More coaches are questioning the value of attending a Scouting gathering

It is a trend now. How widespread it is remains to be seen.

Some members of the coaching staff decided not to attend the scouts. For most casual observers, this is a shocking revelation given the hype and focus devoted to the league’s first off-season support events. After all, if several of the coaching staff interrupt the festivities, it’s probably not as big of a deal as Big Shield would like us to think it is.

Here’s the reality show off the field in the NFL. Some decide their time is best spent working in the team facility all week. They can spend the day doing multiple things, from making decisions about which of their players to keep, which free agents to follow to any upcoming players they might want to try and add.

With the launch of the offseason not too far away, some teams are choosing to focus on planning an officially casual start to the next campaign rather than devoting an entire week to focusing on the next wave of new players.

The Combine began as a way to consolidate medical information, making it cheaper and more efficient to collect diagnostic information related to players who came off their college football careers with long-term injuries. It has become, in many respects, a TV show for the league, a speed dating game when it comes to getting to know players, and a convention for the people who work in and around the game.


Making the Scouting Association less important to the coaching staff is the fact that the players train extensively and specifically for the various Underwear Olympics events, none of which is football. (As we say every year around this time, guys only run 40 yards in a straight line on the football field when something very good – or something very bad – happens.) The players also received plenty of advice and education on the interview process. It becomes impossible during the intervals of a quarter of an hour to penetrate the preparation and reach the real man.

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The league and the media machine around it will not like this development. But coaches don’t keep their jobs because they play along with things that don’t contribute to the bottom line of winning matches. Some coaches decide that skipping the scouts and staying home is important.

Right now, there aren’t enough teams staying away from action to make it a big deal for the league. At some point, enough teams could take a pass to have the NFL consider ways to keep the Combine as a money-maker in a slow month, including having 24 or more owners vote to make attendance by all coaching staff mandatory.

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