Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

22 Feb 2013

Mike Tanier's Combine Report Thursday: Talking Heads

Andy Benoit and I are running around Indy trying to meet with coaches and low-level front office people, rather than generally hovering around the media room. So instead of FO-only combine reports this year, we decided to just depend on the dependable Mike Tanier to do the dependable Mike Tanier thing of finding humor and one or two actual comments of interest within the dependably repetitive day-long parade of coaches and general managers refusing to give the media any details about "THE PROCESS."

Posted by: Mike Tanier on 22 Feb 2013

11 comments, Last at 26 Feb 2013, 12:47am by LionInAZ


by Led :: Fri, 02/22/2013 - 11:17am

I know this is a humor piece, but I'm not sure what the Jets people are supposed to say. As far as I can tell, the Revis trade story originated with Ted Sundquist who "got a sense" (or some such nonsense) from Woody Johnson in his GM interview. First, mind reading is pretty weak sauce for creating an national story. Second, isn't it really bad form to use info (even if it's bogus) from a GM interview? Why would anyone give the guy another interview? Third, once the rumor is out there, what can the Jets say other than "we love Revis and have no plans to shop him, but we can't rule anything out because it's freaking February and everybody knows we're re-tooling the roster"? I suppose they could say "we're never, ever, ever trading Darrelle Revis. Like ever." But then what happens if somebody offers them a package with 2 first rounders?

by DEW (not verified) :: Fri, 02/22/2013 - 1:01pm

How about, "Nobody's made us an offer on Revis and we haven't called anybody trying to shop Revis"*? That's a fairly definitive statement addressing the present rumors without having to come out and say obviously false things like "we're trying our best to get rid of him and will hand him over for five bucks and a broken toaster oven if we have to"** or "Revis will be a Jet for life even if he gets on his knees and begs us to release him."

*Unless it isn't true, in which case the rumors would be pretty well-justified.

**Though you could probably have Tebow for that offer.

by Todd S. :: Fri, 02/22/2013 - 12:57pm

Eddie Haskell...mock draft-great line!

by mehlLageman56 (not verified) :: Fri, 02/22/2013 - 1:47pm

There was a pretty good write-up on the Gang Green Nation site about the fact that it is unlikely Revis would be traded before the draft, and the various reasons why. In the comments for that article, someone posted about the Jets change from a transparent organization to a cult of silence one. Here is a link: http://www.ganggreennation.com/2013/2/21/4009226/lost-in-the-myths

by mehlLageman56 (not verified) :: Fri, 02/22/2013 - 1:57pm

I just want to write that I enjoyed this article as a Combine addict. Of course the reporters flocked to Rex Ryan and not John Schneider; they're interested in writing trivial stories that make people open a paper, not the important yet boring details coaches and general managers go through to turn franchises around. On a side note, Chip Kelly will probably still be getting to know his team five years from now when they've won a couple of division titles. His style in Oregon was very similar to Belichick.

by cisforcookie (not verified) :: Sun, 02/24/2013 - 2:01am

why do coaches even do press conferences like this anyway? do reporters find them valuable somehow?

by Jerry :: Sun, 02/24/2013 - 4:03am

First, it's a national group of reporters rather than the local guys they see during the season, so there might be some different questions. Second, I don't think most coaches are available very often at this time of year, so even the local guys may have a chance to ask about stuff that might have come up since the end of the season.

Having said that, I don't know how much useful information coaches actually provide, but that's also true of their other press conferences.

by LionInAZ :: Sun, 02/24/2013 - 4:51pm

Coaches and players are required by contract to provide a certain amount of face time for the press, especially at press-laden events like the combine. They can be disciplined for skipping a scheduled press conference.

by cisforcookie (not verified) :: Sun, 02/24/2013 - 6:52pm

right, exactly. but why? has an actual story ever developed from the required face-time? if the press are reasonably polite, then nothing gets said and everyone's time is wasted. if the press harass the person, basically cross-examine them, then the only possible stories are (a) that reporter is mean and (b) [player/coach X] got angry/upset and said something only tangentially related to football that he probably shouldn't have. both of those are tabloid, and everyone ends up looking bad. So I say, why does the nfl put up with this?

by Jerry :: Sun, 02/24/2013 - 9:23pm

The NFL puts up with it because they get a ton of coverage for an event of minimal public significance. If the price of that coverage is making people who are (or will become) used to facing reporters' questions face a few more, it's a big win for the league.

by LionInAZ :: Tue, 02/26/2013 - 12:47am

Also, by funneling access to coaches and players through these choreographed events, the NFL exerts a degree of control over press coverage. It's harder for reporters to dig deep when they have to compete with dozens of others for attention.