More and more coaches are questioning the value of participating

More and more coaches are questioning the value of participating in the Scouting Combine – NBC Sports

It’s trending now. How far it spreads remains to be seen.

Some coaching staffs have chosen not to participate in the Scouting Combine. For most casual observers, given the hype and attention devoted to the league’s first off-season tent pole event, it’s a jarring revelation. Finally, when multiple coaching staffs boycott the celebrations, it might not be as big of a deal as Big Shield would have us believe.

Here’s the reality of the NFL’s off-field off-season reality show. Some have decided that they would be better off spending their time working in the team facility for a week. They can spend the day doing a variety of things, from making decisions about which of their own players to keep, which free agents to pursue, to new players they might want to add.

With the start of the offseason program just around the corner, some teams are choosing to focus on planning next season’s officially unofficial start rather than spending a full week focusing on 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 on players retiring from college football with sustained injuries. It’s become, in many ways, a TV show for the league, a speed-dating game when it comes to meeting players, and a gathering place for the people who work in and around the game.

What makes the Scouting Combine less meaningful to the coaching staff is the fact that the players train extensively and specifically for the various events of the Underwear Olympiad, none of which is football. (As we say at this time every year, guys only run 40 yards in a straight line on a football field when something very good — or something very bad — happens.) The players also got so much advice and information about the interview process that there was during quarter-hour blocks it becomes impossible to penetrate the preparation and get to the real man.

The league and the media machinery around it will not like this development. But coaches don’t keep their jobs because they get involved in things that don’t contribute to winning games. Some coaches decide skipping the scouting combine and staying at home does it.

For now, not enough teams are staying away to make it a major problem for the league. Eventually, enough teams could make a pass to get the NFL considering how to keep the Combine as a viable moneymaker for slow months, including voting by 24 or more owners to make all coaching staff attendance mandatory.

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