Dave Boller: Scouting Eye for Players with Passion
Dave Boller is a Syracuse University football scout and a former scout for the NFL. He spent 19 seasons with multiple NFL teams including the St. Louis Rams, the Philadelphia Eagles, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He joins veteran NFL agent Craig Domann on the Pro Mindset® Podcast to talk about his time in the NFL and the players and coaches he worked with. He also tells about his current work with Syracuse and his perspective on what he looks for most when recruiting successful players.
The Love of the Game
“The guys who are smart with football and love the game, those are two characteristics that usually keep them in the National Football League longer than everybody else.”
Boller shares that the number one thing he looks for when recruiting a player is his love of the game. A player has to love football and show that he loves football in order to have the passion to be successful. During his time in the NFL he worked with many players including Drew Brees. Boller was interested in Brees because of his passion for the game and presence in the room despite being undersized. Drew Brees wasn’t the only undersized player that caught Boller’s eye over the years. For Boller, the passion and knowledge of football made him overlook a player’s shortfall in size. Without that passion, a player will not be committed to putting in the hours of training and practice. Love of the game keeps a player committed to the team regardless of their athletic talent. It isn’t enough to be talented and love the paycheck or benefits that football may give them, a player has to love the game itself. A player can have athletic talent, skill, and knowledge of the game but, without passion, they cannot be successful long-term. Passion for what you do is needed in order to be successful for all people, not just athletes.
How your character can stop you from getting drafted.
“No one's bigger than the team.”
In addition to passion, Boller looks for personal character. It is not enough to be a good player, he looks for good people. When looking at players, he likes to talk to the people around that player from the coach to the janitor. Boller does this to get a sense of who that player is and how he treats the people around him. At the highest level of the NFL, it is vital to have a healthy, positive lifestyle. Not just a lifestyle free of poor choices but full of accountability. Finding players with good character who respect their team and love the game is key to finding players who will get into less trouble and stick around the league longer. Lifestyle is a critical component of Pro Mindset because it is easy for anyone to be distracted by bad lifestyle choices. Even small things like being late to practices can stop a player from reaching the fullest of their potential.
To hear more of Dave Boller’s interview, his time as a football scout, and how to build a Pro Mindset, listen to this Pro Mindset Podcast here.