The NFL Scouting Combine is the ultimate job interview for more than 300 of the top college players. It’s an opportunity to prove yourself in front of every NFL head coach, assistant coach, general manager, scout and just about everyone else involved in NFL football operations who descend upon Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
Throughout the next week, while all of the prospects are in Indianapolis, current and former Steelers are sharing their thoughts on what their Combine experience was like. Everyone has a different take on it, what they liked, or didn’t like, and it definitely gives insight into what the experience is about.
Stephon Tuitt didn’t hold back when talking about his Combine. Plain and simple, he wasn’t a fan.
“I hated it,” said Tuitt. “Early mornings, everything you have to do. I wasn’t able to perform. I got a sour taste.
“I had some crazy numbers and was ready to show. Unfortunately I had a stress fracture in my foot and didn’t know about. I thought I was fine and really wasn’t. I got a chance to talk to some of the guys who understood my case, helped me, and guided me. They told me to kill the meetings with the coaches. I gave everything I had. I am blessed to be a part of the Steelers.”
While Tuitt was disappointed with the fact that he couldn’t perform at the Combine, he knows how important it is, how much it matters to the college players who are taking part.
“It was a great experience,” said Tuitt. “It’s a chance for guys to change their lives. It’s awesome. It’s a heartwarming feeling for them. To be a part of it is a blessing. They should go out there and do the best they can.
“I remember Coach (John) Mitchell looking at me up and down, giving me the eye test and giving me some hard, serious questions. That stuff is not easy. They challenge you. You stay true to yourself, know why you are there. You have an opportunity, so don’t change. Just be yourself and continue to grow and the coaches will respect that.”
Landry Jones is another player who remembers what his meeting with the Steelers was like and how teams approached the one-on-one interviews in starkly different fashion.
“It just depends on the team whether they are super intense or laid back. It just depends on each room,” said Jones. “When I met with the Steelers it was great. They just wanted to get to know me, get to know my personality. Coach (Mike) Tomlin made it more like a conversation, asking questions about myself. It wasn’t too intimidating. It wasn’t bad, it was pretty good.”
A look at Jones Combine numbers:
Name: Landry Jones
Draft Class: 2013
Draft Age: 24.0
Height: 76.13 inches
Weight: 225 pounds
Arm Length: 33.00 inches
Hand Size: 9.18 inches
40 Yard Dash: 5.11 seconds
40 Yard (MPH): 16.01 (MPH)
20 Yard Dash: 2.95 seconds
10 Yard Dash: 1.77 seconds
QB Ball Velocity: 53 (MPH)
Vertical Leap: 31.0 inches
Broad Jump: 115 inches
20 Yd Shuttle: 4.30 seconds
Three Cone: 7.12 seconds