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Meet The Coaches – The Final Three

Posted by Matt Terl on March 1, 2010 – 4:46 pm

The Combine, among other things, disrupted my posting of Larry Michael’s interviews with the team’s new coaches, and that just didn’t seem right. So here are the last three:

Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan:


Gary Fitzgerald has a breakdown of what Shanahan has to say, but here was the quote that I found most intriguing:

“I’ve been [calling plays] for two years, and I feel calling plays is about preparation,” he said. “I’m not going to sit there and go completely off stats–you’re going to study all week and you have to get a feel for their defensive coordinator, and you have to try think like him.

“I just want to watch and watch it until I know it and I can feel it. And you kind of get a hunch of what they’re thinking and you try to roll with it.”

It’s been a long time since I felt like a Redskins play-caller was really getting into the head of the opponent, so this sounds pretty good to me. Shanahan is an up-and-coming coach in this league, and I look forward to seeing what he can do.

Two more, after the jump. Read more »

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Monday, March 1: Athletic Trainers Have A Busy Time At The Combine

Posted by Matt Terl on March 1, 2010 – 11:24 am

I’m not sure about the right word for what what the NFL Scouting Combine actually is. Not “insignificant,” exactly — there’s clearly a tremendous value to the event. And it’s not precisely “overblown,” because for all the media in attendance, the coverage of the event is fairly restrained. (Except on NFL Network, of course, where — for perfectly understandable reasons — they really milk it.) Maybe “low-key” would be more accurate, or “understated”.

Whatever the word is, my point — as you’ve probably gathered, since I keep returning to the theme — is that a lot of what happens at the Combine is simply people confirming their existing impression of prospects, making relatively small adjustments to their grades, or just networking with people away from the actual field.

(Actually watching the Combine drills in person, incidentally, is LESS fulfilling than watching them on TV. Your view is less clear, you have none of the additional information or context that TV can provide, and it becomes an endless parade of guys in identical T-shirts doing identical drills.)

But one group of people that has an enormous investment in the Combine — a “critical component,” according to Redskins Bruce Allen — are the team medical staffs: athletic trainers, doctors, orthopedists, and so on. This is their first chance to actually gather their own data on these prospects, and they do it in a completely hands-on fashion. Read more »

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