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March 31, 2022 38 mins

In this episode of the Tape Heads: Draft Season podcast, hosts Bob Wischusen and Greg Cosell welcome Boston College Football Head Coach Jeff Hafley to the Podcast.  Coach talks about the evaluation of players and how the speed at each level changes the versatility of players and sometimes even the positions they can play.  Greg explores how difficult it can be for a coach to see physical traits and talent from a player, but not see the production that those traits should deliver.  Coach Hafley explains how a player may not get the opportunities to show his best attributes and how you can put players in different positions.  We discuss the prospects making that jump from College Football to the NFL, including BC's own Zion Johnson and the most talked about QB, Kenny Pickett.

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:03):
Tap Eds' is a production of I Heart Media and
the NFL. Welcome to another edition of Tape Heeds Draft Season.
Bobo Shusan, a longtime radio voice of the New York Jets,
college football broadcaster for ESPN, and Greg co Sell who's
been breaking the all twenty two down at NFL films
for the better part of four decades. And these guys

obviously wanted to suck up to me just now. This
now becomes my best day right because on tap peds
Draft Season we are bringing guests in talk to Mike
Tannenbaum last week and just tremendous perspective from different parts
of the worlds of football, college and pro as to
how teams get ready for the draft, evaluate prospects. And

who better to talk to than the guys who coached
these actual players but also lived in the world at
one point coaching them in the pros and evaluating them
and dealing with the draft process as well. And who
better to go to than by far the greatest college
football coach walking the planet right now, and that is
Jeff Hafley up Buston College as a b C l um. Yes,
I knew these guys wanted to suck up to me

and coach bring you on as a b C l M.
I can't tell you not only how happy I am
that you're joining us today, but how happy I am
right now that you are piloting my program and hopefully
will for a long time to come. Please tell me
that will be so I appreciate that introduction. That's probably
the best one that I've ever received in my teammates
and being a head coach. Yeah, I just signed a

five year, uh a five year new extension and I
want to be here. I love it here. This is
a great place, as you know, and I'm excited for
the future. Yeah, well the future looks bright. I have
to tell you have gotten that program talent wise to
a place that hasn't been in quite some time. And look,
you you've lived in both worlds, right, So you spent
a long time in the National Football League, and you know,

working for San Francisco and Cleveland and Tampa and defensive
backs and then obviously the Ohio State now at Boston College.
So you have been not only in the NFL part
of the evaluation process of getting set for NFL football,
but also now you're part of the process and the
most important guy at Boston College of finding the players
and preparing them for that level. So how much do

you think the whole world has changed? I mean, you're
still a relatively young guy in this business, but we've
seen an evolution even during your career of what NFL
football used to look like, what it looks like now,
and what you guys are doing in college with your
best players to get them ready for the NFL. How
much has all that changed? Well, I think it's it's
it's changed certainly since since I left San Francisco in

two thousand eighteen, and I've been back in college football
at one year at Ohio State and two years now
is the head coach here. Um. I do think the
game has changed. I think the college game has changed.
I think the NFL game has changed. I think they're
becoming more similar. The players are faster at all different levels,
from the defensive line all the way back to the safeties.
And I think everybody's starting to recruit a lot of
speed and a lot of length even in college football,

and that's what everybody's looking for in the NFL. I
think you see schematically there there's stuff that's bleeding into
the NFL, but I think it gets it's the same
way I think a lot of the NFL game is
is coming back to college football. So it's been very
interesting for me to watch being that I've actually spent
time in both and talking to still talking about some
of my friends who are NFL head coaches and constantly

picking each other's brains. It's just it's fascinating to see
how much back and forth that there is. Let me
ask you this then, Jeff, because obviously one of the things,
and you know, I learned this from a pretty smart
guy years ago, Bill Belichick, when I had a chance
to talk to him maybe ten years ago, and one
thing he said to me was, and it's stuck with me.
Uh and it it kind of infuses how I watched

tape when I watched the NFL for the six seven
months and then I jumped to college. Is the positioning
of the hash marks and how that kind of changes
the symmetry and balance of the game. If you could
just talk a little bit about how that impacts the game,
both the NFL game and then the college game, because
I know when when people evaluate players in college, you
kind of have to take that into account. Yeah, you do.

