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How to fail a Scouting Combine interview

As we wait for the NFL to shut down and, possibly, a Redskins roster move or two before that, allow me to pass on a story from last weekend’s Scouting Combine.

A majority of coaches believe the player interviews are the most valuable part of the event. A player’s game film tells more about his chances for NFL success than a 40-yard dash time or bench-press reps, but the combine allows teams to meet with each player and gauge his personality, how he might fit into the locker room, his intelligence and character, etc.

With that in mind, consider how one draft prospect flopped in his interview with an AFC team.

The player was in a room speaking to coaches, executives and scouts when he was asked: “What do you expect to run the 40 in?”

It’s an innocuous question, especially compared to some that are lobbed during these sessions. The team simply wanted to know a specific time to expect.

The player answered: “Either spikes or tennis shoes.”

The team officials busted out laughing. The player, realizing that he had reduced his list of prospective employers to 31 teams, bowed his head in embarrassment.

You don’t have to be an Einstein to play football in the NFL, but that, friends, is one way to fail a combine interview.


  • Fredtastic

    Thanks for providing a laugh in this otherwise miserable NFL offseason Rich!

  • Jean

    I get it, but in reality the player didn’t make a mistake. The question is asked in a way that could lead a reasonable person to answer the question in that manner. The assumption is that the player is stupid, but the person asking it is certainly no genius. It’s actually, in reality, an idiotic way to ask the question.

  • Rich Campbell

    I agree that the question was not grammatically correct. But the player has to be smart enough to use some context clues here! Of course he’s running in spikes or tennis shoes. That can’t possibly be what the team is looking for.

  • Jean

    Yeah I know. It stinks for him. I wish he could’ve somehow played it off after he realized.