With the NFL Combine medical exams and individual workouts starting tomorrow, there’s a lot of excitement in the air here in Indy. The anticipation of seeing which elite athletes will put their athletic skills in the fast lane is thrilling for fans, the NFL teams and, obviously, the young football players themselves.
We’ve all seen the highlights of this year’s superstar college players during the fall season. Now is their time to showcase their skills in an NFL setting under the watchful eyes of all 32 teams at the Combine.
What is “The Combine”?
Simply stated, the NFL Combine is a very organized and well-structured job interview. It is an invitation-only event where approximately 420 of the country’s best college football players are invited to Indianapolis in an effort to launch a new career as a professional football player.
As Head Athletic Trainer/Physical Therapist for the Jacksonville Jaguars, my main responsibility at the Combine is to oversee our team’s medical department and to coordinate a comprehensive medical documentation of every player attending the six-day event. How difficult can that be?
I’m very fortunate to have an outstanding staff of highly skilled doctors and certified athletic trainers on my team. The process of compiling and interpreting extensive amounts of medical data at the Combine is very much a team efforts and, I’m proud to say, the Jags’ have a great medical team at this year’s annual event.
Besides the examinations themselves, we all work hard sorting through mountains of medical information from medical history reports, internal medical exams, orthopedic exams, MRI’s, lab reports, surgical reports, player’s feedback, rehabilitation documentation, x-rays, and any other medical information available to determine the present medical status of each player.
Following the medical exams, the players are busy with the many phases of the Combine process. These include personal interviews, bench press testing, cognitive testing and the well publicized on-the-field workouts. The field drills are position-specific and closely watched by all the league scouts, coaches and interested personnel.
In summary, this week’s NFL Combine is a wonderful opportunity for both the players and the teams to take huge strides towards a successful fall season. I tip my hat to National Football Scouting and the NFL for the massive efforts put forth to make the event happen so efficiently. The amount of time and organizational skills needed to coordinate this event is more than impressive. Personally, I understand how vitally important this event is to the Jaguars’ future and I’m proud to represent my team and the league as we all look forward to the upcoming season.