Winston Journal - 'The Senior Bowl & Beyond"

Offensive lineman Eric Winston talks about his experience at the Senior Bowl last week.

"The Senior Bowl and Beyond"

I just got back from the Senior Bowl and it was a success in my book.

We arrived on Sunday and were immediately hustled through registration. From then on the pro teams took a hold of us and were asking us to do everything from fill out questionaires to set meeting times to meet the head coach and general managers of certain teams.

It was almost comical how scouts from each team sit in the lobby and fight with each other for 15 minutes of your time.

On the meetings side, I met with at least eight to 10 teams in some capacity whether it was talking to a scout for ten minutes or meeting with their whole front office and head coach. The meetings were background filled and not every team meets kids at the Senior Bowl but every team surely is there watching.

The teams want to know about your family, with things such as what kind of up bringing did you have and so on and so on. It was easy for me because I had great parents and a fantastic up bringing! (Thanks parents).

After the background interviews some teams ended the meeting and others proceeded to ask other questions such as: What kind of pro do I think I will be? What kind of year did I think I had? I had a team ask me what I thought about my coaches. Basically anything to get me to say anything so they can know what kind of player they are going to get. I don't blame them for one bit. They are going to invest a ton of money into someone and it better be the right person or they could lose their job!

Another thing some teams had you do were these annoying personality tests.

The Giants had one 400 questions long. They asked fun questions like: How do you feel when it rains? If you are an animal, what would you be, a dog or cat? I guess someone somewhere can determine how good of a football player I can be based on that.

The Texans had the most mentally draining one. It was an hour and half of mind games, analytical thinking, deductive reasoning and eye tests. The cool thing is the doctor doing the test said I have rare vision. Better than 20/15. I thought that was pretty cool.

Now for the reason I was there - the football! I thought all week I played well.

I picked up the system very quick because all the runs were runs that we have done at Miami. I was also lucky that 85% of the technique that was taught by my coach, George Warhop, was taught by former Miami offensive line coach Art Kehoe as well.

I learned a few new techniques in pass protection that were great pieces of information to know as well as some ways to place your hands on both run and pass plays.

I feel like I raised my stock this past week based on the way the scouts came up to me after the practice and told me that I looked good and that they were impressed with the way I was playing during the week.

I felt good about that because they wouldn't just tell me that to make feel good, if I wasn't playing well they probably wouldn't bother coming to talk to me.

The game was fun, nobody took it like a real collegiate game but there were people flying around. I only played about 15 to 20 plays and if it wasn't for an overset against Virginia Tech's Daryl Tapp, I would've had a pretty good game.

I was happy with the way I performed in the practices all week and that is what was important.

I heard if you watched the coverage on ESPN you wouldn't have known I was there based on the way their NFL draft guru Mel Kiper hyped up Virginia's D'Brickashaw Ferguson and other players, but that is fine. Ferguson is a good player and deserves his due but I don't care about what Kiper thinks, I want to impress the scouts and coaches. Kiper has his opinion of players and on me he does not have a very high one. I fully apreciate that fact that ESPN pays him to do a job for them, but I don't think that the teams talk to him or listen to him, or even that Kiper talks to the teams because he doesn't.

He has his list based what he thinks and he has every right to do that. But just don't think because he doesn't have me in the first round doesn't mean I am not going there. He's been wrong before and hopefully he will be wrong with me.

Right now I'm getting ready for the combine and everything that includes.

Next time we talk, I will let you know what I am expecting and how I want to do there. Until then ...

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