If you've seen Redskins general manager Scot McCloughan address the media in any capacity – at a press conference, in a scrum, on the sideline – there's a very good chance you've heard him say the phrase, "football player."
That's because he says it a lot.
To give you some clarity on this, in the seven times he's addressed the media publicly, starting with his introductory press conference, McCloughan has said "football player," to our best accuracy and researching skills, 102 times (!!!).
Here's a sample of how and when he's used the phrase.
Introductory press conference: 18 times
"The bottom line from my standpoint being the lead personnel guy is football players. Everybody says, 'Well you need this, this, this and this,' which I understand. You know, a lot of times in pro free agency, you can address those needs a little bit, but I learned from Ron Wolf early on, I learned from Ted Thompson early on, I learned from John Schneider, you can never have enough good football players on your team."
Pre-Draft press conference: 15 times
"We're going to approach free agency and the draft every year the same, just getting good football players."
Post-Draft press conference: 12 times
"Like I said, I want to add football players. The more swings you take, the better chance you're going to hit something."
Training camp press conference: 6 times
"That's what our job is, to bring football players in, make our team stronger and give him opportunity to be a football player," speaking about Junior Galette.
Post-season press conference: 23 times
"I'm looking for the best football players. It would be nice to have everything locked in place going forward but we don't, and no team really does completely. So it's always about building, no matter what."
Senior Bowl press conference: 23 times
"And then during the season with the pro guys, I think you saw the amount of guys we hit on, and that's because of them that are football players. I don't need the biggest, the fastest, the prettiest – I want a football player."
NFL Combine press conference: 5 times
Q: On if McCloughan needs a veteran running back or is OK with drafting another running back…
"It doesn't have to be a veteran. It has to be a good football player. It's plain and simple"
Q: On philosophy changing after 9-7 season…
"No. Football players."
The above answer might just be my favorite of his entire transcripts combined.
Take a look at some photos from Scot McCloughan's first day as general manager of the Washington Redskins.
McCloughan has paraphrased and attempted to explain in other various ways what exactly he means by "football players." Many times, it seems as though it's self-explanatory, and he expects you to know what he's talking about. We want football players! How hard is that to understand? It is, afterall, a football team he's running.
So, it's a player that isn't the biggest or the prettiest or the fastest, sure, but then what is he? Is he pretty sometimes? Is he the second fastest? Is he kind of big?
In a recent interview on "Redskins Nation" with Larry Michael, in which he said "football player" an additional 13 times, McCloughan took the question head on and did his best to describe what a "football player" really means.
"It's a guy that shows up every day, is consistent, and coaches know exactly how to coach him and how they're going to respond," he said. "Maybe on the field, they're going to do exactly what is asked of them. It comes down to competitiveness, toughness and passion. Then you add that to intelligence. I'll take a lesser athlete that's 6'4" and 200 lbs. as a receiver that runs 4.3, that's an average football player, compared to a 6' 200 lbs. guy that doesn't show up every day and be the same guy."
When asked about current Redskins that he drafted in 2015 that fit that kind of mold, McCloughan looked at the later rounds and the hidden value he found there.
"I think just my first draft, I think you look at [Jamison] Crowder and Kyshoen Jarrett," he said. "Later picks that are considered not underdogs, but not the elite. They come in and they produce for you every day."
So, the next time you hear McCloughan say that he wants a football player, you'll know who he's talking about. And maybe more importantly, who he isn't.