Don't blink: The odd skill set one NFL team is focused on at the combine


Never underestimate the absurdity of the NFL or its scouting process.

Case in point: the NFL combine in Indianapolis measures virtually every aspect of a player’s mental and physical ability and to some teams that still isn’t enough. OK, it’s just one team. The Seattle Seahawks. And unsatisfied with the official data the league is providing them with on the next wave of NFL athletes, the Seahawks are having players compete in staring contests during their private interview sessions.

Because, apparently, you never know when blinking will be outlawed in tackle football.

Notre Dame wideout Equanimeous St. Brown said he was able to go for 15 seconds and Texas punter Michael Dickson made it just 14 seconds, according to Eric Edholm at Pro Football Weekly.

Hopefully the poor showing from St. Brown here won’t detract from his other measurements.


The NFL is notorious for its teams treating player info like state secrets. You never really know how serious a team is when it asks players to perform silly tasks or answer outrageous questions during the combine. Sometimes teams want you to focus on the otherwise irrelevant tests they put players through. Other times they won’t even interview a player they are interested in lest they tip their hand.

But a staring contest? Really? That’s got to be as useful a measurement as when scouts would try to determine a player’s confidence based on the attractiveness of their spouse.

In any case, all you NFL hopefuls out there looking to impress the Seahawks better start practicing your staring skills. Remember to try to make your opponents laugh, and if your eyes start to hurt, try squinting.

Also remember that NFL teams take themselves way too seriously and that the ability to abstain from blinking likely has little do to with making it big in the NFL.

Then again…have you ever seen the Seahawks’ logo blink?

Maybe there’s something to this.


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Blake Schuster is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at blakeschuster@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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