On pseudo “Scoutspeak”

One 240-pound athlete who can move like a hungry leopard is pretty much like all the others, a fact that cannot be allowed to stand between the motivated draftnik and that coveted senior draft analyst title. Luckily, there is Scoutspeak, a language designed to baffle laymen with submolecular analysis of every high-cut, sudden prospect who can high-point, bucket step and take proper angles but gets upright, runs with poor lean, and fails to syncopate his duodenum while percolating the jabberwocky.

Every Scoutspeak term does correspond with some real physical attribute, and true experts like Mayock can pepper their explanations with jargon without delving into non-Newtonian football minutiae. Others use Scoutspeak to conceal ignorance. The Paradox of Draft Analysis states that the more detailed the observations about a prospect’s kinesiology, the less likely the writer-speaker is to have ever seen the prospect play football.

That’s Mike Tanier writing at the Fifth Down. Read the whole thing.

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  • Coachjax5

    If this guy thinks the only difference between a 3-technique and 5-technique is “42 lateral inches down the line of scrimmage” he’s obviously never coached or played D-Line.

  • NoHuddleAirRaidForTheWin

     Well, since you clearly have played or coached defensive line, would you care to explain the multitude of differences between the 3 and 5 techniques?

  • NoHuddleAirRaidForTheWin

    double post

  • smartfootball

     I thought the example of the difference between a 3 and 5 was a bad example, but there is merit to the point that scouts get crazy with lingo and jargon about how a guy can play one technique versus another. I typically see this with a one tech, a true nose, and a three tech. You have very different ideal players for each, and teams that use one system versus another have different needs, but some of the analysis goes a little overboard. In any event, I just thought it was funny.

    And a 3 tech lines up on the outside shade of the offensive guard, while a five technique lines up on the outside shade of the tackle (and his alignment may shift further depending on if there is a tight-end). Further, for example, in the typical “4-3 under” front both defensive ends line up in 5-techniques against a set with a tight-end, but the profile and responsibility of the strongside defensive end and the weakside defensive end by quite a lot — both what their responsibilities are, the kinds of blocks they have to deal with, how often they may drop into coverage (the WDE sometimes, the SDE very rarely), and most of all how they deal with threats to the outside.

    This piece obviously doesn’t get into it, though I do agree with it that many of the so-called (often self-appointed) scouts don’t know much about this stuff either.

  • Jeremy Arnold

    I love the post.  It’s not perfect, but Scoutspeak is one of the more ridiculous things to come along since the emergence of ESPN and the internet.  I blame guys like Mel Kiper and all the recruiting/draft media and websites for building it into the current tower of babel.

    It’s even better when pretentious know-it-alls use these terms without actually knowing what they mean.  My all time favorite example was hearing one of the big sports radio idiots say that Ndomakong Suh, when he was coming out of Nebraska, would be a great fit as a “3 technique Nose Tackle in the 3-4 defense.”

    I like the old Bill Walsh take on this sort of overanalysis: “Don’t tell me what a guy can’t do, tell me what he can!”  You can pick apart any player and come up with things he does that aren’t 100% textbook or ideal, which is what a lot of this stuff really seems to be about.  Every year, the top prospects get shredded so much by scouts that you’d wonder how they ever made it off the bench in HS.

  • Coachjax5

    Really?  I figured it would be pretty much understood by everybody on here that the difference between a 3- and 5-tech would be huge.  But since you asked…

    It’s not that there’s a “multitude” of differences; it’s more that’s there’s a significant single difference that would make it tough for a 3 to ever become a 5 (though I’d say there are some 5’s who could make it as a 3).

    Body type: the greater likelihood of double-teams for 3-techniques require them to be much larger.  5-tech’s would battle ONE player at a time more often AND have space to be a speed-rusher, so they need to be more nimble/agile so therefore are usually more svelte.
    Pass rush techniques: 3’s are more limited in the amount of space they can use, so they usually will rely more on a power-type move like a ‘bull-rush.’  5’s, being on the edge of an OT, have more lateral space and can use rips, swims, etc. moreso than a 3. 

    Essentially, I believe the article was on-point, but using the ‘differences-between-a-3-and-5′ was misplaced.  There IS a big difference between a 3 and a 5 technique (can you imagine BJ Raji–usually more of a 1-technique, but in some sets widens out to a 3–playing a speed-rushing 5-technique!?)…it’s not just something a scout might say in the same way a lawyer might use “legalese” to keep the practice of law an exclusive activity for those with law degrees only.

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  • NoHuddleAirRaidForTheWin

    Thanks, that’s all I wanted to see lol. And I definitely agree with you about someone like BJ Raji; he is one of my favorite defensive linemen besides Vince Wilfork.

    ________________________________
    From: Disqus
    To: CelPatBruYanks@yahoo.com
    Sent: Tuesday, March 6, 2012 6:26 PM
    Subject: [smartfootball] Re: On pseudo “Scoutspeak”

    Disqus generic email template

    Coachjax5 wrote, in response to NoHuddleAirRaidForTheWin:
    Really?  I figured it would be pretty much understood by everybody on here that the difference between a 3- and 5-tech would be huge.  But since you asked…
    Body type: the greater likelihood of double-teams for 3-techniques require them to be much larger.  5-tech’s would battle ONE player at a time more often AND have space to be a speed-rusher, so they need to be more nimble/agile so therefore are usually more svelte. Pass rush techniques: 3’s are more limited in the amount of space they can use, so they usually will rely more on a power-type move like a ‘bull-rush.’  5’s, being on the edge of an OT, have more lateral space and can use rips, swims, etc. moreso than a 3.
    Essentially, I believe the article was on-point, but using the ‘differences-between-a-3-and-5′ was misplaced.  There IS a big difference between a 3 and a 5 technique (can you imagine BJ Raji playing a speed-rushing 5-technique!?)…it’s not just something a scout might say in the same way a lawyer might use “legalese” to keep the practice of law an exclusive activity for those with law degrees only.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/MrMurder-Murphy/802155723 Mr.Murder Murphy

    The verbiage of the article was too simplistic for the rigors of NFL scoutspeak. Proof that the author is tight hipped and not a natural bender.