Between on-field drills, weight room sessions, measurements, tests and personal get-togethers, so much goes on at the NFL Scouting Combine that it can be hard to know what's important and what isn't.
Bill Polian once said the real point of the Combine is to give prospects medical tests, not to see them perform. For Bills coach Sean McDermott, the annual event is about getting to know people.
"That’s to get to know these players, not only on the field but off the field, and get to know them as people, get to know their background, get to know them a little bit from a football intelligence standpoint, albeit sometimes it’s only for 15 minutes," McDermott said when asked what he finds most useful about the Combine. "But it’s really a chance for us to get in front of these young men. And it’s also a chance to develop professionally, where you can get around some of the great coaches here and great personnel people and say how do you do this? What do you think about that? I kind of use it in a couple different ways."
Broncos coach Vic Fangio had a great quote this week about player meetings: “Anybody can fool anybody for 15 minutes.” But McDermott seems like more of a people person. If I had to guess, a good showing in during a Combine interview would go a long way for a prospect who hoped to be selected by the Bills.
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Coaches can ‘overburden’ players with information overload, McDermott says: Bills fans remember this lesson from the Rex Ryan days, when players said they were relieved at the opportunity to "play faster" when there was less thinking involved. "You watch a lot of tape and you think that you have all these great ideas," McDermott said. "Well, at the end of the day, it’s what can be executed at the player level in a millisecond?"
With Bills’ coaching staff, change has been a constant: Turnover rates are high in the NFL. McDermott, for instance, will have his third receivers coach in three years. "We’re trying to build a team and it takes time," McDermott said. "So change is necessary.”
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