Any Questions for Scott Campbell, Director of Player Personnel?

So far, as I meet people at Redskins park, I’ve focused on the guys who equip the players and the guys who film the players. Today, I was able to spend some time with one of the guys who helps to get the players here in the first place. I spent much of this morning’s practice with Director of Player Personnel Scott Campbell, trying to see the guys — especially the rookies — through his eyes. I’ll have details on that up a little later.

I’ll start now with two things. First, a call for questions. If you have anything you’d like me to ask Scott while I’ve got some time with, drop me an email sometime today. I’ll put through as many as I can. And second, I asked Scott a couple of questions about his background and his job responsibilities, just to get things started.

Scott Campbell in his office.

Scott Campbell in his office.

Director of Player Personnel is one of those titles that a lot of people have heard, but I know that I, at least, have never been completely sure what the job entails.

My responsibility is preparing the team for all aspects of player personnel acquisition. There’s generally two sides of it: the pro personnel side, which covers scouting other teams in the NFL, advance scouting your opponents, evaluating the waiver wire, and evaluating players for trades and free agency. You have to have every player in the league evaluated, but especially free agents.

The other side is the college side, which is draft preparation. I’ve worked as director on both sides, in Chicago and here, until I was promoted to overseeing the whole department now.

It’s generally about doing all the research, analysis, and preparation for all aspects of personnel.

So how did you get here? What brought you to this position?

I played football at the University of Georgia, and I wanted to get into coaching. My father was a coach – he played pro football and was a longtime NFL coach. So I grew up going to training camps, being a ball boy, all through high school being on the sidelines. So I basically grew up in the NFL.

Who was your father? Where did he coach?

My father is Marion Campbell. He was a defensive coordinator for many years, a defensive line coach, starting as defensive end for the 49ers, who drafted him. He was a defensive end for the Eagles — which is why I was born in Philadelphia – and he was an all-pro for them when they won the championship in 1960.

He got into coaching on the defensive line. We lived in Boston, then in Minneapolis with the Vikings. He was with the Rams for the Fearsome Foursome and then Atlanta as a defensive coordinator, and eventually became head coach there.

He went to Philadelphia with Dick Vermeil as defensive coordinator for all those years, then became head coach, and went back to Atlanta where he finished his career as head coach.

Interesting. Did you work with him?

By then, I was working at Auburn as a graduate assistant coach. When my dad took over from Dan Henning at Atlanta, I went over and joined his staff as an administrative assistant. I still wanted to coach, but the position entailed a lot of administrative duties like setting up training camp, I was the Turk, had to cut the players – which was very difficult, but it served me well when I eventually became a pro director of personnel – and I did some local scouting at area schools and self scouting for the offense.

The more I did the scouting, the more I enjoyed it. I had been told not to get into that because of the travel and all that, but as I established a routine, I said “this is something I think I could be good at,” and they offered me a full-time scouting job when they let my father go.

So I spent seven more years scouting for them. I became the southeast area scout for the Kansas City Chiefs, then became a director in 2000 with the Chicago Bears. I was there one year, and came here in 2001 when Marty Schottenheimer – who I’d worked with in Kansas City – came here.

I was college director for them, moved to pro director after that season when they let everybody go, and I did that for four years. A few years ago I had the chance to move back to the college side, and now here I am.

*****

Again, I’ve got a bit more time with Scott today, so send me any questions you’d like to ask.

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10 Responses

  1. do you like pie?

  2. What at the time unknown player have you scouted and seen become a star?

  3. Do you envision youself as a GM one day? Taking over foy Vinny Cerrato?

  4. What is the scouting report on D.Greens son in UVA? Does something like family line play into a report? Elways boy is coming up as a qb, Howie Long’s son went to the NFL this year.

  5. Scott,

    What did (or didn’t ) you see in Josh Johnson (QB out of San Diego Univ.) that you all didn’t draft him in the later rounds? I ask because he had better numbers than Colt Brennan and is much faster. And like Campbell, people who worked with him stated he was very intelligent when it comes to picking up offenses and the opposing defenses.

  6. Scott,

    In your opion, what is the best way to build a successfull team; through the draft, or free agency? Can we expect more building though the draft in the years to come?

  7. Why did the Reskins pass on Calais Campbell, the defensive end from Miami?

  8. My mind leaped around as usual when I read “Turk” in one of the quotes above…

    There’s a rather dated lyric in the terrific folk song “Big Rock Candy Mountain” that mildly set off my Turkish friend: “…where they hung the Turk who invented work…”

    RIP Dan Turk…

    Also, this is pretty interesting:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Turk

    Or maybe not interesting. You decide…

  9. Hey Matt — ask him this: why are the Skins so disastrously stupid when it comes to evaluating pro personnel? How do you get promoted when you evaluated losers like a certain wide receiver they radically overpaid from San Francisco who never did s***. Or TJ Duckett. Or Archuleta.

    A trained monkey could do this job better than Vinny and crew. A BADLY trained monkey.

    Is Scott Campbell a badly trained monkey?

  10. […] after the catch, making foot-tapping catches along the sidelines … he really looks like what Scott Campbell described him as — “A talented athlete with the potential to be a superstar at wide […]

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