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    Default Skins Quotes 4/24/17: Director of Scouting Scott Campbell

    April 24, 2017

    Director of College Scouting Scott Campbell

    Opening statement:
    “I just want to open by saying, I want to thank all of the scouts, the coaches – I don’t want the questions to start rolling and forget to say thank you and appreciation for all their work. It’s been a long process for the scouts. Started back in August, the coaches have gotten involved after free agency, and I just wanted to say thank you to all of them. Even on the scouting side, we’ve had some guys step up, do extra work. The pro scouts had to go out and do some pro days, college scouts have had to do extra cross-check reports, so I’m very thankful and appreciative of their work and it’s going to pay off big time this weekend.”

    On the approach to the draft:
    “Well, basically, you know, on the college side before we even get to this point in the draft, you don’t really know in August what your team needs are going to be, and some of the needs you think you may have are not the needs you end up needing and vice versa. So we start the process building the board, ranking our players, grading our players, it doesn’t have anything to do with our team needs. I’m not really going to get into specifically what our needs are, but in terms of evaluation, that doesn’t have any effect on how we evaluate players. So, we’re going to have the list, we’re going to have them ranked, you know, top to worst, and approach it from there… The approach we used when I did the board a couple years ago.”

    On players with character concerns:
    “Well, just off the bat, by policy we don’t announce who’s on the board and who’s off the board. Character is very important to me. It’s important to the Redskins. Our scouts do a great job getting a lot of information. Of course, some of the incidents you’ve brought up happened after the season, at the Combine and just a few days ago. All those things are factored into the evaluation as they’re gathered. But, you know, we don’t announce who’s on and off the board for strategic reasons. Our policy’s that way. But I will say it’s very important to me to get the right kind of guy in here to help us win, make us better, and I think character is a big part of that.”

    On the process for evaluating players' character:
    “What I’ve always told the scouts – and how I was trained 30 years ago when I started – is when you start to evaluate guys in the beginning, you don’t factor in the character. You don’t grade character, you grade talent. So you don’t throw away somebody early that may have some redeeming quality, or there’s a side to the story you don’t know about. You grade football players as football players first on talent, and then when it comes closer to the draft, you start weeding all that, getting more information, deciding, ‘OK, this guy’s not our kind of guy, this guy’s not a Redskin, this guy could be drafted, but good luck to him.’ I hope that answers the questions in terms of how we evaluate guys with character risk.”

    On what insight Head Coach Jay Gruden brings in the draft process:
    “I think the good thing with Jay… I scouted with his father on the road, so he’s the son of a coach and a scout and then in Cincinnati, the coaches are very involved in the draft process, going to all the pro days. I think Jay takes a lot of pride and has a lot of fun in doing the evaluations, so that’s great for us when you get a head coach that likes scouting, understands scouting and likes being a part of it... I scouted with his father, Jim, was with the 49ers at the time when I was an area scout for the Atlanta Falcons, so I knew his father on the road.”

    On balancing combine performance against a player's performance in games:
    “I’m kind of old school, I guess I can say that now. I’m in my mid-50s, been scouting 30 years now, but the tape is the most important. The games or how they play, the tape is always the fallback. The combine helps you get to know the players as a person, it gives you good information on the physical part of it, the doctors, and you fill in some numbers. We don’t know exactly how tall they are, how much they weigh, how fast they are, so that gets factored into it. Of course, all those things are important to play pro football. But at the end of the day, it comes down to watching the tape and seeing what kind of player they are on tape. That’s the most important thing.”

    On if there are certain points of the combine on which he focuses more:
    “Not specific drills, per se. It’s kind of the whole combine. What I do, when they go through their drills, I put a plus or a minus, plus-minus, all the different drills they do, and so if you add up your plusses and minuses, you kind of have a feel and an impression, and I’ll do like an A/B/C grade as they do the drills. In terms of the combine itself, it’s the 15 minute interviews we get to do. Just the first impressions is my favorite part of the whole process.”

    On how much he tracks and evaluates other teams’ drafts:
    “First thing, the win-loss record and championships. You start looking at the teams that win, the teams that win the divisions all the time, the teams that were in the Super Bowl [and] in contention all the time. You just start studying how they all do it, and really, you come to the conclusion that the draft is the key. Teams that turn the corner suddenly after two or three years, you can go back and look at their drafts, and they’ve hit on the top players and bottom players. The goal we always have is how you’re going to make your team better, and you look at the teams that are successful, most times it’s through the draft, and you have got to hit on those draft picks. It’s not an exact science. No one hits 100 percent. Whether it’s the [New England] Patriots, they’ve missed players, on down to the teams that are in the playoffs it seems like almost every year like Green Bay [Packers], and then you supplement through free agency, I think that’s the pattern that I’ve seen and most people have seen is make sure you hit on your drafts.”