I mean in the NFL that the ball is literally
the middle of the field for the entire game. If
if you look at it from a college standpoint, the
balls in the middle of the field, and there's there's
less space in in the NFL when you're dealing with that,
for example, in college, when the balls in the boundary,
you have so much space to the wide part of
the field and you can utilize your speed and you
can you really stress defense is really to cover every

blade of grass, which we talk about in the NFL.
But there's so much more grass and space in the
college game to the field, way less into the boundary.
So totally different game when you're on a college hash
versus an NFL HASH, which is essentially the middle of
the field. So you can really see the speed takeover
in college to the wide side of the field, and
you can really see the mismatches that some teams have

with the you know, the back seven and the wide
receivers and running back. It's funny. I'm sorry, it's funny
you mentioned that because when you watch college football, and
obviously I get to watch the tape, but when you
watch it on TV, the players look so fast at
times because they have to run a greater distance because
of the white side of the field, and and obviously
they get to the NFL and you don't necessarily see

guys defenders anyway having to run thirty or forty yards
to make plays. So it's just different. When you see
guys in college, they always look faster. Well, they might
look faster, I mean, trust me. In the NFL, yeah,
they're much faster. But evening that's unique is in college formationally,
So picture all that space you have to the field,

you can really spread people out. You cannot spread people
out as much in the NFL because the ball is
always in the middle of the field. Essentially, which guys
do you think play positions that are most affected by that?
In terms of the difficulty of analyzing their college tape
to the pros is it is it a wide receiver,
is it a deep? Is it a safety? They're just

having to deal with patrolling more real estate in the
middle of the field because the hashes are wide. I mean,
who's affected the most by that? From an NFL evaluation process, Well,
I think first if you flip it from from my
evaluation and have to kind of reassess the linebackers. In
college football, you can get exposed so fast because you
can have an inside backer that now has to chase

a guy across the wide side of the field in
pursuit of the wide side of the field. So I
think your college linebackers have to be very, very fast,
and I think I think that's huge. So you're talking
about recruiting guys who can really run, which I think
you're starting to see more in the NFL too. I mean,
linebackers are you get a lot of kick. College safety
is becoming linebackers for that reason. You have to have

guys that can run. And in the linebacker position that
I'm starting to recruit, I'm taking high school safeties and
trying to turn them into linebackers. And it's your high
school linebacker that I'm trying to turn into defensive ends
to get faster through throughout the game. Yeah, the safety position, uh,
the safety position, the speed and what I even saw
is I was really leaving the NFL and eighteen the

versatility of those guys there there is there's not as
much of your big box safety. I mean that's now
a linebacker. In the NFL, those safeties are extremely athletic,
they can play deep in the middle of the field,
they can play quarters, they can play a half, but
they also can cover tight ends and backs where you know,
years ago you were seeing a lot of eight man fronts,

middle close defense with big safeties in the box. There's
not as many as those guys anymore. Yeah, And I
think as you know, I mean, I know you've been
out of the NFL for a bit, but obviously you're
still clued in. I think every team in the NFL
would like to have interchangeable safeties. They don't want to
get stuck with the safety that is just a box
safety and then a guy you can just play in
the post, because not only is that not effective for

your defense, but you become far too predictable. So you
hit it right on the head. And we talk about
it all the time as we look to recruit. You
love almost to be able to play left and right
with your safeties, so they're totally interchangeable. Who's dropping in
the box, who's going to the post, so you don't
always get a beat on that right. If you have
your strong safety, who is always your strong safety, you
know when they're a man, if he's dropping down to
cover the tight end. You know their rotation, whether they're

playing three weeks or three strong. You know, even when
I was in Cleveland, I mean we had t Shaun
Gibson and Dante Whitner. I mean we had guys we
felt could do a whole lot of different things. San
Francisco we had Jimmy Ward and Jakos Guitard, same type
of deal. So you're looking for very athletic guys that
can kind of do everything and are interchangeable. You nailed it.
If you can get interchangeable safeties from a coordinating standpoint,

it makes life a lot easier. Jeff Hafley, the head
coach at Boston College, joining us, but also spent plenty
of time in the National Football League, working for the
forty Niners, working for Cleveland, working for Tampa Bay. So
he brings that NFL perspective, plus the college football perspective
to us here on te Peds Draft season. And to
that point, look, these guys all want to play in
the National Football League, right and when you're at Ohio

State a little different than playing at Boston College. But
having said that, you know there are certain coaches I know,
and certainly this exists in college basketball. And I know,
like John Calipari at Kentucky really doesn't make much bones
about it. This is an NBA preparatory academy at our
school that if we win a national championship along the way, great,

