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SI - Dolphins combine interview process

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  • SI - Dolphins combine interview process

    Some good stuff... little concerned about them being placed next to the pats. That's asking to be bugged/spied upon...

    INDIANAPOLIS — At 10 p.m. last Thursday, two men waited outside Room 135 at the downtown Crowne Plaza: Dolphins quarterbacks coach Bo Hardegree, and one of the 18 quarterbacks at the NFL combine.
    “First one?” Hardegree asked.
    “No, number four,” said the player, who wore a credential around his neck listing the schedule of interviews he’d take with teams. Then he smiled and suggested that maybe this would be his best one yet.
    A few seconds later, this backpack-wearing, NFL-hopeful walked into a dimly lit hotel room to be grilled for precisely 15 minutes by a group of 10 Dolphins employees that included Mike Tannenbaum, the executive vice president of football operations, general manager Chris Grier, head coach Adam Gase and Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino.

  • #2
    Like that Marino is more involved now... he and Tbaum spend a lot of time together at work and golfing...

    few steps away from the hotel’s indoor pool, their room wedged between the Patriots and Raiders, the Dolphins had already conducted 16 formal interviews by 10 p.m. on Thursday. Every 15 minutes, a new prospect took over the hot seat, with no breaks in between. Miami’s tiny room was filled to the brim with people and furniture and equipment, and when their 17th player arrived for his interview, a crash reverberated throughout the room—something fell to the floor as everyone jumped up to greet him. “I apologize,” the quarterback said, looking around but unable to determine what fell. The handshakes and nice-to-meet-yous belied what was about to unfold: an interrogation.
    * * *
    By this point in the Dolphins’ scouting process for the 2016 draft, they’ve already visited 230 colleges, graded 1,344 players and written 5,885 total reports since last spring. In a very long election process, the combine is tantamount to one precinct reporting.
    One 15-minute interview will never be the sole reason that a team pursues or passes on a player. But it’s an important data point that can help teams decide if they need to do more work on the player before the draft, and then set their Pro Day schedule accordingly. And for juniors who declare for the draft, combine interviews are the first chance for teams to sit down with these players face to face.
    “It’s a real chance to figure out the guy’s vibe,” Grier says. “How they come across; how they will fit into a program. You wouldn’t want a quarterback to come in and have no personality. You want to get a sense of what kind of energy he will bring to your team.”
    The Dolphins already have a quarterback, Ryan Tannehill, whom they gave a $95 million contract last offseason. But teams schedule formal interviews with players in virtually every position group, seizing the chance to vet prospects for a number of potential roles—starter, back-up, developmental project, future free agent, opponent. After hiring Gase to be the new head coach and promoting Grier to general manager from college scouting director this offseason, the Dolphins are trying, yet again, to redirect the franchise. During 13 days of meetings in February at their headquarters in Davie, Fla., the personnel department and the coaching staff talked about what kind of players they’re seeking. Two attributes kept coming up: Competitive guys who love football.
    In Room 135, the Dolphins were trying to find out who best fits that mold. The quarterback, wearing his combine-issued sweats, settled into a chair across the table from the three top decision-makers: Grier, Gase and Tannenbaum. To the player’s right was a computer hooked up to a TV, with one of his college plays queued up on the screen. To his left, a whiteboard. Hardegree, sitting next to the TV, held the remote. Behind him Chase Leshin, the team’s player personnel coordinator, took notes on a tablet that he’d email out at the end of the night.
    Seated in a semi-circle on the other side of the room: player personnel director Joe Schoen; senior scout Terry Bradway; offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen; national college scout Adam Engroff; and Marino, who, as a special advisor to team president Tom Garfinkel, was party to the entire combine player evaluation process from 7:30 a.m. weigh-ins to the nightly interviews. Marino had attended the Senior Bowl, where one particularly star-struck quarterback asked for a picture during his Dolphins interview. The Hall of Famer also watched film with the scouts and coaches during pre-combine meetings that often lasted more than 12 hours. Earlier this offseason, he asked Grier, “Do you mind me sitting in?” To which Grier told him to stop asking and just keep coming. “He takes no shortcuts, and obviously he could, but he’s all in with us,” Tannenbaum says.
    Grier immediately took charge with a rapid-fire Q&A session. They were already on the clock, and there was no time to waste. Team brass brainstorms questions for each player in advance, based in large part off the reports written by the area scouts. Players today are more prepared than ever, and this quarterback was no different. He responded to the first question with a 274-word opening statement of sorts and took 91 seconds off the clock. He talked about each of his family members; who his role models are; mentioned twice how he was fortunate to have a “great upbringing”; and explained the way he handled a tough decision in his college recruiting. There’s a story in scouting circles about one first-round pick a few years back who filibustered for the entire 15-minute interview, only allowing teams to ask a single question.

