Mark Dantonio surely wasn't happy about Connor Cook's unexpected fall in the NFL Draft. But the Michigan State head coach appears to be even less happy over explanations of why Cook's fall happened.
Dantonio took to Twitter in the wee hours of Tuesday morning to express his displeasure over a story in the Detroit News explaining why Cook plummeted down the draft boards of many teams. Though no specific title or writer was named, a story published Saturday titled "Personality issues caused Connor Cook's fall in draft" seems like the target of Dantonio's tweet.
Just read article in Det. News on CC. Writers need to check their facts and "sources" inside the bubble. #35-5 #GossipColumm— Mark Dantonio (@DantonioMark) May 3, 2016
Dantonio followed up with another Tuesday-morning tweet aimed at the Detroit Free Press. Again, no specific story or writer was mentioned by the coach, but one can assume that a Sunday story titled "Connor Cook could not satisfy NFL teams' questions about leadership" might be the one. It in itself was a follow up to an earlier story by the same writer titled "Connor Cook leaves some teams uneasy in NFL draft."
"Insightful" Free Press article on CC. 3 years of interviews granted tells his story. #35-5 #YouLikeThat?!— Mark Dantonio (@DantonioMark) May 3, 2016
After a head-scratching fall, Cook was eventually selected in the fourth round by the Oakland Raiders, who used the No. 100 pick on a quarterback who at one point looked like one of this draft's top prospects at the position. While Cook's 2015 season with the Spartans wasn't statistically sensational, he still established himself as perhaps the Big Ten's best quarterback and still led his team to a Big Ten championship and an appearance in the College Football Playoff.
Cook finished his career at Michigan State, during which he was a three-year starter, with a 35-5 record, something Dantonio pointed out in those tweets.
So what was the big deal? Well, according to that Detroit News story, Cook earned the skepticism of NFL teams with his personality.
The fact that Cook was not elected a team captain back in the fall has been talked to death and probably way overblown considering the Spartans were a senior-laden group with a lot of high-caliber choices for that honor. Center Jack Allen was elected the offensive captain, and in another draft stunner, he wasn't selected at all last weekend.
But the Detroit News story went further, attributing NFL personnel who described Cook as "arrogant" with "an overall attitude issue."
That first Detroit Free Press story quoted one NFL coach saying, "There’s something about him that you just don’t trust him," and another saying, "There’s just something put-offish about him."
You can see why Dantonio would be upset.
But it seems the writers shouldn't be the one drawing Dantonio's ire. While everyone always gets upset when quotes are attributed to anonymous people, that seems to be a more common thing in stories about the NFL Draft than in stories about government corruption. NFL personnel obviously had issues with Cook, whether those were justified or not. If they didn't, Cook would've been selected much earlier. The reporters are reporting on those issues.
So maybe instead of attacking the stories, Dantonio should be going after the NFL front offices that deemed his 35-5 quarterback undraftable.