Not many will admit to watching every single moment of the NFL Scouting Combine, but for those that have there were some New York Giants present. In the past, former tight ends coach Mike Pope was there on the opening days. Defensive backs coach Peter Giunta is another one. This past Tuesday on the last day of the combine, Giunta coached the defensive/corner backs. He then spoke to about 15-20 of these NFL draft prospects in his annual post-combine pre-draft way. It had comparable aspects to portions of his speech of 2013.
“It is a privilege to play in the National Football League, to coach in the National Football League or work in the National Football League,” said coach Giunta. “It is not your right. It is privilege. You have to earn the right to be there. What you’ve done so far is only an avenue to get you there. It does not guarantee you a place there. You understand that? The group that started and won the Super Bowl this year had one first-round pick, a fourth-rounder, a fifth-rounder and a sixth-rounder. It doesn’t matter how you get there, as long as you get there. The Super Bowl MVP, he wasn’t invited to come here. They didn’t think he was good enough. They took him in the seventh-round. He’s the Super Bowl MVP. It doesn’t matter how you get there. It’s what you do once you get there.
“Earn the right to play in the National Football League. To earn the right to play in the National Football League, you have to do the right things, not only on the field, but off the field. You’ve all been grilled and talked to while you’ve been here. They’ve done security checks, background checks. I don’t want to be reading about any of you guys in the paper in the near future, unless it’s about something very positive that you’ve done. We all have the power of choice. You have to make the right choices. We live in a great country. You have the power of choice.”
Here’s where Giunta’s inspiring heart-to-heart became familiar with past years’:
“Whoever is the most significant person in your life — I don’t care if it’s your grandmother, your mother, your father, your uncle, whoever it is — if that person was standing right there next to you in a difficult decision, would you make the decision you’re about to make? If you would make that decision with the person right there, chances are you’re making the right decision, the right choice. If you don’t think you should do it, it’s probably not the right thing to do.
“You’ve got to do the right things, whether it’s on the field or off the field. Earn the right to play in this league. It’s a great, great thing. You earn it. You’re not guaranteed it. You have to earn it. You guys did a fantastic job today. You battled through it.”
Sadly, right after this speech (Giunta had walked away), one combine attendee further broke the day’s activities by giving one last “DB” pep talk with, “Let’s get this money on three!” It’s okay to sigh now…
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