There have been all kinds of stories about the kinds of questions that are asked in the NFL Combine team interview rooms when players step in for 15 minutes of questions during the formal interviews. A lot of teams try to ask tough personal questions or interrupt prospects to get them off of their script of the right things to say. The Bills don’t do any of that.
We went inside the interview room with Bills GM Doug Whaley in our exclusive two days with him at the Combine and got a feel for the approach they take with prospects. Here’s how the Bills make the most of their 15 minutes with a prospect.
“Our approach is we make them comfortable and we do that by talking football,” Bills GM Doug Whaley told Buffalobills.com. “We get them to relax by saying, ‘Hey this is all about football. We’re going to show you pictures and film of what you do. Tell us everything about the play. What’s the play call, what’s your responsibility, what are the checks? So they loosen up and are thinking, ‘Oh they’re not asking me about my mom, my dad.’
“Our scouts have already unearthed that information. We have that stuff. We want to know from the coaches’ aspect, how much they know about football, how intelligent they are about repeating it to someone and their recall. And when you get a guy comfortable then his true personality comes out when he’s in his most comfortable state.”
So by talking football with the prospects in the 15 minutes they have with them, they not only get a good feel of their football intelligence they also get a look at a player’s personality as a byproduct of the discussion.
“You can get a sincere evaluation of the guy’s personality, not only on the field, but off the field because you can see how he reacts to plays on the field watching himself,” said Whaley. “You can see how he reacts to plays not only good, but bad and the personality comes out.”
Whaley did not initially come to learn this part of the scouting Combine process with such an approach, but after seeing it in action under former GM Buddy Nix he was sold.
“I was a little skeptical the first time, because I came from the school where you sit down and talk to them and we got those scripted answers,” Whaley said. “Then when I got to Buffalo this was Buddy’s idea and I decided I would give it a chance and you can really see their personalities come out. More than I would’ve ever thought.”
For more Combine coverage presented by NAPA Auto Parts, click here.
Tags: Doug Whaley, NFL Combine
Posted in Inside the Bills