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Sign Up for our Newsletter Don't get stuck on the sidelines! Sign up to get exclusives, daily highlights, analysis and more—delivered right to your inbox! Sign up Now. Subscribe Now. And what the pros do, the kids and their coaches will imitate. The majority of my retired clients are pretty beat up.
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These same clients now have boys between the ages of 6 and And every one that I represented is letting, if not encouraging their kids to play football. Thus, I figured I would incorporate some answers into my weekly post. Media, what to expect: Jarryd arrived in the states on October 14 th , As soon as he landed he went off-the-grid, sought NFL friendly workout facilities,.
As soon as he landed he went off-the-grid, sought NFL friendly workout facilities, quarterbacks, coaches and anyone who could help him get some position basic training. He did this all on his own for a month, paid his own way and did something every day to learn the game. On Tuesday, he had a big press conference in Sydney when he announced his team selection. The goal was to get all the questions answered at once, and move on to training. I learned by being around him that he cared less about getting attention, as he is used to being in the spotlight, and more about dedicating himself to the game of the NFL.
Going forward, I would expect the same from Jarryd, flying low under the radar and eating as much football as he can every single day. This is really simple. Jarryd will start doing what all the other NFL players are doing. And that is starting to tune up for the off-season workouts. He will make his way back over to the states in a week or so and start training with veterans.
March is the month where vets start getting on the field again. They run routes and do some field work on top of doing weight room work and conditioning. He just wants to go to work and attack the learning curve. Why do I want to represent him? I am a huge rugby fan attended many matches and never got to experience rugby league there is a difference in person but always thought it was the closest game to the NFL game.
On top of that, I really admire the culture of rugby and rugby league. The guys spend a lot of time with each other, and are really supportive of one another through long seasons, always putting the team first. He went from never touching a football in March to playing in a game in October and catching a pass in December. We remain great friends. I for one, love being a part of something groundbreaking in my industry. When you hear Mike Mayock and Rich Eisen talk about how much bigger and faster the players are getting each year, you have to wonder where the comparison should stop from players of the past.
The whole reason why drills, schedules and formatting of the Combine remain the same is so evaluators can always compare.
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The whole reason why drills, schedules and formatting of the Combine remain the same is so evaluators can always compare to the prior years attendees. I know this because I sent him half of his first class. Other trainers like Chip Smith of CES, Tom Shaw and several others have been prepping players for over fifteen years now and have continually gotten better at having participants peak for their Combine workout. As of late, a bigger focus has been on nutrition, speed mechanics and bringing in former NFL players and coaches to tutor each player in drills and interviews.
The main reason for the Combine still remains the medicals and physical component. And everyone believes it is the most necessary and most important component of the Combine. But players and agents are growing more resistant to this current format and a change is needed or the NFLPA could force one to happen in what could have a showdown like capacity. The current format has players getting in line for physicals at 6: Some doctors are more aggressive than others and some have minimal experience in the field.
Numerous players, including pound plus lineman are crammed in an MRI machine for up to 30 minutes or more. If you ever been in an MRI machine you can relate to these issues. These machines are not made for these size men. That coupled with another long evening and they are supposed to be fresh for the biggest audition of their life that also takes place on national TV?
Oh, and all performed in some really tight fitting florescent clothes you are forced to wear. Of course, this is a stressful time for these young men trying to get drafted as high as possible, not embarrass themselves, make great impressions, begin their dream and perform at their very best under duress in a stressful environment. I know there are worse things, but the Combine needs to grow up, mature, get with the times and make some more adjustments that are simply common sense. Players should be allowed to come a day earlier if they choose. The Combine started an extra day earlier this year.
But for some reason none of the players felt any more rested than years before. Essentially, the schedule of the combine should be flipped around. Would this mean all the players who would perform under these more friendly conditions would do better than all those before them? Formal interviews should be increased to 20 minutes from Juniors and QBs should be 30 minutes and the players should have the right to choose which teams they want to meet with in case there is limited time for them. Additionally, all player meetings should cease at 9: They currently run to Having the extra day on the front end could help the whole process.
No physicals, scans, X-rays, tests or meetings should start before 9: Players come from all over the country and come from different time zones. Each player should have their own room: There are some really funny stories floating around about the roommate situations at the Combine. Players get stuck with roommates who snore, want to sleep with the TV left on, stay up late on the phone and keep the other player awake.
