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loudnproudcolt

Chris Ballard guest pens Football Morning in America

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1 hour ago, loudnproudcolt said:

Chris Ballard is the guest writer this week filling in for Peter King, and pens a great read on Football Morning in America called "Scouting and the power of Sundays." He goes through how they scout, what they look for, and provides a lot of special stories about players, fans and how it all comes together on Sundays.  A long article, but really a good read. If you want to get to know more about Ballard, and his approach to football and life, take the time and read it. We are very lucky to have him as our GM!

 

Link Below:

 

https://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2019/07/08/chris-ballard-colts-scouting-draft-nfl-fmia-peter-king/

Thanks for the article loud one! Nice to wake up to this!

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Something I found interesting in the article was the blue card players. I think that's a big reason why some of Ballard's picks seem like reaches. He's going after specific guys, and he's willing to take them earlier than the consensus if he has too. On day 2, Ballard said it couldn't of gone any better in his post day 2 draft interview. So he must of got 4 blue-card guys.

 

Loved this article overall, especially when he was talking about possibly taking Rock at 26 and then talking about the discussion with scouts to move down at 34. So much great info here, and I love reading it all!

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A great article, thanks for sharing.  So many interesting portions, although this one stood out for me as a summary of who Ballard and the Colts are, and why we are on such an exciting trajectory:

 

There is nothing that can replicate the euphoric feeling after a big win. I tell everyone that it is hard to beat the first 20 minutes after a big win. I say 20 minutes because shortly after any game, our minds quickly flip to the upcoming week and the next opponent. I wish I could sit here and write that the strong emotions from a loss only lasted 20 minutes, but that would be a lie. After a loss, I usually can’t sleep trying to figure out what I did wrong and how we are going to get it fixed.

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Man, this is worth the read. What a great article, thanks for posting!! 

 

And this is straight gold: 

 

9. I think I know we live in a world of instant gratification and a “want-it-now” mentality, but we cannot forget to enjoy the journey. Things will not always go our way. We are going to fail. Those things are part of the journey, and by experiencing them, we grow. I promise, we learn more from our failures than we do our victories. Our failures challenge us at our core and test us to see if we are up to overcoming what others may perceive as our demise. The climb, struggle, and growth are the fun parts of the journey; take it all in and enjoy it.

 

tenor.gif?itemid=10748381

 

If Chris Ballard asked me to run through a brick wall, I'd do it w/o question. 

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Character, we learn more from our failures, Edwin Jackson, team.

 

 Our foundation is built of ROCK.   :colts:

 

 

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3 hours ago, DaveA1102 said:

After a loss, I usually can’t sleep trying to figure out what I did wrong and how we are going to get it fixed.

He must have been really tired the first month and a half last year. I'm glad he fixed it.

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That was a good read. It was IMHO the best of the FMIA guest writers so far. 

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3 hours ago, SC-Coltsfan said:

He must have been really tired the first month and a half last year. I'm glad he fixed it.

The players should get the credit.  It was said after the Jets loss they had a player only meeting.  I will give CB credit for choosing the players.  Some of them must have stood up and took leadership.

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We, hard-core Colts fans are very lucky to have Chris Ballard. And - this time - I am not talking about how good he is in doing his job. I belive he is, but this time I'm talking about his openness towards the public.

 

It's rare to read (or hear) an active NFL GM talking about his job in such detail, even if he keeps most the X's and O's for himself of course. These articles are gems for football fans, regardless of who write them. The fact that it's Ballard, makes it special for us, Colts fans.

 

This franchise has gone a long way since Ballard arrived. In every possible aspect, including public relations.

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Great read.  I really liked this line

Quote

Jerry Angelo used to say all the time that the talent of a player will tell you his ceiling, but his football character determines his floor.

 

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Lengthy, but great read. Decker is starting to become a very valuable asset to the colts imo. Might be pushing, but he seems more valuable then Ed Dobbs. 

