Regarding Combine interview preparation, Charley Casserly has a conflict of interest

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Much speculation has occurred regarding the motivations for Charley Casserly’s recent report regarding Kyler Murray’s interviews at the Scouting Combine. As to one potential motivation, no further speculation is needed.

Casserly has a conflict of interest.

He has leveraged his experience as a General Manager and/or his platform on NFL Network into a side business. The side business consists of preparing prospects for Scouting Combine interviews.

During a Wednesday appearance on ESPN New York’s Michael Kay Show, Casserly said of Murray, “Clearly this guy was not trained for the interview. Just listening to it. I train players. I train over 100 players a year for Combine interviews. This guy wasn’t trained.”

Casserly wasn’t asked to clarify whether he actually saw or heard a recording of one specific Combine interview involving Kyler Murray, but the words “just listening to it” suggest that at least one of the teams gave Casserly access to the tape.

The bigger issue comes from Casserly training players for Combine interviews. He apparently has been doing it for several years with prospects who train at the EXOS facility.

Wednesday wasn’t the first time Casserly publicly questioned Murray’s preparation for the Combine interviews. Discussing the Murray Combine interviews during a Tuesday appearance on NFL Network, Casserly said, “One thing that stuck out to me: this guy was never trained for the interview. Whoever trained him did a poor job; guys do get trained for interviews now.”

By trashing Murray’s lack of preparation for Scouting Combine interviews while getting paid to prepare other prospects for Scouting Combine interviews, Casserly has a clear and obvious conflict of interest. Which means that he should not be commenting on anyone’s Combine interviews on NFL Network or elsewhere, without at a minimum disclosing his conflict of interest. Moreover, he definitely shouldn’t be commenting on whether someone who wasn’t one of his clients was prepared for their Combine interviews.

We’ve asked NFL Network for a list of Casserly’s 2019 clients. Chances are that this list includes one of more of the quarterback prospects who currently are competing with Murray for draft position.

Meanwhile, Murray indeed received training for the Combine interviews. Per a source with knowledge of the situation, Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley (who likely would have gotten an NFL head-coaching job this year if he wanted one) and former Washington coach and former NFL quarterback Jim Zorn prepared Murray for his Combine sessions.

28 responses to “Regarding Combine interview preparation, Charley Casserly has a conflict of interest

  1. Unbelievable. Totally unprofessional if true (and have little doubt it is). NFL Network should terminate him for this

  2. You can dump on Casserly all you want but it won’t change anything, this guy has bust stamped on his butt.

  3. I see it from the opposite angle. Casserly, a former NFL executive, sounds like he has an expertise in this interview process. He would, in my opinion, know what NFL executives are looking for. I don’t think Casserly is the only person out there saying Murray isn’t a great interview. Regardless of whether there is a conflict of interest, I believe Casserly is being 100% honest. We’re going through an interesting era in America right now, but being honest is still ok.

  4. firstdownbrowns says:
    March 7, 2019 at 11:02 am
    everything isn’t a conspiracy . Casserly just doing his job. reporting what he heard.

    ——————-

    His job is being an analyst, not passing gossip. He is hired to watch and report what he sees, not what someone is passing on to him. In today’s media world it is important to understand the difference. If you are going to bash someone like this you better have not just one source but several supporting your case. That doesn’t appear to be the situation with Casserly.

  5. Peter King’s SI colleague Albert Breer agreed in part with Casserly saying he (Breer) also heard there were some teams not impressed with Murray’s interview. Breer did make it a point to be clear that no one told him it was the worst interview they ever had with a top quarterback.

    From everything I have heard thus far, I believe NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah probably hit the nail on the head. When Jeremiah said that maybe Murray wasn’t as concerned with impressing a few of the teams that he felt had no chance at drafting him. So that would fit with teams like the Jets (Darnold), Redskins and Chargers – whom all have higher level close connections with Casserly.

    Now that we also have Breer on record, maybe this soap opera can finally be put to bed.

  6. It sounds more like the Raiders (cough, cough, Gurden) are trying to get Murray to drop to them. Gruden wants a new shiny toy because the one he has now can do what he wants and Gruden can’t coach to players skills they have to fit his system; that is why he fails more than he wins. Has he ever had a QB more than a few seasons…

  7. Solid reporting by Florio.

    Casserly drumming up future business by creating the impression that he is the expert on training for the combine.

    Speaking of conflicts, though, should Lincoln Riley has disclosed that he is mad at Casserly because Casserly was ripping his work as a trainer?

  8. Assuming you interviewed a potential top pick and he totally bombed the interview–like all time bad like has been reported here–why would you share that publicly? Wouldn’t you cross his name off your list and say “Whew, glad we didn’t get stuck with this clown” and then hope he did well enough in a rival’s interview so they would waste a top pick on him? Instead, multiple teams couldn’t wait to tell Casserly how bad Murray’s interview went? That doesn’t make a whole lot of sense unless spreading disinformation was the goal. The whole problem with reports based on unnamed sources is there’s no way to know what people’s motivations are or even to tell if the reports are true.

