Jim Nagy (Part 1)


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By the way. Speaking of me just finished, a very media conversation with Jim Nagy from the senior bowl today will be part one next week, we'll have part, two part, one is really all about his career in scouting, how he got a job how he moved up the ranks the two organizations. He and I were with at the same time everything that went in to Jim getting the where he is now. And then part two next week, we will really, really dive into the senior bowl itself, what it means. Why it's so important. What the time line is what's next Ford, if you love the. College draft you love this scouting process. Well, you're listening to the right podcast, number one, and number two, you'll really enjoy both aspects of the conversation with Jim Nagy from the senior bowl. Here's part one well as promised extremely excited about today's guests a guy that I guess I kind of knew since my rookie year and two thousand one I think he might be the only person I was ever a member of Turgen ization with in the scouting part of it. At least it's kind of funny, we never really talked about it, and really ever only had a couple of conversations, but he is now the executive director of the senior bowl does a terrific job there. I mean, the senior bowl has just taken off and he didn't outstanding job this past year and was a scout for almost twenty years before that he is Jim Nagy, Jim, what's up man? Iran. Sorry about, hey, I gotta start with this because I go over this all over this all the time with matinee being from where I'm from in Pennsylvania. Nagy nagy. What are we going with? I go Nagy because it's easier you know, I'm not one of the I could go the other man. Really? Honestly, it whatever whatever's give you I'm fine. I'm not gonna I'm not gonna split hairs over it. I'm good. It's funny, because that's been like a major issue in Chicago, where half. The people say, Nagy half the people say Nagee, and I guess Matt told people it's actually like, hey, like Nagy. So it's actually even if it's even harder. It's in between. Well, if you go back to the motherland in Hungary, it's pronounced nudge. So, yeah, it's kind of obscure name here in the United States, but it's actually Smith. If you go over to Hungary, it's the most common surname over there. So. Yeah, we'll, we'll go, what whatever works raw down. All right. So I wanna start Jim we're gonna make this a two parter because I wanna to do a whole episode just on the senior bowl and what an event and business. That's become. But I, I wanted to kind of give people your background. I know a lot of it and actually looked up some of it, but I prefer to let my guest kind of tell the story of where you grew up. You know what did you play and kind of how did you how did you into this business? Yeah. Well, we got a little time. Usually doesn't fit radio show. It's doing podcast. No, I grew up in northern Michigan and a place called traverse city you know, people like that's how I got into scouting, and I tell him really in the NFL, the only advantage that I had with that, I knew and I wanted to do from the time out about six or seven years, old, honestly, grew up around the game of football, and my dad was a coach then what he's stepped away from teaching and coaching we moved to a new town and just by chance there, the kid who I became best friends with his dad was the varsity coach at that school. So just, you know, grew up, you know, two days and, you know, being the equipment manager when I was in elementary school, and running water bottles out at time out and all that stuff that just grew up around the game and then grew up playing it. You know, played a lot of baseball and basketball in high school as well. And when I got done with high school, my only opportunities. To keep playing with with small school football division two division three. So this was pre internet. You couldn't just get on and Google, you know how to become an NFL scouts. So I had no clue. It was just, you know, I idea what I was doing. And I got waitlisted at the university of Michigan. So I was really planning to go play division three football. And once I got into Michigan, I figured, oh, well, that's how people must do it. They must work for, you know, a big, big powerhouse football program or something like that. I really again, just had no idea. And then I went to Michigan for, for four years. My last two I went down and volunteered. And the Atlantic department did a lot with the football team did some stuff on the weekends with the basketball team networks would come into town to make a little money. And then I get sent out resumes and cover letters, really. And back then there was no internships, and the scouting side of things and your only your only way to get your foot in the door was through the. Office. So then out resumes and cover letters to all the PR department through on the league got rejection, letters back from all of them, and except for the Packers and the Packers called and, and brought me over there for training camp. And it was the year. They won the Super Bowl in ninety six and at the