'Finding Giants': Scouts are always, always watching


Scouts for the New York Giants found themselves in an unusual position last fall.

The club's talent finders were hard at work -- traveling to schools, talking to coaches, watching games, checking into hotels, studying film, going to sleep, then doing it again. But in 2013, all hell was breaking loose on the mothership.

The Giants had started their season 0-6.

"It's been definitely a different year," scout Chris Pettit said during Episode 2 of NFL Network's Finding Giants, a behind-the-scenes look at Big Blue that aired Thursday at 9 p.m. ET. "But it's hard going into schools that week and everyone's talking about their teams and everyone's asking, 'How are you doing?' I've never gone in six weeks in a row like this. We gotta get better. We gotta do our job. We gotta find players."

It was an illuminating comment from Pettit, who, like the rest of the top scouts, is powerless to better the fortunes of the current Giants team. Their job is to protect the future, but success (or lack thereof) in the present has a trickle-down effect on the entire operation.

Here are some other takeaways from Episode 2:

» Giants co-owner John Mara cited running back Ahmad Bradshaw as a shining example of the type of player organizations hope their evaluation team can unearth. "Without him we don't win the two Super Bowls," Mara said, referring to the Giants titles in 2007 and 2011. "There are a number of examples like that. These are the guys your scouts find for you."

» Scout Steve Malin used an even more famous example of a late-round pick when describing his job responsibility. "Everybody knows who the top guys are," he said. "Everybody goes, 'Well, I always liked Andrew Luck.' Andrew Luck? Andrew Luck was the first pick of the draft! You gotta find Tom Brady. That's what I get paid to do, is find Tom Brady."

» Everybody wants to be a general manager like Jerry Reese, but few people know the sacrifices it takes to get there. The wives of two scouts described themselves as "single mothers" during this episode. Jeremy Breit, the team's West Coast scout, explained his unending October road trip in which he spent 4.5 days at home and logged 2,300 miles behind the steering wheel.

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» Malin visits Texas A&M, where he watches Johnny Manziel and Jake Matthews do their thing. Malin is especially impressed by how Matthews carries himself on the sideline. A major takeaway from this series so far: When NFL evaluators come to your school, they're not just watching what you do on the field.

» Executive scout Joe Collins openly admits part of the reason he makes the trek to Elon University is the school's killer candy spread in the press box. The funniest moment of the half hour comes when Collins shamelessly snags three bags of Peanut M&M's and nervously looks around hoping that no one notices. The scout life is a hustle.

» The latest episode of Finding Giants -- the second in a four-part series -- premiered Thursday at 9 p.m. ET. If you want more, NFL NOW Plus will offer viewers a full six-episode, "director's cut" edition of Finding Giants after the show wraps its NFL Network run on Oct. 21.

Catch the replay of Episode 2 of "Finding Giants" on Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET, only on NFL Network.

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