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2017 Seattle Seahawks Yearbook

as a group leader, making sure players get to where they are supposed to be. It’s a job that not only helps keep things moving along efficiently, but also gives him a chance to get a better feel for the players as he spends time with them throughout the day. When the running backs finish their 40s, Berry radios up to the suite for a final time, and keeping with the theme of the news during this week, announces “I recuse myself from this phone call” before hanging up. Indiana Convention Center, 3 p.m. When running backs finish their workouts, there’s a massexodus of coaches and scouts who walk out of the stadium and through the Indianapolis Convention Center on their way back to various downtown hotels or restaurants. Friends and acquaintances who have crossed paths over years of scouting on the road take a brief moment to catch up. Fitterer runs into Buffalo Bills national scout Chuck Cook and the two enjoy a short conversation, which includes Cook reminiscing about his day in Kansas City working with a young John Schneider. As busy as things are at the combine, this is the beginning of the one break in the day. If anyone wants to get in a workout or go to dinner, now’s the time, because a long night of work still lies ahead. Crowne Plaza Hotel, 7 p.m. Across the street from Lucas Oil Stadium is the Crowne Plaza, the well-guarded hotel where some of the most important meetings of the Combine will take place. In 15-minute increments, players will rotate through hotel rooms, one team next to another next to another throughout the first floor, going through the rapid-fire formal interviews that are a vital piece of the player-evaluation puzzle. Just before Seattle’s first interview at 7:15, the room fills up with scouts and coaches. Schneider, Carroll, Fitterer, Kirchner and most of the scouts stay in the room the entire time, while assistant coaches come and go depending on the particular player in the room. In any given interview, there are between a dozen and 16 people in the room, a group that, in addition to coaches and scouts, also includes Maurice Kelly, the team’s vice president of player engagement, and Dr. Michael Gervais, a high performance psychologist who works closely with Carroll and the Seahawks. From the back of what is a standard hotel room, minus the bed being replaced by a round table, video assistant Drew Scharenbroch films every interview so the Seahawks can go back and revisit their 15 minutes with any of the potential draft picks who come through the door each night. When one player’s time is up, an air horn goes off in the lobby, and with that, he and a few coaches leave, while at the same time a new player enters the room with coaches who weren’t in the last interview. In a short span of time, coaches and scouts fire off questions, trying to cover everything from that player’s upbringing to his knowledge of an offense or defense. Some interviews include players going over their college tape, both good and bad—one offensive player is asked what went wrong on a fumble—while others have position coaches grill them on technique. When one player talks about leadership, Carroll decides to roll play, saying he’s a freshman new to the team and asking what kind of advice that senior leader would offer. Another time, recently-hired defensive line coach Clint Hurtt wants to know how a player will use his hands to beat a block. When another player admits to letting an opponent get under his skin in a game, leading to a 15-yard penalty, defensive coordinator Kris Richard pushes him, wanting to make sure on-field discipline won’t be an issue if that player were to end up in Seattle. Oh, and if you happened to have played high school basketball, there’s a good chance that Carroll, a hoops junkie, wants to hear about your basketball career. Depending on the player, different coaches or scouts are leading the conversation, but everyone is paying close attention, scribbling down notes and exchanging whispered observations until, once again, another horn sounds and it’s time for another interview. More than 12 hours into the day, the Seahawks are less than halfway finished with their interviews for the night. Eventually there will be time for a late bite to eat and perhaps a couple drinks, but right now, five interviews into the night, as Kirchner puts it, “The fun is just getting started.” 179


2017 Seattle Seahawks Yearbook
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