs, Jarmon also gets to study the new defense. Which should help him in his goal of being the most multi-faceted guy on the field. “I think that how I’m used this year won’t be final until training camp is over,” he says. “I still feel that I’m gonna be able to help us on the D-line, I feel that I’m gonna be able to help as a linebacker, I know that I’m gonna be able to help with special teams. I’m just trying to be the most versatile player that I can be. I wanna be able to be used anywhere and everywhere.”
And he swears that, temperamentally, he doesn’t really mind having missed out on all that flying around and wining and dining anyhow.
“Even when I was goin’ through the college process, I knew where I wanted to go to school and didn’t want to waste anyone’s time,” Jarmon says.
“It worked out the same with with this situation. My agent, Jimmy Sexton, asked me, ‘Jeremy, where do you wanna go?’ And I said, ‘I wanna be a Washington Redskin.’ We flew up to Philly — and they have a good program — and then owner Dan Snyder flew me out to Colorado to meet with him and the coaches. And I knew that I wanted to be with the Washington organization. So I don’t feel like I missed out on flying here, flying there, because I knew where I wanted to be. So it would’ve been a waste of my time, and it would’ve been a waste of an organization’s time to fly me somewhere.”
Jarmon, a smart guy and a realist, stops for a second and thinks before adding, “Then again, had it not worked out and Washington not taken me, I might be singing a different tune, but everything worked out for the best and I’m happy.”
Just because he doesn’t have any regrets, though, doesn’t mean that Jarmon wouldn’t like to be celebrated at the Draft Day Party this weekend.
“I may go in there right now,” he muses, “sit down and have a nice cordial conversation with new GM Bruce Allen. May say, ‘Hey, Bruce, if you don’t mind, I’d like to walk across the stage with my number 76 jersey’ — even though I’m number 90 now.”
(It’s a typically Jarmon touch that he remembers to walk across with the number he came into the league with.) But, as seems to be the norm with him, reality reasserts itself and he can’t help but wind up focused more on what he actually needs to do.
“I don’t think Bruce is gonna have any of it,” he says. “I think he’s a little busy right now, and he’d just say, ‘Jeremy, let’s worry about gettin’ yourself healthy and let the rest take care of itself.'”
Tags: Jeremy Jarmon, NFL Draft
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