end of camp they needed they needed extra help for the year. So they asked me to stay on. And really that was the it was an unbelievable year and all I did was whenever I was done with, with my PR responsibilities for the day. If I've got a break in the day, I would go up to the scouting department, and, you know, bother John Schneider, and Reggie McKenzie to sit and watch tape with those guys and there was five future GM's on that staff. So it was just one of those right place, right time, meet the right people type of thing. And, you know, when you when you broke in not out of Princeton in Washington, that year that was my first year on the road is a scout. John Schneider had been hired to be the right hand guy for mardi Schottenheimer. And in John. Annette control to, you know, put together personnel staff to he hired me to scout the west coast that year. So that was my first year in the league that is awesome. So you know what? I really resonate with that story Jim because my dad's five nine one hundred seventy pounds. And so I actually kinda grew up thinking that I wanted to be like a broadcaster or a like a writer for Sports Illustrated. So if I hadn't gotten, you know, as big as I got and had the opportunities that I had, you know, I can absolutely see myself having to make the decision between playing division three football or basketball or going the like a Syracuse New house school or something like that, for the broadcasting part of it that would be really difficult. I mean, think about your background, your dad, how much like you love football. And you basically voluntarily stopped playing early or prematurely. I would imagine they had to be a pretty a pretty difficult decision because I can just picture myself having to make that same decision. Yeah, it was Ross. It was hard. You know my, my freshman year at Michigan, I barely I, I went to like a game or two. I had a hard time just going and watching guys that I you know, went to camp with the summer before, you know, and they're out there they're out there still playing. I couldn't bring myself to do it. So, yeah, it was it was hard, you know, and I would more often more often than not, I would I would go see my buddies that we're playing around the state of Michigan at other levels of football and just go watch those guys play. But yeah, it was hard. But just like anything, I knew I wanted to get to, and I thought I was doing the right thing. You know, I really did in hindsight. You know, if I would've known there, the, the NFL absolutely littered with guys that played D to indeed three football. You know, I was in New England for a long time with Nick Caserio and Josh Daniels and Josh mcdaniels those guys were teammates at John Carroll. You know, had had I known I could have went that route and got former years the plan and those memories that would have been awesome. But I've no regrets. Everything worked out everything worked out the way, I dreamed it. Would I got it the NFL and had a good almost two decades, and it was it was an awesome Braun but yeah, it was it was hard at the time being eighteen and just knowing you're done, and that's, that's the hard thing about football, and you can, you know, basketball, you can play pick up hoops somewhere. You know you can get into into an adult baseball league somewhere. But when you take off the pats, it's over, you know, and, and, you know the, the truly blessed they're the ones can take them off, you know on their own own accord. That's the tough part when you're kind of forced to take them off. But yeah, it would have been fun to play a little more. But I kind of felt like I had to do what I do so. And obviously it worked out, and you made a great decision. I, I wanna get to it's funny. How often I talked to somebody who has a job in sports that they have a similar story to you about writing a letter to every team, you know, to try to get in, and then you were these. You were in public relations or media relations public relations for that one year yet. So what it, what it John Schneider? And Reggie McKenzie think when the public relations guy was in their office all the time. I don't know. I mean, I, I, I think John appreciated it because you know he had a similar path to. I mean he played division three ball over at Saint Thomas in Minnesota. And just grew up a lifelong Packers fan. You know, he's from Green Bay and doing he came when he graduated college. She basically, you know, stocked out, Ron woolfe in the parking lot of lambofield. And you know, you know, begged him for a job to work for free. So I think he under I think he appreciated where I was coming from because I was just, you know, I, I did what I had to do to get my foot in the door. You know. And then once I, I had in there, I was, I was focused on what I wanted to do. So I don't know that those guys and they're, they're probably annoyed by me. I tried to do it the right way. But I'm sure they were times there were like, what's this PR young PR kid doing up here? I don't know John and I'm talking about that long time. So I guess my other question there is you go to the Redskins. And Marty Schottenheimer