NFL Nation: C.O. Brocato

Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky

Pre-draft press conferences can be some of the most awkward around the NFL.

Teams like GMs and/or coaches to provide some fodder for reporters, and we want to hear from them. But their objective at the podium or table is typically to offer little real information or even to put a last bit of misdirection in the air.

The Jaguars just wrapped up their pre-draft press conference Tuesday afternoon, and we expect to be able to get a taste of what general manager Gene Smith, coach Jack Del Rio and director of player personnel Terry McDonough had to say later on.

Here's when you can expect to hear from the rest of the division:

  • Houston Texans general manager Rick Smith will talk Wednesday at 2:30 ET, and you can see it live at houstontexans.com.
  • Tennessee Titans general manager Mike Reinfeldt, national supervisor of college scouting C.O. Brocato, director of college scouting Mike Ackerley and scouting coordinator Blake Beddingfield will talk Thursday at 2 p.m. ET.
  • Indianapolis Colts president Bill Polian will talk with local press at 2 ET Friday.

We'll do our best to sort through those press conferences and hit any highlights.

Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky

Longtime Oilers and Titans scout C.O. Brocato is recovering in Texas from serious stomach problems that cropped up after he had three vertebra fused on May 27. But he said he expects to be in Nashville to watch training camp on schedule in the first week of August.

"I guess I pick up every bug that comes around in the hospital," he joked, referring back to a staph infection he dealt with in 2007 after surgery on his left hip. "I got the bug and it went in my stomach and it just ate me up."

The problems landed him back in the hospital where doctors discovered the infection and put him on a course of medicine including two new antibiotics.

"It's beginning to clear up a little bit now, so I am doing OK," he said. "I'm getting to where I walk around the house and everything now. It's not bad."

Brocato, 78, is hugely popular among other scouts and with college programs around the country, particularly in Big 12 country. At significant workouts that draw crowds, his colleagues typically defer to his stopwatch time when players run the 40.

This season will be his 34th with the franchise. Under Mike Reinfeldt, who took over as general manager in 2007, Brocato is national supervisor of college scouting and cross checks all prospects west of the Mississippi.

He's eating anything he wants, though keeping it light, and he was instructed to scrap his walker and use a cane.

Brocato said it's the right time of year for a scout to be sidelined and looks forward to getting into his usual routine as training camp and the college season approach.

In April of 2005 I asked Floyd Reese, then the Titans GM, what he instantly knew about a player if Brocato liked him.

"When C.O. likes a guy, I know a couple of things," said Reese, who now works at ESPN. "I know he's going to be tough. I know he is going to play his (butt) off. Now is he necessarily going to be blessed? Maybe not. Is he going to come out and run a 4.4 and be a big pretty gazelle? Maybe not.

"But I know those two things are for sure."

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