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Friday, January 24, 2014

Pro Bowl: Distraction?

I think it's fun that a number of Panther players are in Hawaii, and with them, the Panthers' coaches.

But, I kinda wish they were coaching the Senior Bowl instead.

Mobile, Alabama is absolutely not Honolulu (both have a battleship, I guess), and rest and relaxation is a good reward for the staff.  But Mobile is where coaches get their best look at the senior prospects for the NFL draft.  Sure, most of these guys will be at the combine, and pro days, but this is where you get to actually interact with them, watch them be coached (or, more rarely, coach them, Carolina's done that once - 2000).

In total, there are around 100 senior prospects there. Add in the 90+ junior/redshirt sophomore prospects that have declared, and that's a lot of the draft.  Some of them will go undrafted, but you talk to those guys, too.  There's a lot of difference between having 8 scouts, plus GM Dave Gettleman, out there versus that 9 plus up to 16 coaches (I don't know if the third-tier guys go, and certainly I wouldn't expect the strength guys).  That's 25 guys, certainly enough to fully discuss what's going on, compare notes, hash out feelings on a guy.

It's also a prime meeting place for prospective coaches looking to join teams, though Carolina hasn't much need for that right now.

On the back end, it's a good selling point for potential free agents to see how Carolina runs its ship (Chuck Pagano certainly seemed impressed with the way that Luke Kuechly's been handling himself), and while they won't be affording any Pro Bowlers this year, it can't hurt to show you have your program well-run.

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