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Introducing "The Monos Report," a look at how the NFL really operates
Longtime NFL personnel man Jim Monos, and the co-host of the Go Long Podcast, will now write a weekly column right here at Go Long.
A while back, when Tyler Dunne and I were exchanging text messages about the 2017 draft, I smiled and knew he was the right person to deliver the information to because everything you read from Tyler is in-depth, detailed and accurate. It was my first time really seeing how much goes into a major feature story. I figured I could just tell him that Bills owner Terry Pegula wanted us to draft Patrick Mahomes and that would be it — but question after question — I could see the passion he had for knowing how it really happened.
The more we spoke, we found out we both enjoy a beer or two, NBA basketball, and of course, liked the Green Bay Packers as kids. How two guys who grew up in Western New York and Central Pennsylvania were Packers fans is a story for another podcast, but one conversation led to another and another and, eventually, us collaborating for the Go Long Podcast and what a ride it has been since starting last December.
When Tyler asked me if I wanted to write a weekly column I was honored, but also wanted him to know there was no way I could write as many words as his features. Pretty sure Tyler writes more in one story than I wrote my entire college career as a journalism major at Bloomsburg University.
The best way to sum up my college journey is basically the 2002 film “Van Wilder” and those stories are for the podcast only.
In 1999, I interviewed and was hired by the Philadelphia Eagles for their PR internship. Can you imagine being able to earn nine credits in college for working a training camp at Lehigh University?
The Buffalo Bills’ current VP of Communications Derek Boyko was my boss and Bills head coach Sean McDermott was an assistant coach.
This is where I became close with Marc Ross (who’s now at NFL Network) and Mike McCartney (an agent) when we would play basketball in the evenings after all the work was done. Marc was the Director of College Scouting and Mike was the Director of Pro Scouting. They went to bat for me with former Eagles GM Tom Modrak, who passed away in 2017, to hire me as a scouting intern after I graduated. Anyone who was lucky enough to learn from Tom knows what a special man he was. In 2001, we arrived back from Indianapolis Scouting Combine and as we got out of the car Tom pulled me aside and offered me $1000 per month because I had been interning with no pay.
Yes, I celebrated the big news by driving 50 minutes from Philly to Atlantic City to play some blackjack thinking I could double my new salary. (Never gamble.)
For those who are loyal listeners of the Go Long Podcast, you know I was a longtime scout for the Eagles (2000-2004), Saints (2005-2013) and then the Director of Personnel for the Bills (2013-2017). What you may not know is I worked for the San Diego Fleet (2018-2019) in the horribly run AAF league and then was hired by Champion Data (2020) as their XFL data analyst before Covid shut down a well-run league. We could do another podcast in the offseason about working with Mike Martz in San Diego and then working for Champion Data, who are based in Australia, and were hired by the XFL to do all their statistics in real time Both of those experiences taught me so much and I felt fortunate to have those opportunities.
My column will include observations from the previous week’s games after watching film, quarterback rankings nobody cares about, some of the best restaurants I’ve been to while scouting and, of course, reality TV. When you spend every single day watching football it’s hard to beat a good MTV or Bravo show while sipping on some red wine.
You can also expect to hear plenty of stories from those two decades in NFL front offices.
As for those quarterback rankings? I’ll use a grading system while watching every snap of every quarterback. Last season, I did this to stay in the game and the results were always surprising.
Hard to believe it’s finally here, but kickoff is Thursday night. Tyler’s “favorite” NFL coach Mike McCarthy leads Dallas against the defending champs in Tampa. No clue who will win this game, but I know the Epicurean hotel in Tampa is fabulous, La Segunda Bakery’s Cuban sandwich is fire and Bern’s Steakhouse is slightly overrated.
See you next week.