NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Saints scouts work year-round figuring out which college players are good fits for the team but the rest of the franchise's staff only have time to turn their attention to the draft process after the season.
General Manager Mickey Loomis is getting a crash course this week at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama. He spoke with reporters Tuesday after practice about the offseason so far. The following are his comments, as transcribed by the New Orleans Saints:
How have things evolved or improved with Jeff (Ireland) and some of the new scouts that came in last year?
"We had the process last year and look, we've got a good group of scouts. Jeff (Ireland) has a little bit of a different way of doing things than what we've been doing in the past, and yet we have been able to blend some of the best things that he does, in terms of the process, with what we have done before. I like the guys that we have on our staff a lot."
Will this draft have their fingerprints on it more being that they've been here the whole year, as opposed to last year (when Jeff Ireland came in) at this event and others following the draft?
"Yes, sure. I think that is probably true. We've got some guys that have been with us a good period of time that have done a great job and do a great job. It'll be a nice blend."
How much do you value the personal interviews that you have with these players?
"I think we value them a lot. We get to get a little gauge on personality and just (see) how sharp they are, what they know in terms of football, and our coaches get to spend a little time with them. Actually, they get to spend a lot of time with them. That is an important part of this process."
How do you approach this event? Do you come here to look at four or five different players or do you just see who sticks out to you?
"For both Sean (Payton) and I, this is kind of the introduction to what our scouts have been seeing all year. We get a look at some of the guys and we get a report on the guys that our scouts like, (and) the guys that we have some questions about. It is really kind of a first look. We are not making any decisions based upon what we see and hear here, but it is very important and a great part of the process."
Can a player catch your attention with a (good) interview?
"Yes, absolutely. They can get our attention. They can get our attention by the way that they practice, by the things that we see collectively, as well as the interview process."
I think you guys talked to Noah Spence; is he the type of guy that you would want to spend a long time with? Is the interview process extremely important for a guy like that?
"I do not know that I would single him out, or any one person out. We are going to have a chance to visit with every player that is here, whether that is collectively as a group or individually with a couple of our scouts or a position coach. It's all important, just collecting information and having that first impression, if you will. We will analyze that later."
That wasn't a different type of interview that you normally do though?
"No, I think it was pretty common. Every guy you have questions about. Obviously, there are things that they have to answer, in terms of an event that may have happened. But the process really is the same I think for each player."
How much stock do you put into the physiological testing that they do here?
"Again, I think that's just a piece of information. It's not the end-all do-all. None of it is really. You're just collecting all of these pieces of information, putting the puzzle together and trying to figure out if the player is the right fit for your team and your locker room, as well as the talent on the field. We're aware of the (tests), we get the information, and so we do look at it."