Tyler Scott’s career as a sprinter prepared him for NFL
Katie Stratman - USA Today Sports

Tyler Scott’s career as a sprinter prepared him for NFL

by - Correspondent -

With the No. 133 overall pick in the NFL Draft, the Chicago Bears selected wide receiver Tyler Scott out of Cincinnati. He is the only wide receiver they selected during the entire draft.

Scott has been an athlete his whole life.

The speedy receiver who ran a 4.44 40-yard dash time started his athletic career as a sprinter and continued that throughout elementary and middle school, as well as playing running back in high school before transitioning to wide receiver in college. It all started with his father.

“It started when I was about five, six years old, and my dad, he was a track coach. He coached spot put and discus, but he was part of the staff. So, he just got me out there, running around, and I loved it,” Scott said. “(I) continued to run, and I think when I got to the age of eight or nine, I actually qualified for the Junior Olympics. My race growing up was the 400-meter dash. I also qualified in 100 and 200, but my money race was the 400. And so, I was able to qualify, went down to, at the time, it was Iowa and competed, and I was ranked, I ended up getting ranked fourth in the nation in the 400-meter dash.”

After this race, he continued to run in elementary and middle school. Further, he excelled as a long jumper and triple jumper as well. His speed helped him, and continues to help him develop as a football player, particularly at receiver. However, he notes that it is important to develop other skills as a receiver because speed is not the only essential skill for this position.

“Just because you have speed doesn’t make you a deep threat or doesn’t make you great running routes. You know, knowing when to use it, I think, is a key point,” Scott said. “Knowing how to set people up, just having people feel your speed. Sometimes, you know, whether it’s a run play going the other way, sometimes I like to just run off the ball and race the DB and just let them feel my speed.”

Even a talented player like Scott cannot develop these skills without guidance. During all three years he spent at the University of Cincinnati, he worked with wide receiver coach Mike Brown who helped him hone these skills.

“I give a lot of credit to my receivers coach from Cincinnati, Mike Brown, for helping me develop those type of traits and those type of things and really helping me use my eyes because it’s great to have speed, but at the end of the day, you have to learn how to get in and out of your cuts efficiently,” Scott said.

Not only do you have to work on perfecting your movements, but also those of your opponents.

Scott seems to approach being a wide receiver in the NFL like a coach would, analyzing not only his movements but also those of the defenders; that is also something that Brown taught him as a Bearcat.

“You got to learn how to read defenses, you got to learn how to get to the blind spots, learn how to set up a DB,” Scott said. “You have to be a really good athlete when you’re playing receiver. So I just give a lot of credit to Coach Brown, and speed is my No. 1 thing, I think that pops off in film, but, you know, I always like to stress. It’s not just that but how I get open as well.”

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