A Thousand Handshakes

By Adam Caparell - January 22, 2007

MOBILE, Ala. - I've learned a few things on my first day down here for the beginning of Senior Bowl week. 1. There's a reason Delta Airlines filed for bankruptcy and 2. interviewing for prospective position in the NFL has to be the one of the most grueling processes in all of sports.

I saw just about every NFL team represented here at the Mobile Convention Center during Media Night as player after player was paraded from table to table, sofa to lounge, to meet with two, three and even four members of one team's staff at a time. Just watching the room throughout my brief time on the concourse I saw countless handshakes, each firmer and more emphatic than the one before.

Guys like West Virginia's Dan Mozes, Colorado's Mason Crosby, Rutgers' Brian Leonard, Michigan's David Harris and LSU's Chase Pittman were put through a gauntlet of question and answer sessions. The casual interviews ranged from a few minute to lengthy breakdowns where players were put to a quick pop quiz: diagramming and analyzing some Xs and Os without any preparation.

Some seemed to ace the test better than others, some seemed more at ease with the onslaught of interview requests and pleadings for just a few minutes of their time. And some felt a bit more comfortable on the periphery, like Northern Illinois' Garrett Wolfe.

The interviews are continuing as I write, but should be winding down pretty soon - they've been going at it since 6 this evening.

Tomorrow is Day 2 of practice for the seniors. If you can think of a marquee senior in football this season, he's basically here, along with other assorted notable names in the game of football, from NFL coaches and TV personalities to the brokers and agents, like the notorious Drew Rosenhaus.
It seemed like the only ones without a Blackberry or Treo in the room were the Hooters Girls, serving drinks and soliciting orders from the masses.

Down here, you're a nobody unless you're checking your Blackberry every five minutes. And one thing you quickly realize is that it's all business and the NFL - as everyone well knows - is big business.

Posted by Adam Caparell at 09:32 PM on January 22, 2007

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