    On the common denominator in those teams’ successes:
    “Obviously, it starts with the leadership of the scouting department that guides and gives the scouts direction. Then, however the team is structured. Some, the coach is the boss, some the GM is the boss, so it’s definitely the leadership of the team – the GM’s or the head coaches. [Baltimore Ravens General Manager] Ozzie Newsome, you can’t say enough great things about Ozzie Newsome and what they’ve done. That’s a team I’ve studied, the Ravens, since he’s been there. How do they keep having successful teams? The common denominator [is] who’s been the guy there pulling the trigger, whether it’s coaching hires or the draft picks. I think it’s the leadership in charge, from the GM to the coach, however the team is setup.”

    On the tight turnaround before Day 3:
    “Definitely for that last day, the board’s starting to get picked clean in terms of you still have guys maybe you like or you didn’t like, so there's maybe a reassessing of maybe what directions we’re going to be going that day, but most of the work is done pre-draft. So it’s all ranked top to worst, so you’re excited that guys are there. I think you see a lot of trades to move up at the beginning of the day because everyone’s reassessed, like, ‘We’ve got this guy, he was our third-rated corner, or we had a guy in the second round that’s still there, so let's trade up and get him before waiting whenever our pick is.’ There’s a little bit of that going on, but mostly, the work’s already done. You just kind of reassess who you may have a chance at.”

    On the level of pressure for this year's draft class:
    “Always pressure. Every year’s pressure. I grew up in an NFL household. My dad was a coach and a player for 40 years. Pressure every year to perform, that’s what the NFL is. You’ve got to perform every year. It takes a couple of years to develop a class. People are saying the ‘14 class had some success. Well, if I read articles and see what happened and what was said right after that draft, our grades in the mock drafts were not very good. It takes time. Morgan Moses didn’t start his first year, you know, but he’s come on to be one of the best right tackles in the league. That’s my opinion anyway. It takes time to develop. I still think with time, that class [2016] will be just fine.”

    On Scot McCloughan's influence on this draft board:
    “Well, he certainly had influence on it because we all met as we always did the last couple of years and every team does. You meet right after the all-star games before you go to the combine and kind of get an initial ranking of how you like the guys. Of course Scot hadn’t been here since, so just like when he was here before, there’s adjustments being made to the board with the new information. We did that with Scot also, so it’s not just like we use that information then we’re done and we’re just sitting around waiting for the draft. There’s still information being done, information added and guys are being moved up and down with the information. Certainly his influence is there from the initial boards.”

    On the capital of entering the draft with 10 picks:
    “Yeah, I don’t know if you can have ‘too many guys.’ I think the main thing to get better is you want to add competition to the team and anywhere you can add competition, even positions where you think you may be set depth-wise, you know, add more competition. Get the best players in here and I think it pushes each other and makes everybody better. In terms of using the picks to acquire more picks, moving up or down certainly, having three rounds with two picks in them this year is exciting and I hope we can add more. As we talked about earlier, it’s not an exact science. You’re not going to hit on all the guys. You’d like to think you can, but I mean that’s not reality, no one’s ever done that. Just increasing the odds of adding the more players, the more guys that can help us, that’s great. I certainly hope we can maybe take the two fours and move up or gain more picks and that allows us maybe to drop more if we see a little pocket of players there that we’re interested in.”

    On drafting for need or drafting the best available player:
    “I guess as you asked the question, you kind of framed it and the way I’m going to frame the answer, and the age-old answer of ‘I’m going to take the best player available.’ And if that serves your needs, that’s a bonus. Certainly ideally you have enough different players, there is not one sitting there like a left tackle. If a left tackle is sitting there, that is really not a big need for us – maybe you guys have a different opinion. Then you are going to go in a different direction than that and hopefully you have guys graded in that pocket where you’re not really reaching for position. You are taking another position that you may need better.”

