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The Smokescreen Theory


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#1 methodtoll

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 08:11 AM

So I hear this term a lot, "Oh it's a smokescreen people, they are really looking at this player" and while some may think this theory is true, I am one to believe that there is no such thing as a so called, "smokescreen"

In fact, every team has a list of players each year that they are "very interested" in. They rank every player and they attend their Pro Days. I am sure every team has some sort of talks with the player but remember that it does not mean a thing.

Also, keep in mind, that most of the time there are more then just one player at a Pro Day (unless it's a school that doesn't really have anyone coming out) so it could be that they weren't just there to see a paticular player but more of players in general.

Again, no smokescreen, they are doing what every other team is doing, which is observing and determining who should and should not move up their draft boards.

Edited by methodtoll, 18 March 2010 - 08:13 AM.


#2 CharlotteBeer.com

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 08:17 AM

I agree. People on here act like we never go after those players we're seemingly interested in, but that's not the case. It would be impossible to draft all of the players they look at.

#3 Lout

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 09:02 AM

You lost me when you said you don't believe in smokescreens.. Team's try to throw off other team's all the time. All team's try to convey mystery to their draft board.. they have to hide their cards, and play with their best poker face.

#4 methodtoll

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 09:12 AM

You lost me when you said you don't believe in smokescreens.. Team's try to throw off other team's all the time. All team's try to convey mystery to their draft board.. they have to hide their cards, and play with their best poker face.


It's not like they are discussing it with other teams. Again, smokescreens is a theory.

#5 panthers55

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 09:35 AM

From what I can remember from the past 4 or 5 years, particularly our first round pick, we did not bring in any of these guys in for a private workout nor were we linked to that player either through the media or a draft report. While that may not be a smoke screen, it surely wasn't totally expected not did we signal who we were iterested in.

#6 bleys

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 10:39 AM

From what I can remember from the past 4 or 5 years, particularly our first round pick, we did not bring in any of these guys in for a private workout nor were we linked to that player either through the media or a draft report. While that may not be a smoke screen, it surely wasn't totally expected not did we signal who we were iterested in.


I get methodtoll's point.. however there is truth to the smokescreen theory. there is a balance of truth in both points..

#7 Lout

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 10:47 AM

It's not like they are discussing it with other teams. Again, smokescreens is a theory.


Of course we aren't discussing our interests with other teams.. but we sure take notice if another team is showing interest in someone high on our draft board. Let's say we want The Golden Calf of Bristol in the 2nd round.. and we notice that 3 team's ahead of us in the 2nd round are heavily scouting The Golden Calf of Bristol.. we might want to trade up a few spots to get him, depending on how much we like him. The point is, other team's take notice when you show interest in a prospect that they highly covet.

#8 methodtoll

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 10:51 AM

Of course we aren't discussing our interests with other teams.. but we sure take notice if another team is showing interest in someone high on our draft board. Let's say we want The Golden Calf of Bristol in the 2nd round.. and we notice that 3 team's ahead of us in the 2nd round are heavily scouting The Golden Calf of Bristol.. we might want to trade up a few spots to get him, depending on how much we like him. The point is, other team's take notice when you show interest in a prospect that they highly covet.


As I stated earlier, using the a The Golden Calf of Bristol example, every team has some sort interest in him, every team talks to him... Nothing unusual about that. Again, it just depends on where a team ranks him on their board.

#9 panthers55

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 11:02 AM

As I stated earlier, using the a The Golden Calf of Bristol example, every team has some sort interest in him, every team talks to him... Nothing unusual about that. Again, it just depends on where a team ranks him on their board.


While I really don't know that we bring in guys just to throw off the competition, I am sure we sometimes don't bring in guys we are high on so we don't tip our hand as well. To assume that there isn't some bluffing and smoke screening going on is naive at best. This is a very competitive business and gamesmanship is a big part of it. If Fox and Hurney won't even tell you who the starting quarterback will be for fear of giving the other team an edge, you can bet they keep their picks close to the vest and avoid signaling who they really want or how everyone ranks on their draft board.

#10 Lout

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 11:15 AM

As I stated earlier, using the a The Golden Calf of Bristol example, every team has some sort interest in him, every team talks to him... Nothing unusual about that. Again, it just depends on where a team ranks him on their board.


Was The Golden Calf of Bristol a bad example? How about Joe Schmo? Not everybody has interest in him. You are ignoring my premise.

#11 rayzor

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 12:04 PM

every year someone comes along with this idea that teams are very upfront about things and won't purposely try to mislead other teams about their intentions to gain a strategic advantage. butcha know what? it's used every year by most teams.

where is the proof that it doesn't exist and doesn't happen? what makes it just a theory?

i'll tell you where it goes beyond some crackpot theory....when GMS, former GMs, former reliable people involved in team personnel decisions start talking about it.
Don't believe the hype ... it could just be a smokescreen | By Pat Kirwan | NFL.com
excerpt:

With the draft just days away, teams now covet a certain player or two in the first round -- and they must protect their interests in any way they can. Scouts and assistant coaches are often removed from the process so as not to leak the intentions of the club. The real draft board is headed for lock and key, and only the GM and head coach will share its contents with the owner. Then again, sometimes club employees leak false information to send other teams down the wrong path. All is far in love and war. Smart teams know how to posture and create a good smoke screen. It starts with the top team on the board, and this year that's the Detroit Lions.

