Preparing for the Combine: Comprehensive Video Shared By All

The NFL Scouting Combine is all about leveling the playing field. Players at a particular position all run through the same drills, in the same conditions, on the same day, to provide the best comparative analysis for all the scouting and coaching staffs watching. But what keeps it fair for the league as a whole is that all those workouts at the Combine are videotaped, and the videotapes are copied for all the teams to use. Third in a three-part series.

06combine_eckberg215.jpg



*The Green Bay Packers have numerous representatives involved in the National Scouting Combine in various ways, from scouting players to performing medical evaluations to videotaping workouts.

Packers.com takes a look at the team's involvement, and at the process of getting ready for and working at the Combine, in a three-part series.*

The Scouting Combine is all about leveling the playing field.

Players at a particular position all run through the same drills, in the same conditions, on the same day, to provide the best comparative analysis for all the scouting and coaching staffs watching. That keeps it fair for the potential draft picks.

But what levels the playing field for the league as a whole is that all those workouts at the Combine are videotaped, and the videotapes are copied for all the teams to use.

Green Bay Packers video director Bob Eckberg helps with that videotaping process every year at the Combine, along with his colleagues from all the NFL teams. While at the Combine, he's actually working for the league moreso than the Packers, because all the video shot and edited will be dispersed to every team.

"The league shares all of the information," Eckberg said. "Because it's shared, one guy on each video crew comes down to help."

That help might be videotaping anything from players' video IDs to the stock interviews done with league personnel (which are different from individual interviews with teams), to 40-yard dashes, to any of the other workout drills.

With everything recorded, the Combine doesn't become a contest of which team can send the most scouts, and see the most players, over the 4 1/2 days in Indianapolis. While there are advantages to seeing players work out live as opposed to on tape, any player a team misses or wants to follow-up on can be reviewed on video.

Eckberg has been assigned to film nearly every aspect of the Combine at some point or another, and other times he's been stationed in the editing room. There, he checks to make sure all the labels on the digital video clips correspond correctly to each player's identifying position and number.

While tapes are received with an entire group, say 15 wide receivers, running their 40s consecutively, and other tapes have recorded their position drills, it's the job of the editors to put all of an individual player's video pieces together into a player profile, which are then sent to the league's dub center for copies to be made and sent to every team. A completed tape normally will have several players on it, all labeled by their position and identifying numbers from the Combine.

"It goes back to the whole thing where everybody is on a level playing field," Eckberg said.

Upon returning from Indianapolis, then, those video profiles from the Combine are added to the video packages Eckberg and his staff have put together on potential draftees throughout the winter while working in their offices at Lambeau Field.

Those video packages include a player's college games as well as all-star practices and games from the postseason. Many of those packages have already been looked at by the scouts on players they're targeting prior to the Combine, and they'll be viewed again, in conjunction with the Combine video, as the draft board gets finalized by the entire personnel staff.

"The assistant coaches don't always have time to evaluate the film and everything before going down (to the Combine)," Packers college scouting coordinator Danny Mock said. "So for the coaches, the Combine might be their first shot seeing these players, and then they'll follow up with the film after."

{sportsad300}In addition to shooting the actual footage at the Combine, Eckberg also attends the annual video directors' meetings in the days prior.

Sometimes new technologies are discussed in the meetings, and one of the advantages for Eckberg in going to the Combine every year is the chance to experiment with those. Often times, vendors with some of the latest technological advances are on hand, and Eckberg can work out potential bugs with a new system long before the next season rolls around.

"You might have a new computer system or a new camera, and you can get your questions answered," Eckberg said. "You're interacting with them all week long and it makes a huge difference."

Eckberg also can spend the week talking with the video directors of other teams and working out any problems someone's crew might have had at a particular stadium, such as an issue with security or shooting position.

It's all geared toward getting everything to run as smoothly and efficiently as possible during the season, so that every team gets all the video it needs.

"Video content in the league is so important in so many places," Eckberg said. "They want to make sure what we do is protected and secure so there aren't problems with others getting information."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content

Advertising