    On the approach at quarterback:
    “We are approaching it like we do with all the other positions. For the integrity of the board, you have to grade all the positions. I mentioned the left tackle, we can’t just say, ‘We got Trent Williams, we can’t evaluate the left tackles.’ You have got to evaluate all the quarterbacks, all the other positions just like all the others, for the integrity of the board to kind of keep the balance and understand what’s going on there and decide what direction you’re going to go once you do that. So in my mind, when you enter it, all positions are open, everything is open and then you decide as you move along and the board starts to flow.”

    On if decisions will be made "by the board":
    “Right now the scouts and myself have been aligning the board. The coaches have started to get in their reports to us and we have starting meetings with them to start to gain their input because they can see from a scheme standpoint maybe how a guy would fit or wouldn’t fit. So they may really like a guy and we don’t like a guy, we have the discussions. They might not know as much about the character, their learning, their work ethic and all that type of stuff. So it’s all hashed out still over the next couple days.”


    On who will be involved in setting the board:
    “Bruce [Allen] will be involved, definitely, and Jay, of course. Everyone will be involved in the final Redskin grade at the end of the day. And the goal is to not have panic on draft day. You want to have all that stuff… You don’t want to have a brand new argument break out right there before you’re picking. That’s ridiculous. I’ve never seen that happen in any team I’ve been with. It’s all been worked out, hashed out. The argument’s already been had, because really by then it’s too late. You’ve got to go with how they are.”

    On who will decide on potential trades:
    “Really, the way we have the room when the draft is ongoing is we have… Eric Schaffer and Alex Santos are constantly calling teams above us. They’re taking the phone calls from the other teams – also behind [us]. A lot of times per Bruce’s instructions, he’ll say, ‘Hey, you take these five teams. You take the next five teams. Start making calls.’ And then we’re receiving calls too at the same time. Once they get that information, they’ll tell the table in the front and say, ‘Hey, we can trade back for this, we can trade up for that.’ It would be me and Bruce and Jay saying ‘No, no, we’ve got enough guys there’ or say ‘I like these guys,’ or like, “Hey, there’s guys there.’ So it’s kind of a discussion amongst the people, and most times it’s Bruce saying, ‘Just tell them we’re not interested,’ or he says, ‘Get the league on the phone. We’re going to make that trade.’”

    On how his role has changed in recent years:
    “I guess it’s changed slightly in the sense that when Scot [McCloughan] came on board, he told me, ‘You just worry about the college draft. That’s all I want you to worry about. Just go see the players.’ Me and him sharing responsibilities for looking at as many guys as we can. Before he had gotten here, I had to oversee the personnel on the pro side also. That restricted my travel in terms of the pro days. I never went to pro days hardly ever up to that point all through the Shanahan years and even that first year with Jay. I didn’t go to pro days; there was too much to do here in the office. But with Scot, when he came in, he told me just to worry about the college – be the college director – that allowed me just to focus on that and not any of the other stuff. I’m out four or five weeks doing pro days every year. To me, that’s been the biggest difference and has allowed me to really get a feel for guys and in turn help him because he was the one trapped here more at the office, so to bring back more information to him. I can give you an example. Jamison Crowder, going to see his pro day in person after the combine and to come back and give the report on that and say, ‘This guy was outstanding. If we’re interested in a slot-type guy that can be an excellent punt returner, this would be a guy. And he had not run quite as well at the combine, so that’s an example of going to the pro days – for me – that I learned there’s value in going to the pro day and seeing guys like that that can help the team win. We’re just trying to get guys to help the team win. That’s just an example where I didn’t do that in the past and have been able to.”

    On the challenges of evaluating college quarterbacks:
    “Well, it’s gotten tougher and tougher because the colleges, there’s a handful of teams that run a pro-style offense. You can’t really just watch a guy play, so what does that leave you with? It leaves you with just studying their physical attributes. Are they athletic? Can they move in the pocket? How quick is their release? Can they read the defense? And some of those systems limit what they’re going to be asked to do. Some of those, that Air Raid offense, they’re not asked to make multiple reads and all that kind of stuff. They’re working off of one side of the field. You have got to start digging more on the guy as a person, how much he likes football, is he going to put the time in to study it? Because, ultimately, that’s what he’s going to have to do. He’s going to have to learn a whole new system. It makes it much tougher to project a guy’s success."

    On if it is frustrating having to project college quarterbacks outside of pro-style offenses:
    “I don’t view it as frustrating, it’s kind of just the way of the world. You talk to other college coaches out there and they have trouble too. The high schools, they’re all running the spreads or options or whatever, so they have the same problem we do in finding those types of guys. I haven’t found it frustrating. It’s challenging, but it’s part of it."