is given total control your organization, he hires John Schneider. Who I don't even know how old he wasn't two thousand one but he looked young. I mean really he was wanting nine twenty nine years old twenty nine basically. I mean he really was the GM. I know Marty had alternate say, but he's neither was really running the show so you get the job. You're so excited you get this opportunity and that year we start out Owen five. We go on win the next five to get to five and five we finish eight and, you know, Dan Snyder fires. Marty Schottenheimer at the end of the year, which really set the franchise back for years when he brought in Spurrier, then when did you did you leave on your own accord, or were you let go in that whole? Team change. Yeah, that's a that's another. That's another twist. Yeah. I would tell people Ross that team like you mentioned, we started Owen five and then turned her own at five and five, and I remember Chris Samuels, Stephen Davis were on the cover of Sports Illustrated after that bit win. And we're the first team in NFL history to do that. Dr toe, and five and go five and five, but I honestly felt like Marty Schottenheimer should have won coach of the year that year considering the you know what we were playing with what the roster looked like. And as young as we were in, you know, just trying to get things turned it instead he gets a pink slip. So just that's kind of that's the Redskins in a in a nutshell, though over the last twenty five years. I I really felt like mardi was going to get that team turned around really quickly. But yeah, so what what they wanted me to do the new regime that got brought it. And they wanted me to I just moved my fiance out to the west coast. We're living in Arizona doing the west coast and you know didn't even didn't even. Have a ring on her finger when we moved, and they wanted me to move to Washington and work in how they I don't know if they felt like I was ready to be on the road. I was twenty six years old. You know, maybe I wasn't you know in hindsight him. It's a grind and, you know, but they wanted me to move in house, and, and work in Washington. And I said, well, I just moved it's girl a year ago. She's now, my wife of, of sixteen years. But is there any way that I can, you know, look for something else that would keep me on the west coast and then God that how I didn't know a lot of people around the league? But I I call Jason light from is working at the patriots at the time the GM and the buccaneers now. And just calling the people that I knew, and see if they had anything open and thank God Jason. Yeah. We actually have a west coast opening being go down and talk to Scott, the elderly, and he calls back. Five minutes later. He's like, yes. Got like to bring in for an interview and when out there a couple of days later and got that job. So I didn't I didn't have to. To, to DC able to stay out in Phoenix and due west coast for the patriots. That's awesome. So what's interesting to me about that? Jim is Crimea from wrong. But the patriots typically like to hire guys with no experience. Right. They don't they almost don't want you to have worked for another organization because they want you to teach they want to teach you their ways rather than whatever was in your head from Green Bay in Washington, my off on that or is that kind of that kind of accurate. Yeah. I think that we're it's gotten to roster. Sure with with that game they like to promote from within. But that was you're talking about two thousand going into the two thousand two, then that was truly at the, you know, the inception of, of what got in go spellcheck where we're building out there in New England now like current day. I don't think they would go that route, they'd probably have someone in the pipeline. And again but again going back that far that was right about the time where teams. Started to hire scouting assistance and have have like intern type positions in scouting. So I don't even know if they had one in the hopper. You know, ready for that role in how so you know, the lucky thing for me with that one against this white place, right time? It's one of those things that, that, you know, maybe some young people can learn from, they had a I was living out, west still working for the Redskins that's spring. And there was a pro workout for a wide receiver from candidate Martinho Richter, and it was up in Salt Lake in, because I was on the west coast. It was cheaper to fly me up from Phoenix, and send someone from DC. So I go up to that workout. And you know, I'm just like any young guy. I'm just looking to do anything. I'm doing his height of doing his weight. I'm you know, you know measuring off the forty I'm doing basically doing my best to help run this pro day. And I was real Scott bueller. He happened to be at that workout there that day and he just took a mental note if this young guy from the Redskins. Going around trying to get stuff done. And so when Jason light, walk down the hallway and said, hey, I've got a guy that, you know, looking for our west coast job, he said, who is it? And Jason said Jim Nagy and Scott like, Yup. I