Mike Reiss looks at how is it to be scouted by Bill Belichick? Prospects see a 'laid-back' football guy.
Once the offseason arrives, Belichick basically adds his name to the team's scouting masthead, hitting the road to work players out and interview them. Then he can compare his notes with those of his scouts and higher-ups in personnel, who have been at it longer over the course of the year and thus have more of a long-range view in evaluating the prospects.
There are some classic scouting stories with Belichick, such as last year when he was working out Florida Atlantic quarterback Rusty Smith one day before Smith's wedding. Smith had his best man and others in the wedding party catching passes during the workout while Belichick fired his sandals at him to test his ability to move in the pocket.
You can't make that stuff up. Belichick didn't stick around for the wedding, and Smith was later drafted in the sixth round by the Tennessee Titans.
Belichick is back at it again this year, making his annual trip to Florida, which included a huddle with University of Miami defenders last week. Belichick sat in the defensive meeting room with lineman Allen Bailey, cornerback Brandon Harris, linebacker Colin McCarthy and defensive backs DeMarcus Van Dyke and Ryan Hill for a few hours and no sandals were thrown. More than anything, a lot of questions were asked.
When Belichick rolled tape of Bailey, for example, the play was a stunt. That led Belichick to ask Bailey what Miami called the stunt and what his specific technique and responsibility was on the play.
So in that sense, Belichick is much like a reporter attempting to gain a better understanding of a play that unfolds in a game. The more information he gathers, the more accurate his evaluation of the player.
Belichick's approach was somewhat of a surprise to the players.
"He seemed like a cool, laid-back type guy. On TV, you see him all serious all the time," explained Bailey, who is projected as an early-round pick. "It wasn't tense. It was a relaxed atmosphere. Just all football."
... By the time the draft arrives, the Patriots will have met or worked out hundreds of prospects, which adds important context to the entire process. If nothing else, Belichick's film session with Miami defenders simply speaks to the level of detail with which he approaches the scouting process.
"It was no pressure, just meeting and watching film," Bailey said. "It was relaxed and we got to know each other."
- Patriots Roster Report - 3/11/11: in this edition we discuss several players in the news whose futures with the Patriots may be in doubt. (11.57 min.)
- Ian Rapoport lays out what the issues are that the NFL owners and the former union are fighting over.
- Tom E. Curran explains in a bit more detail what the owners' offer entailed and why the players turned it down.
- Ian Rapoport reports the Patriots tell season ticket holders they will offer a refund within 30 days plus 1 percent interest in the event games will be missed.
- Mike Reiss analyzes the selections Pat Kirwan thinks the Patriots will take in his latest two-round mock draft.
- Mike Reiss analyzes Nolan Nawrocki's latest mock draft selections for the Patriots.
- CSNNE and National Football Post teamed up for "Football Fix", a web-only show dedicated to the offseason.
- five things they'd miss in life without football. and Mike Reiss each share
- Mike Reiss notes the Players Association is putting a plan in place that would prevent each top prospect from attending next month's NFL Draft.
- Ron Borges emphasizes the obvious lack of trust on both sides of the table.
- Tim Graham (ESPN) AFC East readers, this draft is your draft.
- Staff (Nat'l Football Post) Inside the Patriots draft room: The NFP discusses the pressing issues facing New England heading into April's draft.
- Andrew Struckmeyer (Pro Football Weekly) Draft dose: Evolution of the NFL Draft.
- Wes Bunting (Nat'l Football Post) Draft prospects worth fighting for.
- Nolan Nawrocki (Pro Football Weekly) 2011 Mock Draft 2.0. Patriots select DE Cameron Jordan (California) at 17 and QB Jake Locker (Washington) at 28.
- Path to the Draft (NFL.com) On the clock: Patriots. (5.37 min. video)
- Tim Graham (ESPN) Sheer luck buoyed Mark Sanchez's stats.
- Wes Bunting (Nat'l Football Post) Pro day risers.
- John Clayton (ESPN) Pro Days propelling top quarterbacks.
- Gregg Rosenthal (ProFootballTalk) NFL becomes a victim of its own success.
- Andrew Brandt (Nat'l Football Post) Welcome to Courtroom Football: Q&A on what's ahead.
- Adam Schefter (ESPN) Preliminary NFL lockout injunction hearing set for April 6.
- MJD (Yahoo! Sports) The NFLPA's dumb plan to keep prospects from attending the draft.
- Adam Schefter (ESPN) Sources: NFLPA orders draft boycott.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) NFLPA* now merely "recommends" that rookies don't attend Draft.
- Doug Farrar (Yahoo! Sports) NFLPA conference call shows players with solid resolve.
- Vic Carucci (NFL.com) Teams turn to contingency plans during offseason uncertainty.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) April 6 hearing date gives NFL, players time to talk.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) Report: NFLPA* source says there's "no chance" of negotiations before April 6.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) Jay Feely says "we're always willing to negotiate."
- Sam Farmer (LA Times) Decertified NFL players' group says it's not to blame for breakdown of talks.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) Message from Krafts suggests that Friday's offer was negotiable.
- Alex Marvez (Fox Sports) NFLPA president Kevin Mawae rejects 18-game season.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) NFL Alumni continue to pressure NFLPA*
- Ralph Vacchiano (NY Daily News) George Martin, director of NFL Alumni Association: DeMaurice Smith treats alums as 'afterthought'.
- Judy Battista (NY Times) NFL talks start a phase of waiting.
- Jason Cole (Yahoo! Sports) Free agency rules will mirror last year's.
- impacted most by the NFL lockout? (Nat'l Football Post) Who will be
- Tim Graham (ESPN) With NFL season on ice, here's some advice.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) Jeff Pash interview transcript.
- Mike Sando (ESPN) Plan would squander NFL fans' goodwill.
- Howard Bryant (ESPN) Will NFL, players realize fans' power?
- Adam Schein (Fox Sports) NFL fans have every right to be angry.
- Mike Chappell (Indy Star) Irsay: There's no animosity between owners, players. NFL labor dispute has his stars on the other side, but they're still 'friends'.
- Adam Caplan (Fox Sports) Meet the key players behind the NFLs labor dispute.
- Jerry Greene (ESPN Page 2) Labor pains: NFL situation reminds me of 1982.
- NewsCore (Fox Sports) Report: Owners set financially for '11.