It's not often that a journalism degree helps someone reach a high-ranking NFL personnel position, but for Bills new Director of Player Personnel Jim Monos it got his foot in the door. After graduating from Bloomsburg University with journalism degree in hand, Monos landed an internship in the Philadelphia Eagles Public Relations department. The rest Monos accomplished through nothing more than hard work and results.
"The journalism major got me the internship," said Monos. "That's where I met the scouting department and the coaches. I wasn't really sure what I wanted to do, but knew it was going to be something with football. My dad was a coach and I knew I wanted to be in football."
Monos (pronounced MO-nuss) played for his father as an undergrad at Division III Lebanon Valley College. Eventually he was hired as an intern by the Eagles scouting department under then Director of Football Operations Tom Modrak.
"Tom Modrak, Marc Ross are the guys I worked under," he said. "They put me on the right path."
After serving for four years as a Northeast scout for Philadelphia, Monos landed an Area Scout job with the New Orleans Saints where he would be surveying some of the best college talent the country has to offer in the Southeast.
"I was there for eight years doing it for New Orleans, working in the Southeast," said Monos. "It was a great experience, especially with the amount of juniors that have been declaring over the years you really see the top talent."
Among the Saints draft choices made from Monos' scouting region over the last eight years included S Roman Harper, WR Robert Meacham, CB Patrick Robinson, TE Jimmy Graham and RB Mark Ingram.
"We were really proud of our (draft) record," said Monos. "Coach Marrone was there and was part of some of those drafts as well. It's that hard work element of it where we're out there at pro days and hitting every single thing we could up until the draft to know as much as we could about those players."
That blue collar approach is what led to a mutual respect between he and Bills GM Doug Whaley. Both wholeheartedly subscribe to the tireless effort required to do scouting right.
"The scouting world it's a fraternity. You do meet people on the road, all-star games, combine, so over the years Doug and I have become friends and got to know each other and have a lot of the same beliefs," he said. "Hard work. There's no easy way."
Monos will now be working hard to make the adjustment from road warrior as an Area Scout to a daily decision-making role as Director of Player Personnel.
"The office life might be the only adjustment. I'm used to being in hotels and colleges every day and now it's going to be a little different," he said. "Working with (Director of Pro Personnel) Tom Gibbons is going to be good for me. Tom has been doing it for a long time so I'm looking forward to working with him."
Monos said his role will be an even 50-50 split between the college and pro side of scouting personnel. He intends to be in the office from Friday through Tuesday when many of the roster transactions take place during the regular season. The middle of the week will be spent on the road scouting some of the top college players.
"We're always going to believe in the draft," said Monos. "Doug is a big believer in that. (Director of College Scouting) Kelvin (Fisher) is going to do a great job with that, but I'm going to be heavily involved in the draft process as well as free agency."
For now, Monos will be focused on getting a feel for Buffalo's current roster and what it might still need to add.
"I haven't even started evaluating it yet," he said. "I know some of the guys that I scouted in college, but I haven't scouted them as pros. I'm excited to get started."