With the league’s first ever virtual draft taking place this weekend, it was expected to be quite a rocky ride. So far, though, the unprecedented event has gone rather smoothly — as New England Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio said it went “very similar to how it goes in the draft room.”
However, as the NFL spent weeks installing cameras, monitors, and landlines into owners, coaches, and managers houses, the draft gave viewers a rare glimpse into the homes of these high-ranking executives. After spending the week most likely learning how to “zoom”, some of those executives went with business attire while others were in more comfort clothes, having adapted to the working from home ways.
Some in-house setups generated buzz too, from Jerry Jones’ yacht to the wildness at Mike Vrabel’s house. Here is an in-depth breakdown of the best at-home war rooms:
Bill Belichick, New England Patriots
Bill Belichick’s draft room, via ABC pic.twitter.com/Sw0FKOJqkS— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) April 24, 2020
We will start with the Patriots’ very own Bill Belichick, who spent the last month getting technically savvy of course.
“I’d say master is probably not the right word, but I’m certainly better at it than I was four weeks ago,” he said on a conference call last week. “I mean, I didn’t know what half of this was. But, at least now I can do more than I did, let’s put it that way. So, I get a little better every day — learn a new button or learn a new thing to click on and see what trick that does.”
Perhaps his “Snapface” and “Instachat” days are behind him.
This is about what you’d expect from Belichick’s draft room; nothing too fancy (not even a television in sight), just simple and efficient. To nobody’s surprise, Bill went with the comfortable attire.
Jerry Jones, Dallas Cowboys
Jerry Jones’ draft room is on his $250 million super-yacht. Now that’s a super-flex. pic.twitter.com/ZJwgrUcehX— Don Van Natta Jr. (@DVNJr) April 24, 2020
Talk about a major flex from Jerry here. As these executives had to be away from others within their organization, that is exactly what Jerry did. All that was missing for maximum rich dude flair was someone to clean his glasses for him.
Kliff Kingsbury, Arizona Cardinals
Speaking of flexing, Kliff Kingsbury’s war room put all other war rooms to shame as he has no time for your small basement or cluttered desk. Kingsbury is set up in his $4.45 million-dollar home, which looks like it comes straight out of a magazine. The only question is why is his fire pit lit in the mid-afternoon, in spring, in Arizona?
Mike Vrabel, Tennessee Titans
Mike Vrabel is as big of a wild card as we’ve ever seen pic.twitter.com/Hl0leoW6kN— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) April 24, 2020
“It’s been a long quarantine over here, man,” Vrabel said. “We’ve got a bunch of 19- and 18-year-old kids and you know, they’re stir crazy. They saw all the other kids [of coaches and General Managers] as the draft wore on, and they said, ‘Well, we’ll give our own little spin to it,’ and it was fun.”
You think it’s be a long quarantine? Vrabel’s war room stole the show on day one of the draft. Vrabel’s one kid rocks his old Pro Bowl jersey just as well as the blonde mullet, while the other dawns a Frozone spandex suit. On the bright side, we have declared the child reflected in the upper left was not on the toilet
“I know there’s some pictures going around — Tyler was not using the restroom,” Vrabel said, via Joe Rexrode of The Athletic.
Andy Reid, Kansas City Chiefs
Andy Reid looks like everyone’s dad on vacation. He kept it simple rocking his go to Hawaiian shirt and soda in his Chiefs cup. There also appears to an elliptical or something behind him. He definitely spent the last hour cleaning all the stored clothes off of it before going live.
Mike Zimmer, Minnesota Vikings
Pretty cool setup from the Zimmer Ridge Ranch, which screams Minnesota. But he does look like he’s looking at a computer for the first time in his life; which honestly might not be a false statement.
Mike McCarthy, Dallas Cowboys
Mike McCarthy is my dad every time I try to FaceTime with him. pic.twitter.com/BPhBA20d3W— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) April 24, 2020
Ah, the classic way-too-close to the camera, A.K.A. every time you try to FaceTime your dad. Also, using the Gatorade cup as their pencil cup is exactly what I would expect from these coaches:
Zac Taylor, Cincinnati Bengals
Zac Taylor looks like he’s set up in the conference room of his local Marriot, or about to sell you a used car. Hopefully after upgrading his quarterback last night he can focus on upgrading his home office space.
Sean Payton, New Orleans Saints
The NFL sent a memo to draftees to tell them that anything on camera should be NFL sponsors.— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) April 24, 2020
Biggest violator? Sean Payton.
Crush is made by Keurig Dr. Pepper, competitor of sponsor Pepsi.
Coke is a competitor of sponsor Pepsi.
Twizzlers is made by Hershey. Sponsor is Mars. pic.twitter.com/e2Oz5jc37g
Sean Payton was crushing twizzlers and washing them down with Coca-Cola and Crush. Have to think he went with non-sponsored products to anger Roger Goodell.
Roger Goodell, NFL Commissioner
when and why did Roger Goodell change pic.twitter.com/9yLtoyas3x— Rodger Sherman (@rodger) April 24, 2020
Speaking of Mr. Goodell, he appeared to announce the picks from his basement. It was a tough night for Roger, mispronouncing Tua Tagovailoa’s name and announcing Las Vegas will now hold the “2020 NFL Draft”, instead of the 2022 NFL Draft. He even had to make an outfit swap half way through.
A few more quick-hit thoughts:
John Elway made sure to go with the wide shot to get his Super Bowl trophies in there:
John Elway flexing on other GM's by casually putting his Super Bowl trophies front and center.— From the Stands (@FromTheStandsUS) April 24, 2020
"Oh those things? Yea, just some trophies I won in a little game called the Super Bowl. Maybe you've heard of it."#NFLDraft #BroncosDraft #NFLDraft2020 pic.twitter.com/V8GYQLyc95
Matt Patricia still has a pencil in his ear:
Matt Patricia chilling at home...still has a pencil in his ear pic.twitter.com/P1CsaEwwmq— gifdsports (@gifdsports) April 24, 2020
Joe Judge has been way too busy to move in apparently. And what is up with those lights?
Brian Flores’ kids made quite the show. And Flores is still repping Boston College and Patriots’ Super Bowl 53 memorabilia:
Brian Flores' son pic.twitter.com/Rq2X2UnhEZ— Yahoo Sports College Football (@YahooSportsCFB) April 24, 2020
Day One might be tough to top, but with two more days and six more rounds of the NFL draft, who knows what will be in store for the remaining of the virtual draft.
What was your favorite at-home war room? Leave a comment below or share your thoughts on Twitter @iambrianhines