We’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback from last week’s series with former Jets Director of Football Administration Ari Nissim, so we thought we’d try a similar tack this week with Mike Murphy. Mike served almost two decades as an NFL scout before getting let go in Miami when the team made a chance at general manager. As a scout, your life rises and falls with the fate of your GM; when a team brings in someone new at that position, he regularly cleans house and hires his own ‘team,’ similar to when a new head coach comes in and builds out his staff.
In his 18 years evaluating talent for NFL teams, Mike worked for the Chiefs, Seahawks and Cowboys before his most recent stint with the Dolphins. He’s also got a CFL background, having coached for Ottawa and worked in personnel for Winnipeg. Here’s his full bio.
Mike has CFL bloodlines; his father, Cal, was a legendary coach and GM up north, and is even a member of the league’s Hall of Fame. However, there are plenty of people who never translate their Canadian roots to the NFL, and Mike was able to make that jump, to his credit.
Here’s how it happened, in his own words:
“I was coaching in the CFL (Canadian Football League) and there were issues with the ownership at the time, with them bouncing checks to name a few things. I got to know an individual that worked with Kansas City who used to come to Canada and scout. We struck up a conversation about scouting, and they happened to have an opening. It took a little doing, by having people call on my behalf to the individual that was doing the hiring in the personnel department. As you would have guessed, it isn’t always what you know, but who you know. Once I got in, my boss told me that it was now my job to stay in, and that was 18 years ago.”
The thing I like about Mike is that I explained him the purpose and audience of this blog, and he ‘got it’ immediately. He sent me some very long, very nuanced answers to the 10 questions I sent him. It’s always a measure of the success of an interview with a scout when I find myself reading and re-reading the answers, soaking it in and finding plenty of information I hadn’t heard before. That’s true of Mike’s interview.
Maybe the best part of Mike’s interview is that when I asked him what advice he’d give someone looking to become an NFL scout, he gave me a 10-item, point-by-point breakdown of the things he’d do (and has done). I found it really illuminating.
Stick around this week. I think you’ll find it to be very educational.