remember that guy from the, the Mark Boal Richter pro day. Let's bring him in. So it was I was really lucky. That's got there that day or he wouldn't have known who I was. So it's just is one of those things you never know who's watching you. When you when you're in the NFL, you can always make a good impression. That is unbelievable. You know what I remember the most about you, Jim? You probably don't remember this conversation. But I'll never forget you because I remember so I came into England and five and then they had some injuries. They signed me, and then oh, six I resigned there and I can't remember who it was. Oh, five. I wanna say it was the spring of. Oh, six probably before the draft. And you were probably in town for draft meetings. And yeah you were in the cafeteria. The patriots cafeteria, and so was I and we kind of looked at each other, and I knew you look familiar, but I didn't really remember your name players don't interact with scouts very much certainly not college outs. But I think maybe you recognize me or something. So I knew I recognize you. I just know your name, so we started talking and do you remember what you introduced me to that. I never heard of before. I do. Remember our conversation by don't remember that. I do I do remember running into you. But I don't remember what you're what you're what you bring it up. Now you were the first person that ever told me about pro football talk dot com. Really? Yeah. We were talking about something, and I was just getting my information from KF L. And we might have been talking about something about the Redskins or the draft or whatever. And you said where do you get your information from mice fell? And I said an and you said, have you ever looked at pro football talk dot com. I said, no, I never heard of it. And you said you should check it out, and I remember you saying that I hear that there are some owners that, that's the first thing they read when they wake up in the morning. And I remember thinking. Wow. Okay. So I started reading pro football talk, Dan. And obviously never stopped. It's become a behemoth and really big deal. But I remember you're that I never heard of it. So you mentioned it to me. That's funny, brought up. K F L that used to be an awesome sight as well. I go to that every day. But you've got unbelievable memory Ross. That's, that's incredible. Yeah. My wife would disagree, but yeah, I do. I don't know why. But I always remember, you, you tell me that. All right. So so then you work with a bunch of different teams. For eighteen years now you're with the senior bowl and I'll get into part two next week, specifically the senior bowl stuff, but the one thing I did want to ask you in part one, which is more about you is why, why the senior bowl why why this job and why this job now. It was just way too good of an opportunity to, to. We vetted mobile my family spending mobile for twelve years now. And you know mobile in the home of the senior bowl. So the job comes open last may and my phone just start. Slow enough. I was actually out on a jog and a buddy of mine who who works for the dolphins text me, like, are you going after this thing? And you know, get thrown around, like what is he talking about? So I call him. He's like, he's like getting the senior bowl job just came open. So, you know, I, I had a talk with my wife and, and I said, you know, are we going for this thing and she's like you're darn right? We're, we're going for this thing. So I call John Schneider, who's, you know, my Boston Seattle, and I it was the it was an easy conversation because, you know, first and foremost, I consider John, good friend, and he totally understood, and he, you know, he loves my wife and kids, and we're we're very quotes, and Jimmy, you gotta go for that. Who do I need to who do I need to call? So, you know, I'd say, John, I just I don't wanna be, you know, going back to when, when I started scouting Ross, there was the professions gotten much younger over the years. Used to go to schools when I was a twenty six year old first year scout, you'd go into a school, and there'd be a seventy five year old guy in the room and a sixty eight year old guy in the room. And, you know, I used to ask those guys all the time like what do you have any regrets is there is there anything looking back on your career, you regret and to a man in one once one form or another? They would talk about family time and, you know, just be present being president, for your, your wife and kids when you were home and, you know, all the stuff you miss, and if there's ever a chance for you to, you know, get home and be home for something you have to do it, even if it's making a sacrifice of a long drive. So the family thing always really resonated. And, and, you know, I always took that to heart, and I've got a son who's starting to play high school sports now and you just miss a ton. You know, it's a great profession. I loved what I did all those years, but it's really it's really hard. It's hard on a family. And so to have an opportunity where I could still do. What I love to do, which is evaluate players, you know, and