But if I recruit you, man, I'm getting you ready
for the NBA. Probably different in college football so many players,
and also different at a place like DC as opposed
to maybe an Ohio State. But how much time do
you spend with the top end guys on your team
talking to them not only about playing for you, but
about getting ready for the NFL? And and look, what

do you do to maybe train them so that they're
gonna put their best foot forward when it's time to
go show the pros what the pros want to see. Yeah,
I think there's a lot of good points. And in
my time at Ohio State and then obviously coming to
Boston College UM one and and this isn't recruiting talk,
but in my time the NFL, I got to coach
guys like a Keep to Leave and Darrell Reevous and
Richard Sherman. But for every one of those guys, have

coached a hundred guys that people have never heard of.
And I try to stress to the guys you better
have a plan because it doesn't last for long. And
if if you're lucky enough, um, you gotta have a
great degree. And that's as you know, that's why BC
is a special place, because your degree, you're gonna be
around great alumni with the power from network, and you're
gonna make a ton of money. People need to understand that,
and I get it because I've sat in that chair

and I've seen it. Everything we do though, as far
as football goes, I've hired a lot of NFL guys.
My offensive coordinator, my defensive coordinator, my d line coach,
my my tight end coach. There's a big NFL, big
NFL feel here and that helps recruiting it. It It helps
the development. Everything from how I run practice to what
we do in the meetings, how I teach the guy's
situational football. I try to model after my time in

the NFL, and at one I think that separates us too.
That's my job to win games and prepare these guys
to be the best they can so they do have
a chance to go to the National Football League. From
our nutritionists to our strength coach, to everything that we
do I've tried to model after that because that's the
highest level of football, and I try to teach the
guys what it takes to get there, from a mental standpoint,

to a studying standpoint, recovery standpoint, how to take care
of your body. This is stuff that when I was
in college my first go round, I had no idea,
And I've probably learned more from NFL players to really
good ones that I have from any other coach I've
ever been around, And I'm trying to use those as
examples to show these guys who are close. Now, you know,
we have a guard who I think should be a
first round pick and should be the first guard. So

you kind of sit down and you show them that,
and you teach them what the combine looks like. You
show them what the pro day looks like, so when
they get there it's not the first time and they're
not apprehensive about it, but how we train them each
day on the field, it's I've really modeled it all
after the NFL because I think it's really important and
all these kids do have dreams to go to that level.
I mean, if they didn't, truthfully, I probably wouldn't want

to recruit him here, Jeff, I remember, didn't you used
to be on the field during the dB workouts at
the Combine? Yeah, I was. I spent probably my last
three or four years on the field because I just
used to like to get a feel for the guy
to see how they interacted with the players, to see
the guys who were on their phone looking up stuff that,
you know, I want to see the guys that were
locked in and get a fuel form. I used to
take note of that to try to get a sense

of who they were. But that's what I was gonna
ask you, you know, being on the field, because I
was fortunate enough to be on the field. That's why
I remembered seeing you on the field of well is
you know what did you take from that? And what
did you take from the combine? You know, because obviously
you were not sitting up in the stands you were
you know during the dB workouts, you are not up
in in the your team's box. What did that actually?

What did you learn from being on the field with
the guys? Well? You you you could see what they
were like, what their personalities were like, who who was
joking around? Who was really locked in and focused? Who
is more concerned about skipping out on a drill and
worried about doing stuff, or who had confidence about him.
Who the leaders in the alpha's were. That's probably Greg.
The biggest thing is who are the alpha? Is the

guy that led the dB group or the safety group
or the corner group. You can figure that out pretty quickly,
and those are guys that you want on your team.
That's Jeff Haflee, the head coach at Boston College, will
come back with more. Take a look at some of
the players that he coached, not only this year, but
obviously he's got some guys that are lurking out there
in the future, and also who he coached against, some
players that maybe jumped out to him that are gonna

be a factor in the NFL trap all that more,
we come back on taped's app season. We are back
on Taped's draft season. Bobl Shoos and Greg Coseel honored
to be joined by Jeff Halfley, the head coach of
Boston College with us this week and Greg, we've been
talking a lot about not only the differences between college
football and pro football with Jeff, but also, uh, you

