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.