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Getting to Know the Front Office/Understanding the Scouting Process

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Old 10-31-2012, 12:34 PM   1 links from elsewhere to this Post. Click to view. #1
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Getting to Know the Front Office/Understanding the Scouting Process

Did this a few years back, though I'd revisit it again. Here's a look at the Redskins FO and how the scouting process works

EVP/General Manager Bruce Allen (2009-year he assumed current position)
Focus: Oversees all personnel (scouts, trainers, video editors, etc.), long-term strategist for draft and free agency.
NFL Experience: Senior Executive Oakland Raiders (1996-2003) General Manager Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2004-2008)

Director of Player Personnel: Scott Campbell (2008)
Focus: Oversees all scouting, leads preparation leading up to draft day (think of him sort of as an Offensive Coordinator of scouting). Hes the point person in the off-season. A decision to draft say Roy Helu is largely based on his staff's input
NFL Experience: Scout with the Falcons (1990-1997), Director of Pro Personnel with the Bears (2000) and Redskins (2001,2006-2007), Director of College Scouting with the Redskins (2002-2005)

Area Scout: Cole Spencer (2012)
Focus: Colleges in the Northeast (like all scouts, he's given a mission statement essentially, put together by the top FO executives to find certain types of players and unearth hidden gems). A guy like Brian McNally (New Hampshire) signs with the Redskins off of Spencer's recommendation.
NFL Experience: Pro Personnel Intern with the Redskins (2010-2011)

Area Scout: Darryl Franklin (2012)
Focus: Colleges in the Northeast/BLESTO Scout (national scouting service shared by I believe 7 teams-Redskins, Lions, Vikings, Giants, Steelers, Bills, Dolphins)
NFL Experience: Player Personnel Intern with the Lions (2008)

Area Scout: Tim Gribble (2010)
Focus: Colleges in the Midwest
NFL Experience: Scouting Assistant with the Steelers (2001-2002), Various scouting roles with Redskins since 2002

Area Scout: Jim Zeches (2005)
Focus: Colleges in the West Coast
NFL Experience: Area scout with the Niners (2001-2004)

Area Scout: David Whittington (2012)
Focus: Colleges in the Southwest
NFL Experience: Redskins BLESTO Scout (2010-2011)

Area Scout: Kyle Smith (2012)
Focus: Colleges in the Southeast. He's the guy making the recommendation on Alfred Morris
NFL Experience: Intern with Redskins (2010), Scout with Redskins (2011)


Director of Pro Personnel: Morocco Brown

Focus: Oversees practice squad personnel, pro player evaluation (including free agents and other leagues such as CFL), in charge of advanced scouting of next opponent. Hes the point person in the regular season. A decision to sign say Ryan Grant is largely based on his staff's input
NFL Experience: Assistant Director of Pro Personnel Bears (2002-2007), assistant scout with the Redskins (2000-2001)

Pro Scout: Alex Santos (2009)
Focus: Assists Morocco Brown with advanced scouting and pro player evaluation, focus on CFL.
NFL Experience: Pro Personnel assistant with the Redskins (2006-2008)

Pro Scout: Richard Mann II (2010)
Focus: Same as Alex Santos, but he focuses on other leagues such as UFL and AFL. Both Santos and Mann evaluate NFL players as well
NFL Experience: Intern with Baltimore Ravens (2003), Pro Personnel Assistant with Tampa Bay (2007-2009)

VP Football Administration: Eric Shaffer (2004)
Focus: Manage the money
NFL Experience: Player agent with IMG

################################################## ################################################## #################

Understanding the Scouting Process

Now let's look at how Adam Gettis, for example, becomes a Redskin. We'll also look at how they scout Carl Nicks. I'll do it in timeline fashion (the timeline is a rough approximation). I know this is how it was done prior to Shanahan. And from what I've heard the process has largely remained the same

August 2011: Tim Gribble, as college scout of the Midwest, will prepare his schedule of schools to watch which will include Iowa, for the college football season. Gribble will attend games, school practices, and watch film with the position coach, coordinator and head coach of each player he's targeting. He'll also try to do some digging on intangibles, for example he'll talk to professors about his character and demeanor in the classroom, his study habits, etc.

