INDIANAPOLIS – Busy as he has been since being hired, Monti Ossenfort made sure to go home over the weekend to spend a little time with his family in Nashville.
With the Scouting combine starting Monday, however, the visit gave way to the 300-or-so-mile drive for the Cardinals general manager to start up once again his preparation – and that of the team's new coaching staff – for the first draft of the new regime.
Head coach Jonathan Gannon has only been in place less than two weeks, and his coaching staff isn't yet quite complete. NFL time marches forward, though, and getting to know the potential draftees starts in earnest now.
"Our time frame is collapsed and we don't have as much time, but our coaches are getting on board, we are getting ready to go," Ossenfort said. "Medical, that supersedes everything else out (at the combine) and probably is the most boring for (fans). Second is the interview time. The on-field work, the testing, it's another piece of information but I wouldn't say it's a driver of anything on what we make our decisions."
The combine is also where teams will potentially have initial conversations about trades, whether it be for players or draft picks.
The Cardinals eventually will shift how they approach the draft and scouting under a model Ossenfort prefers. But for now, there will be only small tweaks as the team compiles details of potential draftees under the current structure.
Under Ossenfort, the college draft meetings with scouts are already completed in a timeframe earlier than previous. With coaches now in the building, the tangible traits needed on the field are easier to know.
"We need to come an understanding what that person looks like," Ossenfort said. "From there, (it's) schematically, this is how we're going to play, this is what we are going to ask from each position and clearly identifying those attributes that are needed and what we can give on. Then that knowledge and philosophy is passed on to all our coaching staff, all our personnel people all our scouts so everyone is on the same page."
The Cardinals own the No. 3 overall pick, and – after compensatory picks are announced – are expected to have eight draft picks as they try to rebuild the roster.
"It's a very inexact science," Ossenfort said. "I wish it wasn't, but there is a human element we are trying to understand."