On Monday January 20, 2020, I was granted access to the introductory press conference for the 2020 Senior Bowl Game. Rather than giving you guys a rundown, I’m going to give you a summary of events from the day, and this is more than likely how I will deliver my recaps for the week. Somehow, I feel like this is more interesting than simply relaying the notes that I take every single day. I mean, If I could do that by posting pictures of my notes. Now, my notes aren’t necessarily “legible” or “important to the game” or even “good”, so I’m going to give all of you the play by play from Brandon’s Monday at Senior Bowl Week. (Press conference content is between 5:30pm and 6:30pm)
12:30pm – I pick up my Credentials
I finally roll up to the hotel where the players and important people are staying (so not me). I walk in, wander around for a minute, then finally find the media check-in desk. I ask for my credentials, receive them, then I think about leaving to go back home. The reason that I am only thinking about going back home is because players are just walking all over the place at this point. I kick myself for not bringing my laptop or notepad with me.
It’s at this point that I give Zach, my co-host, a call to tell him what’s going on. He suggests that I go home quickly, grab my laptop, then come back to try and score an interview or two. Easy enough. I head back home.
12:45pm – I get stuck behind a parade
On my way to grab my laptop, I see a parade en route and roads that are closed. Despite spending the better part of my life in this city, I cannot find a way around this parade. It’s at this point that I become frustrated that there is a parade on a Monday in the middle of the day.
12:50pm – I remember that it is MLK jr. Day…
Uh oh. Well now I feel awful. Caught up in the moment I forgot the holiday dedicated to one of the most important men in United States history. I sit patiently and wait for the parade to pass.
1:30pm – I get back home
I finally get back home around this time. I grab my laptop, get lunch, and head back to the hotel.
4:45pm – I arrive at the hotel
I know what you are all thinking. How did it take me over three hours to get back to the hotel? I honestly couldn’t tell you. It’s all a blur, really. But in any case I make it back in plenty of time for the introductory press conference.
5:15pm – I enter the press conference
I walk into the press conference moments after I see the first round of people enter the conference room, I follow very quickly. Somehow the conference room was already packed the minute that I saw the first ten people walk in. I was able to find a seat, so I was feeling pretty important. Not an aisle seat, but good enough. Then you wouldn’t believe what happened…
Well, actually you might. The photographer next to me got up and I swooped in. That’s right, aisle seat. The only way I was able to snag this pic.
(Credit to me because I’m stoked to not have to credit anyone)
5:30pm – Jim Nagy
Jim Nagy (Senior Bowl Executive Director) was the first to be addressed at the press conference. Out of the gate, I was like “there’s no way that there will be a ton of questions for him, right? People want to talk to the players.” Well, I was wrong once again. He was answering questions for half an hour. I will now highlight the more interesting notes that I took.
- Positionless players like Isaiah Simmons are growing increasingly more important to NFL teams today.
- This year’s lineman group won’t be as highly sought-after as last year’s.
- Jim thought that Jalen Hurts may be playing a position other than quarterback when he entered the Senior Bowl.
- Jim deflected when questioned about the location of next year’s Senior Bowl.
- Anthony Gordon will be wearing number 3 in this game in honor of his late, former teammate, Tyler Hilinski.
6:00pm – Jalen Hurts
Jalen Hurts, maybe the player that people are the most interested in watching over the span of this week, was the second speaker at this press conference. The biggest announcement of the night came when it was announced that Hurts would be wearing a helmet which displays decals from both the University of Alabama and University of Oklahoma.
(Credit to me)
I’d be lying to you if I didn’t say that I was mostly trying to post this news on social media for most of the time that Hurts was speaking. One other thing I did notice was that the moment someone brought up Tua Tagovailoa replacing him at the Alabama, the mood of the entire interview shifted. Hurts seemed a little upset for the remainder of the interview. Other than this, Hurts did credit the development of his passing game to Lincoln Riley.
6:15pm – Javon Kinlaw
This interview came as a bit of a surprise to me. I mean I was glad to hear what he had to say, but I don’t necessarily think that a ton of people thought that Kinlaw would be speaking at this press conference. This interview was dominated mainly by questions about Kinlaw’s childhood and his experiences growing up. But, this interview was absolutely golden from the second that the reporter next to me asked this question.
Reporter – “Javon, what is your favorite pass rush move?”
Kinlaw – *laughs* “Just run through somebody. Get from Point A to Point B.”
Kinlaw had a few closing thoughts to conclude this interview. He mentioned that he liked to train with skill position players because he wanted competition. He even mentioned that he would run backwards and still outrun linemen. Lastly, he mentioned that his goal was to become the best Defensive Tackle in the NFL.
(Credit to me again)
6:30pm – Press Conference ends and I wait patiently
I walk out into the lobby after the Press Conference and sit around waiting for players to come out. About 30 seconds after I set up camp, I remember that there is a welcome dinner that I definitely wasn’t invited to. And this was supposed to last until 8-8:30
6:35pm – I decide to sit around and wait until players finish dinner
You have to do what you have to do for an interview in the biz. So I posted up and waited for a while
8:05pm – I remember that players have NFL interviews and psychological testing at 8:30pm… and media is not allowed
After sitting around all evening, I finally swallow my pride, stand up, and leave. But not before I was able to meet Joe Brady in the Lobby.
(Credit to me one last time)
Stay tuned for my blogs the rest of the week to get the full media experience without any of the credentials!