The NFL makes good money on the Combine so buck up and give the players their own rooms. They were making their rounds and talking to a lot of agents and players and getting a feel for the whole environment and listening to grievances from agents. Follow me On Twitter: If you watch the NFL Combine this year you are only seeing the tip of the iceberg.
Players have been preparing for this week since their last college game. Here are few highlights of the events of the NFL Combine. Now, these guys do put in some work on the top rated players. However, there is a huge drop off in work after the top draftees. Last year many of these guys gave my client LB Anthony Hitchens of the Cowboys a late round to even a free agent grade. Anthony ended up starting 11 games for the Cowboys and played like he was a 2rd round pick or better.
Now on the flip side, we want these evaluators talking up our clients. A little media hype never hurts. I make a practice of asking players what they thought about their experience there. The answers are pretty consistent:. So stressful for what it was actually for. Those conditions will rarely show the best an athlete has to give. The Combine is in desperate need of tweaking.
Never the players. I know, this sounds like greedy agent talk, right? Well not everyone of these players make it, the NFL and its partners are making money from the event so why not trickle it down from the billionaires to the guys we are turning on the TV to watch. Front office traits: For example, some staffs will rarely ever be seen out about the town after 9: Some front offices out work many others by getting as many interviews as possible, tracking down agents, meeting several times discussing personnel, free agency and draft grades.
Others attend Indy rudderless without a plan and let their scouts, coaches and front office people act independently. Last year I made some good and worthless predictions. Looking back on some of the off field happenings I see some positive trends unfolding. Diagnosed concussion decline continues: Hopefully this trend. Hopefully this trend will continue because concussions are serious injuries with long-term consequences. Props to everyone in the food chain who is helping to make the game safer.
The blackout rule finally getting blacked-out: In September , t he FCC unanimously voted to end the long-standing blackout rule , which prohibits games in local markets to be televised only when a team sells out.
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The NFL can still encourage or even demand that its broadcast partners not show a game in the local market. However, they have to be careful not to piss off the federal government. But with live streaming for pay or certain media plans here now, they will most certainly use it arguing the game is available in all local markets, regardless of sellouts. And the NFL knows you are willing to pay as well. Being a former investment consultant, I always take a contrarian view on everything. Considering there are over 2, coming on and off rosters every year, the percentage of arrests compared to all US males in this age range is well below the national average.
Additionally, these young alpha males have more time, money and status on their hands, which is the perfect cocktail for even more potential trouble. There are also over 3, NFL employees who for the most part, according to arrest records also behave better than the overall population. Given the circumstances, NFL players and employees as a whole are better well-behaved citizens than we give them credit for. Tony has had some tough luck since entering the league.
In his rookie year it was looking like he was going to be the next coming of Tony Gonzalez. Tony was drafted in the 3rd round and in. Tony was drafted in the 3rd round and in his rookie campaign he caught 47 passes for yards and 3 TDs. Including this spectacular TD catch.
Going into his second season it was looking like he was about to surpass his rookie numbers. However, while carrying the majority of the load during camp because two other tight ends were hurt, Tony was left in late in the 4th quarter. A hit eventually came to the knee that gave Tony an ACL tear that knocked him out for the season.
These types of players are their own worst enemy when it comes to managing their bodies. Tony is one of these types that just keep going, sacrificing his long-term career to compete right now. After Tony labored through his third season with 33 catches and only one TD he got his knee scoped again and things were looking up for year four.
His knee was finally healed and was feeling like his old self again and was planning for a big year. Then, in the third preseason game, late in the game against the Steelers, he got hit after making a catch that resulted in a non-displaced fracture of his scapula. An injury where you could do nothing but let the bone heal for about ten weeks.
KC put him on injured reserved and I eventually did an injury settlement to try to get him on another roster by the end of the year and hopefully help a team in the playoffs. The Bills ended up signing Tony and gave him a premium contract for the remainder of and Regardless, the Bills brass and coaching staff were excited to have Tony in their arsenal for the season. Early in camp Tony had a mild hamstring pull and was rehabbing back to play in the final two preseason games. During his rehab Tony pushed hard during multiple yards sprints, and pulled his hamstring again. In speaking with the Bills, we mutually agreed it was best for us to part ways and have Tony rehab on his own with a therapist of his choice.