  9. Again, I don’t understand what the obsession with Murray is — why MUST he be great? Is it because he’s from OU? Is it because he’s undersized, obviously undersized? Is it because he’s a minority, and the media leans left? Is it because he’s coached by Lincoln Riley, who apparently is suddenly God’s gift to coaching, even though he has won NADA?

    Sooner or later, the rubber will meet the road. The draft will be here and Arizona will either select him, or trade the pick. He’ll hit the field for someone, regardless. And there will be no disguising, no sleight of hand, no tricks. He’ll either be a hit, or a miss.

    And enablers will not help.

  10. Casserly was a terrible GM and is even worse as an “analyst.” To take it a step further, he seems to have a problem with quarterbacks of a certain skin tone. I’m not surprised at all that he is critical of Murray’s “work ethic” or his “interview skills.”

  11. charliecharger says:
    March 7, 2019 at 11:09 am

    I see it from the opposite angle. Casserly, a former NFL executive, sounds like he has an expertise in this interview process. He would, in my opinion, know what NFL executives are looking for. I don’t think Casserly is the only person out there saying Murray isn’t a great interview. Regardless of whether there is a conflict of interest, I believe Casserly is being 100% honest. We’re going through an interesting era in America right now, but being honest is still ok.

    ————————————

    You are correct. SI’s Albert Breer also heard from his sources that Murray did not impress some of the teams he interviewed with.

    And to comment on the article above. Casserly would have to be one heartless son of a gun to self promote himself in this way to create additional earnings his way…while potentially ruining this young man’s ability to do the same.

  12. A lot of “experts” thought RG3 was the second coming. If someone like Casserly would have come out with a negative report, he might have been ripped for it. Fast forward to today, and that person would be considered an expert, and the proof would be that he was the only one who didn’t like RG3.

  13. It’s not a matter of whether Casserly reported accurately what he heard, because he’s not acting as a reporter reporting facts. He’s acting as a consultant drumming up business. His comments can’t be seen as objective as these players are either his clients or they’re not, and therefore any candidate, whether his name is Kyler Murray or Joe Schmo, isn’t well prepared if he didn’t hire Casserly to prepare him. That’s Casserly’s business. Even if he’s trying to be objective, his so-called reporting is tainted by his business interest.

  14. Casserly was just carrying some water for some friends on anti-Cardinals teams who want to depress Murray’s trade value so they can have a better shot at getting him. Why would you pay top dollar when you can get a lackey to depreciate the value of the thing you’re trying to buy?

  15. “Per a source with knowledge of the situation, Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley (who likely would have gotten an NFL head-coaching job this year if he wanted one) and former Washington coach and former NFL quarterback Jim Zorn prepared Murray for his Combine sessions.”
    ===========================

    Well, there’s your problem. Why are you going to Riley and Zorn for interview preparation instead of people who actually do this for a living? Those guys haven’t been in an NFL combine interview setting and has no idea what types of questions are being asked.

    If I need legal advice, I’m going to a lawyer and not a brain surgeon.

  16. Dan Patrick would agree that Kyler Murray is not a good interview. I heard the interview and Kyler was terrible, google and listen for yourself.

  17. Who knows what the facts are. What I do know is that I heard Casserly interviewed by Rich Eisen yesterday and boy what a blowhard. When Rich asked whether it was possible that he was being fed misinformation strategically, Casserly insisted that while that happens, it doesn’t happen with him. (Kind of like that scene in When Harry Met Sally when Billy Crystal’s character says yeah, women may fake it but not with him.)

    He doubled down on his story and he didn’t seem to be in the least concerned that his statements could be harmful to Kyler Murray’s prospects. To me, even if Murray did bomb his interviews, I can’t see a good reason for anyone–analyst, journalist or whatever–to blast it out at full volume and in the most colorful terms. That crap is all about Casserly and not for anybody else’s benefit.

  18. Charlie Casserly had a miserable losing record as a career GM. Obviously, his own evaluation process and what impresses him really didn’t translate into success. Having him prep prospective draftees is akin to Rich Kotite running a school for 1st time head coaches.

  19. I think the bottom line here that Casserly and others were getting to is PREPARATION…or the lack thereof. Many former players, GMs, associated professionals have made a side business of helping prospects prepare for the draft whether it be through mock interviews and presenting one’s best foot forward, throwing the football with accuracy, practicing making good reads through tape study, etc. If a guy goes to a job interview that may be one of the biggest and most impacting career opportunities in his life, unprepared for the interview (when there is all kinds of available professional tutoring and assistance available) it sends a message that the prospect is either not taking the process seriously, is lazy, or, is so full of himself that he believes he is above having to do the preparation work necessary.
    Whether you like Casserly or not, or believe he has a “conflict of interest”. sometimes skills and a Heisman Trophy aren’t guarantees of a successful career in the NFL as we saw with another polarizing and overly hyped player, Johnny Manziel. Any slovenly interview showing at such a media event as the Combine, is bound to raise doubts with most quality employers…but, then this is the entertainment business and keeping the “buzz” alive is all part of the show.

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