When the Chicago Bears hit the floor, they ensured that they would have a long picnic-style table at their disposal. The intent was to bring as many players down as possible to fill out predefined questionnaires. Afterwards, the scouts would get some small talk in to make it more personal.
The New Orleans Saints had a shorter questionnaire to fill out and were able to pump through the players quickly, doing the preliminary work for the head scout to make decisions on a second sitting at a later time.
Atlanta relied on its scouts to take it to the next level. The scouts would meet with the players, talk a little about their background, get their numbers and setup a meeting at a later date (Monday night). The intent is to take the player out of the hustle and bustle of the Riverview Plaza Hotel and into a safer place where they can talk undisturbed.
The Jacksonville Jaguars put a similar strategy in place. Phone number was first on the list, room numbers and often a Tuesday night rendezvous to officially talk shop. They were a bit more forceful with their tactics.
Another end of the spectrum saw the Chargers. They were only interested in select players, taking advantage of the sheer number of prospects walking through. While they greeted every one in turn, they pulled aside a fraction of the players that other teams did. A shake of a hand was often all that took place before they moved on to find the meat of their prospect tree.
Instead of having the prospect fill out a survey, they worked one-on-one with the prospect to gauge his responses and personality at the same time.
"Some teams are interviewing everyone and there are other teams that are interested and they have seen the film firsthand; they have you on the board and they have ideas about you," Stanford defensive lineman Babatunde Oshinowo said. "Either way, I am trying to put myself out there. That is what all these interviews are about."
The Chiefs were just as diligent, selective in their approach and cornering several top names. They are also a team that heavily markets themselves after practice, eager to learn all they can on players they covet. It is the same approach they took last year, showing that not much has changed despite a new coaching staff.
The Cleveland Browns and Minnesota Vikings are in the building. Most wouldn't have known by their clear lack of presence; they simply didn't show up in the lobby or the on the concourse. Several players breathed "Browns" and "Vikings" citing ghosts they had seen around the hotel but admitted they had not seen either club personally. Much like last year, it appears both clubs will show their game faces during the week, particularly after practice. They were flies on rice a year ago on Ladd-Peebles Field.
The Steelers scouts were in front of the big screen watching the game between the Seahawks and Panthers for obvious reasons but will be back in the mix throughout the rest of the week.
Whether the interview styles relate to how effectively teams draft will have to be determined at a later date.
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