    Over the next six minutes and seven seconds, Grier fired off 16 questions. They covered topics like what the player’s learning style is, whom he hung out with in college, and how he plans to use his college degree. “Play football, for now,” the player said, grinning.
    “Tell us about your leadership style,” Grier said.
    The player spent 179 words talking about how he tried to have an individual relationship with each of his teammates, so that he could hold them accountable in a way that would be most effective for them. “I really made sure to get on guys who I knew I could get on, that would respond to it well,” he said, “and some guys you knew to kind of put your arm around their shoulder to make sure they were doing all right.”
    He’d also clearly prepared a thorough explanation of his injury history. For 45 seconds, he described each injury he’d had in college, how many games he missed as a result, and whether or not he still had any restrictions today. This player hadn’t had any concussions, but for players who have, finding out the number and recovery time for each has never been more important to teams.
    There were no oddball questions in this interview. A report last week said that one team had been asking players, “Do you find your mother attractive?” but that’s not a question coming from the Dolphins. Six years ago, the organization found itself in the middle of controversy when former GM Jeff Ireland was reported to have asked Dez Bryant during a a pre-draft visit if his mother was a prostitute. Ireland later apologized to Bryant, and since then, teams have been reminded that federal, state and local employment laws prohibit teams from asking questions that could lead to discrimination in hiring.
    “You are aware of things that happened in the past, you learn from mistakes and move on and make sure you make smart decisions for your organization,” says Grier, who was the team’s director of college scouting at the time. “Every organization is very aware of the questions they ask, especially now with social media. At the end of the day, you need to make good decisions that won’t embarrass your organization while also information-gathering and finding out what you need.”
    Teams won’t ask a player if he uses drugs, for example, but instead may ask him to explain why he was suspended in college or say simply, “Is there anything you need to tell us?” For a player with pressing off-the-field questions, such as Ole Miss defensive lineman Robert Nkemdiche, who in December fell out of a fourth-floor hotel room window and was subsequently charged with marijuana possession, teams would likely ask him to explain what happened right off the bat and use most, if not all, of the 15 minutes to get his answers.
    The quarterback we sat in with did not have any off-the-field issues, not even an unpaid parking ticket, so the temperature in the room stayed pretty mild. Even so, the Q&A felt like a game-show lightning round, with no time for small talk or pauses. The player still knew how to play to the room. At one point, he listed the NFL quarterbacks he likes to watch on film: Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees and Matt Ryan.
    “And, I gotta say,” the quarterback added, “I watch some Tannehill quite a bit, too.”


    • #3
      The very last statement gave away who the unknown quarterback was. It's Bo Callahan. He lied about liking to watch film on Tannehill. Bo Callahan is a people pleaser and will say what he thinks people want to hear whenever he is given the chance. Also, he lied about reading the entire playbook and never saw the hundred dollar bill that was taped to the back of the playbook.
      "If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking." - George S. Patton

      “The only thing worse then a liar is a liar that’s also a hypocrite!” - Tennessee Williams


      • cuchulainn
        cuchulainn commented
        Editing a comment
        Had no idea what you were talking about. Had to google Bo Callahan.

      • DolphinsFreak
        DolphinsFreak commented
        Editing a comment
        You must watch the movie, it's a great one, especially this time of year.

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