know how difficult it might be and you can get
to this of projecting players to the NFL. I mean
that that's really that's what this is all about. How
do you project college tape to the pros? And Jeff
has lived in both of those worlds. Yeah, and Jeff,
you know, one of the things that I've been doing this,
you know for quite a while, and you know, there's
always guys where you can obviously see their traits, you know,
their physical athletic trade, you know, but then sometimes the

production in your mind doesn't match the trades. Then you
try to think or I do anyway, and I've spent
as you know, doing this a while. So I've talked
to a lot of coaches through the years. I know
a lot of coaches, and then I think about, Okay,
what can be coached, what can't be coached. You know,
obviously you were in the NFL, you had to deal
with that with DBS. Now you're in college trying to
get guys ready to be in the NFL. How do

you sort of deal with that, that balance between trades,
production and coaching. But I think that's a great question,
and I remember sitting in that seat, you know, in
the NFL trying to figure all those out. I think
early on in the draft, you have to find the
traits and the production. I think that's the key early
in the draft. Those are the keys. You can't just
find a productive player without the traits that aren't gonna

you know, mesh with the NFL. You can find a
really productive dB who doesn't have the size, length and
speed right and he's not gonna make it. So you
need to find early on you better find a dB
or a player who has those traits. But then the
film has production because if he wasn't productive in college,
you got to be careful, right we always we always
you say, well, maybe I could coach him into it. Well,

there's a lot of really good football coaches in college
that are trying to do the same thing. So I
think early in the draft you gotta find the combination
of both. I think as you get later in the draft,
I mean just from from me thinking back, you do
you might look at the traits. You might find a
six two corner with thirty three in arms that just
ran or three nine that maybe he only played corner
for a season, or maybe he's a safety and you

saw a lot of good coverage ability on tape from
him playing safety, and maybe you think he can convert
to corner. But the college team, if you talk to
the coaches, there's reasons they played him at safety. Maybe
that was the focal point of their defense, and maybe
that will change. And that's why you have to dig
and that's why you have to talk to college coaches.
Why was that kid playing this position when you think

maybe he should be playing another or our job in
college is to win, So we're gonna put We're gonna
put our best players in the positions we feel we're
gonna help our team out the most. Where I might
have a kid playing nickel because it's a huge part
of my scheme and maybe he's really an NFL safety
And I think there's a lot of You got to
communicate with coaches and find out why when you look

at those kids that you're trying to project, to see
maybe why they're playing where they are and maybe why
they haven't had the production they do. And then Greg,
the other funny thing is we're just always sit in
those DV meetings and it's like, well, the kids only
got one career pick well, you know, like like coach
Torell Reeves in college and after the first three games,
no one threw the ball to his side of the field,

so he wasn't gonna have an opportunity to getting in
your receptions. So the argument of I we used to
joke all the time, does to kid out ball skills.
No one store him the ball. I just looked at
every single clip. I mean, let's go back to a
freshman and sophomore year and watched to see if he
has ball skills or not. So for me, it was
always a process. And yeah, six seventh round, I wanted trades.
I wanted to coach him up, maybe change a position around,

and see if I could get the most out of him,
because that's a big, fast league, and you it's hard
if you're a little guy who has no length and
can't run. Those guys usually make good coaches like me,
and not good players. YEA. Mike tanna Bound told us
a great story last week coming home from the you know,
pro day at pit they had they pick the Jets did,
and Terry Bradway was at the pro day and called

up Mike on his way to the airport. It's like,
we're trading up. So there's no chance Torrell Revis is
there at one, Absolutely no chance And we have to
go get this guy. And they decided basically on the
drive to the airport for Terry Bradway after the pit
Pro Day, that that was their guy. That is I
never heard that story before. I remember the Pro Day
because everybody thought Reeve was gonna run a slower time,

and he ran in the four fours, and I remember
when he hit forty. He knew it because he just
put his hand up and started screaming, and we all
knew he was fast. He just the way he ran.
If you guys remember, he just he's just a bigger,
thicker guy. He doesn't look like he's a Blazer, but
he's so explosive and strong where he really was and
I still think there's no one who's done what he's
been able to do and play the game the way

he did, so heck of the draft pick there, he
was the best I ever saw at any position. I
think it's the best player of the most complete player
at that position I think I ever saw. Jeff You
hit on something that I really am a big believer
in because I have unbelievable respect for coaches at every
level just because of what I do sitting here watching
tape and I know how hard I work, so I
know how hard coaches work. And if you see that

