More coaches question the value of attending the Scouting Combine
Now this is a trend. How widespread this will be remains to be seen.
Some coaching staffs have decided not to visit the Scout Combine. For most casual observers, this is a painful revelation, given the hype and attention given to the league’s first off-season tent event. If, after all, multiple coaching staffs are boycotting the festivities, maybe it’s not as big of a deal as the Big Shield wants us to think.
Here’s the reality of off-season reality TV off the NFL field. Some have decided that it is better to spend a week working in a team. They can spend the day doing several things, from deciding which of their players they will keep, to which free agents they will pursue, to which new players they might want to add.
With the launch of the off-season program just around the corner, some teams are opting to focus on planning for the officially unofficial start of the next campaign, instead of dedicating an entire week to working with the next wave of new players.
The combine began as a way to combine medical information, making it cheaper and more efficient to collect diagnostic information about players who ended their college football careers with lingering injuries. In many ways, it has become a television show for the league, a game of speed dating when it comes to getting to know the players, and an agreement for people who work in and around the game.
What makes Scouting Combine’s coaching staff less significant is the fact that the players train hard and prepare specifically for various Olympic Games events in their underwear, none of which is football. (As we say every year around this time, guys only run straight 40 yards on the football field when something very good—or something very bad—happens.) The players also received so much advice and knowledge about the interview process. that it is impossible to break through the workpiece in quarter-hour segments and reach out to a real man.
The League and the media machine will not like this development. But coaches don’t stay where they are because they play along with things that don’t help win games. Some coaches think it’s okay to skip the Scout Combine and stay at home.
At the moment, not many teams are left out for this to be a major issue for the league. At some point, enough teams may make the decision for the NFL to consider how to keep The Combine as a viable revenue stream during the slow month, including having 24 or more owners vote for mandatory attendance of all coaching headquarters.