By James Walker CCS, STM, BioSig, Master Trainer
Theredzone.org, Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports when it comes to evaluating talent in the draft, Bengals coach Marvin Lewis is always quick to point out â€œthe film doesnâ€™t lieâ€.
On Friday on Dan Dakichâ€™s show in Indianapolis, Lewis did chide those who go through unusual steps of preparing for the combine, saying that the way most go about it is â€œasinineâ€.â€¨ The Bengals did show last year, with the selection of Andre Smith, that a disastrous combine wonâ€™t wreck their chances of being selected. And for that case, neither does the pro day.â€¨ Among other things from the interview, courtesy of our friends at Sports Radio Interviews:
On players who leave school to workout and prepare for the Combine: â€œThe other one that just kills me is that they spend three or four years with a strength coach on a college campus and as soon as the seasonâ€™s over they go somewhere else to some guy who doesnâ€™t know them from a hole in the wall and pay this guy a bunch of money. It doesnâ€™t make any sense at all. It used to be that they had to pay for it and now itâ€™s part of the agent deal. Theyâ€™ve cultivated a whole industry out of it. It doesnâ€™t make sense. Itâ€™s actually asinine that if I go to school in Florida, now I have to go to Arizona to train. If I go to school in Arizona, I have to go to Georgia to train. These guys have the best facilities and the best people working with them year round and now all the sudden they got to go somewhere else. You donâ€™t need to go away. A football player is a football player.â€
On how much stock he puts in workouts at the Combine: â€œThe workout becomes a confirmation for a lot of players. Itâ€™s got to be judged individually with the player. The number one thing is what that guy has done on his college campus. So as these college players who are going to be underclassmen who may be listening to your show should know to take stock in what they do on the football field their â€“ junior and senior â€“ their last two seasons and not get all caught up in what this is.â€
On what the NFL Scouting Combine is: â€œThis is just a confirmation; that I can run. I weigh this much. Iâ€™m smart enough. I can carry on a conversation. I can learn. I can understand. And Iâ€™m a good person.â€
AE Response By James Walker
I respect Marvin Lewis and agree with his opinion about the best current evaluation of a prospective football payer is their game film. Although you can always find exceptions to this with those players with little or no game film such as Willy Parker, Mike Lewis, and Ray Crittenden to name a few.
I also agree that many college strength programs are top notch and do a wonderful job at preparing athletes. Though I disagree with Marvin’s premise that athletes shouldn’t seek out additional help to increase their stock especially since with the current system there is so much money and opportunity involved.
First, most college football programs involve over a 100 athletes it’s difficult to address the specific needs of individual players or a select group each week while neglecting everyone else.
Second, those athletes may have specific needs involving strength, speed, power, mobility, flexibility, agility, nutrition, technique, structural integrity, soft tissue health, etc.Â From a logistical perspective most of these issues cannot get addressed per individual. Therefore a critical evaluation or assessment is vital.
Third, If any of these specific needs is not addressed the athlete will be at a disadvantage and unable to display their best performance on possibly their biggest stage. Unfortunately some of them go into the combine, pro-day, or camp ill prepared by innocently overlooking their specific needs and is released. Many do not receive a second chance.
Again most college strength coaches or programs by themselves do not have the resources or time to address this individually. So under the current system the athlete needs to do whatever is legally or ethically necessary to increase their opportunity.