a coach, a college coach is not using a player
in a certain way, like let's say it's a it's
a defensive lineman, and he doesn't play on third down,
then you can, as I would assume as an as
an NFL coach, say well, I'm gonna draft him and
he's gonna play in my nickel and die, because you know,
there's a reason the college coach isn't playing him on
third down. It's he's not just you know, pulling that

out of a hat and doing it on a whim.
He feels he has better players who can rush the quarterback.
So you know, you have to be really egotistical to
think you're gonna take him and you're gonna make him
a pass rusher. Yeah, and and and we all are
at some point and coming back to college. It's funny
sometimes or sometimes they're they're NFL guys are drafting your guys,
are taking your guys in free agents, and they don't

even call me as the head coach, And I think back,
it's like I probably made the same mistake. You gotta
talk to the coach and find out why. Because there's
certain guys I'm not If Kyle Shanahan or Robert Sala
call me right now, I'm not gonna sell him something
that that's that's gonna make me look bad. I'm gonna
be honest with him. And I think it's really important
for guys to communicate. Just like when I'm recruiting high

school player, I better talk to the head coach and
figure out what the kids all about. But yeah, you're
into that sometimes, well, you know he's not good enough,
but I'll coach him and make him better. There's some
really good coaches out there, and and we got to
make sure that that they do their homework and we
do our homework. Jeff Haflet, head coach at BC, joining us.
All right, let's get to some guys that you coached against,

and really let's lead off with the guy that you
coached who probably is your most draftable prospect. If he
doesn't go in the first round, he probably won't last
long in the second round. And that's Scion Johnson as
an interior offensive line and I don't know if you
think he projects more as a guard a center if
it matters, but I mean he he will be drafted early,

if not on day one, right, Yeah, I agree whether
whether you want him at guards center. He played left
tackle for US my first year, so he has film
playing tackle guard. You know, he's a guy who made
a really smart decision. He came back to school for
an extra year, and he put on weight, he put
on strength. He understands a position better. And I think
he probably would have been a third third round pick
if he left last year, and now I believe he

should be a first round pick. He's the guy that
you know when you're in the draft room and you
talk about safe picks and you talk about guys that
you know, if you invest the first round pick into him,
that he's gonna do the things right on and off
the fields. He's never gonna embarrass the program. He's gonna
be the first guy in the room. He's gonna be
the guy taking notes. He's gonna be a captain of
your team because of how hard he works. That Zion

any NFL coach that I've worked for with and I
have some really good friends out there, it is a
no brainer to me to take this kid. What he
will do on the field, his production, it turned the
tape on. He's a great player, but then he's like
Captain America. He is one of the greatest human beings
ever and he's gonna work and get better and he's

gonna make someone really proud. I mean it is a
He is a complete, safe, no brainer pick. Um, it's
just do you value that position to take him in
the first round. That's up to the clubs. Well, the
other guy that you obviously played against and you being
a defensive guy at heart, um was the North Carolina
State left tackle Icky Uhan, who Um, some people suggest

you know, certainly a top five type pick. Kind of
give us your thumbnail on him when you were preparing
to play that team. Yeah, he's the type of guy
that you watch some of his clips and you cut
them out of the cut up so your players don't
see it. He is the most vicious, nasty, tough offensive
lineman that I can remember since I've been back to
college football. There are clips of him just finishing people off,

running down the field, chasing people. First of all, he's talented,
he can protect, he's a good run blocker. But an
he's enormous when you see him in person. But his
mindset and how he plays is very different than most
offensive lineman that I've seen on tape. And he can run.
He he just jumped off the film more than any
other old linement that I've seen in my three years back.

I agree with that. I saw that too. I mean
he he just wanted to get guys on the ground.
I mean he just yeah, he wants to He just
wants It looks like he just wants to hurt people
and vicious and I would love for guys like that
to be on my team. Um, I don't think you
guys played Pit this past year. I mean obviously, I'm
sure you probably saw them on tape if you have

a take on Canny Pickett, because most are expecting that
he is going to be the first quarterback taken, and
he certainly looks like the most pro ready complete quarterback,
kind of the central casting guy of this class that
that a team might invest a first round pick in. So, Um,
even if you didn't play Pit, did you see him
enough on taped up a field for Ketty Pickett? Yeah,

we didn't play him this year. We played him. We
played him the previous year and I was really impressed
with him. He's just he's the guy like when you
watch him, he's got it. He sees the game really well.
It looks like he processes very fast. He can make
all the throws. I'll tell you a story would impress
me the most. We actually we beat them in overtime
and in the third or fourth quarter, we were hitting
him and hitting him and hitting him, and he could

