According to ESPN senior writer Seth Wickersham, the Indianapolis Colts have hired Brian Decker as their new player personnel strategist:
Decker previously served as the Cleveland Browns player personnel strategist from 2014-16–having been hired by former Cleveland Browns CEO Joe Banner and General Manager/VP of Player Personnel Mike Lombardi. Not to mention, his hiring may have received presumed input by current Colts offense coordinator (then Cleveland Browns head coach) Rob Chudzinski.
Of course, Decker initially didn’t come from a professional football background, as he ran the Army’s Special Forces selection assessment as the commander before joining the Browns:
"“At the time, Decker ran the Army’s Special Forces selection assessment as the commander. He and his men was responsible for evaluating the best Soldiers the Army had to offer. He evaluated the best of the best soldiers, with unbelievable resumes and the ultimate physical specimens. Decker helped pick where each one would fit in to the Special Forces, also known as the “Green Berets.”“When Decker took over the prestigious selection assessment, he revamped some of the course material and it received rave reviews. Special Forces candidates would take a series of tests designed to be a reliable predictor of success.”"
With the Browns and now with the Colts, Decker was (or will be) charged with evaluating the mental make-up of prospects to assess their character and likelihood of success at the next level:
"“After three years (serving the Army), Decker had devised a program that collected 1,200 data points on each candidate, from peak physical performance to psychometrics, the science of measuring mental processes. He could effectively predict the profile of a Green Beret: college-educated with an IQ around 122, in his early 30s, probably from a suburb of a major city, someone who responded to trauma in his life with increased self-motivation.”"
The same qualities that make successful military personnel: selflessness, character, determination, leadership, and grit are the same qualities that could theoretically transcend into professional football.
Of course, new general manager Chris Ballard has wasted no time putting his own stamp on a revamped Colts front office, as Indianapolis has already made a number of scouting department changes.
This is the latest reported front office change, and if nothing else, it’s a modern–maybe even innovative metric to evaluate professional football personnel.