Therefore, I did an injury settlement with the hopes Tony would be ready to workout for teams about week six of the regular season. Side note: We found Tony a great personal trainer in his hometown of Chicago to rehab and train him. After six weeks, Tony told me he was ready to roll. However, there was a great challenge ahead in finding Tony a job.
So I went to Chicago on or about week 9 of the regular season. I went and watched Tony workout to see first-hand what type of shape he was in. I watched him work and was so impressed I filmed the workout on my phone. My conviction was so deep about his health I started bugging every team again that I knew could use a productive TE. I even asked the Chiefs if they would bring him back. I was literally badgering the Seahawks front office until I wore them out.
A few hours later GM John Schneider called back granting a workout, flying him in the next day. I could tell in his voice he was a little reluctant but we had a long working history and he knew he could trust me. Agents are always trying to get their out of work clients tryouts and do anything to get it done. There are times we send players for a workout in midseason and they just bomb. Then, the Pro Personnel Director or GM gets embarrassed in front of their coaching staff that usually runs the workouts.
Thus, they become very surgical as to whom they bring in for workouts. I think we are going to sign him. The Seahawks lost, but Tony played well and even scored a touchdown against the team that drafted him and released him. Even the classy Chiefs fans gave him some love. Everyone was happy to see Tony climb his way back into the league. Since being signed by the Seahawks, Tony has only had eight catches but has been playing a contributing role by grading out high on his blocking scores, catching six of his passes for crucial first downs and helping a blossoming Luke Willson carry the load for the Seahawks TE friendly offense.
Everyone that knows Tony knows his warrior competitive spirit and is rooting for his success this weekend. When a young player sustains several injuries in his first four years he is usually out of the league by now. It takes a lot of desire and self-motivation to keep fighting by yourself when you feel the door closing on your career.
And behind every comeback is an agent with conviction and an NFL personnel man willing take a chance. Most agents and football people will tell you they have a love-hate relationship with the annual pilgrimage to Mobile. Challenging practice schedule for evaluators on Day 1: The North team practiced at That field is about thirty minutes away. There is a very limited time frame to evaluate and get exposure to players, and the tight scheduling made it difficult for scouts.
The players usually have team meetings in the morning and a mandatory media or social function in the evening. From 8: By this time, everyone is usually fried from the long day. The event brings in millions of dollars to hotels, restaurants and local businesses. It helps to keep Mobile relevant in the football world.
Star power is waning: Before the media explosion NFL Network coverage, hundreds of bloggers, etc. Many owners, head coaches and even general managers have decided not to attend the practices as frequently as they used to. I think the hordes of media that are here now make it less productive for them. Years ago the town was somewhat cloaked away from the outside world. Jerry Jones is about the only owner who consistently visits the Senior Bowl.
He simply enjoys people and is a constant ambassador for the NFL and his beloved Cowboys. New coaches and GMs get slammed: If you are a new coach or just landed a GM job you wont be able to walk five feet without an informal resume hitting you in the face. If you are a new coach or GM you really need to be scouting the best college players. However, the job seekers and well wishers have other plans for your time. Financial advisors, accountants, and other service hucksters are outnumbering the agents: These are some of things players and agents have to deal with while trying to work and compete for higher draft slots.
The Senior Bowl has long been a staple for the NFL and its evaluators, however, many changes have been embraced and many have not. If you watch the game on Saturday , just realize you are witnessing only the tip of the iceberg. The heart and soul of the Senior Bowl is Monday to Thursday. There are a few things these teams have in common. System offenses: The Patriots and the Packers probably have the oldest system of the four-playoff teams. Everything is plug in and play. If Kubiak stays put in Baltimore for a few more years they will have a system offense that will just keep getting better and younger players can see the field sooner and thus contribute, especially wide receivers.
Mobile QBs: Rodgers is a little gimpy but can still get ten yards if needed. It just takes about three big plays from a speedy QB to run unaccounted for and break the back of a defense. It could be the deciding factor in these playoffs. The Seahawks finished third in the league with the most players on injured reserved this year with The NY Giants had 22 and the Ravens had The Ravens and Seahawks are two teams that many feel do a great job in teaching, developing and actually playing young players.
