Your team has been hard at work for several months, evaluating many of the players who are here in Mobile. But how significant is this week in really kicking off the process, leading up to the draft?
Brown: “Yeah, this is the second phase of the whole process heading into the draft where we’ve been on the road for five months. Everybody’s had their Christmas holiday, and now it’s the third quarter, so to speak, or the second half, kicking off the All-Star weekends, and guys coming out and competing against their peers, and transitioning from the regular season, to seeing how you do against guys at the highest level. So it’s 115 guys out here, and it’s pretty much like a mano-a-mano thing. Can you beat the guy in front of you, and how do you stack up against the top competition?:
Seeing these guys go against the best seniors in the country, what can you greater evaluate being able to see them here firsthand that maybe you haven’t been able to gain and just seeing some of their college film, or meeting with them on campuses throughout the fall?
Brown: “Yeah, I think the main things are just, No 1, competition, which is the heart of any sport. So how ferocious are you at going at the task and beating the guy in front of you? And then, the nuances of the game. Like, how do you pay attention? Are you detailing your work? Are you paying attention? Are you focused? Are you caught up in the hype of the week? That’s important. And it’ll all show through on the tape. But what you see out here, your eyes don’t lie to you. And the more you look, and the more you see these guys competing, the more the guys that you like and prefer will dwindle down.”
What are the traits, the talents, the characteristics you’re looking for that can help a guy really pop off the film?
Brown: “Well, obviously speed helps, athletic ability. And like I said, those things are obvious, and we can grade them. We have ways of having a checking system to see athletic ability skillsets — but it’s the competitiveness. It’s the heart, and can you just show up out here on a cold day like today, for two hours and compete, and just give your best? And you’re in a different surrounding, different coaches. You’re being asked different things to do. How do you acclimate to that? And then can you just go out there and make plays?”
How much do the interviews that you do this week help you guys really in the process moving forward, as you start to bear down and get more detail oriented on specific guys moving forward?
Brown: “Yeah, that’s highly instrumental, because we’re just not here vetting out football players, we want to know the people. So we’re not into just acquiring players, we’re trying to acquire people. And we need to know what makes you tick, what’s inside of you, and how do you not only see football, but how do you see the world, how do you see life, and can you integrate into our community to become an Indianapolis Colt? And what does that look like on top of serving the role that you have to play on the field, and do you fit into what we’re trying to do?
What are those characteristics that make a guy fit, both on and off the field, to make them an asset to this 2020 draft class for the Colts?
Brown: “We always like to say we like players that are smart, fast and physical. So I think that’s a good baseline to start. And you want fast guys, because they shrink the field and give you that explosive advantage. Smart guys — well, I’ll say dumb guys get you beat. So you want the guy that can do what you’re asking him to do. And then being physical, that’s what the game is. It’s a tough, hard-nose game, and you have to impose your will on another man, and move guys out the way, and take another man’s job.”