Scouting Report - Kyle D. Martin

by Douglas Fox

Tags: Sports,

Desc: : Lost and Found supporting material - A leaked copy of the Scouting Report on Kyle D. Martin, the hero of Lost and Found. This report was written by X of Dallas with assistance of Douglas Fox. (Supplemental material, read after Lost and Found, Chapter 84)

SCOUTING REPORT

KYLE MARTIN (SENIOR, PENN STATE), WR

PROPERTY OF THE DENVER BRONCOS FOOTBALL CLUB

CONFIDENTIAL


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Club Grade for Position (WR): 1/40

Grade Level: Elite/Franchise

Projected Draft Rank for Position (WR): 1st Taken

Projected Overall Draft Rank: Top 10 pick.

At present, our First Round Draft Position is 12.

Projected Picks Prior to 12:

1. Washington Redskins DT

2. Detroit Lions OT

3. Kansas City Chiefs OG

4. Seattle Seahawks QB

5. Oakland Raiders OG

6. Tennessee Titans QB

7. St. Louis Rams OG

8. Cleveland Browns CB

9. Jacksonville Jaguars DE

10. Buffalo Bills QB

11. Cincinnati Bengals DT

12. Denver Broncos

SUMMARY:

It is the unanimous recommendation of the coaching staff that Subject be drafted with our first round pick. We believe he still will be available as of the sixth pick, but it is likely another team will try to trade up to somewhere in the sixth to tenth picks for the purpose of drafting Subject. For several reasons (discussed below), we recommend trading up to the 6th position to draft Subject, if we can, and we believe trading our current first and second round picks to do so is an acceptable price.

We have been very careful to give no indication of our interest in drafting Subject, and we have taken steps to indicate a significant interest in drafting players in other positions with that pick. Accordingly, we believe we can make such a trade and draft Subject. However, if we are not correct in our predictions, or if another team with a WR need pre-empts us, we may not be able to draft Subject. If Subject is not available, we should develop and seriously consider options to trade down for additional or future picks, or to fill need positions other than WR in the first round.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Executive Summary i

Table of Contents ii

Combine and Pro Day Statistics 1

College Statistics 2

Physical Skills & Abilities 3

Overall Readiness to Play at the NFL Level 6

Character and Leadership 10

Injuries 17

Off Field Concerns 18

PR Concerns 19

Agent/Contract Concerns 20

Overall Summary 21

Draft Recommendations & Strategy 22

Appendices:

A Video Clips (w/ Index)

B References and Interview Summaries

C Physician's Report

D. Investigator's Report: Arrest, November 12, 2011

E. Background Check

F. Senior Bowl Statistics and Observations

G. Biomechanical Profile

H. Equifax Report


COMBINE STATISTICS

(40 WRs invited, 32 worked out)

Height: 6'4 5/8"

Weight 212

Arm Span: 34 ¼"

Hand Size: 10"

Physical Drills:

(Event: Statistic: Rank among WR Participants)

40 time: 4.25 1/32

10 Yard Split: 1.41 1/32

20 Yard Split: 2.42 1/32

20 Yard Shuttle: 3.85 1/12

60 Yard Shuttle: 10.73 1/6

3 Cone Shuttle: 6.43 1/12

Vertical Leap: 44 ¼" 1/15

Broad Jump: 10'11" 1/12

Bench Press: 32 1/18

Gauntlet Grade: 20/20 1/32

Route Drills (Performance Grade; Catch/Target):

Sideline Tap Tap: A 1/1

Shoulder Adjust: A 1/1

Slant Out: A 1/1

Slant In: A 1/1

Curl: A 1/1

Go: A+ 1/1

Corner Post: A 1/1

Gauntlet: A 6/6

Cybex Test: Good Flexibility. See Physician's Report.

