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Become a SCOUT!

Scouting can be very simple or more complicated, depending on your level of expertise. But it doesn't have to take a lot of time. I currently scout for more than 30 teams and have scouted for more than 50 in a single day.

The key is to find something simple to do, easy to repeat, and not terribly time consuming. Any scouting that involves replays or Play-by-Plays will take a little more time for each successive game. You should take that into consideration when deciding how to scout.

Some SIMPLE but EFFECTIVE ways to scout

1) Check upcoming opponents for open builds
Some teams will have several players whose builds are viewable to everyone. Since most teams try to encourage players to build toward the same paradigm for each position, these builds can give a coach/coordinator insight into what the team is trying to accomplish.

2) Compare Player Levels
This is extremely simple to do and can really add a lot to the preparation for an opponent. You may wish to compare the starters position by position to see who has the advantage; compare the two deep for the same info; compare Offenses, Defenses, and Offense vs Defense.

You can make this information even more valuable by tracking it game-by-game so that you can report when a team 'boosted' many/most of its players.

3) Compare Player Matchups in Depth Charts
Track how upcoming opponents handle their depth charts from game to game. Many will stand pat and virtually never change. Others will micromanage and constantly move players around to get the individual matchups they like (maybe always putting the #1 CB on the #2 WR or something similar). Still others will demonstrate their paranoia by blanking their depth chart after every game.

If you want to scout with this method, make it a habit to scout during the games. Teams can monkey around and play games all they want but, come gametime, they will have their actual depth chart set.

There are many other simple methods of scouting as well. There are probably things no one has even used before. Be creative and find something you enjoy.

Some FUN ways to scout

1) Visual Scouting for Tendencies
If you enjoy watching game replays anyway, grab a pad and pencil and make it work for you. You can track virtually anything you choose (but try not to overdo it):

How often does the team play zone?

How often does the team blitz?

How often does the team use a FB or 2 TEs?

How effective are their pulling Guards in space?

The list is endless and can be extremely helpful to any gameplanning session. You might even check with the coordinators to see what kind of info they would like.

2) Visual Scouting for Player Stamina and Matchup
Another very effective type of scouting. The opponent has a monster CB that scares your OC to death. You can tell him how many plays he is in the game before he has to rest. You can tell him how often he plays on the right side or the the left. You can even tell him how often he is beaten vs how often he makes the play.

This type of scouting is best used when you know what concerns the gameplanners on your team. It's very difficult to track more than a couple of players at a time so take that into consideration before you commit to provide reports on the whole roster.

Some MORE COMPLICATED ways to scout

1) Track opponent tendencies in Play by Play
This has been the bread-and-butter of my scouting and has apparently been very helpful to teams. This will typically require some scripting or programming ability due to the amount of data and the need to provide a uniform report for each opponent. If you just want to scout for one team, you could accomplish this w/o computer help but it will become very tedious over the course of a season.

As stated earlier, this type of scouting will take longer to do for each game. Take that into consideration before taking on too much responsibility.

2) Detailed Roster Analysis and Player Ratings
This is another type of scouting that will likely require computer help. The basic premise is to compare the player production (stats) to the league norms. All the data can be easily gleaned from 5 pages provided by GLB: Team Profile, Team Roster, Team Leaders, League Team Leaders, League Player Leaders. When used properly, this type of analysis will cause the main threats and weaknesses of an opponent to virtually leap out and bite you. It can be very effective for depth charting and scheming alike.

The advantage to this type of scouting is that it requires the same amount of time (same # of pages of data) for each game including the playoffs.

The list above does not begin to cover all the types of scouting out there. If you want to be more involved in the game WITHOUT SPENDING A DIME to do it, Scouting may be the way to get there.

Okay, I'm a Scout. How do I get a JOB?

The first step is to generate a report to provide to prospective clients. If possible, you may wish to make this report specific to their next opponent. A resume is great but nothing beats value in hand as a selling tool.

