Inside The Bills

Critical combine interviews underway

Posted by johnmurphyshow on February 20, 2013 – 7:31 pm

It’s not the timing or the testing or the weight-lifting that NFL personnel executives focus on first, here at the Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. It’s the one-on-one interviews with the prospects.

Those interviews are underway in Indianapolis, as the first group of players arrive in town. Offensive linemen and tight ends are in group one at the combine, and that group began formal and informal interviews with teams on Wednesday night. It’s the first of three nights of meeting with team officials, and according to Bills top personnel execs, the meetings are critical.

Bills Assistant GM Doug Whaley was a guest on The John Murphy Show podcast from Indianapolis Wednesday night. Whaley says he and other top Bills decision makers will conduct the interviews this week.

“It will be some of the scouting staff, myself, Buddy Nix, our director of college scouting Chuck Cook, Tom Gibbons our director of pro scouting, along with Doug Majeski,” Whaley said. “And then the head coach, and the offensive or defensive coordinator, depending on the position, and the position coach will also be in there.”

The Bills Assistant GM says the nightly, 15-minute interviews are tightly structured. The Bills submitted a list of 60-interview requests a week or two ago, as did every other NFL team.

“Each player has a schedule, we have a schedule, at twelve minutes you hear the horn to let you know the time’s almost up. You hear another horn at 15-minutes, that guy leaves another guy comes in,” Whaley told host John Murphy.

Whaley says even in 15-minute sessions, teams can sometimes get a good read on a player and what’s important to him as he embarks on an NFl career.

“I’ll give you a story,” Whaley said. “When I was at a different club, and we interviewed a player who was at a school in the same city as the club I was working for. We were talking to the guy, and at the end, we asked the player, ‘If we draft you, what would be the best part about playing in the city where you went to college?’ And he said, ‘I would know where to go after the games on Sunday nights.’”

The Bills Assistant GM acknowledges the pressure is on the draft prospects when they race through night time interviews at the combine.

“It’s speed dating at one of the most crucial times of your life. A lot of it is teams are going to try to see how you respond to tough situations. You’ve probably have ten or fifteen interviews per night, and you have to be on your toes.”

The entire interview with Doug Whaley is available at

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