One of the segments that caught my eye in light of his play recently was Tony Moeaki from the Univ. of Iowa.
"I was out at the Univ. of Iowa last year," Pioli says. "Whether Iowa has good players or not, It's one of my favorite trips to Iowa City because Kirk Ferentz, we worked together with the Cleveland Browns and the Baltimore Ravens."
"For some reason," he continues, "Tony caught my eye. A number of people had him rated in different spots [in the draft] but I saw the kid's work ethic. There are things you can see in practice that you can't see on tape. You can see how many times they have to be corrected or told the same thing or not told the same thing.
"I've learned this over time, particularly in the town that I gerw up in, there are certain people that can test well and score well on the ACTs or SATs but intellect has nothing to do with the ability to make good decisions. A person's intelligence can't simply be measured by a test."
As for Moeaki, he passes the test in that regard, Pioli says.
"Tony is very, very smart. He's unassumingly intelligent. He's quiet, very humble. They have to tell him things once and he got it. There are little things you can see while you're there."
He says going on the road and scouting is really the meat of his job because when he drafts a player, he wants to make sure he knows what he's getting. He says he stills travels to various schools quite a bit and referenced Bill Polian, Colts executive, as one of the all-time greats that still goes out on the road
"When I go to a school," he says, "I always take time to talk to the equipment manager, a female that works in the football office, whether it's a student assistant, academic counselor or a secretary, and talk to a janitor.
He says you can tell a lot about someone by the way they treat others, particularly women. He says he thinks of of the move The Breakfast Club when talking to a custodian.
"One of my favorites movies is the Breakfast Club. Judd Nelson gets into it with the custodian and the custodian just looks him in the eyes and says, 'Let me tell you something. I'm the eyes and ears of the school.' He talks about, 'Hey I know what's in your locker.'
"People like that, they know things and I think it's really important to understand how those people are treated."