With 3 days of practice now completed in Mobile, the Reese’s Senior Bowl game inches every closer. Having been able to witness the goings on over the past few days, I thought now was a good time to share my thoughts on the overall experience of the virtual media. Also I’ll give my thoughts on a coach and player who have caught my eye
Virtual Media experience
Having never done this type of thing before, and being very inexperienced with scouting/evaluating college players, gaining virtual media access to the Senior Bowl was both exciting and a little nerve wracking. Media packs included tape on all the 1 vs 1 drills, tape highlights of the team practices, videos of coaching press conferences. There were also opportunities for player interviews. Sadly, I never got any interviews as these were in high demand.
Although the videos were sometimes a little slow to be uploaded, they afforded viewers the opportunity to review in more depth what they were seeing from the live practices on ESPNU.
Although the wealth and depth of information was a bit daunting for me at times, it was fascinating to see the work that goes into scouting and evaluating NFL prospects . This is something that I will definitely be looking to expand on in the future. I would urge anyone who is given these opportunities to take it, enjoy it and you’ll definitely learn something along the way. Next time,I will be more prepared and hopefully get even more out of it.
Matt Rhule rules!
As much as the Senior Bowl focus has been on the players, one can’t help but be impressed by Matt Rhule. My colleague at Ninety Nine Yards, Owain Jones (check out his awesome Senior Bowl coverage @Owain_Jones_) also commented on how much he wished Rhule was coaching his team. The Carolina Panthers seems to have unearthed a gem in their head coach.
The former Temple and Baylor head coach signed a 7 year contract with the Panthers with a long-term goal of completely redeveloping their program.
During interactions with players he seemed relaxed and confident. This perhaps unsurprising given he has spent so long around college teams. However, he has a certain aura around him the players gravitate towards. That can only stand the Panthers in good stead whilst they try to establish a winning ‘culture’. He knows what he wants to do and what kind of character he is looking for.
In his dealing with the press he seemed attentive, honest and exuded a degree of warmth often missing from NFL head coaches
One of my favourite anecdotes from the week came from him when discussing previous interactions with a recruit:
“There was a player last year that was meant to be drafted pretty highly, I got in an elevator with him at the combine….and by the end of that elevator ride I was like there is no way that guy will fit in with us”
If the Panthers develop their roster well over the next few years, the sky is the limit with Rhule at the helm
Quinn Meinerz showed up
One player that very few, if any, of us would have heard of prior to the Senior Bowl was Offensive Lineman Quinn Meinerz. A division III prospect from Wisconsin-Whitewater (a school I’d never head of and whose team have the awesome name of Warhawks!) has really caught the eye in Alabama. During the first 2 days of practice he looked dominant. He shows his ability to handle much more renowned defensive linemen with ease. He has certainly used the opportunity afforded to him by Jim Nagy to thrust himself into the limelight.
It is stories like this that I love to see. A player who has worked hard and put forth the effort to shine with little fanfare. He has now put himself in the frame to be drafter much higher than probably even he expected. Meinerz seems to be an infectious characters and his enthusiasm for the game is great to see. His fashion sense, however, leaves a little to be desired!!
With no practice today, there is a little time to draw breath and prepare for the big game on Saturday. You can catch this live on the NFL network at 19:30. However, keep you eyes peeled as there is still more great content to come over the next few days @Ninetynineyards
features image:sports illustrated