Lane Kiffin explains why Bill Belichick’s pre-draft approach stands out
Many have asked over the years what makes the New England Patriots different from other NFL teams in terms of their long-lasting success. Lane Kiffin is giving one hint as to why that may be.
Kiffin revealed in an interview with “The Pat McAfee Show” on Wednesday that few NFL coaches actually reach out to their college counterparts for inside information on players they’re scouting. The exception is Belichick, who the Ole Miss coach said calls about prospects who aren’t even expected to go in the first round.
"We get calls… Not as much as you think. I think a lot of people in the NFL think "we've got it figured out" we don't need opinions from college guys"@Lane_Kiffin says Bill Belichick is one of the few NFL evaluators who call on college coaches opinions #PatMcAfeeShowLIVE pic.twitter.com/BUcTRWu3EU
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) April 7, 2021
“I know there’s guys like Belichick that have personally — I remember a guy in like the third round the night before the draft, him calling me to ask my opinion on him. Not even a first-round pick,” Kiffin said, via Michael David Smith of ProFootballTalk. “So some people do it and I think a lot of people don’t.
“The really good ones like him, he’s so smart. I remember it was a tight end — he was like, ‘OK, I remember you had Zach Miller 10 years ago with the Raiders or whatever it was. How do you compare him to him?’ That’s how smart he is, to be able to remember who you had and players you were around and compare them to. That’s why he’s so great at that.”
There is talk that sometimes Belichick’s approach can definitely backfire on him. Obviously, college coaches want to see their players do well and get drafted high, so their opinions have to be weighed alongside everything else. Still, Belichick’s approach probably pays dividends sometimes, and the knowledge he can acquire from it might give them the inside track on some players that others might not have.