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Pioli explains the intersection between scouting and The Breakfast Club


In recent weeks, several of you have mentioned a certain ‘80s-era Brat Pack film in conjunction with the antitrust lawsuit pending against the NFL in Minnesota.

“I loved Judge Nelson in The Breakfast Club,” at least one PFT reader has said.

But The Breakfast Club has separate relevance to the NFL, as explained by Chiefs G.M. Scott Pioli during Monday’s edition of PFT Live. Expanding on an interview he gave earlier this month to Joel Thorman of, Pioli talked about the value of finding folks like “Carl the Janitor,” who has a low level of power or influence but who is in position to see and hear a lot of important things.

Pioli said that, in researching draft picks, he looks for one or more “Carl the Janitors,” men and women who can provide something more meaningful than the spit-and-polished version of the player that the teams get when they visit with a prospect.

And Pioli should know. He once was a “Carl the Janitor” himself, driving visiting players from the airport to team facilities while working for the Browns under Bill Belichick. And Pioli paid attention to the things that a player said and did while in the car, since the players didn’t always realize that Pioli was taking notes on how they acted.

Though disclosure of that dynamic could make visiting players even more guarded when visiting with teams, the damage already has been done at the college and high school level by the time the player ever shows up at the facility of an NFL team.

The challenge for NFL teams is to find those “Carl the Janitors.”