The NFL Combine has little to do with actually playing football, and Lions head coach Dan Campbell put the event in its proper place with a epic and perfect quote.
A tentpole event in the pre-draft process every year is the NFL Combine, and it’s happening this week in Indianapolis. Not all of the league’s head coaches are there, perhaps as a testament to how coaches value the event, but Lions head coach Dan Campbell is and he spoke to the media on Wednesday afternoon.
The week in Indianapolis has little to do with someone’s ability to, you know, play football. Draft prospects meet with teams early in the week, then those that choose to take the field for things like the 40-yard dash, the broad jump, the long jump, the 3-cone drill and general throwing, catching, running and movement drills.
Those things can show certain traits which are actually of value to football on the field–speed, short-area explosion, change of direction, etc. But they’re also easy to dismiss as “underwear Olympics”, and ultimately, as the saying goes, “the tape doesn’t lie.”
Dan Campbell has perfect, epic quote about evaluating players at the NFL Combine
Over the years there have been plenty of Combine workout warriors who were quickly exposed as very bad football players. During his podium session on Wednesday, Campbell added to his list of fantastic quotes when talking about the process of evaluating players at the Combine.
"I guess there is somewhat of a spectacle,” Campbell said. “To me it’s more, at this point, just to be able to sit with these guys. They get the medical during the week, but for us to be able to do these interviews is to me the biggest part of all this.It’s not even the working out portion. To me, you grade them off the tape, you don’t grade off somebody out here in pajamas, running the 40 with no defender around.”The meetings are great, the meetings are really pivotal. All the other stuff, whatever,”"
On-field workouts start on Thursday afternoon and go through the weekend, position group by position group. It’s safe to say Campbell won’t be paying any attention to that stuff, if he even stays in Indianapolis that long.