TFG Pod: NFL Scouting Combine Spectacular

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NFL Senior Director of Football Development Sam Rapoport’s challenge is both monumental and historic. “Normalize football,” says the former quarterback turned league executive on a special NFL combine edition of the TFG Podcast. Rapoport’s quest to create a pipeline for women to even have a shot at previously unattainable jobs in coaching and operations has already paid dividends. Intriguing jobs in football operations and coaching were already offered to 26 qualified candidates stemming from the first two seasons of the Women’s Career in Football Forum with more on tap.

This year Rapoport and the NFL took to the Forum to Indianapolis to allow 42 women working in the collegiate ranks deeper exposure to NFL decision makers. Rapoport talks about the experience, including a powerful session with head coaches Bruce Arians. John Harbaugh, Sean McDermott and Ron Rivera. The conversation also includes a broader view of how all 32 clubs can buy in to the notion of a more robust talent pool and how the league measures success regarding inclusion. Plus. Rapoport describes her inspirational journey from playing football to forever altering its landscape.

Also joining Melissa is ESPN injury analyst Stephania Bell co-hosting of the Fantasy Focus Podcast and Answering the Bell for a lively conversation about what really happens at the NFL combine. Bell details her first-ever encounter with 49ers GM John Lynch,  before delving into the most important part of the combine – the medical evaluations. Bell explains what happens during the thorough evaluations from the number of doctors in the room to careers that have been saved.

The Timeline

4:40: (Diehard 49ers fan) Stephania on her elevator ride with John Lynch

8:35: Stephania does her best millennial imitation

17:39: Stephania on what happens during the medical evaluation

24:45: Stephania on how the medical evals can save lives

31:07: Sam Rapoport joins!

32:00 Sam on how beneficial it was to have  theWomen’s Careers in Football Forum at the NFL Combine

35:15: Sam on how to convert coaching internships to full-time positions

37:00 Sam on her inspirational trajectory from playing football to creating a pipeline for the NFL

40:14: Sam on inspiring women to apply for jobs in football

42:57: Sam on how she measures success

44:58: Sam on how much media attention female trail blazers in football should receive