By Tim Graham
When it comes to vetting football players, NFL security executives go deeper than weights, heights, 40-yard dash times and a couple of interviews.
"You'd be shocked," Seattle Seahawks General Manager John Schneider told reporters last week at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis. "Our security guy does a Twitter and Facebook count."
It should be a lesson to any high school or college kid who hopes to get a job with a major corporation someday that getting stupid with social-media is a fine way to short-circuit a career before it begins.
The topic was brought up last week at the combine in Lucas Oil Stadium. If teams hadn't been researching social-media habits before, then the kooky Manti Te'o storyline has heightened awareness.
NFL teams even are monitoring those "rise-and-grind" tweets you see players thumbing out before sunrise.
"There are some guys on Twitter, and it's like they're trying to be Eddie Haskell now," Schneider said. "They're putting out, 'Oh, I'm going to work out,' and it's 3:30 in the morning. That's kind of weird, you know?
"You see some things that are very alarming. The Facebook stuff, a couple years ago, you had that one guy who had a pile of coke and a couple guns sitting there. I don't think that bodes very well. I know my boss wouldn't really like that."
NFL executives have a chance to sit down face-to-face with any player they're interested in drafting, but they also scrutinize how a prospect handles the media. Te'o performed well before a crush of reporters Saturday in Lucas Oil Stadium, and that likely helped his draft stock.
"Sometimes if we haven't spoken to a player, I will actually look for his information via the internet, maybe some interviews they have done during their college days," Pittsburgh Steelers GM Kevin Colbert said. "It's a good starting point if we haven't seen or spoken to a player.
"So even after we visit with a player, we may want to further examine to know how he deals with the media because that's going to be a big part of how he's going to be able to perform as a professional football player."
tagged2013 NFL scouting combine | Manti Te'o