September 2011: Pro Scout Alex Santos begins a weekly process of reviewing every NFL game for the teams he has been assigned to and begins compiling reports on every player, with a particular focus toward impending free agents and potential trade options. Santos and Mann will follow the same pattern as Gribble, but with pro players

September 2011: In addition to his coaching responsibilities, Chris Foerster (since we're talking about Gettis, let's keep this to OL talk) is compiling weekly notes on the current players he's coaching. So guys like Chris Chester, Eric Cook, Will Montgomery, etc.

January 2012: Bruce Allen and Morocco Brown sit down with Alex Santos and Richard Mann and review the players in the NFL, CFL, Arena Football, etc. that they have graded high enough to be considered for the team

January 2012: Chris Foerster is given the list of players along with game films prepared by the pro scouts and does his own review and ranks the players

February 2012: Shanahan, Allen, Brown, Santos, Mann and select coaches begin an arduous process of evaluating each player at a position. It's generally about half dozen or so players. So let's say Alex Santos has reviewed NFC North teams and Carl Nicks on the list of players. Santos will present his review of Nicks, then Foerster will present his review. Ultimately Nicks will be given a grade let's say it's 8 on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the highest). The process in the repeated with the next player. Let's say Mann presents on Ben Grubbs and Grubbs is given a 7. So head to head Nicks has now been officially placed ahead of Grubbs. Once they have ranked the non-Redskins they then layer in the current Redskins OL. So let's say Chris Chester gets a 6. This doesn't mean they're going to go after Nicks necessarily because there are other factors/positions to consider. It just means from a strictly scouting perspective, the scouts and Foerster have determined that Nicks is more valuable than Chester. (note: this is just an example, this isn't what actually happened)

The process repeats for every position and then for college players as well. At what point they blend the rankings of pro and college players i forget

February 2012: Bruce Allen prepares the final report based on the meetings and presents it to Shanahan and Snyder for final approval. Snyder's role at this point is to approve spending the expected dollar amount, or be willing to exceed if deemed necessary, to land the free agents targeted by his staff. Eric Schaffer plays a prominent role here in determining the budget and preparing for negotiations. Though increasingly Allen has taken on the role of Snyder and Schaffer. Presenting the report to Snyder has become more a courtesy gesture than anything else.

March 2012: As the Redskins start preparing for the draft, Shanahan, Allen, Campbell (and probably a couple other people) will start grading across the board. So they'll try to determine if a OL rated a 6 is better or more necessary than a DB rated a 6, for example. And their big board is created for draft day.

Draft Day 2012: As the draft proceeds, each position coach ranks the best available players at his position versus current Redskins. Shahanan and Allen will take those rankings as the day proceeds and measure across the board as noted above. So when Gettis' name comes up on the board Shanahan and Allen see that they can take Gettis or Josh Norman (DB-Coastal Carolina). Based on their big board, Gettis and Norman are the highest ranked players. Gettis is ranked higher than say Maurice Hurt, but Josh Norman isn't ranked higher than Kevin Barnes. So they draft Gettis
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Old 10-31-2012, 12:39 PM   #2
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Re: Getting to Know the Front Office/Understanding the Scouting Process

very cool, very interesting, thanks smoot
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Old 10-31-2012, 12:50 PM   #3
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Re: Getting to Know the Front Office/Understanding the Scouting Process

How do I become a scout!?!?
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Old 10-31-2012, 12:56 PM   #4
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Re: Getting to Know the Front Office/Understanding the Scouting Process

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How do I become a scout!?!?
start creeping on local high schoolers and mail your findings to every college. arrest be damned
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Old 10-31-2012, 01:03 PM   #5
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Re: Getting to Know the Front Office/Understanding the Scouting Process

great work and perspective SS.

Would have like to see how this worked specifically with drafting LeRiebus. Still cant believe that pick vs available Tackles and Cornerbacks.
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Old 10-31-2012, 01:05 PM   #6
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Re: Getting to Know the Front Office/Understanding the Scouting Process

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great work and perspective SS.

Would have like to see how this worked specifically with drafting LeRiebus. Still cant believe that pick vs available Tackles and Cornerbacks.
good call, did snyder lose a bet?
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Old 10-31-2012, 01:22 PM   #7
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Re: Getting to Know the Front Office/Understanding the Scouting Process

Excellent post SS. Thanks for the inside look at how things are done in regards to scouting at Redskins Park.

Now prepare for someone coming in and saying, "It's Shanahan's fault the scouts ranked so-so wrong."
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Old 10-31-2012, 01:42 PM   #8
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Re: Getting to Know the Front Office/Understanding the Scouting Process

Pfft.....I'd rather just say that Shanahan was responsible it for it all so I can blame him.