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18 hours ago, Jared Cisneros said:

Something I found interesting in the article was the blue card players. I think that's a big reason why some of Ballard's picks seem like reaches. He's going after specific guys, and he's willing to take them earlier than the consensus if he has too. On day 2, Ballard said it couldn't of gone any better in his post day 2 draft interview. So he must of got 4 blue-card guys.

 

Loved this article overall, especially when he was talking about possibly taking Rock at 26 and then talking about the discussion with scouts to move down at 34. So much great info here, and I love reading it all!

 

I think yoiu've misinterpreted Ballard's comments.    Just because Ballard termed his four Day 2 picks as "couldn't have gone any better."   doesn't mean they're all blue card draft picks.

 

And Ballard is your proof.

 

Ballard said there were 10-12 blue card players in his mind.

 

Ballard said Rock Ya-Sin was one of them.

 

There were three other Day 2 picks and Ballard didn't call any of them blue card picks.    None of them.   If he was willing to share that Rock was one,  he'd have no reason not to share about the other guys.    But he didn't call anyone else.    And there's good reason.    The Blue Card picks were likely the best players on Ballard's board.    Ballard may be saying Rock was a top-10/12 kid on his board.     But just because he liked the other three Day 2 kids,  doesn't mean they were THAT good.

 

Saw a re-cut, re-package of the Colts.com draft video's over on youtube.   On this one, Ballard says he had several pieces of paper.    Had 4-5 targeted players on each, which represented each of his four Day 2 picks.    34, 49, 59 and 89.     Said, he and Frank were happy that they got one name off of each piece of paper.   In their mind,  they nailed each of those four picks.   They got what they hoped for.   But that doesn't mean they're all blue card players.     That's something completely different altogether....    I hope you follow my meaning.....

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, NewColtsFan said:

 

I think yoiu've misinterpreted Ballard's comments.    Just because Ballard termed his four Day 2 picks as "couldn't have gone any better."   doesn't mean they're all blue card draft picks.

 

And Ballard is your proof.

 

Ballard said there were 10-12 blue card players in his mind.

 

Ballard said Rock Ya-Sin was one of them.

 

There were three other Day 2 picks and Ballard didn't call any of them blue card picks.    None of them.   If he was willing to share that Rock was one,  he'd have no reason not to share about the other guys.    But he didn't call anyone else.    And there's good reason.    The Blue Card picks were likely the best players on Ballard's board.    Ballard may be saying Rock was a top-10/12 kid on his board.     But just because he liked the other three Day 2 kids,  doesn't mean they were THAT good.

 

Saw a re-cut, re-package of the Colts.com draft video's over on youtube.   On this one, Ballard says he had several pieces of paper.    Had 4-5 targeted players on each, which represented each of his four Day 2 picks.    34, 49, 59 and 89.     Said, he and Frank were happy that they got one name off of each piece of paper.   In their mind,  they nailed each of those four picks.   They got what they hoped for.   But that doesn't mean they're all blue card players.     That's something completely different altogether....    I hope you follow my meaning.....

 

 

 

I disagree with this. In the article, Ballard said a blue-card guy is a player that meets their strict criteria in terms of football character. After day 2, Ballard said in the post-draft interview that they were all high character. Ballard has also said he'd take a player with slightly better character over a player with slightly more talent. Just because a player is ranked higher (in the 26 range) and is more talented doesn't mean he has better character, and that's what a blue-card player is based on. He didn't say Banogu, Campbell, and Okereke were blue-card players I agree, but he didn't name the other players that were either. I think based on how Ballard has spoken, all 4 day two picks were blue-card players. Rock Ya-Sin was just the clear cut example that was mentioned in the article.

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3 hours ago, Jared Cisneros said:

I disagree with this. In the article, Ballard said a blue-card guy is a player that meets their strict criteria in terms of football character. After day 2, Ballard said in the post-draft interview that they were all high character. Ballard has also said he'd take a player with slightly better character over a player with slightly more talent. Just because a player is ranked higher (in the 26 range) and is more talented doesn't mean he has better character, and that's what a blue-card player is based on. He didn't say Banogu, Campbell, and Okereke were blue-card players I agree, but he didn't name the other players that were either. I think based on how Ballard has spoken, all 4 day two picks were blue-card players. Rock Ya-Sin was just the clear cut example that was mentioned in the article.

