Being a sports scout seems fun, right? You get to take long trips to various places. You’re finding the best football players for your team. You’re basically being paid to watch sports.
Titans General Manager Jon Robinson will disagree. The Tennessee native spent as much as 19 days without his family on road trips to different college campuses just to scout football athletes. He spent long nights reviewing reports; however, he had to push through.
“To have to go out and be the lowest-paid guy in an area, and eat Wendy’s four nights a week on your way to the next school, and get up the next morning and be at a school, and pack a suitcase and unpack a suitcase — it’s mentally draining,” Robinson said, quote via USA TODAY Sports.
“I would say there were probably two instances my second year where I had gone out on the road, and I had been away from my family for probably 18, 19 days. And by that 19th day, I was just gone. I was ready to quit. I was going to go coach high school football where I could be home every night. Then November rolls around, you come off the road because college football’s done, you kind of get re-energized.”
Scouting is more than just sitting back and watching sports. Today, when you watch football, you probably aren’t paying attention to key details like the way an athlete shifts from one direction to the other, or you may not notice how fast they are moving because you’re watching on a television.
But, unfortunately, you need scouting experience in order to get to the level Robinson is now. As they say, with every good comes a whole lot of bad.
Robinson has a great scouting resumé. He’s credited for scouting talent like Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, a huge target Tom Brady loves to throw to. Robinson also helped build around 2015 first overall NFL draft pick Jameis Winston in Tampa Bay, who had a exceptional year capped off with a Rookie of the Year honor.
It certainly looks like he’s building around Marcus Mariota, as he hopes to change the trajectory of the Titans – who hasn’t made the playoffs in nearly a decade.
His mission is to take the Titans from worst to first, and his plan to do that are aggressively taking shape. Titans fans should be glad he didn’t quit.
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