really get a chance to build build rosters. You know, and was in, but stay in mobile and not travel as much. It was too good. So I, I saw Jonathan John, I have to go for this thing. If I'm not there guy, I can live with that. But it but, you know, I at least have to go for this thing, so he was great. And the ball got rolling, then I'd some good help from Ozzie Newsome and some other people in the league that are close to the people here in mobile there that, you know, run the senior bowl. So, yeah, that's, that's kind of it was really family decision. And, and I feel really lucky that it worked out. Well, you're doing an awesome job, the social media stuff obviously what happened with the game last year. You're you're doing an incredible job and absolutely should be commended for that. I guess the one, quote, I saw from you which I thought was interesting is that, you know, if you ever want to be a GM, you know, having to run an organization and have a budget and everything that goes into that are really skills that you don't learn if you're a scout on the road, and I thought that was really interesting because I, I know from my experience, you know, I see GM's get jobs that really aren't ready for the media part of it, or really, frankly, I, I see him. And I see what I think our major mistakes on the financial part of it. They can evaluate guys. But I just don't think that they know the money part of it, that, well, at least some of the contracts, I see then give out to people, and so on some level, you're at least gain, the experience of actually running a pretty big operation. Yeah. You know, I would during the transition when I was coming in here. Someone did an article with Phil savage, my predecessor and film made the comment that he wished. He had this senior bowl job prior to getting his GM job in Cleveland, because he felt like he would have been a lot more prepared and better at it. And you know now that I've been in this role for a year. I mean, I, I would not not that I ever had GM job to compare it to you. But I can see where this job is so beneficial to get not comparing to NFL GM job in the stresses that come along with that. But like you said, you know, in terms of, you know, managing people and handling a budget in the media, and the public speaking, and everything that's involved with, with this job, down here in mobile. You don't get any of that when you're in the NFL, because to me, you know, anything short of that GM chair, they can pay you more money or give you a fancier title. But, you know, you're at the end of the day, you're, you're, you're an evaluator you know. And I've had. Friends get GM jobs that, you know, I've seen them really struggle with the media part of it even on radio. You know, even being able to get on and do radio interviews. They've struggled with because you're never put out there. You never put in front of a camera. You're not used to it. Not that they can't do it, but you're kind of thrown to the wolves. So, so, yeah, I mean this this job's been great preparation for anything that may happen in the future. But I I'm truly loving what I'm doing down here because again, there's, you know, some days, I wish it was more football. I mean I haven't seen a player watch taping about two weeks. So I mean there's there's you can go to long stretches out doing what you really love to do, but it is it is great preparation. And you know, in frankly, I was getting a little rough scouting. Anyway. You know, you've been at schools all the time and being on the road. I mean it was like I said, it's a real grind. So this has been this has been great experience. I've had I've had a blast with it. That was awesome. I'm already fired Bharti thought of another question. Ask him. Part two that I did when we were doing I was like, oh, I should've asked part one, so I started part two with one more question regarding whether or not becoming a GM in the NFL is really a meritocracy. You're not you're gonna wanna listen to par to hear his answer to that. And frankly my answer to that. You also weren't gonna want to go to bed online dot AG, if you haven't already, you could just use the glorious promo code podcast. One ending that gives you fifty percent for free is glorious and I love it. And that's where we're at with the promo code podcast. One, boom podcast, one at Beddoe online dot AG v place to be, but online dot AG podcast, one make baseball more interesting or start placing your college football bets. Go ahead and do it. I think we're done. Here gets kicked world tapped out. Enjoying your frosty one. While listening to the college draft Chuck, Chuck, Chuck, Chuck, Chuck, make sure you're subscribing to the Russ Tucker football podcast fantasy feast and even money, podcasts all available on, I tunes and Ross Tucker dot com or wherever podcasts can be found at farmers insurance. We know the sound of perfect hot air balloon landing and a less than perfect one. Click for more. We are farmers. Underwritten by farmer's truck fire insurance exchanges and affiliates. Products on available in every state.

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