barely walk. He heard his ankle against us. He actually
missed time after the game. He finished the game. And
not only did he finish the game, he took them.
He's the one who single handedly took them and caught
up and sent the game in the overtime. And he
did it with his feet, ducking and dodging and staying up,
and he scrambled for a first down. I think he
actually scrambled for a touchdown. So to me, yeah, he's

got all the tools, but he also has a toughness
about him that after that game, I had a tremendous
amount of respect because I can't believe he came back
in the game and he basically willed himself to play
on that ankle. If you were evaluating him at the end,
like if that discussion is happening in the room, how
much does a game like that tilt the scales to
taking a quarterback where someone in the rooms like, look,

not only were getting a player that checks the boxes physically,
but like, guys, did you see the BC game? How
tough he is? That that that becomes maybe the thing
that puts him over the top for a team. Yeah.
To me, it's if you like him and you like
his talent, and you think he fits your system, and
then you hear that story, it should totally tip it
because that's what you want your quarterback to be because
not all players are like that. And that's again, while

you have to do your homework and call college coaches,
if you're gonna take a quarterback in the first round,
you better find out the guy is tough and he's
gonna fight for his team, and then he cares more
about his team than his injured ankle and possibly his
draft status. Right, So that would tip the scale for me.
I'm a Kenny Pickett fan for all the reasons of
him playing, and he's talented and I don't care how

big his hands are, but his toughness right there, that
says it all to me. Well, it's funny you say
that because obviously when I was at the Combine this year.
I asked a lot of friends of mine offensive coaches
about Picket and the first thing they did was point
to their head and say, this kid is wired right,
he is going to lead your team. And you know
and you basically the story you just told indicates that.

Um so he's one of those guys because that's exactly
what you you want your quarterback to be. Yeah, he's
a winner. It's exactly what he's Why Pitt won the
SEC last year. I mean, the kid is a winner,
and him coming back to school and not leaving, I
mean changed his life and the change pit. I have
a tone of respect for him. One other guy, I
know you did play Florida State this past year. So

how about yourmain Johnson. We just talked about him on
Tuesday as maybe not you know, in the Thibodeau Hutchinson
category in terms of like top five pick as an
edge rusher. But I think everybody thinks he's gonna go
in the first round. So where would you slot him
in and what what uh challenges did he present when
you faced him? He was the most disruptive player that

we played against all year. And again, I'm a defensive guy.
But when I when I watched that film live and
when I was at the game, he's the first guy
that I very quickly got on the headsets and said,
you better put two or three guys on him on
every single play or he's going to hurt our quarterback.
Would impress me the most about him, which is very
similar to the Kenny Pickett is he's a lot tougher

than I thought he was on tape when I watched
him on the field live. He plays the run and
he strains, and he runs and he fights, and sometimes
you need to see that live, which is again in
this draft process. I think it's also important. You know,
John Lynch calls me and says, hey, talk to me
about him. Talk to me about players you you played
against and coached against, because there might be some other

guys that he might call me on and I might say, man,
that kids that he didn't even try hard against us.
But this guy's your main I mean, this kid, this
kid is tough, he plays hard. I felt like he's
got the it factor to him too. Um So I
think you've you've talked about all three guys that I
would want on my team in the NFL warr in
college football. Jeff can't tell you how much we appreciate

you joining us. No, I appreciate you guys having me on.
This was a lot of fun, bringing up a lot
of good memories in those draft process, and now I
appreciate the support and I appreciate the time. This was fun. Yeah,
I hope I get a BC game this year, so
we couldn't do this. Will chop it up a little
bit more. This was awesome. That would be great. I
appreciate you guys. Thanks coach Man, Thanks so much. Thanks guys.
All right, that's Jeff Halfley, the head coach at Boston College.

