Very often, scouts on the road are very different from the men they report to. For our fourth question, we asked Angry Scouting Veteran (@angryscout) if that’s something that rankles the people below the GM. It comes as no surprise that he continued to bring the heat on this and other topics related to the GM role.
Let’s say you could build the perfect GM candidate. What qualifications would he have? Can a legitimate GM candidate come from the cap side?
“I’ll work in reverse here. A successful GM can only come from the cap or business side if 1) he is very self-aware and willing to admit that he is a business guy, not a football guy; and 2) he hires very good football people, lets them do their jobs, and relies on what they say to make his decisions. Hell, 95% of the owners in the NFL don’t know jack squat about football (and that might be a generous estimate), and most of them fail because their giant egos won’t allow them to let their football people do their jobs. People can throw the dumb jock stereotypes out there all they want, but not everybody knows football, and just because you watch it, are around it, or even own a team, it doesn’t qualify you to make FOOTBLL decisions.
“As far as building a perfect GM candidate, my guy has to be a former road scout. If he isn’t, your scouting department and your team basically don’t have much of a chance. You build successful teams through the draft, and if you don’t have a guy who has been in the grass-roots role of this process, I’m sorry, but to me it’s both insulting and hopeless to think that guy can lead a team to victory. Beyond that, how about somebody who actually has LEADERSHIP skills and qualities? It is beyond bizarre to me how many people in the NFL (or in life outside the league for that matter) are in positions of leadership who have ZERO leadership skills and abilities. To be a leader, you have to realize that your primary role is to serve those under your leadership and always do what is right for all of them and the organization’s success as whole. It doesn’t mean that you have to be the smartest guy in the room at all times, and that everyone should kiss your (butt) or bow down to you; that’s not remotely what leadership is, but it’s how a lot of people in the NFL try and personify it. As far as other elements of this candidate: skilled with the media is a benefit for sure, because God knows that dealing with them can be a complete nightmare (and that many owners somehow believe that if it’s in the media, it must be true!). I’d like a guy who has been a coach, too, or at least around coaching enough to understand it. To me, you leave the business savvy up to business guys in the organization. Give me a guy who has worked his way up from a road scout position, has great leadership ability, inspires (and gives) loyalty, and is a legit FOOTBALL GUY who hires good people and lets them do the jobs he hired them to do, and everything else falls into place.
“That’s another thing the scouting community as a whole needs to have more of a voice and presence in, (and that’s with) the candidates that become GMs. Right now, you have owners who know nothing about scouting or the guys who work in it, who then turn to consultants, ex-personnel guys who usually pimp their former interns, young scouts, or anyone who has kissed their (butt). There are many highly qualified and deserving men who half the football world isn’t even made aware of because they aren’t media darlings, members of the league hype machine’s chosen ones, or kissing someone’s (butt) every day. Right now, there are area scouts who would make 10 times better GMs than quite a few guys with that fancy name plate on their desk. Believe it.”