Seriously though, thanks for posting this Smoot. Valuable and very educational in terms of learning the behind the scenes of the process.
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Old 10-31-2012, 01:43 PM   #9
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Re: Getting to Know the Front Office/Understanding the Scouting Process

Really good stuff there SS! Makes understanding the draft a whole lot easier.
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Old 10-31-2012, 02:05 PM   #10
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Re: Getting to Know the Front Office/Understanding the Scouting Process

Smoot,

Best post of the past two years. Love this. Good job with the write up and helping us understand the organization and processes a bit better. Much appreciated!

I have a few questions about scouts. During the season I can't imagine how they can hit all the small schools. Wouldn't they spend most of their time at the major conference in the area? For instance, I thought Morris was more based off the Senior Bowl than scouting. Isn't it difficult, especially the South, to not focus on the SEC?

Do these guys live in their particular area all year and then come back to DC to work with the other scouts and Scott Campbell? Kinda curious what their life is actually like. I feel like most of what they do they can get off of film and the rest of the time is digging up personal stuff about the people.
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Old 10-31-2012, 02:28 PM   #11
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Re: Getting to Know the Front Office/Understanding the Scouting Process

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Originally Posted by Daseal View Post
Smoot,

Best post of the past two years. Love this. Good job with the write up and helping us understand the organization and processes a bit better. Much appreciated!

I have a few questions about scouts. During the season I can't imagine how they can hit all the small schools. Wouldn't they spend most of their time at the major conference in the area? For instance, I thought Morris was more based off the Senior Bowl than scouting. Isn't it difficult, especially the South, to not focus on the SEC?

Do these guys live in their particular area all year and then come back to DC to work with the other scouts and Scott Campbell? Kinda curious what their life is actually like. I feel like most of what they do they can get off of film and the rest of the time is digging up personal stuff about the people.
good questions.

i would like to think each of these scouts have their own network, alerting them of anyone who may be worth a visit?
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Old 10-31-2012, 02:41 PM   #12
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Re: Getting to Know the Front Office/Understanding the Scouting Process

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Originally Posted by Daseal View Post
Smoot,

Best post of the past two years. Love this. Good job with the write up and helping us understand the organization and processes a bit better. Much appreciated!

I have a few questions about scouts. During the season I can't imagine how they can hit all the small schools. Wouldn't they spend most of their time at the major conference in the area? For instance, I thought Morris was more based off the Senior Bowl than scouting. Isn't it difficult, especially the South, to not focus on the SEC?

Do these guys live in their particular area all year and then come back to DC to work with the other scouts and Scott Campbell? Kinda curious what their life is actually like. I feel like most of what they do they can get off of film and the rest of the time is digging up personal stuff about the people.
Yeah, Morris was heavily based off of the Senior Bowl on top of the scouting during done the season. I was really just using his name as an example.

The life of a scout is extremely grueling. Most of these guys are former HS/College players and coaches who have decided this is the path they want to take. Some scouts want to work their way up to GM, others really just love scouting.

Where they scout has nothing do with where they live. They could live in San Antonio and be responsible for scouting the NE. The scouts all meet up in July (I think) and with Campbell they map out their schedules. Then it's off on the road. I'd say on average they're on the road maybe 10 out of 14 days or more. And then they go home, they rarely come back to Redskins Park during the season.

They'll see multiple schools a day some times. They hit the D1 schools first and then squeeze in the smaller schools as they fit (usually geographically). So a scout might be visiting Maryland and Virginia, but he'll swing by Georgetown.

There are also times when Allen or Campbell or even Shanahan will say "hey we're in Dallas this weekend so we're going to catch the Texas A&M game tonight and scout these guys so you can skip this and go scout this other smaller school"
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Old 10-31-2012, 03:18 PM   #13
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Re: Getting to Know the Front Office/Understanding the Scouting Process

You have time for this, but not a weekly smackdown?

Come on smoot... we miss our smackdowns!
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Old 10-31-2012, 03:27 PM   #14
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Re: Getting to Know the Front Office/Understanding the Scouting Process

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You have time for this, but not a weekly smackdown?

Come on smoot... we miss our smackdowns!
LOL. Smackdown remains on hiatus
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Old 10-31-2012, 03:35 PM   #15
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Re: Getting to Know the Front Office/Understanding the Scouting Process

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LOL. Smackdown remains on hiatus
I do love the smackdown. Have for years.
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