Actions speak louder than words. That may be true, but sometimes words say more than we know. This morning, I took a second to look at the NFL Draft videos of three coaches. What follows are some of the keywords from those coaches used to describe the players drafted and to describe the roles those players will play going forward.
- body of work
- high-quality individual
- quick study
- position coaches visited player
- something to prove
- athletic talent
- upside ahead
- physical skills
- confident in coaches ability to work with player
- tremendous production
- performed well
- improved at Senior Bowl
- big targets in the Green Zone
- versatile; attacks the passer
- impressive visit
My read of these comments (reinforced by watching their respective press conferences) is that two of these coaches entered the draft knowing exactly what they were looking for. They weren’t looking principally for athleticism or talent, but for execution and productivity. Coach 1 immediately begins by talking about the players “body of work” at the collegiate level. It was same for Coach 3. Coach 2 never mentioned it.
Coach 2 talked about talent and athleticism and upside and potential. He talked about three players who have something to prove because for one reason or another, each one failed to meet expectations created by their tremendous athleticism. He talked about his confidence in his coaches ability to get certain players to perform. Each of these elite players will be leaving a coach with NFL experience…and the questions persist. He talked about assessments of players that coaches had made. In this instance, the head coach did not visit with the team’s first round draft pick, but did visit with a punter on more than one occasion who was selected by the team.
Who are these coaches?
- Pittsburgh Steelers, Mike Tomlin. Defending Super Bowl champion.
- Cincinnati Bengals, Marvin Lewis.
- New York Giants, Tom Coughlin. 2007 Super Bowl champion.
The Steelers and Giants operate in a different universe than the Cincinnati Bengals. It was apparent over the weekend and it will be apparent when their teams take the field. Marvin Lewis will be waiting for his coaches to get the most out of his new recruits. Tomlin and Coughlin will be demanding the rookies replicate their consistent, productive performances against high-level competition at the collegiate level.
The words of these coaches are sure to be solid predictors of the actions of those players. Listen to your teams press conference. What did your coach say? What did he not say? What can you expect on the field next season?