According to Cravens, the decision to step away last year “was like life or death” for him.
“To me, it was like life or death,” Cravens said. “I actually told my mom and dad and we had a serious conversation about it. And they told me, ‘This is not something that we can really give you advice on. This is something that you have to decide for yourself, because this is something you’re going to have to live with the rest of your life if you can’t come back, but if you do, this can never happen again.’ So I really just took it to myself, as I’ve got to be mature about it, my health comes first before anything.”
Cravens explained that he was dealing with “a lot of personal issues” at the time he was diagnosed with a concussion and was experiencing post-concussion syndrome.
“At the time, I wasn’t feeling like myself,” Cravens said. “I was going through a lot of personal issues, so I go to a doctor and get checked out. I was told I had a concussion and I was going through post-concussion syndrome and that I needed some time off in order to be able to come back to football, because I wasn’t going to be able to play this year. So once I learned that, it gave me a lot of time to just think — think about my health, think about my family, think about what’s important to me and what I have to do to handle my business.”
Cravens downplayed the reports that there were locker room issues with him and he and the Redskins felt it was best for both parties to have a fresh start.
“That’s all fake,” Cravens said. “When it comes to my teammates, there was never a rift in the locker room or a split where I wasn’t welcome. I’m not that kind of guy. But when it comes to me wanting a fresh start, I just think for me and the Redskins, I think it was just better off to get a fresh start and just part our ways. I think the time that we spent, it was up and it was just for the best for both parties.
“As far as the locker room rumors, I want to put that to bed. None of those things were true. There was never a conflict with me and my teammates.”
“That’ll be wide open,” Elway said, via ESPN.com. ” … I’m betting we won’t know what direction we’re going to go until probably the day of [the first round] or the day before.”
“It’s going to change from time to time; we’ll look at all the different scenarios,” Elway explained. “ … We’ll have to do that when we set our board, set the quarterback position, in order, where we would have them and go through the scenarios.”
“We’ll go through the scenarios and see where they fall,” Elway added. ” … [The quarterbacks] all have their strengths and their weaknesses … it’s a good crop of young quarterbacks, and I think the chances of these guys all being pretty successful are pretty good.”
Titans QB Marcus Mariota is concerned about his contract and when he’ll receive an extension from the team.
“Those are things that are outside of my control,” Mariota said during an interview with KHON2. “Obviously, there are certain things that you can do to kind of speed up the process, but if I started to concern myself with that, I lose sight of what it means to be a team guy and what it means to put this team first, and whenever that gets done, it will get done, and I just kind of focus on what’s going on on the field.
“I’ve always kind of been that way. I trust the organization, and I trust (general manager) Jon (Robinson). He’s done an unbelievable job since he stepped in, and whenever that gets done, it will get done, and I’m kind of just focused on what’s going on on the field.”
Mariota admitted that the coaching staff being fired was “tough”, but he also looking forward to working with new HC Mike Vrabel.
“Well, first and foremost to lose the staff of Coach Mularkey and that group, it was tough,” Mariota said, via Jason Wolf of the Tennessean. “I thought they did an incredible job of changing the culture, changing the perspective that we had really as a franchise and it put into action how it is to win, how can you win at this level. And that foundation, I think, will help us as we move forward.
“I’m really excited with Coach Vrabel. I had the opportunity to sit down with him a couple times, and his vision and the standard that he’s going to hold for all of us as players, the accountability, the competitiveness, I love it. I am really excited to get back to work with these guys. I think LaFleur and the offensive guys have a great vision for this team as well, and it’s going to be a lot of fun, and as a young group, as a young team, we just need to continue to feed off the energy. I think we’ll be in a good spot.”