Inconsistent Measureables

Now that the NFL Combine has ended, another year of paralysis by over analysis by some individuals will begin.

There is a growing vibe amongst younger coaches that the NFL Combine has become more about the glitz and glamour than anything that has to do with how football is played on the field.  After taking a straw poll with many younger and older coaches there is a growing consensus that many of the young coaches wish they would do away with many of the combine workout activities and measureables and just gather medical information and interviews over the course of three days as opposed to eight days of interviews and workouts.

When is the last time an offensive lineman was asked to run 40-yards as fast as he can without blocking anyone?

Never.

Just look at what Cincinnati Bengals Head Coach Marvin Lewis had to say about the Combine with Dan Dakich of 1070 the FAN in Indianapolis via sportsradiointerviews.com, “[T]hey spend three or four years with a strength coach on a college campus and as soon as the season’s over they go somewhere else to some guy who doesn’t know them from a hole in the wall and pay this guy a bunch of money,” Lewis said.  “It doesn’t make any sense at all.  It used to be that they had to pay for it and now it’s part of the agent deal.  They’ve cultivated a whole industry out of it.  It doesn’t make sense.  It’s actually asinine that if I go to school in Florida, now I have to go to Arizona to train.  If I go to school in Arizona, I have to go to Georgia to train.  These guys have the best facilities and the best people working with them year round and now all the sudden they got to go somewhere else.  You don’t need to go away.  A football player is a football player.”

While the merits of the NFL Combine are good for bringing together measurables, it does not means that a player can play competitive football at the next level in the NFL. For example, since 2000 the record for the bench press is 45 repetitions set by Leif Larson (University of Texas-El Paso) in 2000, Mike Kadula (Ohio State) in 2006, and Mitch Petrus (Arkansas) in 2010.

Leif Larson was selected with the 28th pick of the sixth round by the Buffalo Bills and barely played three seasons in the NFL registering 17 tackles during his tenure. Guess who was drafted just five spots AFTER Larson, with the 33rd selection of the sixth round in the 2000 draft? The New England Patriots select…QB Tom Brady (Michigan).

Mike Kudla was an undrafted free agent to the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2006 and never played in the NFL again after being released in August of 2006.

Mitch Petrus has yet to step foot on the NFL playing surface, but only time will tell if the bench press test translates into functional strength on the football field.

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