This summer has been a weird one, for sure, but at Inside the League, we’ve tried to turn lemons into lemonade. One way we’ve done that is by holding weekly Zoom sessions with different segments of the football world.
In June, we held the ITL GM Academy and hosted several scouts and executives with four ex-GMs giving presentations. Earlier this month, we held ITL Agent Week, and had four other league authorities serving up gold to dozens of NFLPA contract advisors. Finally, this week, we held ITL College Week.
Three speakers held court on Zoom for 90 minutes each on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, and the returns were very positive. “I just wanted to say that was one of the most unique and impactful experiences I’ve had the opportunity to be a part of,” wrote one participant in an unsolicited email. “I wanted to make a point to thank you for the opportunity to take in this knowledge. It means more than you know.”
Here are a few quotes from our speakers this week that I thought were particularly interesting.
Former Bucs GM Mark Dominik on getting lucky: “So anyway, (Tampa Bay) wound up hiring our (fourth) choice as head coach. We thought we were gonna get Bill Parcells, then he turned us down, and then we thought we’d get Steve Spurrier and that didn’t work out, and then Jimmy Johnson, so we got stuck with Tony Dungy. He’s everything you can imagine. He’s exactly who you would want him to be. I probably haven’t been in touch with him for four months, but if I texted him, he would text me right back tonight. That’s what kind of guy he is.”
Former Titans Director of College Scouting Blake Beddingfield on evaluating pass rushers: “Does he have a pass rush plan? Is he doing the same thing over and over? (Former Titans DE) Kyle Vanden Bosch was going 100 mph every play. He was the most intense player I knew, but he always set up his sacks. He was setting up the tackle the whole game to work his favorite (move), a chop on the outside, and he did that for a number of years and to make the critical play in the red zone. He was only 8-9 sacks per year, but they were big sacks.”
Former Rams GM Billy Devaney on passion: “It’s a pet peeve of mine, and especially with ex-players, they’ll say, ‘this coaching stuff is getting old,’ and the ex-player would say, ‘I don’t know what I want to do. I know I don’t want to coach. Maybe I’ll get into scouting.’ I’d think, you screwed yourself. ‘Maybe I’ll just do scouting.’ That would always burn my ass. I’m extremely partial to guys that want to make this a career. In an interview, I’ll ask, ‘what do you see yourself doing 10 years from now? Five years from now?’ And if they say, ‘maybe analytics, maybe coaching,’ I’m not gonna hire that guy. I’m gonna hire the guys that says, ‘I’m gonna be the best scout, then maybe work in the office as the director, then eventually be the GM.’ I want someone who wants to make this a career.”
There’s plenty more to talk about. Join us this evening for our Friday Wrap when we discuss this week, as well as what we have planned for the coming weeks. You can register for it here.