 

I remember Reich was sooo excited after the second day. He was walking around the room high-five-ing everyone and repeating "four for four" many times. Did that four for four mean four blue cards of four picks? I don't know, but something definitely made Reich that much excited and say those words. 

 

Doesn't really matter though after the draft. A blue mark won't make any of them better player. Hard work and good coaching can, and hopefully will.

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This franchise is so fortunate to have this man. I think we're witnessing something truly special here.

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   When Ballard talked about hearing everyone, I couldn’t help but think how Mayock and Gruden kept others out of the room on draft day.

    He said teams do things differently and it made me think of teams like the Browns who certainly have added talent but I can see them imploding because of some of the egos on the team. Will they start pointing fingers if they go 1-5 out of the gate?

    Ballard has built depth, drafted well, acquired FAs that fit and should make the team better, without breaking the bank and picked up guys like Moore, Desir, Sanchez and Ware for cheap and are pretty good players. Bravo Colts!

     THE RIVALRY IS BACK ON!!!

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11 hours ago, CR91 said:

Lengthy, but great read. Decker is starting to become a very valuable asset to the colts imo. Might be pushing, but he seems more valuable then Ed Dobbs. 

This would be a tough choice since Dodds is Ballard's right hand man.

But I also believe in a few years time there will be a ton of teams

looking to place a Decker type assistant on their payroll.

 

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31 minutes ago, dodsworth said:

This would be a tough choice since Dodds is Ballard's right hand man.

But I also believe in a few years time there will be a ton of teams

looking to place a Decker type assistant on their payroll.

 

 

Well its really genius when you're looking for certain answers that you can't find on the field. Sometimes the off the field criteria is just as important as on the field 

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13 hours ago, NewColtsFan said:

The Blue Card picks were likely the best players on Ballard's board.    Ballard may be saying Rock was a top-10/12 kid on his board.

 

I understood his comments about blue cards to be specific to football character, not overall ranking. He explained "football character" in his post draft comments, and how it's separate from overall, or "personal" character.

 

https://www.colts.com/news/step-inside-the-colts-draft-room-with-chris-ballard (emphasis mine)

Quote

On how there’s more to character than legal issues: “So it’s football character — we separate it — football character, which is how is he going to be in the building, what’s his love for the game, how’s he gonna work, what’s his football intelligence, what’s his passion, how does he deal with injuries? All of the things we go through of how we’re going to handle him in the building, alright? Then you’ve got to put in the personal character of, alright, how’s this guy gonna represent our organization and our city? That’s where that big ‘ol apple will sit out there, and you’ve gotta be careful (with) the ones you bite. We’ve gotta be damn right when we take a shot. You can’t be wrong when you take a shot on a guy that’s got some issues, and, I mean, look: y’all have followed my career. I’ve definitely been a part of taking some shots. I think I can save everybody. … And we try; I mean, we want to do everything we can to help these guys become better men. I think that’s part of our job, too; not only winning games, but making them better men and (giving them) help when they’re here. And I wish they were all perfect, but we have to weigh the circumstances of what happened, why did it happen? The things that’s really interesting nowadays is when you dig into the family backgrounds — where kids are coming from, the issues they’ve had to deal with — and then how does that travel with them and can we get them help with that? There’s just a lot of tangled webs, man, that you’ve got to dig through on the personal side. What do they have? Time and money. They have a lot time on their hands and they’ve got money now. And they’ve got a ton of freaking people grabbing at ‘em. All that stuff’s gotta be managed. I just think back to when I was 21, 22 years old.”

 

So I don't think him saying he had 10-12 blue cards means that those 10-12 players were the top players on their board. Just that they had the highest character grades. It's possible that they had a mid round grade on a blue card player. That's my interpretation of his comments.

 

But even if that's correct, I don't think we have enough information to say that all four of his Day 2 picks were blue card guys. That's speculative, IMO.

