”At the bottom of an elevator bank, inside the lobby of the Westin hotel in Indianapolis, it was just another casual run-in with an NFL head coach. Nothing unusual at the NFL Scouting Combine. No reason to raise any eyebrows.

”What does (Notre Dame linebacker) Manti Te’o need to do here to help his stock this week?” a reporter asked.

”If he wants to be a first-round pick, he’ll need to run a 4.6 40,” said the coach, who did not want to be named. ”If he doesn’t run well, I can’t see him getting taken that early.”

The conversation quickly ended. The coach entered an elevator. The reporter walked away. And just like that, information was exchanged. It’s just one of dozens, if not hundreds, of dialogues that occur during the NFL’s biggest convention of the year, each one helping to establish a set of expectations for April’s draft.

Now, with the combine finished, perhaps it’s important to provide an appropriate dose of reality and perspective to a week’s worth of rumors and evaluations. Appreciate the performances. Digest the interviews. Just don’t draw any — not one — blunt conclusions, especially as it pertains to those highly discussed players like Te’o (who underperformed in workouts) and former LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu (who apparently performed well in workouts).

A few days after the conversation with the coach, another exchange with a league executive, this time through text messaging, went like this on Tuesday:

”How much did Tyrann Mathieu help himself with his combine workouts?”

Brooks: Combine winners and losers
Who helped himself the most in Indy? Who went in the wrong direction? Bucky Brooks answers five key combine questions. More …

”I think he helped himself a lot,” the source said. ”After today, it wouldn’t surprise me if someone took a shot at him in the third round, but he’ll definitely be off the board in the fourth. He’ll be a good nickel corner and punt returner.”

So what did we learn here? That Te’o, who posted a higher-than-expected 4.82 in the 40, inevitably will slide to the second round? That Mathieu will now be drafted in the third round? No, instead, the lesson here is simple:

As it pertains to two of the draft’s more intriguing players — Te’o and Mathieu — we will continue to dig for indications into where each will land in the NFL, attempting to balance their off-the-field issues with their on-field ability. The more we dig, however, the more we’ll be left with one overriding lesson.

Everyone has an opinion. Very few of them are the same. And only two of them ultimately will matter: Those of the two general managers who decide they’re willing to take the chance and select these men.

Let’s get back to Mathieu for a moment. The cornerback, formerly nicknamed ”Honey Badger,” was tossed from LSU after multiple drug-test failures before he entered a rehabilitation center in August 2012. He apparently was back to his old ways in late October, however, when he was arrested for marijuana possession.

So, yes, this week’s combine was huge for him. And it was particularly important that he ran a solid 40 (4.5) and looked very agile in all of his drills. But before you start pushing him up your draft board, be careful how you set your expectations.

Two other sources from two other teams evaluated Mathieu with two completely different opinions, particularly as it pertained to their meetings with the controversial player.

One said Mathieu seemed ”very contrite” and ”sincere about turning his life around.” Another said Mathieu seemed ”very rehearsed,” ”unconvincing” and ”didn’t ease any concerns.” It doesn’t get much more opposing than that — nor is there a much better example of the subjective nature of these evaluations. The second source even went against the belief that Mathieu had a unanimously solid workout, noting that four repetitions on the bench press is ”inexcusable.”

And remember the coach who said Te’o needed to run a 4.6 to maintain his first-round draft status? Well, after Te’o ran a 4.82, the Chicago Tribune reported that four general managers told the newspaper that Te’o’s bad time is not reason for alarm and should not depreciate his draft value. And what about his off-the-field situation, involving an Internet hoax that exposed Te’o as being naïve, a liar or both?

”I think a lot has been blown out of proportion with Manti,” New York Giants general manager Jerry Reese said. ”We have to depend mostly on our evaluation on what he did on the field.”

That’s fine. But another league source had a different opinion, saying Te’o’s story during interviews didn’t clear anything, and noting that the valuation would require more one-on-one time with him and a professional psychiatric evaluation. That doesn’t exactly suggest the issues are as ”overblown” as Reese publicly suggested.

Instead, we should view all of these opinions with a very open-minded lens, recognizing that it’s just as easy to find an opinion within league circles to support a player as it is to find one that knocks him down.

 

 

It only takes one team to select someone like Mathieu or Te’o, but that one team has no reason to select the player too early if enough other teams are unimpressed. And so the posturing will continue through April. The strategies will build. The speculations will swirl.

Through it all, everyone needs to recognize the subjective nature of this time of year. We need to realize that analysts and coaches and general managers will have their own independent thoughts on players.

And we need to remember that none of it is worth too much credence or too much criticism until the day the 2013 NFL Draft finally arrives.”

From url : http://www.nfl.com/draft/story/0ap1000000145760/article/manti-teo-tyrann-mathieu-draw-varying-opinions-around-nfl

”The San Francisco 49ers have a need at cornerback and mountain of draft picks.

For those two reasons, it’s perfectly logical they would make some sort of play for New York Jets starDarrelle Revis. That might just be the case.