The second step, if you have access to a team forum, is to post scouting information for upcoming games. I assure you that a well detailed report will draw considerable notice and you will likely begin to receive job offers from all over the place.

The third step is to advertise. Check the 'Players Looking for Teams' forum and you'll see the sub-forum listed last. The more experience you have, the more quickly you'll get noticed. But a lack of experience need not be a problem. Post a sample report for people to see (it may be best to redact team/player names on the report in this setting so as not to anger some).

Things a Scout should NEVER DO

1) Never post 'insider' info gleaned from an opponent's team forum. Not only is the unethical in general, it will likely guarantee a lack of trust between yourself and the teams for whom you scout.

2) Never include your unsolicited suggestions for tactics in your reports. Post the report and answer any question posed. Let the gameplanners deal with how to use the info. Failure in this regard will often lead to resentment by Coordinators that may feel their job is being threatened.

3) If using a script or program to assist you, DO NOT use page scrapes to populate your reports. As Bort has stated, he will make data more readily available for scouting programs in the future. In the mean time these cause considerable server lag for everyone.

4) Never take on more responsibility than you are willing to handle. Scouting can be a lot of fun, but as the season drags on your excitement could wane a bit. Take that into consideration before you take the job(s).

5) Don't pretend to be a scout to get your player signed. This is more about being a stand-up person than specifically a scout but, don't be the idiot that runs a scam to get his player signed and then is never heard from again. It will be that much more difficult to find anyone else to offer your player.

I hope you all find good homes for your players and a fun way to help out your teams.
What are "page scrapes"?
Originally posted by jbutler96
What are "page scrapes"?

A script will load a page in the background for the sole purpose of mining data. Many scripts use this method, but scouting scripts can often call for so many pages at one time that they will cause a spike and considerable server lag. Bort has specifically mentioned the PHP script as a contributor to slowing down the site.
Landry Skins
Skinny Laundry
Here is an example of a report I did. It took 10 minutes:

Rushing Report:
Last game the Templiers ran the ball 23 times for an average of 2.8 yards and a total of 65 yards. Their top runner ran the ball 11 times for 25 times and an average of 2.3.

Passing Report:
They passed the ball 32 times last game. The passes were completed 21 times for 174.5 yards and an average of 5.5 yards per catch. Chase Edwards was the only QB who threw the ball although Jules Jackson had 10 plays as backup QB. Their top receiver was Bernie Noel who had 5 receptions for 42 yards and an average of 8.4 yards per catch.

Blocking Report:
The Templiers had 1 pancake last game.

Pass-Rushing Report:
Last game the Templiers had 1 sack for a loss of 6.5 yards and 4 hurries.

Pass-Defense Report:
They had 2 interceptions and 8 pass-deflections last game against the Piggies.

Tackling Report:
The Templiers had 67 tackles and 14 missed-tackles last game. They did not force any fumbles.

Overall Report:
If we can take advantage of their missed-tackles, we should have a win.

It is a report on how the next team we are playing did last game. This is how I usually scout.
here is also another example of a scouting report where it uses replays to show what an opponent likes to do....if they have open stats, you can put a link in the starting lineup section.

hey guys...sorry about not being so active this past weekend but you know holidays's an opportunity to get things done that you don't have time for with work. but i'm back and so is the latest installment of the drunken monkey! this week, we face the chicago hedgehogs who have decent 1st string talent but lack serious depth which we can use to our advantage. their chemistry is decent but not nearly as good as ours. with our superior depth and chemistry, we should be able to handle these guys. so who are the chicago hedgehogs?

