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Old 04-29-2009, 08:52 PM   #1
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The Broncos are nearing a deal to hire former University of Colorado linebacker Matt Russell as the team's new director of college scouting.

Russell, 35, has been a national scout for the Eagles since 2006, but before that spent six years scouting for the New England Patriots, and is credited with convincing Bill Belichick and Scott Pioli to draft Matt Cassel.

Broncos coach Josh McDaniels was on Belichick's staff in New England from 2000-2008.

Russell won the Butkus Award for the nation's top linebacker in 1996 while playing for the Buffaloes. He was drafted by the Lions in 1997 but was out of the NFL by 2000 because of knee injuries.

http://www.denverpost.com/broncos/ci_12259078
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Old 04-29-2009, 08:56 PM   #2
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who was the old scouting director?
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Old 04-29-2009, 08:59 PM   #3
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He would be replacing:

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Old 04-29-2009, 08:59 PM   #4
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Here's to you Matt. Go find us some great late round players for next year
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Old 04-29-2009, 09:02 PM   #5
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good for matt and welcome home
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Old 04-29-2009, 09:03 PM   #6
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wait a second.............if it wasn't for matt russell, Jay cutler would still be a Donk!

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Old 04-29-2009, 09:09 PM   #7
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http://vault.sportsillustrated.cnn.c...5409/index.htm



THE MAN most responsible for Matt Cassel's being a New England Patriot watched the quarterback's first NFL start from the Club Tavern in Middleton, Wis., on Sunday. The man stood out among the crowd of 200, but not because of his former football player's build. Drinking the locally brewed wheat beer as he watched the Jets-Patriots game, Matt Russell stood out because he was the only one rooting against Brett Favre.

Russell, 35, didn't tell anyone why he whooped it up anytime Cassel completed a pass. But he felt proud, and with good reason. As the West Coast scout for the Patriots in 2004, Russell brought Cassel's name to the attention of team vice president Scott Pioli, then urged Pioli and coach Bill Belichick to take Cassel in the '05 draft—despite Cassel's never having started a game in five seasons at USC.

The Patriots almost certainly wouldn't have chosen Cassel in the seventh round if not for Russell's input. And after Cassel beat Favre and the Jets on Sunday, the QB acknowledged Russell's role in his long trip to NFL starter. "Matt believed in me," Cassel said. "To have someone in the NFL, really the only person in the NFL, who said, 'We need to get this guy,' that gave me my first sense of confidence, that maybe I could actually do this."

Scouts in any sport rarely get the credit they deserve. The ones who are good enough—and lucky enough—someday get a shot as general managers. But the vast majority are constantly on the road in the fall, spending weeks in hotels and days in film rooms on campuses across the country. They're trying to find a Matt Cassel, the guy everyone else missed.

One reasons the Pats are as good as they are in assembling personnel is that they require their scouts to look over every senior at the schools they visit—even those not getting significant playing time—to ensure they haven't missed a player lost in the wash at a powerful program such as Southern Cal. Cassel, a high school star from Chatsworth, Calif., enrolled at USC in 2000 and became Carson Palmer's backup. When Palmer left after the '02 season, Cassel and Matt Leinart competed for the job, and Leinart won. According to then USC offensive coordinator Norm Chow, "It was a knock-down, drag-out fight, and Matt [Cassel] thought he wasn't getting a fair shake."

Cassel spent his last two years at USC backing up Leinart, playing a little tight end and running downfield on special teams. On Russell's early-season trip to see the Trojans in 2004, a coach told him to watch Cassel throw at practice. Russell liked his arm and alerted Pioli to keep an eye on him when the VP made his own trip to campus later that fall. When Pioli went to see for himself, he was impressed that Cassel played hard even in a midweek special teams practice. Perhaps, Pioli thought, Cassel would be a low-budget, jack-of-all-trades free agent.

At USC's Pro Day the following spring, scouts gathered to observe the annual bumper crop of seniors. After the workouts a few scouts started to leave. "I had my bag over my shoulder, ready to walk out," said Russell. But a USC staffer hustled over to the scouts and asked if they'd stay a few minutes longer to watch the backup QB throw. Some left, but representatives from about 20 teams stayed. And Cassel threw so well that Russell e-mailed Pioli and Belichick that "Cassel had a damn good workout" and that the secret might be out on him. Russell was right. The Titans and the Bengals wanted Cassel as a free agent too.

"My point to Scott and Bill was, if we didn't draft him, we'd probably get outbid [in postdraft free agency]," said Russell, now a national scout for the Eagles. "As a scout with New England, you're lucky because Scott and Bill listen to you."

Leading up to the 2005 draft, the Patriots were typically closemouthed about their interest in Cassel. Tennessee, as it turned out, badly wanted Cassel, and Chow, the Titans' new offensive coordinator at the time, said he was stunned when he saw New England take him with the 230th pick. "It's funny," said Russell. "The Pats get knocked for being so secretive. But being quiet really paid off. No one knew we'd draft him."

On Sunday, after Cassel had finished his steady, unspectacular performance (16 of 23, 165 yards, no turnovers or touchdowns) in a 19--10 New England victory, Russell stepped outside the raucous bar and considered what he'd just seen.

"I went crazy in there when he won it," said Russell, a fourth-round pick out of Colorado in 1997 who played one NFL season at linebacker for the Lions. "He distributed the ball well, looked confident, operated within the game plan. It's like the stars aligned. Right place, right time, right system, right coach. The damn kid just won against Brett Favre."
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Old 04-29-2009, 11:05 PM   #8
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Woo hoo! Go buffs.
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Old 04-30-2009, 04:12 AM   #9
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Smart move. They brought a guy in from Scouts Inc. to fill the void after the Goodmans left, which makes sense since the core of the scouting work would've already been done and they needed a data organizer more than anything else at that point.

