Colt Lyerla — Will He Get a Second Chance?

Colt Lyerla 4, California,13,CS


Just about everyone is familiar with the “Big Three” when referring to GM, Ford and Chrysler; LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh; or the folk band, The Big 3. Likewise, Oregon now has its own “Big Three,” which consists of former players who didn’t do the right things when they were Ducks.

The trio consists of troubled players Jeremiah Masoli, LeGarrette Blount and Colt Lyerla. Even though Oregon isn’t known for having many “bad Ducks” who get into legal trouble, suspended or booted from the team, they do have three high profile former players who are guilty of those things.

The other two "Bad Ducks"


Blount (right) and Masoli (left) — the other “Bad Ducks.”

One of those players, Masoli, is currently a backup QB in the CFL – Canadian Football League. Blount is an NFL RB who recently won a Super Bowl ring with the New England Patriots.

But what about Lyerla? He went undrafted in the 2014 NFL Draft due to having a tumultuous college career that ended when he quit the team and was found in possession of cocaine thereafter. However, because of his glaring talent, he was signed by the Green Bay Packers despite his previous problems.

Unfortunately, Lyerla blew out a knee with MCL and PCL tears after attempting to hurdle defender, Jumal Rolle, during a Family Night practice session at Lambeau Field. Less than two weeks after signing an injury settlement and waived by the team, Lyerla was arrested on September 7, 2014, for a DUI charge – which was later dismissed.

Despite his issues, Lyerla is still an amazing talent.

Kevin Cline

Despite his issues, Lyerla is still an amazing talent.

Fast-forward eight months and Lyerla is pleading, almost begging for another chance. In a video he made to state his case, Lyerla addressed his previous issues by saying, “… there have been a lot of bad decisions made in the past …” and “it’s going to stay in the past.” Then he revealed that he has been in a substance abuse program for the last year and hasn’t failed any drug tests — which is interesting, since he was arrested for the DUI only eight months ago.

Lyerla may have his future sitting not in his own hands, but in that of the very coaches that he has "burned"

Craig Strobeck

Lyerla may have his future sitting not in his own hands, but in that of the coaches “burned.”

Lyerla also quoted Chip Kelly by saying that he is just trying to “win the day” and to keep winning days so he can make a 2015 NFL roster. While he certainly has a difficult road ahead of him, it isn’t far-fetched to think he could make a roster — after all, he has all the abilities an NFL coach desires in a TE.

Ultimately, the biggest issue for Lyerla going forward is the many bridges he burned in the past. Considering their history at Oregon and perhaps as a favor, would Kelly bring him in for a workout? The same can be asked of the Packers head coach, Mike McCarthy, regarding a second chance.

At the very least, Lyerla has to stay off of the weed, coke and any other illegal substances. The future hangs in the balance for him, as there aren’t many teams willing to give second chances for past transgressions such as his.

Top Photo by Craig Strobeck

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Noah Smith

Noah Smith

Noah is an undergraduate student from just outside of New Orleans, Louisiana. Noah is currently pursuing a communications degree with the goal of becoming a sports journalist. Noah is a die hard Duck fan, mainly because of his obsession with football's X's and O's. In his free time he enjoys watching both pro and college football games,playing and listening to music, and drawing up his own playbooks.

  • Rory Anderson

    Let me guess… All of you were the ones last year saying no one will call him no one Will give him a chance and when some one, not just any someone did you were appaled right? Well did it ever occur to you who that someone was? How respected that someone is? How long that someone has been doing that? I think you guys are forgetting that someone knows way more about athletes and talent than any of you ever could… Thats why he’s there and your, well not. And let’s just say he wasn’t the only one but he was the right one. Not for you but for him…the player. The one who busts his ass day in and out for you to enjoy and have something to talk about. Now who’s to say they weren’t on to something…? I bet the other teams that saw that were wondering the same thing… Since that respected someone with that historical franchise had faith why won’t the others that did but weren’t the right fit for him(the player) at the time still not want to see the present almost get unwrapped…? Someone’s going to unwrap the gift of a life time. You should embrace the comeback. It’s as American as the sport you claim to love.

