Heard and observed during NFL Network coverage of the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis:
Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen spoke about the importance of the tight end position and about what it takes to play tight end. His analysis wound up inspiring reminders of recently retired Steelers tight end
“You can’t get wrapped up in the production from college. You can’t get wrapped up in catches, yards, awards. The college game and the pro game, they’re so different nowadays with the schemes and the way teams throw the ball around.
“I think you’re looking for two things. Can this guy learn the physical traits? Can his body handle what we’re going to ask him to do? Whether he was able to do it in college or not is irrelevant. But can he, with the physical body that he has, the way he moves, can we teach him? Is there enough foundation there that he can develop?
“And then in the meetings, it’s about can the guy learn it? Can he mentally handle playing the tight end position? I’m a little biased but I could argue, other than quarterback, it’s probably the most mentally-challenging position. You really have to play the entire offense, run and pass, protections, hot routes, sights (sight-adjustments); across the board you’re involved in everything.
“More and more teams are trying to find those guys, they’re hard to find. You see a lot of situational-type players at the tight end position, the wide receiver positions. Very few guys can just go out and be in the huddle and whatever’s called, you roll.”
Another Miler will indeed be hard to find.
NFL Network analyst Shaun O’Hara on what he appreciates in an offensive lineman: “You play through the echo of the whistle. There’s nothing better than watching a guy just get dirty. When you finish the block, to go down on the ground on top of somebody and just kind of let them know, ‘I’m owning you right now,’ that’s what you love to see.”
NFL Network analyst Deion Sanders, never much of a tackler in his playing career, on what that particular skill means in terms of the division of labor in the defensive backfield: “A great-tackling corner is a really good safety.”
WHAT’S THE POINT?
The Gauntlet Drill, which requires wide receivers to run laterally while catching a ball, discarding it and then catching another in rapid succession, drew the following response from Mayock: “I don’t know what a catch is, I give up. I study the rules hard, I don’t know.”