Wonderlic: 35

Urinalysis: Negative, all substances. See Physician's Report

Biomechanical Profiling:

Biomechanical Profiling using combine workout tapes shows excellent fluidity. Good hip movement, explosiveness and ability to change directions laterally and forward/reverse. Into and out of cuts fast, and makes square cuts. Catches ball away from body, good hand-eye coordination. Handles press off the line well (good technique). Definitely has an "overdrive" gear. Biomechanical Profiling indicates Subject is the most movement-efficient and explosive player studied to date in any position. See Appendix G.

Notes and Observations:

Subject elected to stand on his combine results and to not repeat drills during his team's pro day, excepting the 40 yard dash. Nevertheless, Subject made himself available for interviews and for individual route and catching drills, including some running back drills.

Subject continued student teaching through his normal college spring break so he could complete his course requirements and graduate. It is noteworthy that any pre-Combine training he was able to receive would necessarily have been in technique only.


COLLEGE STATISTICS

Overall (4 yrs, 51 Games)

Receiving:

Pass Attempts To: 374

Passes Caught: 289

Yards: 5753

TDs: 64

Yards per game: 112.8

Yards per catch: 19.91

Yds aftr catch: 2578

Drops: 1

Rushing:

Rushes: 34

Yards: 705

Yards/Rush: 20.7

YAK: 4.64

Rushing TDs: 6

KR:

Returns 83

Yards: 3286

Yards/KR: 39.6

KR TDs: 6

PR:

Returns 86

Yards: 1522

Yards/PR: 17.7

PR TDs: 5

Passing:

Attempts: 9

Completions: 8

Yds 318

Yds/Att: 35.3

TDs: 4

Overall:

Fumbles: 0


Senior Year (1 Year, 13 games)

Receiving:

Pass Attempts To: 111

Passes Caught: 88

Yards: 1854

TDs: 23

Yards per game: 142.6

Yards per catch: 21.07

Yds aftr catch: 922

Drops: 0

Rushing:

Rushes: 13

Yards: 274

Yards/Rush: 21.8

YAK: 5.36

Rushing TDs: 2

KR:

Returns: 3

Yards: 173

Yards/KR: 57.7

KR TDs: 0

PR:

Returns: -

Yards: -

Yards/PR: -

PR TDs: -

Passing:

Attempts: 4

Completions: 4

Yds 121

Yds/Att: 30.3

TDs: 2

Overall:

Fumbles: 0


PHYSICAL SKILLS AND ABILITIES

Based on Film Clip Observations and Statistical Analysis

See Appendices A and G

(Disc of Film Clips, w/ Index and Biomechanical Profile)

Explosiveness/Ability to Change Directions:

Subject shows excellent ability to cut, as well as excellent acceleration off the line. Biomechanical profiling shows Subject is off the charts in terms of both movement efficiency and explosiveness. See Clips 38, 41, 43, 57, 64; Appendix G.

Ability off the Line:

Film study shows Subject has developed a number of techniques for getting off the line, including techniques for handling chucks at the line of scrimmage. In media interviews, Subject revealed that during his sophomore year, he had sought out Penn State alumni who had played in the NFL as receivers, to learn and develop new and better techniques in several areas of receiving. See Clips 13, 14, 43, 59; Appendix G. His ability off the line is ranked at 1 of 40 receivers who have declared for the draft.

Route Running:

Subject was observed to run precise routes. See Clips 41, 43; Appendix G. During another media interview, Subject stated that he worked specifically on route running as a senior in high school after his ACL injury.

Hands:

Subject exhibits good technique in catching the ball and tucking it away. Subject has had one drop during his college career, during his freshman year. Biomechanical profiling indicates extremely good hand-eye coordination and abnormally short reaction times. See Clips 2, 14, 24, 36, 47, 48, 71; Appendix G.

Contested Balls:

Clips 2, 6, 13, 14, 36, 47, 48, 49, 71, 72, 80 evidence good ability to catch balls in traffic. Specifically, Subject is good at use of body position to box or block out DBs in one-on-one or other contested ball situations, see Clips 2, 36, 71, 72; Appendix G, and Subject rarely drops a ball when being hit at or shortly after the time of catch (Clips 14, 24, 36, 49, 80). Rank 1/40.

