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  • Writer's pictureAlex Brown

Listen Now to Episode 31 - Featuring Bobby Merritt

This week on Up Close In Personnel with Alex Brown, Bobby Merritt - Assistant GM for the Edmonton Eskimos joins us to share his insights on pursuing a career in personnel, roster construction, building a player personnel staff in college football and leadership!

A close friend and mentor in my life, Bobby basically gives us a tutorial on how to successfully assemble a recruiting department and construct a roster in college football!

Having coached, scouted, and recruited at all levels of football, Bobby details his career path and lessons he's learned along the way.

We really dialed in on the roster management and construction aspect of personnel, so this week I decided to simply drop all the notes I took away from the conversation in bullet form below! Follow along and enjoy the show!

Topics Covered:

-Bobby's Current Role in the CFL

  • Assistant General Manager

  • Evaluating US College, Canadian College, CFL and NFL players

-Diverse Experiences in Football

  • Success comes down to the ability to communicate and collaborate at a high level with the various personalities involved in the profession

  • Must be able to connect with people around you and work effectively; a more diverse background helps with the ability to relate and connect

-The Impact of the Air Force and Military in Bobby's life and career

-Making the move from Coaching to Personnel

-Roster Construction 101

  • Identifying MUSTS, NEEDS and WANTS

  • Assessing the value of your roster and incoming players

  • Defining a clear role and vision for new players

-The Head Coach-General Manager Relationship: MUST be able to collaborate and communicate at a high, high level to achieve success!

-Advice for Interviewing and Hiring Interns:

1. What are their motives? What is their "Why"?

2. What value do they bring to the team? Can they specialize in an area.

Building and Growing a pro-styled Personnel Department

-3 Core Values

  • Be a great teammate

  • Compete to be your best

  • Build relationships

-Developing as an evaluator

  • Cannot be afraid of being wrong

  • Say what you see with conviction

  • Be a great listener and hear the traits

  • Understand what your team values

-Parameter vs Skill Set

  • Depends on level of ball

  • Certain positions require parameters

    • Ex 1: Perimeter players must have length and speed

    • Ex 2: Height doesn't matter as much for linebackers

-Evaluating speed without verified times

  • Assess the player's play speed on game film

3 key components to look for:

  • Stride length (gait)

  • Stride frequency (turnover)

  • Hip mobility (fluidity and knee drive)

-Predicting the draft vs projecting the player

  • Remember to always define the role a player will play on your team prior to him joining the program; if you don't, then there's no way of reviewing the success or failure of the acquisition.

Let me know what you took away from the show and be sure to give Bobby a follow on Twitter at @BobbyMerritt8!

Follow the links below to tune in on your favorite platform, and be sure to subscribe, rate and share the show!

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