NFC South: Arnold J. Mandell

Colston doesn't fit WR profile

February, 3, 2010
MIAMI – If you’ve read this blog for any real length of time, you’ve probably seen me make reference to the personality profile of wide receivers done by Dr. Arnold J. Mandell back in the 1970s.

Mandell characterized receivers as being selfish and egotistical prima donnas and I think he pretty much nailed it. Think about Terrell Owens, Randy Moss, Chad Ochocinco, etc. In the NFC South, Steve Smith, Antonio Bryant, Muhsin Muhammad and Keyshawn Johnson and Joe Horn a few years ago all fit the profile perfectly. Atlanta’s Roddy White also has a touch.

But the guy who might be the best wide receiver in the NFC South doesn’t have the traits that so many wide receivers do. That’s New Orleans’ Marques Colston. He’s humble and he’s quiet.

“That’s just my nature,’’ Colston said. “I just like to go out and handle my business and do what I’m supposed to do. It just so happens that this is the biggest stage probably in the world that day. Hopefully people will get the opportunity to see exactly what I can do.”

Maybe his background – coming out of Hofstra in the seventh round – plays a role, but Colston said he doesn’t follow the attitude that he’s got to go out and draw attention to himself.

“That’s fine with me,’’ Colston said. “For me, it’s all about being respected by my peers. I think as long as I continue to work and do the things that I’m doing, I’ll earn that respect.”

Posted by's Pat Yasinskas

As the Terrell Owens saga takes another turn with his release by Dallas, I'm reminded of a fascinating psychological profile of wide receivers I stumbled across a few years ago.

The profile actually goes back way earlier than that, but it holds remarkably true. In 1973, Arnold J. Mandell worked as a team psychiatrist for the San Diego Chargers. Coach Harland Savard asked Mandell to come up with personality profiles for the different position groups.

Mandell took a unique approach. He collected handwriting samples from all the Chargers and the entire class of rookies around the league in 1973. He worked with a handwriting analyst and also observed players closely. Mandell came up with personality profiles for every position group and I can see some truths in every one of them.

But Mandell especially nailed it in his personality profile on wide receivers.

"The wide receiver is a very special human being," Mandell wrote. "He shares many features with actors and movie stars. He is narcissistic and vain and basically a loner."

Yeah, you never want to stereotype. But think about that a little bit. Every great wide receiver fits to some degree.

Owens, Chad Johnson, Randy Moss, Steve Smith, Joe Horn, Keyshawn Johnson? They've all got it. Think even further back to guys like Michael Irvin, Otis Taylor, Mark Clayton and Mark Duper. They had it, too. You can argue about guys like Marvin Harrison and Jerry Rice. But talk to people who've been around them and they'll tell you they've got a touch of the wide receiver traits, but they're just better at hiding them. It's also part of what makes them great.

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