Double-Teams:

Subject usually can outleap defenders in double- and triple-team situations. In particular, Subject times his leaps well, and is very good at blocking out one or more defenders when going after the ball. Clips 15, 16, 18, 23, 30, 33, 47, 48, 80; Appendix G.

Ability to Separate:

Subject is good at using fakes (Clips 41, 43, 52, 58, 63, 73; Appendix G), cuts (Clips 11, 14, 21, 38, 43; Appendix G) and hands to achieve separation. Subject never has missed a catch when he has had a catchable ball and has manufactured ½ yard or more separation. Clips 14, 38, 49, 56, 57.

Use of Blockers:

Film Study shows Subject became increasingly effective at using blockers after the catch, to the point he is probably the most effective receiver in this draft at using downfield blocking to his advantage. See clips 1, 3, 4, 17, 19, 28, 31, 32, 37, 53, 62.

Abilities After Catch:

Pursuant to instructions, we had our statistical service review game tapes of Subject throughout his college career and to compile requested statistics. Based upon that work, a considerable percentage of Subject's receiving yardage derives from yards after catch. Receiving yards after catch, as a percentage of total receiving yards, remained relatively stable at 41% to 42.5% over Subject's first three seasons, then shot up to 49.7% in his senior year. When questioned about it, Coach Burton mentioned Subject had focused on YAC as an area for improvement following a loss at USC in his Junior year. Clips 2, 20, 37, 39, 40, 44, 63-65, 67, 68; Appendix G.

Instincts:

Subject has demonstrated excellent instincts as a PR (Clips 3, 9, 19), KR (Clips 1, 17, 31, 62, 79) and WR (Clips 30, 32, 45, 53, 63-68). In particular, Subject has demonstrated excellent ability to adjust to overthrown, underthrown or inaccurate balls. Clips 25, 36, 49, 67, 77, 78, and is good at finding holes, making cutbacks, shedding tackles and making people miss.

Blocking Ability:

Technique: B+

Aggressiveness: A-

Film study shows Subject actually is a good blocker. He holds his blocks well, and usually puts his opponent on his back in anticipated situations. He is the most aggressive blocker of any wide receiver studied. Staff ranks his blocking ability among wide receivers who have declared as 1/40. Clips 22, 27, 46, 54, 69, 70.

Ball Security:

Subject had 0 fumbles during his college career. See Clips 14 (USC, held onto ball despite being high-lowed), 49, 50 (Nebraska game – didn't fumble even when briefly knocked out of the game).

Bad plays:

It was difficult to find sufficient film for your requested "10 worst play" videos. Of the two submitted, only one (Clip 34) does not show maximum effort on Subject's part. Clip 7 shows a play where Subject ran the incorrect route for the coverage (freshman year), but we would not have caught it except for his discussing it in a media interview. Clips 7, 34.

Physical Toughness:

Subject can take a good hit and still hold onto the ball. See Clips 5, 8, 14, 24, 30, 49, 55, 75, 76.


OVERALL READINESS TO PLAY AT THE NFL LEVEL

(Combined Observations from Interviews,

References, Personal Observations, etc.)

Toughness:

Subject did not miss a collegiate game due to injury. Analysis of film in games against BCS Championship-caliber opponents (USC, Tennessee, Oregon, Nebraska, Ohio State, Michigan) indicates he actually has better games overall against tougher opponents, although his games against weaker opponents are not bad. He is kept in the game longer for tougher opponents, but longer game times do not appear to tire him or to degrade his performance.

