Article written by Ted Sundquist, former GM Denver Broncos, www.thefootballeducator.com, Sept. 28, 2012
Former NFL Scout with National Football Scouting and the Denver Broncos
Not all it appears to be
From the outside looking in the National Football League appears to be nothing but “glitz and glamour” for the hard core fan. National telecasts loaded with former players, ex-coaches, and so called ‘NFL Insiders’ paint a picture of high dollar salaries and Armani suits. I can’t tell you the number of tweets, texts, and email messages I get from those willing to sell everything (even their souls) to be a part of it.
I get it, I truly do. But the face of the League is nowhere close to its foundation. The genesis of NFL clubs is player acquisition, and every high priced free agent or 1st round draft choice must pass through the eyes of evaluation from an NFL scout. Professional football scouts don’t do what they do for the glitz and glamour. They do it for love of game, for love of the players they help bring into the League.
The reality of NFL college scouting
Most scouts travel by car, stay in cheaper hotels, and are on the road upwards of two weeks at a time. They miss their sons ballgames, their daughters dance recitals. They’re up early in the morning to watch tape and typing reports late into the night. They eat whatever fast food is close to campus and at times put up with the run around of ungrateful college coaching staffs. THEY are the face of the NFL franchise, but a face that is never seen on Sundays.
I love scouts. The profession has quietly changed with the changes in technology. The old coach is being replaced by the young information gatherer. They’re in, they’re out, and they press on. Scouting was once the art of the relationship. Building close acquaintance with pro liaisons through straight talk and trusted friendships. Scouts of 15, 20, or 30 years ago were asked to do more with much, much less. These were the true talent evaluators, not someone with a support staff to feed them information for a primetime prognostication.
Denver Broncos scout – Greg Miller
The Denver Broncos were once long time members of National Football Scouting. They were an integral part of one of the two scouting combines that helped shape the draft classes of the NFL. As scouting began to make its transition, so did both NFS and BLESTO. Scouts once employed directly by NFS were now assigned to member clubs and put under their employment and direction. Denver had a chance to select one of those longtime NFS scouts to place on their staff. I never waivered, Greg Miller was our guy.
Greg was one of the senior scouts at NFS. He was a tireless worker, thorough evaluator, and delivered his opinion in a non-pretentious, egoless manner that gave you a clear picture of how a young prospect might bolster your roster. Greg was very well liked, tremendously respected, and damn good at his job. This was a scout who would represent your club in a professional manner wherever he went, and have an upbeat attitude as he slugged out the many miles between Midwest schools. I could count on Greg to give our staff a top evaluation and his honest opinion. He didn’t buckle to pressure and change his grades, but he never acted as if he had all the answers either. He understood his role and played it to the tee.
Gone way too early
Greg Miller (57) passed away a few days ago, and way too early. He’d struggled with health issues the past few years, but really never complained about it. With the many recent regime turnovers in Denver, Greg was lost in the changes that sometimes make absolutely no sense at all. It’s important for Bronco fans to know that Greg loved your team, loved being a part of it, and loved representing the Denver Broncos as a college scout. He never stopped thanking me for making him a Bronco all those year ago, and yet I should be the one thanking him for the opportunity to work alongside one of the good guys in the business.
Greg had just recently returned to football in the Personnel Department of the Omaha Nighthawks of the United Football League. We spoke on the phone a couple weeks ago about how much he loved being back around the game and the players. After not feeling very well, Greg returned to Grand Island, Nebraska, to see his own doctor and passed away at his home.
He’ll be sorely missed by the scouting fraternity and by me, as both a good friend and teammate. You never saw Greg on Sundays, but you certainly saw the results of his work. The face of Greg Miller was seen in the many faces of players he evaluated for the Denver Broncos and the member clubs of NFS.
God just made a first round draft choice.