The first day of player interview at the 2019 NFL Combine was important for someone who covers the Eagles, with running backs being a much-needed area for the team, and some offensive line help couldn’t hurt.
Day 2 was just as busy, and equally fast paced with quarterbacks, wide receivers, tight ends and kickers all speaking within a 3-hour window.
1 - QB media scrum
There’s no doubt that there are varying levels of interest in some of the prospects that participate in the Combine, but when there’s a top-name quarterback at the podium, you better get there early. Luckily, I did, and had a prime spot for Dwayne Haskins, but with other players I needed to hear from, I had to squeeeeze my way out of the crowd that had swarmed in behind me.
I would imagine this event is tough for media members that might be claustrophobic.
2 - More noise from the bench press area
Once again, the bench press event being right next to the interview area makes things rather loud. As players really start racking up reps, they just get louder. Which is great for the player, not so great for the reporter trying to transcribe her recordings through intermediate screams.
3 - It’s all about branding
You would think that the NFL fan shop exploded on Indianapolis when walking just about anywhere. It’s very obvious who people are representing, whether they are team media members, scouts, or other team execs.
It’s not just NFL representatives either, from pullovers to microphones, colleges are represented in large numbers as well. It’s one of the biggest selling points these schools have in terms of recruiting — how well do they prepare players for the next step in football, the NFL. Schools with the most players, like Ohio State and Michigan, have a plethora of people shooting film and photos for use later on with the next crop of hopefuls.
It’s not a bad thing by any means, just very evident. “Oh, there goes the Seahawks contingency,” and “That person asking very pointed Ohio State questions is clearly here from the school”. It does, however, make it easy to identify friends — and the occasional foe (I see you gigantic Cowboys decorated tour bus).
4 - Food and drink
If you read my Day 1 entry, you may remember that I “borrowed” a bottle of water from the NFL media catering cart. I came much better prepared on Day 2 with my own bottle of water (and a bag of beef jerky), so I didn’t have to make a quick pass for a second time.
Live and learn.
5 - Herd from the RB drills
I randomly picked a fantastic spot to sit down and do some writing — opposed to walking the million miles back to the media work room — and just so happened to see the NFL personnel and running backs coming from the on-field drills that take place across the street at Lucas Oil Stadium.
NFL head coaches: I was able to catch a glimpse of Pat Shurmur, Matt Nagy and Sean Payton on their way back from the event, as well as former Lions head coach Jim Caldwell.
Mike Groh: The Eagles OC’s hair is much more impressive in person than it appears on the live streams of his press conferences each week. Like, it’s curly, but full and very nicely coiffed. Not at all running back related, but still something I felt like should be noted.
Adam Schefter carries a backpack with a shark face on it.