By Gregory Hawthorne
Today three of your Seminole brethren (Myron Rolle, Patrick Robinson, and Gregory "Dekoda" Watson) are attending the combine, but today they and the 600 other NFL hopefuls will not be showing their athletic prowess. The NFL combine official began yesterday February 24, 2010 however most people don't realize this because there are no workouts, as a matter a fact workouts do not begin for several days following opening day. On the first day it's all about media and meetings. The following two days, who few in this world will ever see, can destroy an athlete's draft status. These two days are the medical screening days and any scout will tell you that these two days are just as if not more important than the actual workouts.
Each NFL team flies their medical staff, approximately 3-4 Athletic Trainers and upwards of 3-4 physicians, that's for each team, thus stressing the importance of these medical screens. The NFL teams are placed in private tents at the stadium, paired with another team. In these tents each player can receive a physical and orthopedic screening from each individual team!!! Now that's 600+ athletes and 32 teams, a lot of poking and prodding! Each player must receive a chest x-ray and a MRI on previously injured body parts. The players are stripped to their shorts and have a picture taken of them, in order for teams to see their physique; pictures are often stored in medical file. The players are ushered through the tents by representatives from the team's medical staff. The athletes are then given physicals and orthopedic screens by the team's physicians. These screens can then lead to more testing or in the worst case a big fall on the draft board.
The NFL teams receive most of the players collegiate medical records prior to the combine. The players fill out health questionnaires while at the combine and if there is a discrepancy from what the athlete puts on that questionnaire and what the medical staff has already received a red flag is set-off and the team with focus on that area, to make sure the player is not hiding anything.
Wish our Seminoles luck this week at the most popular job fair in the world.