Maybe you’re frustrated that Angry Scouting Veteran (@AngryScout) is hiding behind Twitter and should come out in the open to deliver such hot takes as the ones he offers up today. But I’ve spoken to more than one scout who feels the same way he does about the Patriots, but of course, were nowhere close to willing to being quoted. Is it sour grapes? Maybe, but the bottom line is that this is what a lot of scouts are thinking. That’s another reason why I’m glad we’ve given Angry Scouting Veteran this platform. I hope you are, too.
Here’s today’s question and answer.
The trend is to hire GMs from established ‘brands’ in the game (Patriots, Packers, Seahawks, etc.). Do you think these teams do a better job at evaluation?
“First and foremost, the Patriots system of scouting and their success at it is one of the most overrated things in the NFL. Any knowledgeable scout that isn’t a (sycophant) will tell you the same thing. The Patriots have some terrible draft picks/drafts as a whole just like everybody else. They got lucky drafting the best QB to ever play the game in the sixth round; there may have been one scout that thought that Tom Brady was as great as he’s turned out to be, and even that is doubtful, but that scout wouldn’t be given the proper credit even if it was true. When you draft a QB in the sixth round, you’re thinking he’s going to compete to be a backup, nothing more, which makes (Patriots owner) Robert Kraft a giant liar too, saying that “he knew” that Brady was destined for greatness when they drafted him and all of that crap. I’m not a fan of (Patriots head coach/GM) Bill Belichick for reasons I won’t go into here, but he’s obviously proven himself to be a very special and successful coach. Take those two guys away, and then show me how elite and superior the Patriot scouting system is. It has failed several places, and the only guys who have shown real signs of life were also educated in other places and aren’t trying to rely exclusively on a system that requires Tom Brady and Bill Belichick to succeed.
“There are teams whom I strongly respect the job that they do at evaluation, and yes, the Packers and Seahawks are two of them. Any time a team wins, it’s 100% natural for other teams to want to emulate what they do. There are certain teams year in and year out that draft consistently better than others, and that CAN lead to wins on the field. I say CAN because there are so many more things that have to fall into place for teams to be successful, but drafting well is a huge start. I’ve been with teams that drafted very good players and the coaching staffs were so bad that those players’ abilities were never maximized on the field. For organizational success, the scouting and coaching sides of things need to be on the same page, which is very difficult to do. It’s not just because of the egos involved, but coaches tend to think short-term and scouts think longer-term. I’ll fully admit that coaches aren’t given enough time to succeed, so that only makes their win-now mentality worse. I tweeted about it before, and I’ll say it again: Hall of Famers Bill Polian and Ron Wolf each won ONE Super Bowl as a GM with a one-of-a-kind, Hall of Fame, franchise QB. Either those GMs are overrated, or that should be a very clear-cut explanation of how hard it is to win championships in this league. You can also have whatever system you want in place, but if you don’t have the right people to execute it, then it doesn’t matter. At the end of the day, you need good scouts who will stand up for what they believe in, and you need a GM who will LISTEN to those scouts. Otherwise you will not succeed.”