    On signing undrafted free agents:
    “It gets pretty crazy. Again, there’s going to be guys left on the bottom of that board that didn’t get drafted that we had rated as draftable. So that’s our No. 1 targets. I assign a scout to all the coaches, and really the coaches talk to the players – once the draft ends, let me be clear, it’s after the draft ends when we start making calls – the scouts are on the phone with the agent finding out what our competition is, how much. Eric Schaffer kind of coordinates how much money we can spend on each player. We just target those guys that are left on the board first, then we have top-of-the-tier free agents, we try to get all those, though some of those guys have been drafted. But everyone that’s left up there, that’s who we’re frantically chasing and trying to sell opportunity. At that time, you’re talking five-, 10-thousand, you’re not talking millions of dollars. You’re selling opportunity to come in, win a job and get a contract, ultimately, for those guys."

    On evaluating players who play multiple positions:
    “It can be challenging if you get a guy that’s physically a tweener size or maybe speed-wise is somewhat tweener, meaning he doesn’t really fit one position or the other. I think just a pure athlete, it’s pretty simple. A pure athlete you plug in almost anywhere. I reminded the guys a couple days ago – Champ Bailey played receiver at Georgia as well as corner. It didn’t hurt his evaluation at corner at all.”

    On positions of depth in this draft class:
    “Well, I’m excited because I think it’s one of the strongest, deepest classes on the defensive side of the ball that I’ve seen. I’ve told the guys upstairs I’m excited because we’re going to get better. I know there’s going to be a guy sitting there at 17 or if we want to move back, there’s enough thickness of the group. And several different positions – sometimes it’s just maybe defensive line or outside backers or corners. Across the board on defense, I’m really excited about the class and the guys we’re going to bring in are going to help us. So if I have to identify any kind of trend or something I see in the board itself, I think the defensive side of the ball is pretty good.”

    Closing statements:
    “I just want to say, and it kind of comes off of the question you just asked, I’m excited about the opportunity to get the Redskins better. It’s a great draft class. The guys have worked hard. We’re prepared and the main thing is getting better. That’s the goal with the draft and I feel very, very confident and excited about the chance that we’re going to be able to accomplish our goal of getting better.”



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    Air Force

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    Curious, Campbell rarely if at all speaks at pressers right? Me thinks it's a test to see how he handles his "new" GM duties. Probably a lock if he runs this draft like a swiss watch.
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    Florida State

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    Quote Originally Posted by Win4us View Post
    Curious, Campbell rarely if at all speaks at pressers right? Me thinks it's a test to see how he handles his "new" GM duties. Probably a lock if he runs this draft like a swiss watch.
    I don't think we see another GM...I think he'll simply maintain his role as Director of Scouting and Bruce Allen will remain the man.
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    The more things change...the more they stay the same. It's like deja vu all over again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elephant View Post
    I don't think we see another GM...I think he'll simply maintain his role as Director of Scouting and Bruce Allen will remain the man.
    You're more than likely right tho after thinking about it, why not give SC a go. Dude's been a loyal employee as far as I know and deserves a promotion. This hire from within thing is supposed to be how it works and we've tried every other shite approach with no reward, lol.

    Bruce be acting like Xerxes at the park
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    Way I see it, Bruce brought in Scot M. because he and Dan thought it was the right thing to have a dedicated GM heading personnel. I don't think he was forced to, I think he chose to. What remains to be seen is if the reason Scot is gone is because of legit concerns/differences of opinion with or about Scot, or because Bruce changed his mind and really wants to be The Man again.

    Until I see indications otherwise, I'm going on the assumption he and Dan still think a GM makes sense, and they'll be hiring someone after the draft just like they've said they will.

    We'll see.
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    Eschew obfuscation.

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    Florida State

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    Quote Originally Posted by Om View Post
    Way I see it, Bruce brought in Scot M. because he and Dan thought it was the right thing to have a dedicated GM heading personnel. I don't think he was forced to, I think he chose to. What remains to be seen is if the reason Scot is gone is because of legit concerns/differences of opinion with or about Scot, or because Bruce changed his mind and really wants to be The Man again.

    Until I see indications otherwise, I'm going on the assumption he and Dan still think a GM makes sense, and they'll be hiring someone after the draft just like they've said they will.

    We'll see.
    I doubt it will happen...too many roosters.
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    The more things change...the more they stay the same. It's like deja vu all over again.

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    I hope we can find out who the redskins had penciled in at 17
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