During the Nebraska game in Subject's senior year, Subject took a hit immediately after the catch, to the point of being incapacitated. Even when lying on the ground incapacitated, film clips showed the referees had to physically wrestle the ball away from him. Subject was out two plays, and on the first play back, ran a fade route and caught the go-ahead touchdown over a double team. On the first play of the next series, Subject took the ball on a reverse and basically ran over the LB who'd taken the previous shot at him, and put him on his backside (resulting in an injury time out for the opposing linebacker) while at the same time gaining 12 yards and a first down. Subject downplayed the event later in an interview, stating he hadn't been knocked out, but merely had had the wind knocked out of him, and was holding onto the ball while hurting, in a misguided attempt to protect his stomach while he got his breath back. However, Subject's coaches and teammates are convinced those three plays together provided the inspiration that sparked their come from behind win. See Clip 49 (Post-Game Interviews (Nebraska), Coach Burton, Winfield "Chip" Brinton and Damian Thompson).

Subject did come out of the Iowa game in his senior year after two plays when he forced a fumble of an intercepted ball and then was under the pile. The injury was a cut to the hand requiring stitches. Subject played in the next game with a glove on to protect the hand. In the post-game press conference, Subject stated he had no problem catching the ball with gloves on, and statistics for that game support that statement.

Mental Toughness, Discipline & Alertness:

Subject was out much of his junior year of HS with an ACL tear. After surgery, he rehabbed it and had an All American senior season as receiver. In media interviews, he has credited his work recovering from the injury as the reason he runs his routes so well. He said he had to counteract his temporary loss of speed with improvements in all other areas of his game. Subject stated that he was only able to overcome the injury through dedication and discipline.

Subject was involved in one off-field incident involving alleged intoxication. Our private investigator's report indicates Subject had insisted on getting a blood alcohol test when the officer claimed he had failed a field sobriety test. Because he insisted in the face of the police officer's objections, he was able to clear his name with a 0.00 % BAC. Coach Burton expressed a firm belief that had he not insisted on the BAC, over the vehement objections and threats of the arresting officer, he would not have been able to clear his name. Subject reacted well in a tough and novel situation.

Subject was alert enough to force a fumble of an opposing DB after the DB had intercepted a pass. See Clip 60. Subject also showed good lane discipline during kickoff coverage in the Senior Bowl, and the alertness to dive for and help down a punt inside the 5 yard line. See Clips 75, 76.

Subject has been reported by several people as working out every day he is not traveling or injured. Subject was observed to run and lift weights every day of Senior Bowl practice. Subject reportedly also reviews his playbook and studies film every day it is available. Subject was observed studying the playbook daily during Senior Bowl week, and always had it with him. Subject was also quite ingenious in obtaining access to films of defensive backs during that week.

Subject was injured briefly in the Nebraska game this past year, but missed only two plays and returned to immediately catch a 25 yard touchdown play in double coverage. In the next series, on a reverse play on first down, he ran through the defender who'd injured him, causing the defender to be taken out of the game temporarily with an injury. Subject was adamant in media interviews that it wasn't retaliation, but nevertheless was deliberately done to motivate his teammates and to take the initiative from the opposing team.

Adaptability - Flexibility of Position:

Subject has played Strong Side, Weak Side and Slot receivers, as well as punt returns and kickoff returns, all at a high skill level. Subject is also the wildcat for his college team, and did well there. See Statistics. It is believed Subject is already able to play strong side, weak side and slot receiver positions at the NFL level. Subject may be able to play the wildcat position at that level as well. Subject demonstrates reasonably good passing arm strength, but is not necessarily accurate. He could execute a surprise option pass well to a distance of about 30 air yards. Subject is also the best kick returner, by far, in his class.

Subject could possibly be converted to TE if he bulks up, but in the opinion of the scouting team this would be a waste of his talents and, in particular, of his speed.

Consistency/Conditioning/Dedication to Improvement:

Subject has had 36 100 yd + receiving games over his college career. His statistics have been consistent throughout that time, with a trend towards better yards per catch, yards after catch, yards after contact and better offensive yards per game each year of his college career.

Interestingly, Subject's yards after catch and yards after contact increased significantly during his senior year. Subject mentioned in a media interview that he had identified both areas as areas for improvement following his team's loss to USC in his junior year. Subject also identified a need to improve his abilities against double-teams during his sophomore year, and revealed in a media interview that he had sought out alumni receivers from his college (Joe Jurivicius, Bobby Engram, Glenn Walker, Deon Butler, Derrick Williams) for advice on improving his abilities, and statistics show Subject's passes caught percentage improved during the last half of his sophomore season. Film study shows excellent abilities to box out defensive backs, to out leap double and triple teams on fade routes, and that the Subject knows how to button up after a catch in heavy traffic.