Record: 6-9

Starting Offense
Pos Player
QB Wun Hunglo (Lv. 15)
HB Maurice Watson (Lv. 15)
FB The Bowling Ball (Lv. 11)
WR Turbo McSpeed (Lv. 13)
WR Carlos Molina (Lv. 12)
TE Hard Headly (Lv. 15)
C Tre Mann (Lv. 14)
LOT Art Landis (Lv. 16)
ROT Child Eater (Lv. 13)
LG Tom Boonen (Lv. 11)
RG Bear Dozer (Lv. 13)

Starting Kickers
Pos Player
K Guillo Tinner (Lv. 8)
P C.C. Vega (Lv. 9)

Starting Defense
Pos Player
NT Ben Snappingnecks (Lv. 13)
DT Rhino Clark (Lv. 11)
LDE Joe Roppo (Lv. 17)
RDE Mongo Williams (Lv. 10) (30 str, 27 spd, 22 tck, 23 agi, & 20 vis)
MLB Jordan Law (Lv. 11)
LOLB Jermaine Linwood (Lv. 10)
ROLB Diego Sánchez (Lv. 13)
CB Spank McMonkey (Lv. 11)
CB Knight Rider (Lv. 11)
FS Rydaddy Watson (Lv. 18)
SS Don Dokken (Lv. 13)

These guys have rushed 416 times and passed 556. Their FB has had 3 rushes all season and their TE is tied for the lead in receptions. defensively, their DE, joe roppo, leads their defense in tackles by a large margin and he has 12 hurries and 4 sacks. their second leading tackler is their CB, johnny boss, who is a handful for WR to block.

Offensively, chicago seems to prefer running outside over running inside and most of their passes seem to be in the medium range. They have not done well in games where they have tried to run up the middle more than running outside.

Outside run goes for a big gain

They will take a few shots deep

Most of their passes are medium

Defensively, these guys can be exploited by the outside run

Their starting CB will play tight pass coverage, Boss likes to play medium

Roppo has back to back sacks

Roppo can cause running to our right a problem as he will be a handful but we should be able to get our running game going against these guys as they've allowed over 100 yards rushing in 7 of their past 8 games and our defense should be able to limit their offense.

Well, that concludes this edition of the drunken monkey...remember, you heard it here first! let's kick some ass tomorrow! till next time...
and yet another example...

Alright fellow River's playoff time! It's do or die's a whole new's win or go home! It doesn't matter what anyone did in the regular season so let's take opponent seriously. Let's prove to everyone that last game was a fluke! Our first playoff game is against the Philadelphia Wolves. A few quick facts:

Record: 9-7

Starting Offense
Pos Player
QB Kevin Kolb (Lv. 17)
HB Ryan Morison (Lv. 15)
FB Kenny Jewell (Lv. 14)
WR Speedy McCheese (Lv. 14)
WR Marty McKay (Lv. 14)
TE George Michael Bluth (Lv. 12) (50 spd, 24 cth, 21 str, & 19 blk)
C Sukit Na Chiangmai (Lv. 12) (56 str, 50 blk, & 19 agi)
LOT Bill Reynolds (Lv. 14)
ROT Roger Phelps (Lv. 14)
LG Jim Phelps (Lv. 14)
RG Jim St. Joe (Lv. 14)

Starting Kickers
Pos Player
K Shayne Graham (Lv. 13)
P Joe Namath Jnr (Lv. 14)

Starting Defense
Pos Player
NT Phil "The Doughboy" O'Hoolighan (Lv. 17)
DT Sig Cannon (Lv. 13) (43 str, 36 tkl, 28 agi, & 22 spd)
LDE Shaun Cole (Lv. 17)
RDE Ray St. Charles (Lv. 14)
MLB Stewart Bradley (Lv. 16)
LOLB Rock McNasty (Lv. 12)
ROLB Bermuda Brown (Lv. 14)
CB Antonio Vinitelli (Lv. 14) (51 spd, 32 agi, 21 cth, & 30 vis)
CB Jack Attack (Lv. 13)
FS Igor Biscanator (Lv. 14)
SS Chop Saki (Lv. 14)

These guys lack depth on the offensive side but have 3 lvl 14 wideouts and a pass catching TE. On the defensive side, they have good depth at the DE position and decent depth at all the other positions.

