INDIANAPOLIS --** Respected longtime columnist Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News recently wrote an item arguing that NFL coaches who were recently in the college ranks have an advantage when it comes to the draft. Gosselin cited former Cowboys head coach Jimmy Johnson, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll and 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh as examples.
"For his first five years in Dallas, Johnson would be studying and drafting many of the same players he had already studied and recruited at Miami," Gosselin wrote. "Those five years would cover his five-year recruiting cycle at Miami. He knew the achievers, overachievers and underachievers."
Does Chip Kelly's experience as the head coach at Oregon and its offensive coordinator before that provide the Eagles with a similar advantage? Yes, at the very least, from a familiarity standpoint.
"I can walk into his office and mention a player that I watched and he'll mention where he went to high school. He'll have recruiting stories about these guys. That's incredibly helpful," general manager Howie Roseman said. "He knows some of these guys even better than some of us do as scouts because he's spent time with them already."
Buffalo Bills head coach Doug Marrone made a similar leap from the college ranks to the NFL last year after four years as the head coach at Syracuse. Marrone gained insight into how young players learn and has used that to adapt his teaching methods.
"You also learn that there's always change and the way kids learn and the way they're practicing, the way that they're being brought up in this profession is quite different than the way I was brought up in this profession," Marrone said.
"You can take those things and instill the things you believe in then do it in a way where they understand it and appreciate it and play their best for you."
In the quest to gain as much information possible on these draft prospects before making a decision, any additional insight is certainly welcomed.
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