Reports today from the Boston Globe and former Globe beat writer Greg Bedard show what can be perceived as character concerns from Aaron Hernandez that have cropped up from his days with the New England Patriots. These should not be used to try and argue that Hernandez did indeed murder Odin Lloyd or was an accomplice, but they should be taken as a small part of the picture in evaluating Hernandez’s character. It is possible that these reports are false, but they should at least be taken into account.
The Boston Globe’s Shalise Manza Young reported (Ben Volin contributed to the report) that Aaron Hernandez had a quick temper and lashed out at Wes Welker a few days after being drafted. The important thing to note, though, is that plenty of people have quick tempers, and that this event is easy to take out of context.
What shouldn’t get lost is this, a few days after being drafted, Hernandez showed up at the Patriots facilities to watch film. Hard worker right there. Hernandez, however, did not know how to work the film equipment, and nobody was helping him. Wes Welker walked by the film room, and Hernandez asked him for his help. Welker reportedly said, “Rookie, you figure it out,” which led to a huge tirade from Hernandez, “ “f— you Wes, I’ll f— you up!”
That’s easy to take out of context. To me, what’s a little bit more telling is that Aaron Hernandez was reportedly aloof in the locker room and enjoyed spending more time with his friends from Gainesville than with spending time with Patriots teammates. To me, Hernandez’s problem is clear; he just hung out with the wrong crowd. What did former Florida Gators coaches say about Hernandez? That he was tough and a hard worker, and those are two things we definitely know to be true. The quick temper? That can get blown out of proportion? Being influenced by the wrong people? Now that’s a big issue.
Greg Bedard tweeted that two Patriots players told him that Hernandez was more “brazen” following his extension last offseason. Take that as you will.