Colbert Worried NFL Losing Sight Of Combine’s True Purpose

Kevin Colbert is rounding out his media row interviews, speaking exclusively with Bob Labriola and Missi Matthews in an interview posted on the team site yesterday afternoon. Most of what was said has already been talked about and was generally bland coach-speak. But Colbert has candid about one topic that’s grinding his gears – the expansion of the NFL Combine and how much of a show it’s become.

“I’m concerned about it quite honestly,” Colbert said. “It’s become an event, and again that’s great for the fans, bu we can not lose sight of the fact this is a football event first. We have a lot of business that has to be taken care of. When you bring in 330 players and you get physicals on those players, you work them out, you do interviews, you do psychological testing, It’s impossible to gather all that information if you’re not in this setting. So we have to be careful we don’t take away or disrupt that.”

The league has continued to grow the event as just that, an event. The media reach will only continue to grow though in some ways, the fans have better access. Media are not permitted to sit in the stands when the players workout but a small group of fans will be allowed to watch on-field events and for the first time ever, have a spot to watch players in the bench press.

“We’d never got into a stadium and not play the game…we can’t just bring these kids here and just have them do events and not take care of the necessary football things.”

Colbert said he understood the NFL’s angle of growing the event for all the attention it gets and money it makes but that it needs to be “managed” and that the “priority always has to be football.”

The original intent of the Combine was a place for universal, comparable testing and medical information. As the league grows it, that focus is beginning to shrink, which will only be detrimental to the prospects attending and the teams trying to evaluate.

About the Author

Alex Kozora

Full-time blogger from mom’s basement. Marrying tape and statistics. Chidi Iwuoma is my favorite Steeler of all-time.

  • PaeperCup

    He’s not wrong about what it’s become, but I don’t think the purpose is lost. It is more of an event, but seems like any team can walk away with the essential information they went in looking for. Or at least that’s my assumption.

  • Applebite

    It’s growing into an ‘entertainment spectacle’, rather than being a means for player evaluation…

  • SteelerDieHard

    Alex, I’m honestly not trying to be a jerk, but does anyone proofread your posts? I’m increasingly finding myself having to re-read sentences because I Can’t follow what you’re writing. You said “media are NOT permitted FROM sitting in stands” …. I was honestly curious to what the rule is … * Is the media PERMITTED in the stands? Or is the media NOT permitted IN the stands?
    Sorry if this comes off like I’m being a jerk, definitely not my intention, I’m sure you write a lot in a short amount of time, but I’m legitimately curious about the rule, and I’m finding myself more and more scratching my head reading your posts.

  • PaeperCup

    A few typos, grammatical errors in his Josh Reynolds profile. But with the amount of articles he churns out, and the amount of research put into each article, I might expect an error here and there.

    I’m not Alex, but I might assume he doesn’t mind someone pointing it out so that he can correct it.

  • Alex Kozora

    Sorry man, I should’ve been clearer. They aren’t allowed to sit in the stands.

  • SteelerDieHard

    Thanks Alex!


    I don’t think we can blame the NFL for simply promoting an event and keeping their brand out there. It’s up to the teams to do what they went there for…the players realize this is a showcase and many train specifically to have a good performance at the combine. There’s no reason teams can’t do as they always have…evaluate talent…most of the time, the guys they are really honing in on they will have a presence at their pro day or use one of their visit for those players.

    I don’t think many “final decisions” are being made on players at the combine.

  • Ryan Alderman

    Simply indicative of today’s society. Brown showed us that. NFL will probably permit what Brown did, though, in a few short years if it means making money.

  • Bill

    The media will turn any event into a circus if allowed. Many have said this is the way America is without realizing that it does not have to be that way. Those in charge must have the desire, ideals, courage and strength to keep the game at the forefront and maintain some thread of continuity and excellence. However, we know that the NFL is made up of a few football altruists and an ever growing group interested only in their ego and the bottom line. Thus they move teams around from city to city like trolls in a video game. So what makes anyone think they won’t make the combine into a tasteless and useless spectacle? Certainly not their recent history.

  • thomas hmmmm

    Seeing how the media feeds off of the negativity and every little mess up by a player is reported non stop I doubt the teams are neglecting their priorities.

  • VaDave

    I’ll agree the press does tend to lean through the negative, but they are also known to offer extreme undeserved hype as well. Countless players that were highly touted, once they got to the NFL, underwhelmed ( Jarvis Jones being one of the many). IMO, until the players are actually on the field, in pads, playing against seasoned pros, what the media prints is useless blather.