Straight ahead, we'll have some reaction from Greg on some
of the things that coach just told us. When you
see talent in a player but don't quite see it
on the field, how hard the evaluation process becomes for
NFL teams. That's an interesting topic that both of those
guys touched on. Will delve into it a little bit
more when we come back contaped draft season, Bobo Schus

and Greg co Cell. We are back here on TAPEZ
Draft season. How much fun was that talking to Jefflee
Right so far, I would say We're three for three
on guests this year, right, We've we've hit a home
run the last three weeks with everybody we've had on
and he was as good as anybody. No, he was phenomenon.
I got to meet him when he was with Cleveland
because I knew that staff. I knew, Um, I think
Great Farmer may have at the time been out there

is the GM if memory serves me correctly. Um, they
invited me out and I spent a day out there
and got to meet him and we kind of hit
it off. So so I I've known Jeff when he
then went to the Niners, and I'm really happy for
his success. And I'm really glad he mentioned he signed
a five year deal and he's well, I'm happy to
have him. A BC guy, that's bye. That is a
guy you want shepherd in your program along something that

you touched on with him though, that I think is
really really interesting. And when ego gets involved, right for
a coach a general manager, when you see it on
tape that a guy isn't really what the NFL, you know,
from an effort and a production standpoint, is looking for,
but all the measurables are there, right, And how many

coaches might be like, you know what, I'm the best,
I'm I can get it out of him? And does
that every now and then get into the draft room
on draft day, where now a general manager or a
coach sees something that they think as a diamond in
the rough. They see the talent lurking beneath the surface.
But the guys he was playing for they couldn't mind it,

they couldn't develop it. But I can't. And and do
you tread in some dangerous waters there sometimes by believing
that you can milk something out of a player that
the college guys couldn't. And that's a great question. And
Jeff obviously thought it was a great question too, because
it's a difficult question to answer, and I think it's
one reason why mistakes are made. Because it all said

and done, Bob, it's human beings evaluating human beings. We
can go into the metrics, analytics whatever now is being
advanced in terms of analyzing players, but it's still human
beings analyzing human beings. And the whole point of this
process is to project and transition guys to the NFL
and how they can be used in specific ways to

be successful as I think we've discussed in some of
our earlier podcasts, there's not thirty or forty transcendent players
in any given draft. If you talk to teams, they'll
probably tell you that in any given draft, there's probably
only twelve to fifteen players that even at first round grades.
So you have to find out in talking to their

coach why they used him the way they did. Why
did they see his traits working best in the way
they deployed him, Why they couldn't deploy him in other ways?
How did they see that? Did they use him a
certain way because it fit every other player on their
team on that side of the ball. Let's say you're
talking about defense. Did they need him to play in

their defense because of other players on their defense. There's
so many factors that go into play. So when you
see a guy and you say, g I like his traits,
there's so much more that goes into that than just saying, Wow,
he's big, he's fast, and he can run. Everybody wants
guys who are big and fast who can run. You know,
that's not that in itself is not complicated, but it's

then when you step beyond that, how do you deploy them?
In the NFL, and how can they best be deployed
based on what they were asked to do in college. Yeah,
I tell people this all the time. When you see
a left tackle giving up a bunch of sacks, or
a quarterback that looks like a bust, or a corner
that's getting beat time and time again. But they were

a high first ground draft choice, and on Twitter, or
in the stands of the games or to the radio
call in shows, the fans are screaming, this guy's a bust.
Get rid of him. What he can't play. Believe me
when I tell you the coaches and general managers can
see it too. They have, but if they're the ones
that drafted him, then they like If you think the
players have big egos, the coaches of the general manager's

egos are just as big. So so if you think
a general manager is going to quit on a first
round draft choice after one year, even if in his
heart of hearts he knows he made a mistake and
knows the guy can't play, they don't do that because
then they are admitting to the world I didn't know
what I was doing when I drafted that guy. So
that's why you see if a general manager drafted a

quarterback that the rest of us all know really can't
do this, he's gonna stick with that guy for a
much longer period of time. That's why, like all of
a sudden, a new coaching staff comes in, a new
general manager comes in. If that group gets fired because
that guy that they drafted and playing real well, and
all of a sudden that first round draft choices out

after two or three years, well that's why, because now
I'm not attached to that player. I didn't draft him.
It's not my reputation resting on whether or not he
can play. So if you see those kind of quote
unquote first ground busts that you know are busts last
a little bit longer, it's purely, I think because of
the And it's really hard for a general manager, not

only to his own ego, but if all of a sudden,
the next year he wants to replace that player that
he just took in the first round last year, and
he has to go into the owner, the owner is
gonna be looking at him going, didn't you have any
idea what you were doing last year? Why should I
trust you to replace that guy? If you drafted the
wrong guy last year. So I mean, I think that's
where some of this, all of these decisions come from,

