One of the the annual traditions of the NFL Combine is debating the worth of the Wonderlic test. As we all ask when the calendar hits late February, how does knowing the amount of days in a given month help determine whether or not a player can play football?
The NFL is debuting the Player Assessment Test, cheekily abbreviated to PAT, today on offensive linemen, tight ends and specialists. Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer provided a detailed background piece on the test and, most importantly, its designer.
The PAT was designed by Washington, D.C., attorney Cyrus Mehri. As Person describes, Mehri has a long history with the NFL.
"Mehri successfully brought discrimination suits against corporate giants such as Texaco, Coca-Cola and Ford," Peoples writes. "He also helped craft the Rooney Rule, which requires teams to interview at least one minority candidate for head-coaching and general manager positions, and co-founded the Fritz Pollard Alliance, which champions minority hiring in the NFL."
Mehri's work is certainly worthwhile, but he clearly comes to the NFL with a very specific history. Isn't there someone out there that can create a similar test, or maybe even a better one, with a neutral background?
Teaming with psychologist Henry Goldstein, the article states Mehri's test is an hour-long, 100-question assessment designed to pinpoint a player's mental toughness through "football-related dimensions".
“If you’re going to be a Pro Bowler in the NFL or in the Hall of Fame, you have to be tremendously smart – football smart,” Mehri said. “But you may not be a guy who performed well in tests in school. I think this is going to provide a lot of information and be really good for guys who are really smart, but not necessarily book smart.”
Approved by John Elway and and New York Giants general manager Ernie Accorsi, the NFL will implement the PAT on one-year trial period for the time being.