If you follow the NFL scouting profession — and maybe even if you don’t — you’ve noticed that more and more often, NFL teams are looking to the broadcast booth to find their GM and executive candidates. As you might expect, this has not gone unnoticed in scouting circles.
We thought we’d ask some of our friends in the scouting community what they thought about this. We posed this question: What are your thoughts on McShay, Jeremiah, Mayock, getting NFL jobs or consideration for them? Net positive (brings attention to scouting, which might improve pay/conditions) or net negative (people w/yrs of scouting/dues-paying getting overlooked)?
We got 12 responses, and some of them were pretty positive. Here’s a sampling:
- “The scouting community has changed over the past five years. New/younger owners and new/younger GM’s have depleted front offices of experienced scouts and hired brand-new-out-of-college ‘information-gatherers.’ This has dropped salaries of scouts tremendously. Assistant coaches in the NFL have seen a 400% salary increase in the past 20 years, whereas scouting salaries have stayed the same with experienced scouts but dropped overall because of the high amount of young inexperienced personnel. Adding GMs with zero NFL front office experience but just TV doesn’t help this new model, but only hurts the overall product. Daniel Jeremiah and Louis Riddick are different because each have a lot of experience in NFL front offices.”
- “I really don’t see any big problem with it, if they convince an owner they are qualified. I think (the) biggest concern would be “boots on the ground” time at schools — all the contacts and little day-to-day items that scouts do. But then again, for the roles they are up for (director level), that’s not as important. Hell, some of the names who are scouts that get interviewed aren’t qualified, and we’ve seen some colossal flame-outs as well.”
- “I see it like Hollywood going to war. No more rubber bullets (fans and viewers). Now the bullets are real (owners). (Former Lions GM) Matt Millen might could answer the question from similar experience!”
- “In the end, I would like to think that there are worthy candidates already in the profession, but that being said, being a scout doesn’t necessarily prepare you for leading people or an organization. Oftentimes the clubs want a smooth, media-friendly guy to be the face and those guys have that. I would think the hard thing is the learning curve…you only have 2 or at most 3 years to get it right so learning on the job is a hard ask.”
- “There are others that have been promoted to GM positions that have been shockers, either because their agent has strong influence, or the media has them as the next up-and-coming person because that individual has struck up a personal relationship with the media and being pushed. I question the owners’ ability to make consistent informed decisions, but that is just me. What would be interesting is to see how much the turnover has been in GM positions in the last 20 years. The age of GMs getting the position and age they are getting fired. The owners have put in their rule that you must have permission to interview to move up except for the GM position which keeps very capable individuals stuck without the ability to better their lives just so they can save money yet from what I see lately are guys unqualified getting the jobs and fired early, which costs the owners more in the long run. More, as in the millions.”
Naturally, not everyone saw the bright side of the broadcasters-to-scouts trend. Some were outraged, while some were more nuanced. You can read their responses in today’s Friday Wrap, which comes out in less than three hours. The Wrap is our weekly review of the pro and college business, and it comes out at 7:30 p.m. ET every Friday. You can check out last week’s edition here, and you can register for it here.
We hope you can join us. You won’t regret it.