Thoughts From The Scouting CombineFebruary 22nd, 2013
Yes, yesterday was Joe’s first appearance at the NFL Scouting Combine. If fortunate, it won’t be Joe’s last.
Please don’t be confused. Joe thinks the actual combine, the world’s largest indoor track practice, is a joke. It is not football, it is not remotely close to football. Do NFL coaches go to baseball games or track meets to find football players? Of course not.
What Joe did find at the combine, however, is the virtual limitless stories and access to plentiful college prospects, NFL coaches (and assistants) and general managers.
Some quick thoughts on the combine:
* It was sort of neat to see coaches and general managers react to questions from reporters across the nation (if not globe). These questions are rarely the same kind they get hit with from beat reporters.
* It was so cold in Indianapolis, even being in a dome it was cold. Even upper Midwestern types, like reporters from Chicago, were wearing sweaters and coats.
* Most players, when brought into the media workroom/center/trough, seem overwhelmed with dozens (at least) of media members crowded around their table, asking questions about playing for all sorts of different teams.
* The car wash: It is unreal what general managers and coaches deal with in a short span of time. Take Bucs coach Greg Schiano. He met with the press at one of the main podiums before around 100+ reporters, then was quickly whisked off to speak on SiriusXM NFL Radio, then interviewed by Pro Football Talk Live, then interviewed by the NFL Network, then a TV station out of West Virginia, then by Joe, then by other Bucs beat writers … and after that, who knows? It was pretty cool to watch how it all unfolded, most prearranged, scheduled.
* Joe was lucky enough to be on the same flight to Indianapolis with the Bucs coaching staff. You know how, for maybe 10 minutes you can have electronics on after boarding before the staff shuts you down? When Joe boarded he saw Schiano with his head buried in his laptop. He truly doesn’t waste away much time.
* Schiano needled Joe on the flight, in so many words, telling Joe to get his toes on the line and wear Bucs gear. Joe explained to Schiano that at least he had to look like he was objective.
* While waiting for luggage, Joe joked with special teams coach Dave Wannstedt, who was the defensive coordinator at Buffalo, “Here you thought you escaped winter and you got pulled back in.” Temperature at the time was a brisk 19 degrees. At 1:30 in the afternoon no less!
* Indianapolis really is a cool, futuristic city. The downtown is virtually a biodome where you can just about walk everywhere indoors using skywalks that connect buildings. Walking from his hotel to Lucas Oil Stadium, roughly a mile, Joe only had to be outside for about two blocks, if that. Whoever designed this city sure knew what the heck they were doing.
* Joe has two really cool stories about two potential Bucs draft picks you won’t want to miss a bit later today. And yes, Joe will be back at the combine for more stories. Hope you enjoy them.