The Cleveland Indians called up top prospect Francisco Mejia on Monday.
OT’s lead designer is , who’s been with the company for 11 years and estimates that he designs about 800 jerseys per season. There’s a lot of reinventing the wheel, he says. I’ve done so many USA nights, patriotic nights, military nights every team does those just about every year, and they all want a different flag jersey than what the other teams are wearing.
A flag-based jersey is one thing. But for some of the wackier requests, how does McCauley draw the line between a design that’s fun and a design that’s just ridiculous? That line doesn’t really exist, he says. I do feel bad for the players sometimes. I know they’re grown men, and here they are wearing Yoda’s head full-blown on a jersey. I’m working on something right now where the jersey will make the players look like they’re wearing a bikini. I hope it doesn’t screw up their batting average or anything.
The most challenging designs are when a team wants a jersey to include dozens or even hundreds of snapshots, an approach sometimes used for Selfie Night or Veterans Night. Every snapshot has to be resized to fit onto the jersey a painstaking process and even then, people are sometimes unhappy with the results.
Each team’s media guide provides a large swath of info on each player, and that was used as the basis of this research, along with salary-cap info from overthecap.com. Utilizing these pieces of information helped us discover the players’ backgrounds: where they’re from, how long they’ve played in the NFL, when they were drafted, what college they went to and more.
Before we fully turn the page to the 2018 season, here’s a look at what we learned from last year’s group.
How a team builds its roster is often a defining characteristic of the club. Remember the famous Bill Parcells quote that highlighted the struggle with owner Robert Kraft before the coach departed the Patriots? If they want you to cook the dinner, at least they ought to let you shop for some of the groceries, Parcells said.
Well, the groceries are all somewhat similar in the NFL, where players match cookie-cutter molds from a physical standpoint. Tall quarterbacks, slender receivers, beefy linemen and so on. Team evaluators often consider these metrics when setting a draft board and analyzing prospects. For example, the Seahawks placed an emphasis on tall cornerbacks, as all five of them on the roster last season stood 6-foot-1 or taller.