Teams posture for Senior Bowl spotlight

<b>Mobile, Al.-</b>Kicking off on Sunday, the festivities leading up to the Senior Bowl were as advertised. Scouts were in position on the prime real estate at the Senior Bowl, posturing to talk with the numerous prospects in attendance.

Whether it be a cozy corner, or a nook in a private room, players were met by eager scouts and corralled for conversation. After a few moments of football talk and further discussion, players would emerge seemingly a little weaker than prior to entering the firing-line of Q and A from the scouts.

The NFL team skinny on the major and minor players of the Sunday.

The New York Giants had the most representatives visible on Sunday – and the funny thing is one scout had ten more lanyards around his neck waiting for the next round of scouts to arrive.


Ironically, the Giants were the most efficient team of the day. A point man would grab a player, then pass him off to the appropriate person for interrogation – er, questioning. The Giants talked to everyone and knew what was going to happen before it did.

Not waiting for prospects to pass them by, the Giants sought out the next target and acquired them. The Giants were clearly ready for this day.

Meat Market:

Two teams win the meat market award given to the team who grabbed everyone to fill out a questionnaire. The Saints and Packers didn't let a player slip past without getting them to fill out the paperwork. Often-times, they did not spend a lot of time with the prospect but just pushed them on. Funny thing was each team shoving prospects to the other after. "Have you checked in with the Packers yet," one Saints scout said.

Where are the Coaches:

The Tampa Bay coaching staff was the only visible one of the day. Buccaneers Head Coach Jon Gruden showed his game face briefly and defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin was everywhere, including on television.

No other team had its head coach representing their organization during the day. With the "light" work being done on Sunday, in the form of base questions and evaluations, it was responsibility of the scouts to work the floor and get preliminary information for the coaching staff. Most coaches are more concerned with the meat – Senior Bowl practices – which begins on Monday.

Gruden and staff are in charge of one team so their showing does not come as much of a surprise. Notable, was the absence of the entire Raiders staff until the mandatory meeting at eight that night. They had scouts in attendance, but weren't very active. They do, however, have the benefit of meeting with all the players and can get the info they seek at that time.

Thanks for Coming:

Baffling, was the presence of the Pittsburgh Steelers. They were there – but the question was why? They spent the majority of the day down in the foyer, watching the Eagles – Falcons game. When they emerged, they took a grand total of one player to the side.

Defending Champs:

Unlike the Steelers who made poor use of their time, the Patriots staff had its hands full. When asked whether they would be taking time off to watch the game, they quickly said "no" saying they could watch the game later in the evening via tape.

Late Arrival:

It was 5:45 PM Mobile time when the Indianapolis Colts arrived, too bad registration had closed and they had little else to do but watch other teams get a leg up in this ever-important week of practices and networking.

Snow Day:

Every team sends representatives to Senior Bowl week, don't they? With that in mind, where were the Vikings, Browns, Niners, Bills, Ravens, Cowboys, Broncos, and Rams. No team is that good, is it?

Most with the Least:

With two scouts in attendance, Kansas City did a wonderful job of managing their time. One scout rarely was caught out of position and found his people easily. The Chargers also had a small representation but they were very focused and targeted the same type of player each time they went to the well.

Who are these Guys:

Even NFL Europe had a scout in attendance on Sunday. He wasn't overly active and picked his spots. Also at the Riverview Plaza was several Canadian Football teams and the BC Lions team wore colors that closely resembled the Browns – the closest Cleveland got to attending.

Closing Time:

At the end of the day, scouts got together in groups to detail their experience during Sunday's festivities. Each team got together in small cliques and compared the notes they compiled during the days events.

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