Graves' hiring points to personnel overlaps

June, 10, 2013
6/10/13
5:00
PM ET
We hear quite a bit about NFL coaching trees. Personnel trees can be important, too, as like-minded former associates compete for the same players.

Implications for the latter came to mind Monday when the New York Jets announced Rod Graves' hiring as their senior director of football administration. Graves, the Arizona Cardinals' former long time general manager, will work under new Jets GM John Idzik, an NFC West alum with ties to the Cardinals and Seattle Seahawks.

Look around the league and you'll see connections with implications for NFC West personnel departments. The Seahawks in particular could find themselves competing against their former associates:
  • Jets: Idzik, who was involved mostly with contract negotiations during his time with Graves in Arizona, studied personnel more closely under Seahawks GM John Schneider. He has taken what he learned to the Jets.
  • Packers: Green Bay GM Ted Thompson worked with Schneider for the Packers and in Seattle before taking his current job. There is overlap in their approaches to scouting.
  • Titans: GM Ruston Webster worked with Idzik and Schneider in Seattle before taking a job with Tennessee.
  • Chiefs: New Chiefs GM John Dorsey worked with Schneider and Thompson in Green Bay. Again, there is overlap in their approaches to scouting.
  • Jaguars: New coach Gus Bradley's connection to Seattle is via coaching, but it's already clear he's looking for players similar to the ones the Seahawks have acquired on defense, notably at cornerback.
  • Raiders: GM Reggie McKenzie is another member of the Green Bay personnel tree with strong ties to Schneider.


There are surely other connections I've overlooked. Each person brings his own style to the job, of course, but similarities in their thinking can provide a common philosophical foundation. We'll be on the lookout during future drafts and free-agent signing periods for evidence these teams are, at times, interested in similar players.

Elsewhere, note that the San Francisco 49ers lost one of their highest-ranking personnel people this offseason when Tom Gamble left for the Philadelphia Eagles.

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