It appears that several coaches are really bailing the NFL Combine event following the rumors of a potential boycott due to its uncomfortable COVID-19 restrictions to the players. Several of them include San Fransisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan, Los Angeles Rams’ Sean McVay, and others.
NFL Combine, restrictions
The NFL Scouting Combine is held in Indianapolis on March 1-7, 2022 at Lucas Oil Stadium and in the Indiana Convention Center.
Around last week, Ian Rapoport reported that agents of 150 prospect drafts are organizing a boycott of all testing, on-field workouts, and interviews at the event.
What triggered the potential boycott was the changes that included no in-person workouts, virtual interviews, psychological tests, and limited in-person medical tests.
Tom Pelissero believed that “unless the NFL and the Combine agree to ease those restrictions — allowing players access to their full team of coaches, trainers, ATCs et al. as in past years.”
Teams could be opting out from the event that has been held in Indianapolis since 1987.
The restrictions, to make it worse, also limit the number of people attending the combine with the players. The guidelines only permit players to have one medical support person accompany them to Indy, instead of the full team of coaches and trainers they reportedly desire.
While some other head coaches and front office depart to Indy for the event no matter the rules to support their team, San Francisco coach Kyle Shanahan will not be among the group.
“Kyle Shanahan and his #49ers coaching staff will not attend the NFL Scouting Combine,” Matt Maiocco, NFL sportswriter stated.
Kyle Shanahan and his #49ers coaching staff will not attend the NFL Scouting Combine. The staff, including the new hires, will stay back in Santa Clara and evaluate the film of the prospects. SF’s personnel department and scouts are in Indianapolis.
— Matt Maiocco (@MaioccoNBCS) March 1, 2022
Shanahan, McVay, others to bail the event
Shanahan and the 49ers’ coaching staff who are not attending the Combine are reportedly accompanied by five other teams’ coaches. New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, Los Angeles Rams’ Sean McVay, Pittsburgh Steelers’ Mike Tomlin, Baltimore Ravens’ John Harbaugh, and Carolina Panthers’ Matt Rhule appear to be missing the pre-draft workouts.
Instead, Shanahan and the crew will stay in Santa Clara to watch the situation from the screen. They will be replaced with general manager John Lynch on the annual trip to Indy.
“The staff, including the new hires, will stay back in Santa Clara and evaluate the film of the prospects. SF’s personnel department and scouts are in Indianapolis,” Maiocco added.
Lynch will be addressing the media from the Combine at 11:15 a.m Pacific Time on Wednesday.
Currently, the 49ers are void of the first-round selection. However, according to NFL draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah, that was not a bad move at all referring to the 49ers’ history of constant success in some of their Day 2 and Day 3 picks, including George Kittle, Fred Warner, D.J. Jones, and Dre Greenlaw are among those picks.
Jeremiah said in a conference call on Friday, “People are going to realize when you target the right positions outside of Round 1, you can survive without a first-round pick.”
“I think this is a really good depth draft, especially when you get into the second, third (and) fourth round. There’s a lot of quality there, a lot of starters.”