1. MMQB published an interesting feature about spending an afternoon with the Indianapolis Colts scouting department under general manager Ryan Grigson. It’s a super interesting look behind the curtain on an organization that has done an awful job of team-building.
Grigson’s best roster moves all came in 2012, when he drafted QB Andrew Luck 1st overall, TEs Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen in the 2nd and 3rd rounds, and added WR T.Y. Hilton in the 3rd round. He also traded a 2nd round pick for CB Vontae Davis in the summer of 2012.
You could probably count his other positive contributions on one hand. He made a few good moves in 2014 by drafting OG Jack Mewhort and WR Donte Moncrief, and signing then-33-year-old S Mike Adams. Everything else has been a disaster.
In the article, Grigson repeats a desire to be like the Ravens, Packers, and Seahawks. He considers himself a “gut-feeling kind of scout,” although his gut is apparently suffering from food poisoning.
2. The article has a few other “Grigsonisms”:
“I love the buzz guys. I eat up the buzz guys. Text me. Get me interested.”
Maybe this explains why the Colts added another wide receiver in Phillip Dorsett in the draft instead of fixing their trenches.
“Do not be hyper-focused on special teams. But everyone have a Bill Bates [an undrafted player that can have a long career].”
“So we got Andrew signed long-term now. Now we gotta kill the draft. The draft for us is do or die. Forget the lure of free agency.”
Grigson signed a retirement home in 2015, with a 2-year extension for 34-year-old S Mike Adams, 34-year-old WR Andre Johnson, 33-year-old ED Trent Cole, 33-year-old OG Todd Herremans, and 32-year-old RB Frank Gore. This is the exact opposite of how the Packers build their roster.
3. The article notes that “Bill Belichick has asked his assistants to read books and come back for a new season and share the lessons from what they’ve read that might help the staff in some way."
I feel like Belichick asks his staff to read some pretty wild stories, like some Ernest Shackleton and The Endurance stuff. Belichick probably wants lessons from non-football sources in order to get a mental edge and to get everyone heading towards one unified goal. The football intelligence is already in the Patriots scouting room, but getting universal buy in is likely Belichick’s mission.
4. I love this story from ProJo’s Mark Daniels about TE Martellus Bennett catching a ride to practice with a different teammate every day. Bennett wanted to bond with his new teammates prior to the season and he rode with players like TE Rob Gronkowski, WRs Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, and Malcolm Mitchell, RB D.J. Foster, FB James Develin, OL Ted Karras, ST Matthew Slater, and S Jordan Richards.
Bennett is certainly a large personality with a clear focus on being more than “just” a football player. He loves the cities of New York, Chicago, and Boston because of the culture and he wants to know his teammates on a personal level and how they interact with their surroundings.
“It’s about the people,” Bennett said. “If they get to meet my kids, they play harder for them, you know what I’m saying? I need to make sure [Develin’s] son eats. Little Jimmy's got to eat. When little Jimmy wants to eat, I've got to make sure I go out there and make my blocks. We’re all responsible for each other to a certain extent.”
Bennett told Gronk to read “The Inner Game of Tennis by W. Timothy Gallwey, which details mental and physical exercises to help a player’s performance.”
Maybe Bill Belichick should invite Bennett into the scouting book club.
5. Broncos QB Trevor Siemian wished he were on the Patriots so he could have learned under QB Tom Brady, per MMQB. Like Brady, Siemian split time with another quarterback in college. Like Brady, Siemian was a late round draft pick (7th round, 250th overall).
“In 2014, after his junior year, Siemian watched the NFL draft with buddies at his house on Prairie Avenue in Evanston. He was never a league-or-die kind of guy, but with his final college season looming, he paid special attention to how the draft played out. Siemian was disappointed when the Patriots picked Eastern Illinois quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, hoping New England might have waited another year to take a QB. Siemian coveted the opportunity to come up behind Tom Brady, under the tutelage of Bill Belichick, in an organization with a history of developing quarterbacks. “He was like, ‘Ahh I think I could have done well in that offense,’” says [Siemian’s roommate Hayden] Baker.”
Siemian ended up with a season under Peyton Manning, which is a pretty good silver medal. Siemian has had an up-and-down year with the Broncos, with three games below an 80.0 passer rating and one game against the Bengals where he set the defense on fire with 312 passing yards and 4 touchdown passes.
Pro Football Focus seems to think that teams can beat Siemian and the Broncos by taking away the underneath passes and forcing him to win with the big throws. This makes him the anti-Brock Osweiler, who can only win with big throws and struggles to string together drives with underneath passes.
The Patriots don’t face the Broncos until week 15 and there will be plenty more tape to work with- if Siemian still has a hold on the starting job.