More importantly they find and invest in players like LT James Hurst who was undrafted but helped dig them out of a hole when Eugene Monroe went down. They also started John Urshel 5th Round who was more than serviceable. The Ravens sack count was 19 and the year before it was So needless to say they are headed in the right direction as an offense. The Seahawks had a similar experience last year along the offensive line where they were scrambling to use undrafted players and bodies off the wire.
Having offensive line coaches like Castillo and Cable is a huge plus. However, credit has to go to the scouting staff to for finding serviceable hidden gems that can get you deep into the playoffs. At least three of these four teams have training staffs that players trust I cant attest to one team because I, not players, have yet to have enough experience with them. Sometime early in the season when the Seahawks were struggling, the players called each other out. They actually criticized themselves for getting too soft, doing too much stuff off the field and not working as hard as they did before.
It has to come from the players.
Not all teams have this type of locker room. The Patriots and Packers also have very special locker rooms. There are several other teams that have these components but may lack the QB, the coaches or the playmakers to get them over the hump. Enjoy the games!
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You ever wonder why some teams fail and some consistently win? Besides measuring a roster for talent and a head coach for brains, there is a lot more moving parts to the NFL than meets the eye. Those teams that make all the right moves after the regular season seem to be consistently in. Those teams that make all the right moves after the regular season seem to be consistently in the win column along with having a great QB.
Jan 15th: Final date for Underclassmen to declare for the draft: Most underclassmen that will declare have declared. Those players on Oregon and Ohio Sate may hold back out of respect for their team to make their announcement. Jan 11th to 17th: Petersburg Florida. The Shrine game is usually full of players drafted between the 4th and 7th rounds. This is the game where scouts can make their money by confirming their opinions on players they have on their short list. Jan 19th to the 24th: The Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama. About one hundred of the best college players will descend on this bayou city to show NFL teams why they should be drafted.
Behind the scenes, coaches and personnel men will be interviewed, hired, and fired. Agents will start to gather intel for interest in their draft picks and upcoming free agents. Media scribes will be milling around watching, listening and gathering for any scoop they can find. Jan 25th: This is where the fun really happens. New head coaches are rounding out their staff. Agents are getting bids on their free agents. Extensions are being negotiated for many players and draft prospects are actually being interviewed and evaluated.
March 2: Prior to 4 p. ET, deadline for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition Players.
March Clubs are permitted to contact, and enter into contract negotiations with the certified agents of Players who will become Unrestricted Free Agents upon the expiration of their contracts. ET on March However, a contract cannot be executed with a new club until 4 p. ET, clubs must exercise options for on all players who have option clauses in their contracts. ET, clubs must submit a Minimum Salary Tender to retain the exclusive negotiating rights to their players with expiring contracts and who have fewer three accrued seasons.
It would actually behoove the NCAA and its member schools to share more of the wealth produced by college football. Four or five years of banging your head, lifting weights and sacrificing your health takes a bigger toll than fans realize. In addition, playing college football is equivalent to have a full time job and taking a full school load. Good coaches exponentially pay for themselves by producing winning records, recruiting exciting players and getting their school to big paydays, oops, I meant a big time bowl game.
The only places in the world where the economics work like that is in third world countries where factory workers who make luxury products for compensation equals about a dollar a day. There are two lawsuits against the NCAA that have some big teeth to them. The lawsuit is trying to promote a free market system on what players can be compensated by a university to play football. The spirit of the suit is to lift the ceiling on what football players receive as compensation a scholarship and some meal money.
The lawyers and plaintiffs really just want the money that goes into the college football coffers, to trickle down to the players. These two cases together can blow the roof off college football as we know it. So the conferences better get more proactive in offering up more financial benefits to the student athletes and try to settle these cases now. There are now 38 of them and attendance is pitiful for the lower bowl games. We have 66 teams playing on days where there are some TV earning opportunities.
So the NCAA and its members employ the free labor of college football players to pick up the easy money from its media partners. However, the NCAA and their member schools still profit from these games even though some have less than 5, bodies in actual attendance.
Smith set an NFL record in with the most passes to start a season without throwing an interception , and his He ranks third on the career passing yardage and passing touchdowns lists. Entering the season, he is only 1, yards and 51 TD passes from the top spot all time on both lists. Brady swapped his mattress endorsement this year from Simmons to online startup Molecule. The deal includes an equity stake in the company for Brady. The Swoosh released its first Beckham lifestyle shoe in November. Cousins was the rare productive QB to reach the open market in