not only sometimes making the wrong decision, but also sticking
with it after you make the wrong decision longer than
you should, out of ego, right out of like needing
to prove that you were right. I'll give you a
good example with quarterbacks for instance, obviously the marquee position, Bob.
So when you watch tape with quarterbacks, one of the
things you really want to get a feel for, because

it's so important in the NFL, is whether you feel
that he can see the field well his vision? Can
he see the field? Now, sometimes in college with the
systems that teams run, that's hard because very often college
systems are based on a lot of one read or
even no read throws. Here's the guy you're throwing into

based on this play call. So sometimes it's very difficult
to figure out, Hey, can this guy really see the field?
Because in the NFL, you can't make a living on
one read and no read throws. Can you do that
on first down? Sure, if you're running of the R
P O game, sure, But when it gets to be

third and nine, your your quarterback can't make a living
on one read and no read throws. So you watch
quarterbacks play and you try to get an understanding of that,
and sometimes it's difficult. So you and let's say the
guy is has great traits, he's got a big arm,
he moves well, he's got the so called physical athletic traits,

but you're just uncertain that he if he can see
the field well, and then you decide that he can't.
Let's say you decide that he can't, but then you're
scouting department says to you, oh, but he's got a
big arm, he ran a four or five forty, he's this,
he's that, and then you draft him, and then you
know what, he still can't see the field. So despite

all the other things, all the other physical athletic attributes
that are off the charts and that everybody loves when
push comes to shove, he just can't see the field.
So he's not going to make the throws that are
absolutely demanded in those critical money down situations. If I
was picking a quarterback, greg, I almost would tell my guys,

don't even show me all of the players that this
guy ran in college where the play design worked right
like right out of the box. It's like if if
if I call a play where I've got a slot
receiver running a skinny post against Cover two or Cover
full or and it's he's my first read and my
quarterback takes a three to five step drop and just

snaps the perfect ball over the middle. Do I want
to see that? I guess sure. But that was a
play where you drew up the perfect route combination against
the perfect defense. The first read was there, and the
quarterback looked like a Hall of Famer because the first
read that he saw work perfectly. And that's great. That
shows the physical traits. But like in the NFL, to

have a successful quarterback, I want to look at all
of the snaps when read one isn't there, sometimes Read
two isn't there, and now he's got to go to
read three and read four. To me, I would put
a lot more steak in that tape than I would
of I mean, any any offensive coordinator. If I'm gonna
show my resume tape as an offensive coordinator a play

caller to a head coach, of course I want to
show him the plays that I designed, perfect call against
the perfect defense that worked right out of the box
and that's gonna make me look good, but I don't
know how much that's going to as an evaluator of
the quarterback. Tell me about the quarterback. And that's why
you know tunnel bubble screens to the wide side of
the field and college football are meaningless if you're evaluating

the quarterback. That's like it's like a hand off, right.
I remember Ray Farmer a number of years ago when
he was a GM telling me something I never forgot,
and it's hard. He said, what's the difference? He asked
me this question because we were talking quarterbacks, and I
think I said something. Maybe I said something stupid. I
do that every once in a while. But he said
to me, what's the difference between anticipation and predetermination? And

how do you know that? And I thought that was
a great, great question because when you're evaluating a quarterback
coming out of college and just what you said, Bob,
if it's a certain route concept that I know because
I've been doing this for a long time, and they
get the exact right defense and he sticks it right
on him and it looks like he throws it with
great anticipation. He's just throwing the plate call. The plate

call was there. You know, they got exactly what they wanted,
you know, So how do you figure out that difference
when you're evaluating a quarterback between predetermining a throw the
phrase we use is he's throwing that out of the huddle,
as you know, you've heard that before, and true anticipation,
where you know you have to make an anticipatory throw.

As you drop back, you sort of see the defense
and now you go, oh, that's where I want to
throw it. But that wasn't necessarily you know, the plate
call in the defense to to the inns degree. So
that's a very hard thing to do. Yep, it's great stuff.
Jeff Hafley was great. Obviously, we've got all the way
up until the draft to keep on talking football just

the way we are. We want you to hit us
up on social media, tell us more about the players
that you want to hear about and why you want
them on your team. And you know guys that maybe
you haven't heard Greg talk about yet, but you may
want him to focus on because I'm sure there are
a lot of you out there that have some college
football players in your town that you think could be
NFL players, and you want to see what the tape says,
Greg will tell you, and we will come back next

week with more of those player evaluations and what teams
are thinking about another week closer to the NFL Draft.
Thanks so much for being a tape. It M
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