    • Noah James Smith

      Ummm, I don’t quite get your point, I never said I’m hoping he doesn’t get a second chance or that I think he doesn’t deserve one. From your comment I’d think I had written a hit piece on how horrible Lyerla is.

      All I’m questioning if he will, not if he should. The fact is he has gotten in trouble with the law, and that makes him damaged goods, along with the knee injury he is coming off of. Add to this, the fact that two NFL coaches could very easily feel that he has burned them, and it could be hard for him to find a home.

      He would be a great fit on a team like the New Orleans Saints or Packers who run spread offenses and don’t really have a number one tight end. And the fact is, if he get’s a shot then, baring injury and substance abuse, he will likely make the 53 man roster.

      Hope that clears it up,
      Noah Smith

      • hokieduck

        Can’t say I agree with that assessment, Noah. He was liked by fans at GB last spring, but he was not in line to make the team even before his injury. Also, you forgot to add that he injured his knee doing something (hurdling a would be tackler) that McCarthy had explicitly *ordered* him to discontinue attempting. Not a good sign given his off the field gaps in judgment.

        I think it is telling that Chip Kelly has not even had Colt into the NovaCare Complex for a look. He hasn’t sent anyone out to Oregon to talk to him or check him out. Chip knows his upside better than anyone and Chip is the coach most apt to take an interesting view of who and how to use talent. Yet Chip stays as far away from Colt Lyerla as humanly possible.

        If he has truly made headway, I wish good things for him and hope he can make a 90 man roster somewhere in free agency after the draft. I think he might get that chance somewhere (that is almost 3000 players deep across the league). He has talent, no argument there. But everyone does at that level. I question whether his attitude and issues will ever remit long enough for him to actualize that talent.

        • Rory Anderson

          Chip and him have a love hate relationship. Chip was always there for him in Eugene… Gave him a shoulder to cry on when things took turns for the worst… Witch believe it or not was quite often. Colt wasn’t used to not being treated as “special” and as “pampered” as he was in high school and it took a huge ego check by coach Kelly to get him to realize that he’s not in high school anymore and all these guys (well a select few) are just as good as him and it’s not a walk in the park anymore. So, basically you gotta earn time on this field. So, if your looking for a handout you’re in the wrong business from here on out. I know that tough love was something he had never really been given by anyone. Especially by a coach of Kelly’s caliber. It Really made him have a special place in his heart for chip. I personally think chip is moving in the direction of cutting all players that have any risk at all, no matter their reward… “Cough Djac, cough shady.” So think it would put a huge question mark on what direction chip is moving in and I personally think chip wants what’s best for him and if he can’t give him that attention that he needs then he’s letting not just him down but the whole city of Philly as well. I personally don’t think Philly is a good fit for not just on the field but off. The kids 22 and has matured beyond imagned in the last couple months with the fact setting in that this is it. Its now or never. But if you hear the determination in his voice you know he’s ready to make an impact on and off the field and never look back. As a matter of fact. I 100% promise you that!

          • Anthony Joseph Gomes

            the problem with allowing one very talented person to behave like a prima donna is it opens the door to the rest of the team saying “hey why cant i do that”. and what are you going to tell them? that you are sorry…that only the big stars are allowed to break the rules. teams do that and they suffer for it…

      • Rory Anderson

        No Noah. I apologize. I did perceive that first paragraph as a negative one for some reason but your points are all valid questions and concerns that I think about daily. I just wished they (The NFL) and the fans knew him like I did. I know he’s had a troubled past and some may see him as “damaged goods” but his recent run in with the law was thrown outta court by the judge because of how outlandish the allegations were towards him. It was a cop that knew exactly who he was and clearly wasnt a fan of him leaving Oregon “early” let’s say. So he wanted to make an example of him and put another obstacle for him to overcome in his way. And that’s exactly what he did. He overcame it and never looked back and still to this day hasn’t. And I don’t plan on him to until he gets to make an impact on and off the field for a team. That’s a fact. And I promise you that!

    • Anthony Joseph Gomes

      you can only throw away so many chances after which it becomes a case of the little boy who cried wolf.

  • Anthony Joseph Gomes

    those 3 had issues but they stemmed from different sources.blount i would call tempermental. masoli i would call atavistic. lyerla i would call chaotic and self destructive.