Every NFL season we see it. There are good players who fall off the face of the Earth. Conversely there are guys we have never heard of who become stars, or at least strong players. We can expect even more of these trends whenever the next NFL season starts.
NFL players are babysat though the off season by their control-freak coaches to make sure stay in shape and keep their skills sharp. Most players have the drive an dedication to do these things on their own. A small minority do not. Also, some players are easily distracted. Young players in particular can have a hard time adjusting to the amount of free time afforded them during and NFL off season. So NFL teams have an assortment of mini-camps, OTAs and training programs for players. Some are mandatory for all players to attend. Most of these programs are "voluntary" and most players drink the kool-aid and attend. Pretending it is something other than their control-freak coaches keeping an eye on them.
This NFL has forbid teams, including coaching and training staff, from having any contact with players. Which means players have had to babysit themselves. For most players this is the longest they have gone without a football coach crawling up their butt. Some players will not react well.
I will use my favorite team as an example. Like most teams the Titans players have been holding their own workouts and mini-camps. This week they had a big one with 40 players. Corner back Cortland Finnegan III has been organizing these workouts. It says a lot about Cortland, that he is organizing these workouts. Most key players and draft picks showed up this week. Even the team's biggest star, Chris Johnson, showed after skipping the workouts last off season in a contract dispute.
Conspicuous by his absence was another bring young player, Kenny Britt. Kenny had a hard time staying on track last off season even with coaches allowed to stay on him. So it is concerning that he did not show this week, even though he was expected to be there. No one had heard from him. It turns out that instead of joining his teammate for a workout this week Kenny Britt was smokin' blunts in New Jersey. You can find an atricle on his arrest, second this off season, here: http://www.tennessean.com/article/20110609/SPORTS01/110609017/Titans-receiver-Kenny-Britt-arrested-New-Jersey?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|Sports Tennessee Titans
Kenny Britt appears to be an example of a player who is easily distracted. He works hard and is dedicated when with the team. When he is back with old friends in New Jersey though he falls into bad habits. It will be interesting to see how Kenny Britt does when the next NFL season finally starts.
At the same time, there is always someone there willing to take the spot of a star who is not willing to work hard. The Titans had two rookies receivers last year. Both of whom show a lot of potential. One actually made it to the Pro-Bowl as a return man. And I am sure both would love to step in and replace Kenny Britt in the starting lineup should Britt show he is not up to the task.