In many of his games, Subject played for approximately one half. Initial questions concerning conditioning and ability to handle needs for full game effort, however, seem to be answered by analysis of games versus his team's toughest opponents over his last three years. In particular, in those games, Subject typically played the entire game, and is graded as being as effective at the close of those games as he was at the start. In one game against Michigan, for example, Subject had 502 all-purpose yards, which is third all-time in the FBS.

Finally, Subject bench pressed 32 reps at the combine, which is virtually unheard of for wide receivers, and which indicates that Subject has been involved in an effective weight training program for years. In a very real sense, the 32 reps say more about Subject than his 40 time.

Knowledge of the game:

Subject's nickname is "Coach," because he coaches his teammates and has done so for some time. During the Senior Bowl, Subject absorbed the playbook quickly, never had to be told anything twice, and he actually suggested very appropriate plays to the offensive staff during the game (the observations and suggestions were made tactfully and respectfully).

While assisting at the high school level during their playoffs, an opposing team utilized a zone defense (largely unheard of at that level). Subject reportedly recognized the defense during the first series of downs in the game and was able to teach the skill offensive players to recognize and exploit weaknesses in that defense in less than a quarter of game time. Subject's team won that game. See unsolicited reference from Jason Turner in References section.

In the spring of Subject's junior year, and again this past weekend, Subject's coach asked Subject to act as special teams coach for the "Blue Team" during Penn State's Spring Game. Subject's head coach and the regular special teams coach credited him with doing an outstanding job both times.

Coach Adams, when interviewed, related the following anecdote:

"In the fall of his junior year, after the regular season had concluded, Kyle and two of his teammates approached me with a disc of game film on Tennessee, highlighting six slightly unusual Tennessee defensive formations they thought we could exploit. I told them to come up with the adjustment plays and I would look at them. They were back within three days with the proposed plays. I looked them over (they all looked like they were already a part of the playbook, they were that professionally done), and selected the three I thought had the most likelihood of being successful, and told them they could practice them on their own. At the game, one of those formations came up, they saw it and checked off immediately, and the play went for 30 yards and was stopped two yards short of the Tennessee goal line.

"There is no doubt in my mind that Kyle was the ringleader of that entire effort. I did confirm that he was the one who had drawn up and packaged the plays for presentation to me.

"Kyle was already reviewing tape of senior season opponents in January of his junior year. He invariably approached me at least a week prior to each game with at least three suggested check-off plays (fully diagramed) for unusual defensive formations he'd spotted during his tape reviews. Every check-off play that was actually approved and used resulted in a big gain. In addition, well over 2/3 of those plays were designed to involve a skill position other than his."

The Subject could already coach receivers and special teams at the college level.

Enthusiasm for the game:

Subject has often stated his desire to coach at the high school, college or professional level after his playing career is through. During his junior and senior years, Subject volunteered his time to coach at his high school and, from all reports, he has done so successfully. We also have learned that on several occasions during the Combine Interviews, Subject took over the whiteboard when asked about plays, and was very enthusiastic, knowledgeable and inventive when diagraming plays and variations thereof.


CHARACTER AND LEADERSHIP

Family Background:

Subject is from a medium-sized family in a small town in rural Pennsylvania. He has an older half-brother by his mother's first marriage. The brother is studying for his doctorate in physics at Princeton University. The brother is married with a one year old daughter. His younger brother is a Sophomore WR at Delaware. He has a younger sister, who is a senior in high school. Subject's parents are both living, and are financially and socially stable. Subject's father works as an insurance broker and financial advisor and has done so for over fifteen years. Subject's mother has worked as secretary/administrative assistant at a local marketing company. The Subject's mother was married immediately after graduating from high school. The first marriage ended in divorce after a year and a half. She married the Subject's father a year after the divorce. The Equifax Report indicates all family debts are both typical (house mortgage, auto loans) and current and have been for at least the past three years, and credit card debts are paid off promptly. Subject has one very young brother, 2 years old, and two nephews (children of his younger brother Andrew), born out of wedlock, living at his parent's house. Subject typically helps with all parenting duties (except changing diapers) while at home.

