The 2009 NFL Draft is exactly one month away and the final information gathering process for teams involves two distinct events: pro days and the visit to team headquarters. In my opinion, the latter is much more important than the former.
My feelings concerning the NFL Scouting Combine and the virtual irrelevance of the physical testing numbers gathered therein
At least at the combine the testing is uniform and the surface on which the testing takes place is standard across the board so that the teams can compare apples to apples. Pro-day performances can be so different than the numbers generated at the combine that it begs an explanation. Take Penn State for example, where wide receiver
And it is not just Penn State. Ohio State's
"There is something about going back to your home turf," said Missouri defensive tackle
"The atmosphere is magnificent. It is like a mini-Indianapolis," added USC linebacker
But is it possible there is more to it than that?
Former long-time Dallas Cowboys executive
Clearly there is a good possibility the extra weeks of prep time and training between the combine and pro day can help, but that much? It is hard to fathom that much improvement in such a short for Maybin and Wells. The funny thing is, the numbers generated at the combine this year were, for the most part, good. In fact, Buckeyes like
"A lot of guys have chosen not to run at their pro day and they are standing on their numbers from the combine," said Brandt. All of which is fine except the numbers shouldn't be that important anyway. It is much more valuable to see how fast and explosive a player is on the field during actual action from his football position, not coming out of a sprinter's stance.
Take Georgia running back
The second part of the final evaluations taking place across the league, the team visit, is much more important if you ask me. Teams are able to bring up to 30 players into their facility in an effort to get to know them better before making a decision. The premium during these encounters is placed upon trying to get to know the prospect's character, passion for the game and football intelligence.
"We had dinner the night I got there and just talked for a while," said Baylor offensive tackle
Unlike the combine, when teams are limited to 15-minute interviews with the prospects, teams have a greater opportunity to get to know an individual during team visits. What will he be like after he gets all that guaranteed money? Will he work as hard? Will he still play through an injury? Is he ready mentally for the pro game?
The last question is vitally important because the NFL is so complicated that players have to be able to keep up mentally or else they will fall by the wayside. Missed assignments are devastating at any level, but in the NFL they can often be the difference between wins and losses. If you aren't ready for the complex schemes that are a big part of being an NFL player, these visits can expose you.
"I heard about a guy who was asked to draw up a couple of things and it was obvious that he didn't really know his college's defensive system at all after four years," said Brandt.
I would like to think that guy won't be among the players to get the really big money come late April ... no matter how fast he ran at his combine and pro day.
The current OT format is perfectly fine. Overtime is by definition extra time. I don't feel bad about the team that loses the coin toss and then fails to stop the other team from getting in scoring position. The losing team had an equitable chance during 60 minutes of action to win the game. It didn't get it done. Overtime is in place in an attempt to prevent a tie. Period.
More importantly, every additional play represents an increased risk for a serious or potentially career-ending injury for the players, especially in an extra period. That's not even taking into account more wear and tear on bodies that are already beaten down. You may not care about that, but the players and their families do. And oh yeah, extending overtime would represent more work for the same money, and nobody is really all that interested in that either.