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51 minutes ago, Superman said:

 

I understood his comments about blue cards to be specific to football character, not overall ranking. He explained "football character" in his post draft comments, and how it's separate from overall, or "personal" character.

 

https://www.colts.com/news/step-inside-the-colts-draft-room-with-chris-ballard (emphasis mine)

 

So I don't think him saying he had 10-12 blue cards means that those 10-12 players were the top players on their board. Just that they had the highest character grades. It's possible that they had a mid round grade on a blue card player. That's my interpretation of his comments.

 

But even if that's correct, I don't think we have enough information to say that all four of his Day 2 picks were blue card guys. That's speculative, IMO.

 

Good post, Thanks.    Your point about character is correct.

 

That said, would you not agree that if Ballard was willing to share that Rock was one if the 10-12 players, that he’s clearly identified as a blue card guy...   that there’s no apparent reason to not identify the other three players we took that night.   Why would he ID Rock and not ID anyone else?

 

Does that not seem the most logical and reasonable?   

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41 minutes ago, NewColtsFan said:

Good post, Thanks.    Your point about character is correct.

 

That said, would you not agree that if Ballard was willing to share that Rock was one if the 10-12 players, that he’s clearly identified as a blue card guy...   that there’s no apparent reason to not identify the other three players we took that night.   Why would he ID Rock and not ID anyone else?

 

Does that not seem the most logical and reasonable?   

 

I definitely follow and agree with your logic. I assume that Ballard would identify any other "blue card" players the team drafted, unprompted, just like he identified Rock.

 

I don't necessarily think that just because he didn't identify any others that it means there were no others; that's where we're relying on speculation. But it does stand to reason that he would.

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4 hours ago, Superman said:

 

I definitely follow and agree with your logic. I assume that Ballard would identify any other "blue card" players the team drafted, unprompted, just like he identified Rock.

 

I don't necessarily think that just because he didn't identify any others that it means there were no others; that's where we're relying on speculation. But it does stand to reason that he would.

 

He also talked of best case. I'm guessing he didn't have a guy like Bosa or Quinnen in that list.  I'm assuming it was by round (or the top 2-3 rounds) with people there was a chance at getting. 

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5 hours ago, Superman said:

 

I definitely follow and agree with your logic. I assume that Ballard would identify any other "blue card" players the team drafted, unprompted, just like he identified Rock.

 

I don't necessarily think that just because he didn't identify any others that it means there were no others; that's where we're relying on speculation. But it does stand to reason that he would.


I agree with your earlier post in that it sounds like "blue card" relates to character. With that in mind, I could definitely see Khari Willis being another one of their blue card guys. Just kinda makes sense, everybody gushed about his personality including Ballard, plus it'd make the trade up make a little more sense.

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2 hours ago, Fisticuffs111 said:


I agree with your earlier post in that it sounds like "blue card" relates to character. With that in mind, I could definitely see Khari Willis being another one of their blue card guys. Just kinda makes sense, everybody gushed about his personality including Ballard, plus it'd make the trade up make a little more sense.

I was going to mention this as well. Good comment! :thmup: Just another example that the highest ranked players aren't always the blue-cards.

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Unless Ballard defines "blue card", we're all just guessing. Could mean "priority talent", could mean "priority need for the team", could mean any combination of "need" + "talent" + "character". 

 

Another example of folks hanging on every word... And some folks acting like they have the decoder key of Ballard. Could someone just ask him to define it lol.

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Great article - what safety do we think Ballard is referring to in this quote?

 

Adderley? Thornhill?

 

We had a specific safety we debated hard for weeks and thought he could move to corner. He reminded us a lot of Rashean Mathis when he came out of college. We debated taking him if we moved down. We had a strong conviction about what type of player he could be and he had good football character

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8 hours ago, Irish YJ said:

Unless Ballard defines "blue card", we're all just guessing. Could mean "priority talent", could mean "priority need for the team", could mean any combination of "need" + "talent" + "character". 

 

Another example of folks hanging on every word... And some folks acting like they have the decoder key of Ballard. Could someone just ask him to define it lol.

 

 He was very clear what a Blue Card player is.

