I love coming out here for the Scouting Combine. It's my 10th year here, and I have a great time each winter. First off, I love the way the City of Indianapolis is structured with the restaurants and all of the hotels connected.
One of the things I had to get used to when I became a head coach was being out here for the whole week, so getting out here early for media and meetings. Back in the day as an assistant, I remember coming in with all of the offensive coaches together. We got off the plane and all piled on a bus and would head over to the hotel together. I can't help but think of those memories of being a young coach whenever I come into town.
The Combine is great because it's kind of the kickoff for next season. It's right before free agency and the start of the league year, but it's really our first chance as coaches to put our eyes on these players in the Draft. We're so ingrained in what we're doing in the summer and fall to take any time and look ahead to the upcoming group of college kids, so this is really our first time to put our eyes on this group. It's also great to just reconnect with coaches around the league that you don't really get to see during the season. We get to spend time together and pick each other's brains about what worked or didn't work for our teams. It's just a great way to kick off 2018.
We got into town on Tuesday and then things started on Wednesday. It's usually an early morning with the weigh-ins over at the stadium, so I'll grab a quick breakfast and head over there. Early in the week, there's a little bit of downtime, so we'll have meetings to take up the bulk of the day. It's great to get things in order before the rest of the process kicks into gear.
Working with Howie Roseman, Joe Douglas, and the rest of the personnel staff has been great. I absolutely appreciate Howie's leadership and he has done a great job of creating a collaborative environment in which we discuss all decisions and value input from everyone - including Joe, Andy Weidl, and the rest of the scouts. That's what I love most about our relationship. Being on the same page is so important for any organization, and we plan on continuing that.
On Friday, the drills start on the field. So after weigh-ins, we'll head up to our suite over at Lucas Oil Stadium and I just have a lot of fun watching these kids perform. These workouts are really our first time to put our eyes on this group live.
The 40-yard dash is obviously a big test and gets a lot of attention, but I love watching the positional workouts, especially the quarterbacks and receivers, naturally. The gauntlet drill with the receivers is a big favorite of mine. It's a long week, but it's sort of like a game week for the players. For all these guys to come in, go through this whole process with the medicals and the media and the interviews, and then it ends with them on the field come workout time. It's great to see these guys take the field and get a sense of how athletic they are.
After the workouts, we'll meet for a bit as a staff and then grab a quick bite to eat before heading over for those formal meetings at night, which I think is the most valuable part of the entire week for us. It's just great to get that first impression and to be able to spend time with these young men and try to get to know them. For these formal interviews, we get 15 minutes with the prospects, and we'll have a handful of them each night. It's a special time for me to take a peek into their lives for a moment.
I think about it this way. All of these players we meet with this week may not end up with the Philadelphia Eagles. We obviously can't draft them all. But they land in the league and you can kind of watch their career unfold with another organization from afar. You see them develop and you know that you spent time with them, so you have that base to work off of to get a sense of his mindset and his background and how important the game is to him. If these players eventually become free agents down the road, it's these nights in Indy that can help make some of those decisions about whether or not we want to pursue them. So these meetings are really important to our staff.
By the time we wrap up the formal meetings, it's typically about 10 or 11 at night. There's a fast-food spot right on the main strip downtown, and it's sort of a famous place. It's a couple of blocks down from where the meetings are held, and that has always been the place, the first night in town, you HAVE to go to. By the end of the week though, you've probably been there about four times more than you'd have liked, but it's nights like that, times like that, where you really come together and bond as a coaching staff. It brings everyone together a bit, and those are exciting times that are tough to forget as you come up in the league.
To our fans, the biggest thing I can say is that we're going to continue to add talent. I'm a big believer in competition at every position and I think we saw that this season, leading right up to the Super Bowl. We're going to do our jobs. We're going to go back to work hard to find the next crop of young and veteran players with the draft and free agency. We're going to build the roster the same way we have in the past. Guys are going to come and go, that's just the way this business works, but at the same time we're going to put the pieces together and try to make another Super Bowl run.