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The broken season of college football will change the way the NFL works



College football is the backbone of professional games. That’s where the NFL gets its players, its ideas and more than some of its coaches. This is the NFL’s free mini league that not only grows players but also makes them so popular that the best of them are superstars before they go to a rookie minicamp. The NFL could, arguably, be the one who churns out $ 15 billion a year now if the college game didn’t exist, but nobody in the federation wants to find out. Tuesday isn’t just a pivotal moment for college gaming, as the two Power Five conferences have canceled their fall. It represents a change ̵

1; perhaps a permanent one – for the professional.

Here’s what we know, as well as all that has to do with the COVID-19 pandemic – constantly evolving and confusing: The Big Ten and Pac 12 won’t play this fall. Other major conferences – SEC, ACC and Big 12 are planning to continue with their seasons continually on the brink. Conducting a season with non-professional players who are also students on college campus is a risk and how many games can be played by subsequent motivating conferences is unknown. The Athletic‘S Nicole Auerbach reports that a rare heart condition, myocarditis, has been found in patients with COVID-19, has been detected in some Big Ten athletes. “The conference got to know about at least 10 players with myocarditis, an alarmingly high number for another rare condition, on the eve of the pre-season camp,” Auerbach wrote. The biggest problem, said a source from the Power Five conference The stadium’s Brett McMurphy, “The unknown long-term effects of COVID [and] responsibility related issues. “These concerns have contributed to the wave of delays so far.

In conversations with NFL staff over the past week, it has been hard to find a corner of the sport they don’t think will be touched by these developments. Teams can seek out their college coaches as consultants or analysts for professional programs. The outlook for universities will decline through cracks in the NFL’s developmental system. More teams can trade draft options to avoid a confusing draft cycle. I spoke on the phone with the NFL general manager on Tuesday when the Big Ten announced the postponement. After I got the news, he sighed deeply. Everything, we both know, will change.

The most obvious change is draft: Even in the best case for player rating – which SEC, ACC, Big 12 and some smaller meetings hold – NFL reviewers will be short on game movies for hundreds of players. Also, among the conferences still going on this fall, the stars have announced their intention to sit out. Wing-back Greg Rousseau sat out all season, even if his Miami Hurricanes did not.

“The most important thing is, we’ve seen some guys opt out and the only thing we can control is they’ve been playing football in 2019,” Titans general manager Jon Robinson told me today. Friday. “We did the spring scout where we watched the movie last year, whether those people are juniors or red sophomores, and are in their final or final year. Well, we’ve seen three of Player A’s games. We have time, so let’s go back and watch that player’s entire season. Maybe there’s a game or series that will crystallize your judgment or change your opinion. ”

The game tapes are invaluable to scouts and GMs, not only for obvious reasons – to see potential customers play – but for nuances. Robinson, for example, likes to gauge a player’s competitiveness by the way he performs late in matches.

The existing collective bargaining agreement calls for the draft to be held no later than June 2nd. That could be revised, especially if tournaments like Big Ten and Pac-12 try to play the game. as early as 2021, but there’s no real reason to draft too much of that date. The NFL will not delay that is The 2021 season is scheduled to begin with the training camp in July and teams need to know who is on their roster at that point. Putting days aside, the general consensus in the league is that there is no craving for top prospects of spring play. If there is any spring football match where the best players are out of the game, NFL teams may find it difficult to find a level of legitimacy to loan out.

“This is going to be complicated,” Falcons General Manager Thomas Dimitroff told me about the drafting cycle. In today’s NFL, a scout is a combination of a reviewer and a researcher, and the researcher side will now need to make great strides.

Dimitroff continued: “For scouts, ‘OK, let’s think about delving into research, reviewing all the videos you haven’t seen so far.’ Most of the scouts hadn’t seen the entire season from the juniors. The problem is it won’t be new to us. The university’s scouting job required planning, and now they would have to be even [bolder] in their predictions. ”

The result will be a profoundly unfair assessment process. Remember, at this time last year, Joe Burrow was not even on the draft radar; in January, he’s a runaway top pick, a point Burrow made on his own earlier this week. Football moves so fast now that it’s past three. 1 Selector spent their senior year answering any and all questions scouts had about them. Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray didn’t even reach consensus top picks before the final few months of their college careers. It’s a tough bet for any player ready to break out in 2020: Even excellence in a discrete college season may not be enough to shoot up the draft in the traditional sense.

Of course, the fact that the pandemic created an extremely unfair situation for many players. This holds true for everyone in almost every aspect of life. This is, simply, a profound injustice year. Hundreds of players in previous years have tried for teams as unskilled freelance agents who have not even been able to set foot on a professional pitch this season. Many new recruits contracted as freelance agents were later cut back as teams cut their roster from 90 players to 80 to create a better social gap.

In the next drafting cycle, any college player on the fringes will miss out on training opportunities for teams. In the absolute best case, they’ll have to wait another year. Earlier this summer, an NFL team employee compared this year’s rookie class to jobseekers graduating during the Great Depression a decade ago. You will never get this opportunity back. It was a terrible time to be a young footballer trying to get through it.


However, you can see the influence of college football in the NFL is a bit more than you would expect. The past decade of professional football is, schematically, defined by the liberal borrowing of college programs. In short, the world of schema is flat. This development has always involved a lot of telephone conversations between professional coaches and college coaches about operational plans and how to implement them. This includes Josh McDaniels and Dan Mullen, or any number of coaches, calling Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley. After Chris Ault, who popularized pistol offense, retired as a Nevada coach, he advised the Chiefs as Alex Smith was their defender, helping Andy Reid with the plans. will eventually take over the tournament. The tricky thing is, if the college football season is more eliminated, the current coaches will be more willing to talk than a short one. They will be available throughout the week at the same time. Some of the NFL decision-makers I spoke to this week said there would be a great deal of interest in making existing college coaches informal consultants. In fact, teams can recruit them with the same college coach that enthusiastically recruits high school students.

“I think people will really focus on doing whatever it takes to create a competitive advantage and that idea of ​​earning margins can get insight from a college coach, Ordinary people are not present except for a quick phone call, ”said Dimitroff. (In addition, the “marginal profit” is a reference to Dimitroff’s research on famous cycling stars Team Sky.)

Teams, of course, need leads to stay active some evaluate. I wondered what it looked like, so I called Quincy Avery, a private midfield coach who coached Deshaun Watson, Jalen Hurts and Dwayne Haskins. Avery told me he has plans for the college midfielders he works with who won’t play this fall: He plans to meet them in Atlanta and start training at the end of the month. 9, install an NFL style playbook and recruit local expansions and redundancies to play seven out of seven games to receive live rep. “We can run NFL concepts that teams want to see,” Avery told me. Among current college players, Avery has worked with Justin Fields of Ohio State, D’Eriq King of Miami, and Anthony Brown of Boston College, among many others. He said he wanted to work with college coaches who were already working in the NFL to define the training program. There are limitations to this plan; Avery says potential customers can show their arm strength but don’t, for example, be present in their pockets without adequate contact. “We wouldn’t be able to show a real-world situation where dead bodies are flying around.” He sees these representations as a much more uplifted version of a professional day, “with an added element of competition,” he said.

For a prospect generation, the key this year is to prove itself when the system to do so has been broken. It would be tempting to say it, but it’s too easy. What will it be in 2020.




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