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9 hours ago, Irish YJ said:

Unless Ballard defines "blue card", we're all just guessing. Could mean "priority talent", could mean "priority need for the team", could mean any combination of "need" + "talent" + "character". 

 

Another example of folks hanging on every word... And some folks acting like they have the decoder key of Ballard. Could someone just ask him to define it lol.

 

To hang on every word, you have to read every word.

 

From the article:

If a player meets our strict criteria in terms of his football character, he is given a blue card.

 

There's nothing to decode in this case.

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13 hours ago, wig said:

 

He also talked of best case. I'm guessing he didn't have a guy like Bosa or Quinnen in that list.  I'm assuming it was by round (or the top 2-3 rounds) with people there was a chance at getting. 

 

He said there are 10-12 of them in the entire draft. I don't know how much work they do on the football character of consensus top five guys, but I would assume they'd get a good idea of what a player is all about, just in case he drops (like Laremy Tunsil, or even Malik Hooker). 

 

But then, it's unlikely that they'd go that in depth on a top ranked QB, in any event. So Kyler Murray, for instance, might have outstanding football character, but it's unlikely they spoke with him or his people or did enough work on him to make a legitimate determination of his football character, and label him a blue card.

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On 7/10/2019 at 10:37 AM, Superman said:

 

To hang on every word, you have to read every word.

 

From the article:

If a player meets our strict criteria in terms of his football character, he is given a blue card.

 

There's nothing to decode in this case.

 

I read every word, twice... 

 

he defined football character as

"which is how is he going to be in the building, what’s his love for the game, how’s he gonna work, what’s his football intelligence, what’s his passion, how does he deal with injuries? All of the things we go through of how we’re going to handle him in the building, alright??

 

So any guy that is intelligent, passionate, and deals with injury well get a blue card? 

 

So when handing out blue cards, performance on the field and personal character have zero to do with it? Not buying it. He delineates personal character from football character, but is a guy with obvious character issues, or that lacks performance even eligible for a blue card?

 

Again, not a well rounded "definition", and still plenty to decode.

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10 hours ago, Irish YJ said:

 

I read every word, twice... 

 

he defined football character as

"which is how is he going to be in the building, what’s his love for the game, how’s he gonna work, what’s his football intelligence, what’s his passion, how does he deal with injuries? All of the things we go through of how we’re going to handle him in the building, alright??

 

So any guy that is intelligent, passionate, and deals with injury well get a blue card? 

 

So when handing out blue cards, performance on the field and personal character have zero to do with it? Not buying it. He delineates personal character from football character, but is a guy with obvious character issues, or that lacks performance even eligible for a blue card?

 

Again, not a well rounded "definition", and still plenty to decode.

 

Not to be pedantic, but now you're asking for a definition of "football character," not what kind of player qualifies for a blue card. He said clearly and directly that a player who meets their strict criteria for football character gets a blue card. He didn't offer a detailed and comprehensive explanation for how they determine a player's football character, nor would he be expected to offer that kind of explanation for an intangible quality, but he did offer some of the criteria they use.

 

It obviously doesn't mean priority talent or priority need, as you suggested earlier. It's not about the player's overall ranking on the team's draft board. It's unlikely that they considered Rock Ya-Sin a top 12 player on their board, but he was one of the team's 12 blue cards.

 

I don't think it's hard to understand at all. 

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12 hours ago, Irish YJ said:

 

I read every word, twice... 

 

he defined football character as

"which is how is he going to be in the building, what’s his love for the game, how’s he gonna work, what’s his football intelligence, what’s his passion, how does he deal with injuries? All of the things we go through of how we’re going to handle him in the building, alright??

 

So any guy that is intelligent, passionate, and deals with injury well get a blue card? 

 

So when handing out blue cards, performance on the field and personal character have zero to do with it? Not buying it. He delineates personal character from football character, but is a guy with obvious character issues, or that lacks performance even eligible for a blue card?

 

Again, not a well rounded "definition", and still plenty to decode.