Stability:

Subject has stated clear plans for what he wants to do with his NFL career, and what he wants to do after that career is over (teaching history and coaching football), and his educational activities should enable him to do that.

Subject has been on the Dean's List at Penn State since the spring semester of his freshman year, and is an Academic All American. The Subject won the Campbell Scholar/Athlete Award as a senior. Subject's Wonderlic score was 35.

With respect to Subject's ability to handle the financial windfalls of being an NFL player, in early March he signed a $1.2 million, four-year endorsement contract with Nike, and received a $200,000 advance. In a recent interview (over a month later), he was asked what he did with the advance money. The questions and answers were reported verbatim as follows:

INTERVIEWER: "How does it feel to have some money in your pocket, Coach [Subject's nickname]? What did you do with all that money?"

SUBJECT: "The first thing I did after I deposited the check was pay Max Solomon, my agent. It felt great getting some money in Max's pocket. He has done so much for me over the past three months. I set aside half the money for taxes. After that I sat down with my parents and repaid them for everything they paid for during my time in college. The rest is still in the bank."

INTERVIEWER: "You mean you are still driving that beat up old car of yours?"

SUBJECT: "I like my VW. It may be seventeen years old but it runs great. Why would I get rid of it?"

[LAUGHTER]

INTERVIEWER: "I guess there is no Hummer in your future."

SUBJECT: "No, there definitely isn't."

Our investigator was asked to do a quick check, and he verified earlier today that Subject invariably drives an old model VW Golf.

In sum, Subject exhibits no discernible mental or emotional weaknesses or concerns. Subject is upbeat, and appears to be level headed. While nothing about the future can be said with certainty, it also appears that neither fame nor a sudden windfall of money are going to go to his head.

Outside Interests:

Our investigator's report indicates Subject has remained active in scouts to this point, and has continued to work at a scout camp during summers and to attend scouting events honoring those younger than him whom he has brought up through the ranks.

Subject reportedly is an enthusiastic camper, and tries to go on week-long or longer camping trips at least twice a year.

Subject spearheaded his college team's participation in his college's dance-a-thon cancer fund raiser, chairing team's effort while a sophomore. The Subject reportedly personally raised in excess of $89,000 during his four years in college. The student dance-a-thon organization confirmed his participation and praised his fundraising ability.

Subject has no children, and is currently engaged. Subject's fiancée (Penelope Edwards of Paradise, Pennsylvania) is a senior at the University of Pennsylvania and is also an enthusiastic camper. She is an honor student with plans to become a veterinarian. She has known Subject since they were children, and has dated Subject off and on since early in high school. Subject was interviewed by a reporter about their relationship and described how they have managed a long distance relationship to this point, and how they plan to do so in the future.

Subject's prior relationships typically have been relatively long term and stable for a collegian. His long term relationship immediately preceding his current one was terminated by him when the female in question was involved in an arrest incident involving alcohol. See off-field issues.

Dedication/Determination:

Subject reportedly has lifted weights and has run every day of his football career, since the end of eighth grade, excepting only the time when he was recovering from injury. In an informal interview of his college trainer to congratulate him (the trainer) on Subject's performance, the trainer said "I wish I could take credit for that, but that's Kyle. He's in here every day working out, without fanfare and without fail, and I use him as an example for the other players."

Subject reportedly also reviewed his playbook and/or game film every day while he was physically at his college. Subject initiated the team's "BCS Championship Starts Today" chant during preparation workouts for his junior year bowl game (Capital One Bowl, Penn State 38, Tennessee 21), and their "On to Phoenix" slogan immediately after being elected captain.

