The NFL combine is the first official event of the offseason where the media gets a chance to interact with each of the league’s 32 head coaches in one place. However, that won’t be happening this year, because not all 32 head coaches plan on talking to the media.
According to the schedule of events released by the NFL on Friday, a total of three coaches have decided to sit out the interview process when the combine begins next week in Indianapolis. All three will be in Indy, they just won’t be talking to the media, which is actually an improvement over last year’s combine when only 23 of the league’s 32 coaches spoke to the media.
So which three coaches have decided to duck the media this year?
Well, one of them isn’t a surprise at all because he ducks the media every year at the combine, and that person would be Bill Belichick. It’s probably for the best; if you’ve ever seen Belichick talk to the media, it’s like watching someone pull teeth out of a tiger that hasn’t been fed in three months.
Another coach who won’t be talking to the media is Sean Payton. The Saints’ coach has made it a habit of not doing a press conference at the combine, and he’s decided to continue that habit this year.
The final coach who won’t be speaking is actually somewhat of a surprise, and that coach is Washington’s Jay Gruden.
Apparently, Gruden has zero interest in going up to a podium to get hit with questions about Kirk Cousins’ contract status for 15 straight minutes.
Gruden’s decision not to speak is somewhat notable because we don’t even know if it’s his decision. According to the Washington Post, Redskins president Bruce Allen doesn’t want general manager Scot McCloughan talking to the media, and it’s completely possible that Allen might have asked Gruden to sit out the combine interview process so he doesn’t have to face questions about McCloughan.
Although listening to an NFL coach being interviewed can sometimes be boring during the regular season, they’re slightly more interesting during the combine, because the coaches seem less guarded.
This year’s interview schedule starts off on March 1 with new Broncos coach Vance Joseph, and ends on March 3 with Bengals coach Marvin Lewis.
You can see the entire schedule by checking out the tweet below.
Full list of NFL head coaches/football executives scheduled to speak at 2017 Combine (check https://t.co/WQAAHBEgsT for updates) pic.twitter.com/pGcPdhPL3O— Randall Liu (@RLiuNFL) February 24, 2017