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Saturday, April 18, 2009
Tip to Jets interviewees: Be cool to the chauffeur


Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham

An old friend of mine used to be the supervisor of a customer service call-in center. She was the person who monitored your call for quality-control purposes.

She explained to me once that people don't realize even when they're listening to the soothing sounds of Lionel Richie or punching in their keypad options, they're still being recorded.

Think of all those embarrassing things you've done while you waited for the next available agent. Cursing out your spouse. Using the lavatory. Singing along with the hold music.

That's what I thought of when I read an exchange from the New York Jets' pre-draft news conference Friday.

Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum, senior personnel executive Terry Bradway and vice president of college scouting Joey Clinkscales were discussing all the ways they judge a prospect's character.

Even when you don't think they're listening or watching, they are.

Joey Clinkscales: "We evaluate guys from the time they step off the plane coming here to the time they leave the door. So if he has a car service coming to the building, we'll find out what happened in the car. And when he goes to meet the doctors, we'll find out how he was with the doctors."

What type of information would the Jets expect from the car service?

JC: "I'm from the South. I'm a southern guy. If I have a player that gets in a car service and he wants to blast the music and he doesn't know [the driver] from Adam, then that's a problem."

You're looking for common courtesy?

JC: "Not only do you want a good player, but you want a good person. It's just part of the process."

Mike Tannenbaum: "I think just philosophically, you say from college to pro they have more time, more money. What is this individual going to do with more time and more money? The more information you can get to project how they'll be as a professional player and how they use their time -- whether it's getting better, what kind of teammate are they going to be, how they are going to affect locker room chemistry -- that's all part of the picture we're trying to build and filling out our roster and building the team the way Rex [Ryan] sees it. And as Rex has told us many times, he doesn't want to coach effort and you can look for those things in a lot of different areas."

In other words, if you're a draft-eligible player and the Jets dispatch a car to bring you to their facility in Florham Park, N.J., don't be a hammerhead.