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2017 Seattle Seahawks Yearbook

Behind the Scenes at the 2017 NFL Combine By John Boyle Story originally published on March 9, 2017 on seahawks.com Crunch. Inside a hotel room on the ground floor of the Crowne Plaza Hotel in downtown Indianapolis, Seahawks scouts and coaches shoot quick glances at each other that seem to say, “I can’t be the only one noticing that noise, right?” Then again, crunch. The college football player sitting at a table surrounded by Seahawks decision makers is confident when he answers questions, but his hands—and that sound—betray his otherwise poised demeanor. Facing what is the NFL’s version of a job interview and speed dating all rolled into one, this particular prospect has developed a nervous habit, very loudly crushing an empty plastic water bottle with his hands. Finally, Seahawks senior personnel executive Ed Dodds springs up from his seat on a couch and takes the bottle away. The interview resumes after an embarrassed chuckle and apology from one of more than a dozen prospects the Seahawks will interview on this night. These formal interviews, which will go on for roughly three hours, are one of the most important parts of the NFL Scouting Combine, but they’re just one part of a process that on this day began 12 hours earlier. JW Marriott Lobby, 8:15 a.m. These are important times for NFL talent evaluators, but their day starts off about mundanely as anyone else’s, in a Starbucks line in the lobby of the downtown JW Marriott. This line just happens to be full of scouts, assistant coaches, team doctors and other influential NFL people. After Scott Fitterer gets his coffee, he and fellow co-director of player personnel Trent Kirchner meet a larger Seahawks contingent, which includes head coach Pete Carroll, for a ride to Lucas Oil Stadium where the real work begins. Lucas Oil Stadium, 8:30 a.m. As players warm up on the field, suites at Lucas Oil Stadium begin filling up with representatives of every NFL team. In the Seahawks’ suite, Carroll fires up all three TVs while Kirchner and college scouting coordinator Kirk Parrish set up something of a mobile command center next to the head coach. General Manager John Schneider keeps the mood light, as he is wont to do, mixing in sophomoric humor with, well, sophomoric humor. After Carroll turns his back on the three TVs—two screens featuring combine coverage and one tuned into CNN—Kirchner flashes the mischievous grin of a child who knows he’s about to do something he shouldn’t. Picking up the remote Carroll just left on a chair in the middle of the room, Kirchner changes 176


2017 Seattle Seahawks Yearbook
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