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Titans GM Jon Robinson Values Input From Coaches in Draft


NASHVILLE, Tenn. — When Titans general manager Jon Robinson stepped into his new job last January, he helped change the mindset and approach inside Saint Thomas Sports Park.

And that includes how the team approaches the NFL Draft.

A year later, the team's scouts have a better understanding of terminology, and how Robinson likes reports on players written up during the player evaluation process. Robinson stresses the importance of having roles defined for players, and how they might fit in. He wants concise, specific statements about players when he gets reports.

He also wants to get everyone on board.

Robinson has made sure to get assistant coaches heavily involved in the process, perhaps more than ever before. Everyone involved believes it should result in having a better feel on players leading up to the NFL Draft.

"I don't know what was done in the past,'' Robinson said. "We're just trying to make this current staff of coaches and players and scouts continue to buy into the way we are going to do things. I do know that the coaches are the ones that ultimately spend the most time with these guys on a day in and day out basis. We have a type of player that we want, and I think it is very good for the coaches to have input into the guys that they are going to coach.

"They evaluate the players, and we take their evaluations into consideration and we try and make the best decision for the football team. I think it is really important that the coaches go spend time with these guys in the spring, at pro days, or workouts. Certainly some of those players have played for coaches that they know that are in free agency, so they can tap into those resources for information about players."

Robinson has been all over the map at pro days in recent weeks. On many trips, head coach Mike Mularkey has been with him. Director of Player Personnel Ryan Cowden and Director of College Scouting Blake Beddingfield have also made the rounds, along with the team's area scouts.

The Titans have flooded many pro days with personnel. A half-dozen coaches and scouts made the trip to Tennessee's pro day on Friday in Knoxville, and the Titans also had a large contingent at Alabama, Vanderbilt and Tennessee State. Robinson and Mularkey were together at Clemson, and have been spotted on college campuses all over the country.

On some of the stops, Titans assistant coaches have been involved running the drills. Titans linebackers coach Lou Spanos put linebackers through drills at Tennessee and Alabama, while offensive lineman Russ Grimm and assistant defensive line coach Keith Willis led drills at Vanderbilt. Other coaches have been involved in on-field work as well.

They've spent time with players after pro days, and at workouts.

Robinson said the coaches and scouts "are on the same page."

"There's familiarity with all of us,'' he said.

Despite being on crutches following foot surgery last month, Mularkey said he he's attended more pro days this season compared to a year ago.

He also has a much better feel for the college players compared to a year ago.

"It has been big," Mularkey said. "(The coaches) have traveled more. So when it comes down for us to put our grades together, we have all spent way more time with these guys, and we have a better idea of who we are getting and who we are talking about draft day. When I look at a name on a board now, I definitely have much more of an understanding of who that guy is than I did a month ago.

"So it's been good. It would be a lot easier on two feet, two legs. But I enjoy it. It is part of the process and I am good with it."

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