Frenzied Final “War Room” Days

May 2nd, 2014

lovie and lichtAs Bucs fans join Joe in counting down the six days until the 2014 NFL Draft, Joe wants to share some good stuff from former Browns and Rams scout Russ Lande.

Lande has been a longtime draft analyst for various outlets and now works as a personnel executive in the CFL.

Writing for, Lande relayed what amounted to draft horror stories that show how reactionary NFL Draft “war rooms” can be.

Here’s an excerpt:

I cannot speak to how every team’s meetings or draft rooms function, but the ones I have been a part (the Rams and Browns) have provided some of the funniest — and scariest moments — in my scouting life. Below are some anecdotes from those experiences (well, at least the ones I can share without getting into too much trouble).

One year, there was a fullback that I had scouted at a Midwestern school to whom I had given a late round grade. I felt that he had the inside running ability, receiving skills, special teams production and other qualities worth taking a flyer on. However, during the pre-combine draft meetings, no matter how hard I fought to have this player kept on the board, I could not get it done — the player was 5-foot-8 and nobody wanted a fullback that short. Then came the pro day circuit, before the final draft meetings in April. Amazingly, while none of the scouts had been there to fight for this fullback since our last meetings, he was now in play because he ran one of the fastest times for any running back at the combine. Although I was happy to see him on the board, it made me question if the team really knew what they were doing. Player should not move up the ranks so quickly just because they ran a great forty at the combine.

There’s plenty more to read if you click above.

As Joe described earlier this week, right now there’s incredible harmony and experience at One Buc Palace, and general manager Jason Licht is proud that the Bucs have resisted “the noise” when it comes to evaluating quarterbacks. But things can and do change quickly.

This time of year, teams are asking their scouts from, for example, the Northwest Region to watch film and give their feedback on guys identified, scouted and graded by the Northeast unit. Opinions clash. An assistant coach might be dragged into the analysis. Views change.

And that’s just one small example of how calm can get overturned. Heck, you never know what the Bucs’ data mavens might put in a .pdf.

Joe’s got confidence Licht’s diverse experience around the league will help him keep the Bucs in check. And Lovie’s surely been around long enough to not do anything foolish. Joe can’t help but be optimistic.

9 Responses to “Frenzied Final “War Room” Days”

  1. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Joe needs to stay as far as possible from the War Room. Johnny vibes can probably be felt for miles. We don’t want L&L to be influenced by outside elements. If they come to that conclusion on their own…..I can certainly live with it.
    I feel quite comfortable knowing that Marvin, Luke & Najee won’t be in this draft.

  2. Harry Says:

    That is a very interesting story Joe. Funny, my perception of what goes on inside a club’s scouting department was just the opposite. I pictured the scouting department being the opposite of what we see in these mock drafts, where Teddy was #1, now maybe in the 2nd rd. And Bortles was 2nd or 3rd rd and now he might be #1 – just total helper-skelter. Apparently that can go on behind closed doors of an NFL club as well.

  3. Stevek Says:

    How tall is Lorenzo Neal?
    Whose the fullback in this article?

  4. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    Although I’m not a scout I’d have to disagree with this guy to a degree. A very strong showing in one area can indeed somewhat make up for a shortcoming in another area. We see it all the time in the draft.

    Look at Vernon Gholston, Tony Mandarich, etc, and tell me workout measurables can’t make up for knocks in other areas.

    An example this year is Manziel. You mean to tell me that being as short and slightly built he is that he’d still be drafted highly if he ran slow? Not a chance in hell. So yes, strong measurables in one area can definitely help a guy go higher than he otherwise would.

  5. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Stevek Says
    “How tall is Lorenzo Neal?”

    That was my first thought as well.

    Joe, this was a really good story. I suggest everyone click through and read the whole thing.

  6. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:


    I don’t think that’s what the writer meant.

  7. RastaMon Says:

    Obviously….no one on any team including the front offices have been able to reach consensus…..I offer the option for discussion…..postponing the 2014 NFL Draft…6 more weeks !…

  8. Brandon Says:

    Lo Neal was painfully slow. My guess is Rock Cartwright of K St. Really short, good 40 time.

  9. stanglassman Says:

    I think you are right Cartwright 5′ 8″ 4.48 @40 Yd