Subject is an Eagle Scout, and has continued to teach and to motivate scouts in his home town and at times, in his area.

Subject has made the Dean's List at Penn State every semester except the fall of his freshman year. Subject is an Academic All American, and is projected to graduate with high honors. Subject won the Campbell Award, for academic excellence and dedication to community service.

Teamwork Potential:

A review of media interviews throughout Subject's college career is very positive. Subject has shown enthusiasm for making fellow receivers, RBs and special teams players better. Subject truly appears to care far more about winning the game than his own statistics. See Clips 71, 72, 74, 75. During Subject's senior year, when he was being touted as a potential Biletnikoff and Heisman candidate, and when he broke several school and national records, he repeatedly and consistently stated the only thing he cared about was his team's continuing to win. See Clips 74, 75.

During the Senior Bowl activities, the coaches found Subject to be very easy and pleasant to work with. He had no problems participating in kickoff and punt coverage, even though he had never done it before, and he was much an impact-maker on special teams coverage as he was on returns (he made one tackle on a return and also downed a punt within the opponent's 5 yard line).

Given that Brady Rasmussen had played against Subject in college, he was asked about his thoughts. Brady related that he liked Subject, considered him a friend, and thought both his abilities and his discipline are impressive. Rasmussen related that Subject had, prior to his freshman year bowl game, asked him where a good, but not too expensive, restaurant was in Los Angeles, because he wanted to take the special teams players out (on his nickel) and treat them to dinner as a way of thanking them for their efforts over the year.

Subject was involved in coordinating a rescue of a drowning Boy Scout while serving last summer as the Scout camp pool director. In the interview with John Holloway (App. B-5), Holloway related that Subject, when interviewed by five local and one national television reporters, as well as one local newspaper concerning the rescue, refused to be interviewed by himself and insisted that the interview include every staff member who had participated in any way in the rescue effort.

Rumors circulated shortly after the start of the Senior Bowl that Subject is a "prima donna" and is not a team player. The rumors appear to have originated with an ESPN reporter, and were discounted by every person interviewed who actually has had any kind of working relationship with Subject. Subject is also reported to have gotten into an argument with Al Davis of the Oakland Raiders, as to whether they should draft him. Given the personalities involved and our assessment of the Raiders' draft needs, frankly, we believe Subject had a good basis for such argument. Personal observation of Subject also indicates Subject has a considerable team focus and ethic. See PR Concerns for a full discussion of this issue.

Work Ethic/Game Preparation:

Subject has worked out (weight program plus 3-mile run) every day he has not been injured since before he was a freshman in high school. Subject's overall body fat count (5%) appears to bear this out. Interviews with his HS coach, teammates and trainers bear this out.

Subject reportedly reviews game films and the playbook on a daily basis during the season and during spring ball. Interviews with his college coaches reveal Subject invariably holds the cowboy during tape review with fellow receivers and backs.

During Senior Bowl week, Subject helped the coaches unpack their materials as soon as they arrived, and was studying the playbook as soon as it came out of the box. We learned he also organized passing drills and playbook study sessions before the coaches even arrived in town.

Leadership:

1. Subject's nickname (High School and College) is "Coach," because he is a de facto coach to his teammates on offense, and of the receivers in particular. Reportedly he worked on his own time with the starting tailback to improve the tailback's pass-receiving skills (See Damian Thompson evaluation), and counseled their starting tight end to get help to improve his grades.

2. Subject was a volunteer coach at his high school during high school playoffs and during the offseason, time permitting. References credit his work as having been very effective.

3. The current coach for Subject's high school sent an unsolicited reference to all 32 NFL teams concerning Subject's volunteer work as an assistant HS coach in the late fall of Subject's junior year in college:

"We were facing our toughest and best-coached opponent that night, and had just met Kyle. I initially found him to be friendly and respectful, but I had my doubts as to how much help he was going to be.