Offensively, these guys are most effective through the air. Over the course of the season, they have passed 652 times and run 525 times. Their trio of lvl 14 receivers are their leading receivers, with Marty McKay leading the way with 1,000 yards and 9 TDs. They don't seem to throw tot he HB or FB much at all. They FBs have accounted for about 18% of their total carries and they favor running outside. In the passing game, they throw almost all their passes in the medium/long range but I saw only 1 pass go for more than 17 yards in their last 4 games.

Their only bomb in the past 4 games

Another long pass

They do involve their TE in the passing game

They prefer to run outside

Defensively, Philidelphia prefers to play tight man and they blitz anywhere between 20% - 40% of the time. I do expect them to be tough against the run as they've held their past 4 opponents to 2.2, -1.4, 3.4, and 2.2 yards per carry. Also, in our first matchup with these guys, we ran the ball 40 times and passed 18 so I do expect them to look for the outside run this time.

We should be able to take advantage of their tight man and blitzing

Our receivers should be able to get seperation from their tight coverage with medium passing

Alright gentleman, this concludes this edition of the drunken monkee...remember, you heard it here first!

what time is it! game time! What Time Is It? Game Time! WHAT TIME IS IT? GAME TIME!

Now let's go out there tomorrow and take care of our business...
cool lol
want a job?

That was a important post after all, I usually see people asking 'what a scout do?' -.-'
Last edited Aug 1, 2008 11:30:38
With the new AIs, visual scouting for tendencies becomes much more important. A scout with excellent pattern-recognition skills (or paper, pencil, and some math, or both) will be able to give valuable information to coordinators on the opponent's specific tendencies in certain game situations. How does their play-calling appear to differ based on down and distance? Do they appear to have a 2-minute or catch-up offense planned, what does it consist of, and when can we expect to see it?

This opens up a whole new world of scouting - comparing player levels and checking for open builds are relatively straightforward and things I do every game anyways as an OC, but even though I watch game tape, often twice, I know that I won't be able to catch every trend, and a sharp set of eyes and/or someone with statistical skills will be very helpful in figuring out what the opponents' advanced AI settings are. (And personally, I'd solicit suggestions for ways to set our AI to take advantage of the opponents' situational tendencies as well.)
i would like to try this out!! it shouldnt be hard to look for some deciet players thatll make a championship team later on!!!!! hit me up
ty for the thread! lol i scout for 2 teams and am just learing how tyvm!
Nice guide and some very good examples here. This was educational for me, a scout in the making, to read this thing through.

It's more in-depth than what I have read prior to this.

great info here
Here's what I do.
I cut the play-by-play from their last game, and past it into notepad (txt document).
Then, open it in Excel as tab-delimited (to separate info into columns).
Then, using two simple formulas, in a new column, I identify all passing/running plays.

=IF(ISNUMBER(SEARCH("pass",C16)),"Pass", "Run")

If the text in cell C16 contains the word "pass", put "Pass" here, otherwise, put "Run"

Then, I use the following formula to count the number of passes or runs by situation:

=COUNTIF(D16: D70,"Pass") --(No space before the "D16:" but had to avoid the smiley)
=COUNTIF(D16: D70,"Run")

Short = 0-4 yards
Medium = 4-7 yards
Long = 8+ yards

In the end, I get this (sorry it's so ugly in ascii):

1st & 10------9-----22-------29%-----71%
1st & G-------0------3--------0%----100%
2nd & S-------0------3--------0%----100%
2nd & M-------2-----10-------17%-----83%
2nd & L-------3------9-------25%-----75%
3rd & S-------1------8-------11%-----89%
3rd & M-------0------4--------0%----100%
3rd & L-------2------2-------50%-----50%

If I REALLY want to scout a team, I watch the game and also record how many receivers in each play....
Last edited Sep 25, 2008 16:48:10

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