When I was with the New York Jets, we postured in a few directions when we had the No. 1 pick in the 1996 draft. We wanted the agents representing the top picks to believe we were going to do a pre-draft deal and that it would be a determining factor. The Lions are doing the same thing with the agents representing the top candidates, but in the end they will get their bluff called -- like we did -- and it may really come down to drafting the player they want rather than the most signable prospect.

At the same time, the Lions have to appear to be trying to sell the top pick to move down. This may or may not be a smoke screen. It's getting tougher to trade down from the top five picks, especially if teams are looking for the kind of compensation other teams got years ago.

Keep in mind that the media and fans are not privy to what teams are really going to do. But teams will use the media to create illusions about their intentions. Most outsiders are driven by team needs to decipher what a team may do in the draft, and that is the groundwork for a smoke screen.


more reading just in case....

Draft week features many rumors, smoke screens | By Pat Kirwan | NFL.com


The lying season: Deception key to NFL draft strategies

"Every head coach, every GM, everyone involved with any team right now is playing poker," Kansas City Chiefs coach Herm Edwards says. "Whatever someone says, it's about half true. That's the way the game is played."
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Cleveland Browns GM Phil Savage says of teams' predraft shenanigans: "We've always called it the fog of confusion. From the end of the football season to the draft is a long stretch of time. And there are a lot of different agendas at play."

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell says misinformation campaigns often are "related to the whole strategy of the draft, and the tactics involved in trying to get guys to move up and down" on the draft board. "To be honest, it's not always clubs. The (players') agents are thinking, 'If I can do this … my guy moves up.' "
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Denver Broncos coach Mike Shanahan flashes back to the 1996 draft, when he selected Kutztown (Pa.) linebacker John Mobley with the 15th pick in the first round — after not showing him much interest before the draft. After the draft, Shanahan learned that another team knew Denver hadn't brought Mobley in for a predraft visit and therefore underestimated the Broncos' interest in Mobley.

"You've got to be careful to protect your interests," Shanahan says. "If you spend too much time with a guy, someone may step in ahead of you and take him."

The Browns' Savage recalls an impression left by the Washington Redskins' contingent at the University of Miami's pro day workout for NFL teams in 2004, when Savage was personnel director of the Baltimore Ravens. The Redskins had the fifth pick in the draft, when the late safety Sean Taylor and tight end Kellen Winslow II were Miami's two hottest prospects.

Washington's actions, Savage says, now seem like a smokescreen.

"I don't know if it was intentional or not," Savage says, "but the Redskins came in on a private jet, we go out for the workout, Kellen had his workout, and they were leaving while Sean Taylor began his drills. I'm like, 'Oh, the Redskins, they're taking Winslow.' They stood there and studied Winslow intensely, and when it was Taylor's turn they were like, 'See you guys. We've got to get out of here.' "

The Redskins wound up drafting Taylor, whom they evaluated in a private workout.
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Count New York Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum among the wary. He says he is less inclined to automatically assume that information about players is accurate when it flows from agents or from people connected with other teams.

Like all teams, the Jets' process includes medical reports conducted by team physicians (including data gained through physicals at the combine conducted with doctors from other teams) and background checks that complement background checks from the NFL's security office.

"I think sometimes, medical situations get overblown, where people want to make it sound more catastrophic, so that you might back away from a player," Tannenbaum says. "You hear a team saying how poor this guy was physically, and they wind up taking him."
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Since last week, many NFL teams have had news conferences in which they have discussed the draft. A rule of thumb for reading the transcripts circulated from these sessions: Don't believe much. In one such briefing, Miami Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland told reporters, "You can try to be truthful, but not as truthful as you want to be."

Ireland's boss, new Dolphins vice president Bill Parcells, has a reputation for draft deception.

"He's the master of throwing around smokescreens," St. Louis Rams coach Scott Linehan says of Parcells.
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Among other teams, the predraft sleight-of-hand is continuing. "One of the best parts of the draft," Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome says, "is the intrigue that goes with it."

A deadline has passed for clubs to bring prospects to their headquarters for interviews and workouts. Yet this week, teams were allowed to conduct workouts for players at the players' college campuses or in their hometowns. Newsome says the last-minute moves sometimes are a ruse to deceive competitors.

"Some teams," Newsome says, "will leak that they're going to work out a player before the draft — and have no interest" in the player.

any questions?

#12 CharlotteBeer.com

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 12:07 PM

From what I can remember from the past 4 or 5 years, particularly our first round pick, we did not bring in any of these guys in for a private workout nor were we linked to that player either through the media or a draft report. While that may not be a smoke screen, it surely wasn't totally expected not did we signal who we were iterested in.


I thought we had our doctor meet with Stewart? Didn't we also meet with Beason?

#13 Lout

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 12:43 PM

Thanks Rayzor, rep

#14 panthers55

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 12:54 PM

I thought we had our doctor meet with Stewart? Didn't we also meet with Beason?


Our team physician did the surgery on Stewart but I don't think we had him in for a private workout. So we had insider info already. I also don't remember scheduling a private workout with Beason. I think we attended the Miami pro day along with all the other teams but didn't let anyone know we are very interested in him.

#15 Lout

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 01:14 PM

If we invite someone in for a private workout, or show great interest in a prospect before the draft, like "Carlos Dunlap", where we spent 15 minutes with him 1on1, we most likely will not draft them. I am almost positive we where there to watch The Golden Calf of Bristol.. the whole thing with Dunlap was a smokescreen.


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