"FBI” usually stands for the Federal Bureau of Investigation. In football, “FBI” stands for “football intelligence” or “football instincts.” Football teams want players who are football smart, and this is not necessarily the same thing as book smart.
“We like to use the term FBI—football intelligence,” New York Giants general manager George Young said in 1997. “‘FBI’ (football intelligence or instincts)” was cited in 1999.
It’s Smart For Nfl To Pick Brains
by Paul Domowitch, Daily News Sports Writer
POSTED: April 08, 1997
“We like to use the term FBI - football intelligence,” New York Giants general manager George Young said. “Some guys might not necessarily be book smart, but they’re football smart.”
Google Groups: alt.sports.football.pro.sd-chargers
Negatives: Limited football background. Has more intelligence than “FBI”
(football intelligence or instincts).
Live Chat w/Tom Hepler Chat Transcript
Posted 20 August 2004 - 04:48 AM
[19:42] 4) What qualities are the most important to you when scouting a prospect?
[19:44] Overall, player desire, intensity, and FBI (FootBall Instincts).
Washington (DC) Post
Moten Turns Up Everywhere for Maryland
By Marc Carig
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
He’s done so by displaying an ability to play several defensive positions, which coaches and teammates trace back to “FBI,” football instincts.
Daily News (New York, NY)
Ask a Pro: Q&A with Tyrone Wheatley
Tuesday, November 20, 2007, 3:37 PM
TYRONE WHEATLEY: If you’re already used to playing at a high level, the transition isn’t that bad. Be ready for this, Calvin, when you’re in college, everyone in that room was a superstar in high school. What will separate you from the next guy is what I call your “F.B.I.” – that stands for “football intelligence.” A key part of your transition is the need to study the game more. Football intelligence, knowing the game, will put you ahead.
@MoveTheSticks 100% true. FBI football intelligence almost as important as Athletic ability. Smarts is very important in Football
8:16 PM - 23 Aug 2009
Nike size 15
FBI = FOOTBALL INSTINCTS
8:49 PM - 24 Aug 2012
Atlanta (GA) Journal-Constitution
Falcons like players with high ‘FBI’ scores
By D. Orlando Ledbetter
11:56 p.m. Friday, Jan. 11, 2013
Flowery Branch - — The last time FBI and the Falcons were mentioned in the same sentence, federal authorities were closing in on the team’s quarterback and his dogfighting ring.
In the post Michael Vick era under general manager Thomas Dimitroff and coach Mike Smith, they are talking an entirely different language when they bring up the term “FBI.”
That’s scouting terminology for “Football Intelligence.”
TribLIVE (Pittsburgh, PA)
Pitt junior linebacker Caprara adapts to change on football field
By Jerry DiPaola
Thursday, April 2, 2015, 9:42 p.m.
“We call it FBI, football intelligence,” linebackers coach Rob Harley said. “That’s something you don’t find all the time, a guy who really gets it. He’s one of those guys.”