One of the main purposes the NFL Combine serves is it allows NFL teams to get to know the collegiate players and NFL prospects better and on a personal level, ranging from personal triumphs to personal flaws.
It's not uncommon for NFL scouts, coaches and front office personnel to grill draft prospects, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers apparently stood out to Florida State safety Myron Rolle, whose commitment to football has come into question due to his decision to skip his final season at FSU to work towards a master's degree in medical anthropology at Oxford University in England as a Rhodes Scholar.
During a 45-minute interview before the Senior Bowl in January with seven members of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers staff, including head coach Raheem Morris and general manager Mark Dominik, one member of the staff asked Rolle what it felt like to desert his team this season.
“I hadn’t heard that one before,” said Rolle, who pauses ever so slightly before answering to consider his thoughts. “My initial reaction was a bit of confusion. It never was anger, but I was more bothered by the question because if anyone knew my involvement with my teammates, how much they care about me and how much I care about them.”
For instance, when Rolle pledged his college fraternity (Kappa Alpha PSI), 30 teammates not involved in the frat showed up to cheer him on at probate, when new members are revealed. The night before his Rhodes interview, dozens of them sent text messages to encourage him and one even called him the night before to pepper him with questions that might be asked.
“He had no idea what they’d ask, but he just wanted to help,” Rolle said. “I think if they were in the same position, they would feel I was making the right choice.”
Source: Yahoo Sports - Jason Cole
PewterReport.com's Take:Wow. We've heard the line of questioning that's common at the NFL Combine in terms of what the coaches, scouts and front office people typically ask prospects, but implaying that Myron Rolle is a deserter could be deemed an insult by a lot of people, including Rolle, who is a Rhodes Scholar, not a guy with crime in his past or character issues. There is a need to grill players hard in these interviews because valuable draft picks and lots of money are at stake, but what the staff member from Tampa Bay implied in the interview with Rolle is fair to question and even criticize. Unfortunately, this isn't the first time PewterReport.com has heard of the Bucs' questionable questions being asked of college prospects and treatment of the players being called into question as well. In fact, we've had players and agents tell us that some of the incidents/interviews were so out of line that they never wanted their client(s) to play for the Buccaneers. Pewter Report publisher Scott Reynolds will address this in more detail in his next SR's Fab Five column, which will be published next week. In the meantime, here's a nuggest to hold you over. The Bucs staff member that has fallen under heavy criticism lately for these types episodes is neither Raheem Morris nor Mark Dominik.