Now they're looking for an experienced new head of scouting who will get them off on the right foot as far as getting out to college campuses and knowing who to pay extra attention to well in advance.
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Old 04-30-2009, 04:40 AM   #10
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I like it... but really, how did he appropriately scout Matt Cassell? Game film? No. Maybe he got some practices, but in all honesty, he probably just talked to Pete Carroll or Lane Kiffin and ran with what they had to say. So, the answer is no... he didn't appropriately scout Matt Cassell, he took a flyer.
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Old 04-30-2009, 05:46 AM   #11
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Is it good news when your director of scouting gets replaced a week after his first draft? Anyway, always great to welcome a Buff onto the team, especially one of the great ones.
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Old 04-30-2009, 06:52 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheReverend View Post
I like it... but really, how did he appropriately scout Matt Cassell? Game film? No. Maybe he got some practices, but in all honesty, he probably just talked to Pete Carroll or Lane Kiffin and ran with what they had to say. So, the answer is no... he didn't appropriately scout Matt Cassell, he took a flyer.
That sounds appropriate.
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Old 04-30-2009, 07:11 AM   #13
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This is a great hire..Both New England and Philly are strong draft teams...Also, I am glad we grabbed him before Pioli and the Chiefs. Kudos to Xanders and McD in bringing in a solid guy and talent evaluator.
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Old 04-30-2009, 07:22 AM   #14
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Quote:
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Is it good news when your director of scouting gets replaced a week after his first draft? Anyway, always great to welcome a Buff onto the team, especially one of the great ones.
The new guy they hired (Kidd) was actually director of pro scouting. I'm sure they had him help consolidate and aggregate information for the draft since there was a gap present at the time, but I doubt he's been fired or even demoted by this move.
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Old 04-30-2009, 07:23 AM   #15
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I loved Matt Russell as a player. I hope he has the goods as a scouting guru.

GLORY, GLORY COLORADO!
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Old 04-30-2009, 07:50 AM   #16
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I loved Matt Russell as a player. I hope he has the goods as a scouting guru.

GLORY, GLORY COLORADO!
He's got a hell of a resume. The Pats were a great drafting team up to 2006 (have been a little questionable since) and the Eagles have killed it the last several years as well.
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Old 04-30-2009, 08:10 AM   #17
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Is it good news when your director of scouting gets replaced a week after his first draft? Anyway, always great to welcome a Buff onto the team, especially one of the great ones.
They were never going to clear out the scouting staff before the draft, that would have put them way too far behind the eight ball with having to start from scratch after the college season had ended. If they had planned on clearing out the scouts and bringing in their own, it will happen now.
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Old 04-30-2009, 08:36 AM   #18
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He's got a hell of a resume. The Pats were a great drafting team up to 2006 (have been a little questionable since) and the Eagles have killed it the last several years as well.
I like the signing as stated, but it's nice to see you talking out of your ass as usual.

Is 4 starters in 3 years really "killing it"?

Bunkley, Gocong, Bradley, and DeSean are the ONLY starters from those drafts. Gocong and Bradley both might get replaced this year.

In fairness, Quintin Demps will have a shot at S, and Celek is expected to start at TE, but "killing it"... you're seriously hilarious.
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Old 04-30-2009, 08:39 AM   #19
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For more context... that's 2-6 starters (depending on how TC battles go) versus 26 picks...
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Old 04-30-2009, 08:59 AM   #20
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Russell won the Butkus Award for the nation's top linebacker in 1996 while playing for the Buffaloes.
Good hire ... (if a team is forced to hire a guy because they foolishly fired the best drafting exec in the league).

FUN MATT RUSSELL FACT: He raises pet snakes. So he should get along great with McD
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Old 04-30-2009, 09:00 AM   #21
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I loved Matt Russell as a player. I hope he has the goods as a scouting guru.

GLORY, GLORY COLORADO!
We'll roll up a MIGHTY score!
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Old 04-30-2009, 10:37 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheReverend View Post
I like it... but really, how did he appropriately scout Matt Cassell? Game film? No. Maybe he got some practices, but in all honesty, he probably just talked to Pete Carroll or Lane Kiffin and ran with what they had to say. So, the answer is no... he didn't appropriately scout Matt Cassell, he took a flyer.
Did you not read the above article?
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Old 04-30-2009, 10:40 AM   #23
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Good hire ... (if a team is forced to hire a guy because they foolishly fired the best drafting exec in the league).

FUN MATT RUSSELL FACT: He raises pet snakes. So he should get along great with McD
Are you sure? I think your getting him confused with the LB with the first name of Chad that was drafted by the Steelers. I can't remember the guys last name... Chad Brown??
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Old 05-01-2009, 08:34 AM   #24
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Bump. This is big news and I love that he's a colorado guy and has been on two different franchises that know how to draft. Surprised this thread fell off the first page.
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Old 05-01-2009, 08:42 AM   #25
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Are you sure? I think your getting him confused with the LB with the first name of Chad that was drafted by the Steelers. I can't remember the guys last name... Chad Brown??
Like Jordan Dizon and Greg Biekert, Chad Brown was a CU finalist for the Butkus Award (Alfred Williams and Matt Russell won). Ted Johnson might've been a finalist too, I don't specifically recall.

But no - it's definitley Russell who raised snakes.


Hence, McD is comfortable with him
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