This week, our 49ers finally got some production from running back Kevan Barlow. What we got was a fourth round draft pick in a trade with the New York Jets, and a bunch of grief out of Barlow's mouth as he left San Francisco for the East Coast.
Spiteful at Head Coach Nolan, Barlow vented his frustration to a Contra Costa Times reporter.
"He walks around with a chip on his shoulder, like he's a dictator, like he's Hitler," Barlow told the CC Times. "People are scared of him. If it ain't Nolan's way, it's the highway."
Dude, OK, you're upset. Fine. You want to blow off steam? Fine. Yet saying something like that as you're being shipped from team to team won't improve one's reputation in the NFL.
Of a time, Barlow was a tantalizing prospect. Drafted by the Niners in the third round of 2001, he represented a big-bodied running back with the agility to shimmy past defenders or the size to rumble over them with an energetic style. Though he began by toeing the party line regarding the depth chart, in short time he chafed at apprenticing under Garrison Hearst, and yearned to be San Francisco's starting runner. Once Hearst aged out of the picture, Barlow regressed. He openly feuded with staunch fullback Fred Beasley. Beez was one of the best at his position, and a team leader. Not a good idea on Kevan's part. And after receiving a new contract, he seemed to lose his runner's heart. His style had become gingerly and wan, where once a Barlow run would be a marked by a flurry of limbs and a wild-eyed enthusiasm.
For example, in the first preseason game against Dah Bearss, Barlow didn't see fit to reach out to catch an easily catchable checkdown pass in the flat. He didn't care to make the effort.
By SFist Christopher Rogers, contributing