NFL players have a unique sense for playing the game of football, recognizing natural leadership qualities both on the field and in the locker room. They have a keen eye on judging talent and know right away if their teammates have the athletic ability and the skill set to perform in the NFL. They know if their teammates can help them win or if they lack the heart and passion required of the NFL level.
When players hear coaches and personnel men say a player has very good potential, they start to raise their eyebrows. For me potential is something you haven’t seen. You’re banking on the fact that this potential could be reached in the future through development and coaching. I like upside based off what you have seen in a football player’s DNA (film). You can further develop that. Seeing it on film makes it more of a sure thing.
Players from a young age have been hard coached, disciplined and motivated even if the decibel is at a higher octave. They also know when a coach lacks the leadership skills to lead 53 men, let alone an organization. Assistant coaches aren’t off limits, either. Players can see right through a yeller and a screamer and those coaches that push you to the brink of hatred. (By the way those coaches are also the ones you talk about and remember years after you’re done playing the game.)
Players understand, and are driven by, the level of urgency coaches bring to the table. They understand the passion they have for the game, and some – when finished playing – turn into coaches themselves. They also see and understand when a player should be told to sit down and allow another teammate to play because of the lack of performance and overall production. They understand.
When it comes to personnel, drafting, free agency and building a roster, several, if not all players have thoughts on decision making from a personnel standpoint. They know when decisions are not right, especially after a player arrives to the locker room. Several (if not all) study the yearly draft, and all know when a young player was drafted and if they were worthy of the selection, while several productive college players still remain on the board.
They love the game, play with passion and have a great sense of their surroundings. It’s hard to fool them or even pull the wool over their eyes regardless of the department in which they interact with.