Area scout Todd Brunner has enjoyed spending time with his family since the NFL Draft wrapped up months ago, but he has been very busy since. Brunner recently spoke with 49ers.com about his time off and how he is preparing for training camp in the latest edition of “Brunner’s Blog.”
I’m starting to get ready to head out to Santa Clara for the start of training camp. To me, it’s exciting because you get back into football mode. I have been watching tape, but now we’re really getting back into it. Training camp gets us all ready for the season; it’s not just for the players. I’ll be out there with the other scouts for nine days, from July 30 until August 8, and we’ll have a lot of work to do.
Going back to the draft preparation, I actually got some work in at our local pro day. I stepped in and played quarterback that day and threw to some of the wide receivers we were looking at. They made me look good though; I think I showed my age that day. I do enjoy throwing at these different workouts, but that was more than I had done in a long time. The other scouts like to rib me about it, but I enjoyed it.
Area scout Ethan Waugh ran the pro day, and afterwards he asked us what we needed to change for next year – I told him we need to bring in some college quarterbacks.
As much fun as I had, it would be better to have a younger guy throwing. I’m not out there doing it every day. I only do it when I’m asked, and that is few and far between. To do a baseball analogy, I’m more of a short-term reliever now; I’m not a long-inning starter anymore.
Once everything got taken care of with the draft, Vice President of Player Personnel Trent Baalke got a hold of us all and shared his vision for the rest of the offseason. The first thing he had us do was break down last season’s 49ers game tape. We all had about six games to watch and we graded the whole team so that we’ll have a good feel for what we have on the roster. This way when we go out in the fall we can give guys grades and see how they stack up against the players on our team. We will have a better sense of our team when we are scouting so we know what we need to bring on board to help us get better in the future.
After we got the 49ers tapes done, we had the national meetings down in Florida. Once those national meetings were over, Trent and Joel Patten, our new Director of College Scouting compiled a list of schools they wanted us to watch film on and also gave us guys to grade before the fall. We all had between five and seven schools to write reports on and those were due at the end of June.
More than anything, I have really enjoyed spending time with my family these last few months. Both my kids have been playing baseball and softball all summer, and it has been nice being involved with that. My daughter’s softball team is doing great. First they went to districts, then they went to sectionals and now they have the state tournament. My son has been playing on the all-star team, and that has been fun to watch too.
The sports have kept us from going on any real vacations. We were able to get down to the beach for one weekend, but we haven’t been able to really get away. But I’m just enjoying spending time with them and watching my kids play their sports.
However, training camp is coming up soon and I have to get back to work. Like I said, I’ll get out there on July 30. The first full day we are there we will meet with Trent and Joel and they will map out a plan of what they want us to do.
If it is anything like it has been in the past, we will each have a position assigned to us and we will be responsible for watching that position group during training camp. We will each be watching the whole team as well, but we will really focus on our position groups. Each scout does a write up in which we evaluate and put a grade on those guys based on the practices we viewed. It is nothing set in stone. It’s just based on the week of practice we will be there for.
Also, if Trent wants to change anything with our reports we will go over that and we’ll see if there is going to be anything tweaked with the grading system. With Joel and area scout Bob Morris coming on board, they have to get up to speed with what we’re doing. And if Joel wants to tweak anything we need to get up to speed as far as that is concerned.
It’s a fairly simple process while we’re out there. It stays pretty similar year-in and year-out, there are just minor tweaks that go on. Plus, with Bob coming on board we will want to get him acquainted with everything. But we’re a good bunch of guys who are easy to get along with, so it shouldn’t be hard.
When I go out to training camp, I’m excited to see the offensive line because we drafted two players in the first round, one of them being
The week after I come home is when I formulate my plan for the college football season. Some guys probably already have their schedules in place for the fall. I have an idea, but I haven’t finalized a schedule yet. I like to go to the smaller schools first. It allows me to swing back through there later in the year if I see something I liked. I always have to hit the big schools twice, but I usually wait until they’ve played a couple of games before I visit them.
Thanks to everyone for reading my updates, I’ll check in with you guys after camp with my impressions from the practice sessions.