Jed Hughes, NFL Headhunter, Talks Panthers And NFL Combine.
02-25-13 Monday Bustin’ Loose Jed Hughes, Vice Chairman/Global Sports Executive Consultant at Korn/Ferry International and Sports business contributor for the Bleacher Report, stopped by the Bustin’ Loose show to talk about the Panthers organization, the hiring of GM Dave Gettleman and the NFL Combine process from the GM’s viewpoint.
It’s hard to talk football in the Charlotte area without mentioning Cam Newton, and the Panthers QB was first topic of conversation.
“This whole quarterback evolution that’s going on regarding the amount of movement and the offenses that are being structured to take advantage of their mobility and their accuracy throwing the football. He clearly fits into that category.”
Panthers’ G.M. Dave Gettleman’s hiring did not come with a good bit a criticism. Being a former headhunter in similar, precious NFL searches, Hughes was able to offer a pretty unique perspective.
“G.M. jobs, up until recently, had pretty well been filled by internal promotions. And over the last couple of years there’s been a trend for teams to look outside the organization to fill their G.M. needs. I think when you look at your hire. Every organization has reasons and specs that are put together on why someone makes sense for their organization… but Ernie Accorsi had intimate knowledge of the hire. He worked with im for a number of years. So if anybody would have insight into his strengths and weaknesses, Ernie would probably have better insight than anyone else.”
The NFL Combine is the center of the football world right now in Indy, and Jed took us behind the curtain to give a glimpse of the interaction between players and executives throughout this evaluation process.
“When you’re a position coach and you’re able to follow your specific group of players through their weigh in, their physical, the bench press, to watching them to various activities, you get to see the reaction on their face. You get to see them up close and see how they compete, how they respond if something doesn’t go well. How do they react to that? When you’re going through film, you don’t get to see all the reactions an individual has on their face… You can be close and watch them perform and sense the intensity with which they’re performing their activity, whether they’re happy with it, or if they tend to be someone that’s emotionless… And you get to talk to them a little bit. So there are a lot of things that don’t fit in a notebook that are instinctual that you are able to gather from being in, and listening to, and observing what the players are doing.”
Before letting Jed go we had to let him reminisce about some of the great coaches he spent some of his illustrious career around.
“Bo Schembechler was tough as nails, but he’d be sitting there in that conference room and he could get the staff to laugh… Now Bud Grant, he was stoic… in terms of our coaching gear, he was an avid outdoorsman, so all of our coaching gear came from the L.L. Bean catalog… And then Chuck Knoll, nobody was smarter. Every summer Chuck became an expert. Whether it was cooking, or diving, whether it was something to have to do with wine, so when he came back in the beginning of the fall, they used to call him “The Pope”, because they wouldn’t know what he was going pontificate about.”
You can follow Jed on Twitter @JedHughesKF