 

  It was work ethic, passion for the game, football intelligence, competitive nature, teamness, and mental toughness. Character risk, will to be great.
 There is personal character written all through that!!
 Only 10-12 graded Blue Card based on our STRICT grading system.
 And as you ask it, were there only that many guys in this draft that we graded intelligent, passionate, and deals well with injury.  Good grief!
  There is no bother to go A-Z on anyone that the scouts don't grade highly, by our standards, in performance and analytics, the TAPE.
 A Blue Card per CB & Frank, IS all about paragraph one above.

  I think about an undrafted Pat Tillman. He may have been an undrafted Blue Card in his day.
 

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13 hours ago, Superman said:

 

Not to be pedantic, but now you're asking for a definition of "football character," not what kind of player qualifies for a blue card. He said clearly and directly that a player who meets their strict criteria for football character gets a blue card. He didn't offer a detailed and comprehensive explanation for how they determine a player's football character, nor would he be expected to offer that kind of explanation for an intangible quality, but he did offer some of the criteria they use.

 

It obviously doesn't mean priority talent or priority need, as you suggested earlier. It's not about the player's overall ranking on the team's draft board. It's unlikely that they considered Rock Ya-Sin a top 12 player on their board, but he was one of the team's 12 blue cards.

 

I don't think it's hard to understand at all. 

He actually defined football character to an extent, so not asking for that. He didn't give parameters, but that's not my point. My points are, 1) that we're really no closer to understanding how it all works, and 2) we really don't know who can get a blue card....

 

For example, and I think you might have used it. If there's a QB who is passionate, has great football IQ, and deals with injury well (that was his definition), would he have gotten a blue card this last draft. Probably not because we had no intention of taking a QB (to my original post on "need"). And in terms of personal character.... does having a bad personal character (he distinguished between football and personal) flag omit a player from getting a blue card in the first place (my original point on personal "character"). And if he is not talented (the third from my original post), they are likely not going to go through the effort.

 

Not trying to be pedantic either, but to me, it clarifies almost nothing.

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11 hours ago, throwing BBZ said:

 

  It was work ethic, passion for the game, football intelligence, competitive nature, teamness, and mental toughness. Character risk, will to be great.
 There is personal character written all through that!!
 Only 10-12 graded Blue Card based on our STRICT grading system.
 And as you ask it, were there only that many guys in this draft that we graded intelligent, passionate, and deals well with injury.  Good grief!
  There is no bother to go A-Z on anyone that the scouts don't grade highly, by our standards, in performance and analytics, the TAPE.
 A Blue Card per CB & Frank, IS all about paragraph one above.

  I think about an undrafted Pat Tillman. He may have been an undrafted Blue Card in his day.
 

I quoted exactly what he said about football character. 

See my reply to Sup for additional.

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On 7/12/2019 at 9:24 PM, Irish YJ said:

My points are, 1) that we're really no closer to understanding how it all works, and 2) we really don't know who can get a blue card....

 

I don't think he was intending to give a comprehensive lesson on how blue cards are determined. He said they give blue cards to players who check all their "football character" boxes, he gave an explanation of what he means by "football character," he said they determined 10-12 blue cards this year, and he said Rock Ya-Sin was a blue card. 

 

I think we can infer a lot from that info, but no, we won't have a complete understanding of how they evaluate every player's football character. 

 

I think we can also reasonably conclude that they don't go top to bottom on players that they aren't going to draft, like highly ranked QBs. If they did, it's possible/probable that they'd label more players as blue cards in a given year.

 

Quote

And if he is not talented (the third from my original post), they are likely not going to go through the effort.

 

If he has a 'not draftable' grade, they don't go through the trouble. I think that goes without saying. By the time they put together an initial board in winter and exclude undeclared underclassmen, I'm pretty sure they've removed any players who aren't draftable. When the personnel team starts meeting to exchange notes and give out grades, anyone not talented enough isn't part of the discussion.

 

But I would imagine that even UDFAs get character grades. I could see someone like Zaire Franklin getting a blue card, for instance; I don't think much about his talent and ability, but he's apparently a stand-up person and teammate. 

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