Henson gets much needed 'live' work

With the NFL Europe season now over, Gary Horton takes a look at five players who improved their stock.

Originally Published: June 6, 2006
By Gary Horton | Scouts Inc.
With the Frankfurt Galaxy recording their unprecedented fourth World Bowl victory, a 22-7 win over the Amsterdam Admirals, another NFL Europe season is wrapped up and it's time to take an inside look at this league and also evaluate some of the top players.

NFL coaches continue to have varying opinions on the value of NFL Europe. Position coaches in the NFL cherish the offseason and the quality one-on-one time with their players. Many folks believe the most progress a young player makes during his career is in the offseason between his rookie year and second season. Watching film and competing in individual drills with your position coach in the spring is a huge learning curve for a young player. Subsequently, many NFL coaches are hesitant to endorse their players' competing across the Atlantic ocean in an environment that usually lacks the same level of facilities and coaching expertise that they get with their NFL team.

However, there is a strong counterpoint to this argument. Playing in game situations is something that you cannot simulate in an NFL offseason program. All the drills in the world with your position coach will not match the speed and intensity of a live game. Many of these young players get very little playing time in the preseason and game experience is critical for the development. NFL coaches will tell you that specific positions, such as quarterback and offensive line, benefit the most from these game situations.

Gary Horton spent 10 years in the NFL as a scout and another 10 years at the college level as an assistant coach and recruiter. He is the founder and most seasoned member of the Scouts Inc. staff, and his extensive experience at all levels of football make him an excellent talent evaluator.