15 Critical Minutes: How Lavonte David Moved Up the Bucs’ Draft Board

Yesterday, we pointed out that Lavonte David was one of the eventual 2012 Buccaneer draft picks who fared well in his on-field work at last year’s Scouting Combine.  David turned in the seventh-fastest time among the linebackers in the 40-yard dash, but those 4.65 seconds weren’t nearly as important as the 15 minutes he spent with the Buccaneers the night before.

Buccaneers General Manager Mark Dominik says it every year: The most useful part of the week in Indianapolis is the sit-down interviews the team conducts with 60 or so prospects during the evenings.  There is plenty of game tape available to assess a player’s athletic talents, and the 40-yard dashes will be repeated at his college’s Pro Day anyway.  There are only limited opportunities, however, to try to get a glimpse inside a player’s mind. Continue reading

Combine Confirmation

Perhaps trying to beat back the ghosts of Mike Mamula and Matt Jones, most NFL GMs will downplay the importance of the on-field workouts at the NFL Scouting Combine.  No one wants to be overwhelmed by a “workout warrior,” or to be making radical moves on their draft board based on a couple 40-yard-dash times and vertical leaps.

Rather, the medical examinations and closed-door interviews rank highest on most teams to-do lists while in Indianapolis.  The results from the field are often said to “confirm” the athletic picture a team already has on any given prospect.  Continue reading

New, Returning Coaches Mesh Together Well

There are five new coaches on Greg Schiano’s staff this year, as well as three returning assistants whose positions have been redefined.  That’s a middling amount of turnover just one year after Schiano’s first staff was put together, but the transition should be smooth.

That’s the expectation for several reasons.  For one things, Schiano and some of his staff already have strong ties with several of the newcomers.  In addition, the slight redistribution of responsibilities has created situations in which the new and returning coaches can work together for the players’ benefit. Continue reading

Kickers, OL, Tight Ends Lead Indy Parade

NFL team scouts, coaches and decision-makers arrived in Indy en masse on Tuesday, ready to set up shop for a week at the Scouting Combine.  Now they eagerly await the first wave of players.  As always, that will be some specialists and some big men.

The combine lasts seven days but is essentially a four-by-four grid.  There are four different starting points in the week for the various position groups, and each group runs through a four-day schedule of activities.  As Buccaneers.com noted on Sunday, those four days per group break down like this: Continue reading