"The opponents' defense gave us a couple of new looks that night, including use of a zone defense (almost unheard of at the high school level). Kyle spotted their use of the zone defense by the second play of our first drive. Then, while our defense was on the field and while our second string skill players ran an option-offense during our next drive, Kyle took our offensive skill players aside and showed them how to read and beat the zone defense, including exploiting seams and how to recognize if the opponent went back to man coverage, all within 10 minutes.

"Later, during half time, I overheard a conversation where he took aside one of our outside coverage men for our kicking team coverage, and talked about attitude, aggressiveness, and shedding blocks during coverage. On the opening kickoff for the second half, that young man was inspired to shed two blocks and cause a fumble that our team recovered, leading to a short field and a quick touchdown for our team. In my opinion, we would not have won that game without Kyle's coaching and inspiration. When I mentioned it to the head coach, he told me Kyle had given me 100% of the credit for all our offensive coaching successes that night."

4. The same coach then described the written notes and suggestions for a game plan against our opponent in this year's State Championship game, based upon films he'd obtained independently. According to Coach Turner, the game plan was succinct, articulate and extremely well put together. It included a summary of the strategy, discussed specific plays to implement the strategy and included diagrams of suggested formations for specific situations which might take advantage of tendencies he'd observed. The game plan also included a tendency chart and a schedule for rotation of linemen.

"Stated simply, Kyle's work was thorough, detailed and completely professional. It included observations of tendencies I had not detected studying the same film, and also included several ideas none of our regular coaching staff had come up with. Further, when I discussed the completeness, thoroughness and detail with my friend Coach Caffrey, he said 'That's Kyle. What are drafts or notes to him are detailed and finished products to everyone else.'"

5. Subject is an Eagle Scout, and has spent his summers since High School working as the boating director and then pool director at a Pennsylvania scout camp. See references.

6. Subject was elected offensive captain for his college team, and is credited by every knowledgeable person we have interviewed with providing outstanding and, at times, inspirational leadership during his senior year. Every coach interviewed stated that the entire team reached a new level during and after the Nebraska game, and unanimously credited Kyle's leadership and example during that game with this development.

7. The following comes verbatim from an interview with Subject's college coach, concerning his post-season evaluation with the Subject immediately following his junior season:

When I asked Kyle what he thought he could do for an encore following his junior season (he'd set new team records for career receptions, career yards receiving, season receptions, and season yards receiving that season), here's how he responded:

"I don't know if I can ... or if I should. Our team lost the two games when I had my best statistics. Our offense runs much better when we spread the ball around. If they over-commit to stopping me, Tanner [Riggs] and Christian [Hunsecker, both WRs] can kill them. If they don't put enough effort into stopping me, I kill them. If our opponents put too much effort into stopping our passing game, Damian [Thompson, RB] kills them. Ask Tennessee, they found out."

"We have to get everyone to work harder. They need to study more video so we're better prepared for our opponents. We need everyone to keep their grades up so they're eligible to play. We need the younger guys to hit the playbook and master it quickly. I want to see our team playing in Phoenix next January for the national title."

When asked how he could contribute to accomplishing that, he replied:

"We have a vision of what our team can achieve — go to Phoenix. Set goals to help us achieve that vision. Get the rest of the team to buy into the goals. Monitor how well the goals are met and assist the team members so they can achieve the goals. Motivate the team to continue towards our common goal. In a word — leadership."

Coach Burton concluded that he challenged Subject to provide that leadership and to bring other team members, and the receivers in particular, up to his level of play, and that Subject delivered just what he was asked to during his senior year.

Coach Burton was particularly impressed that Subject, within a week after being elected one of the team captains, had secured and enlarged a picture of the tunnel leading into the Fiesta Bowl, and then photoshopped it to superimpose a shot of Penn State players charging out of that tunnel, and had it mounted in the team locker room to provide the "vision" the captains hoped the team would buy into. According to Coach Burton:

There is more of this story...
The source of this story is Storiesonline

For the rest of this story you need to be logged in: Log In or Register for a Free account

Story tagged with:
Sports /