The League

Brian Tarcy

Brian Tarcy

The author of The Complete Idiot's Guide To Football with Joe Theismann and the creator of the NFL humor prediction website

Fluff, fiction and hot air


The NFL combine is the balloon boy of NFL news stories. In this slow news time, the combine is full of fluff, fiction, and hot air. That's why I like to watch the NFL combine with my eyes closed, or, better yet, with the channel tuned to something else.

I love the NFL. I am even a pathetic draftnik and a charter member of Mel Kiper's April cult. But the one thing I've learned about the combine in all my years of following the NFL is that, unless a supposed-to-be-fast guy is really slow or he brings cocaine into the interview room, the combine is a complete waste of time.

It's even counterproductive because sometimes some guy has a great workout and then is drafted in the first round by a team that mistakenly thinks it is competing in the bench press league instead of the National Football League.

The stuff coaches gain from the combine, I believe, is not the stuff we see unless, again, the player is slow, stupid, or drugged up. And even then, he still might find a place on the Bengals or Raiders. There must be some value of having the combine or it wouldn't be put on by the league, but I think the real value is simply putting all the top prospects in the same place at the same time and comparing, not just skills, but personalities.

Football, after all, is the ultimate team game. That's why coaching is so important. It's also why what coaches gain at the combine is nothing we get to see. Instead, we will be fed a week's worth of balloon boy stories that mean nothing or, worse yet, they mean that your team is about to make a big mistake because of how a "player" handles a barbell.

So go ahead and watch and listen to the experts. I'm no expert. The experts are everybody else who writes for The League. I'm just a knucklehead passionate fan like you but I will tell you something the experts won't: don't bother watching the combine. Life is too short. Find something else to do.

By Brian Tarcy  |  February 25, 2010; 9:42 AM ET  | Category:  Draft , NFL , Scouting Combine Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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