According to Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports, the Niners are among a ”handful of teams” that have discussed pursuing Revis, according to two sources. Cole adds that the Niners will make a play even if Revis — a free-agent-to-be in 2014 — becomes a one-year rental.

Adding a healthy Revis to the San Francisco defense is enough to makePete Carroll and the rest of the coaches in the NFC queasy. It would also be a boon to the burgeoningRevis-Richard Sherman rivalry.

The 49ers are well stocked to make the Jets a competitive offer. They already have 11 selections in April’s draft and are expected to get the 34th overall pick when they complete their trade with theKansas City Chiefs for Alex Smith. Three more compensatory picks will follow.

Debate: Alex Smith trade fallout
The Alex Smith trade has a domino effect that impacts many teams beyond just theChiefs and 49ers. Our analysts weigh in. More …

The Niners’ biggest issue to making a Revis a long-term solution in their secondary is salary cap space. As a short-term rental, he’s a financial steal because of his $6 million salary (after bonuses).

New Jets general manager John Idzik is known for his patient approach, and it’s possible the team could carry Revis into the summer and beyond as they wait for the right package.

The Jets have only one chance to get this right. The Niners are an intriguing partner, but New York will keep its options open.”

From url : http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap1000000145792/article/darrelle-revis-reportedly-drawing-49ers-interest

”Those words represent the tagline for Kennesaw State football after University officials announced that the Owls will open their first season of play in 2015 and play home games at newly renamed Fifth Third Bank Stadium.

Kennesaw State president Dr. Dan Papp made that announcement during a press conference before more than 1,000 students, alumni, faculty, staff and supporters at the KSU Convocation Center on Thursday. The long-awaited announcement came after the University System of Georgia Board of Regents approved KSU’s feasibility and business plan at its February meeting on Wednesday.

“Are you ready for some football?” Papp asked an enthusiastic crowd as he began his opening remarks. “We are a major university in the south. Without football, it is hard to be a major university in the south and we are well on our way toward becoming a national university.”

Papp outlined the process that began when a 33-member exploratory committee, chaired by legendary former Georgia head football coach Vince Dooley, was formed in 2009 to study the feasibility of adding football.

Once it was determined that football would be beneficial to the university and enhance the student experience, three milestones -– obtaining student support by approving a student fee increase, securing the support of a financial donor, and having its business plan approved by the Board of Regents — needed to be achieved.

The BOR approved the plan on Wednesday.

That major donor came from Fifth Third Bank, who agreed to a multi-year sponsorship agreement with KSU that will provide significant support for the start of the football program, as well as improvements to KSU Stadium and other athletics programs and facilities.

Highlights of the agreement include Fifth Third Bank becoming the “Official Bank of Kennesaw State Athletics” and the renaming of KSU Stadium to Fifth Third Bank Stadium.

“This is an exciting time for us to come in and be a part of the university,” Randolph Koporc, EVP, President of Fifth Third Bank Georgia, said. “Imagine standing at Fifth Third Bank Stadium with your friends and family on Saturday afternoons, black and gold colors around the stadium.

“Students here at KSU are in an enviable position,” Koporc added. “They get to say, ‘I was there when we signed our first football coach. I was there when we first ran out of the tunnel’.”

Gaining student support also was a key element in the process, and three former Student Government Association (SGA) presidents, as well as current president Rosalyn Hedgepeth, were on hand at the press conference. They were closely involved in the process and were enthusiastic supporters as representatives of the student body and in its desire to have football be part of their college experience.

“There is nothing like the unity and spirit that college football can bring,” Hedgepeth said. “In addition to bringing financial help, it will bring a sense of pride and value to our university and degrees. I’m excited about football and cannot wait to attend. Go Owls!”

Kennesaw State Director of Athletics Vaughn Williams, who assumed his position in May of 2011, played an integral role in the process and, through his stewardship of the Department of Athletics, aided the University’s efforts in making Thursday’s announcement possible.

“Come on, let’s go! We did it!” Williams said as he began his remarks. “What a great day this is and I can’t tell you how happy I am for this institution.

“I want to thank the best president in the state system, Dr. Daniel Papp,” Williams added. “I just feel very honored to work with the cabinet and the presidents. I want to thank the students, without them, we wouldn’t be here today.”

Williams went on to talk about what will follow as work begins in preparation for that first game in Aug. 2015.

“A lot of things need to be done, but where do we go from here? The future will start in 2015,” Williams said. “We will field a team and we will have a marching band. We will find a conference, or a conference will find us.

“The search for a football coach will start immediately,” Williams added. “We will need to find someone to lead us onto the field.” ”

From url : http://www.ncaa.com/news/football/article/2013-02-15/kennesaw-state-launches-football-program-will-begin-play-2015

NFL Combine training 2013

Posted: helmikuu 28, 2013 in NFL

NFL photo gallery

Posted: helmikuu 28, 2013 in NFL

See NFL photos here! : http://www.nfl.com/photos/0ap1000000140192/0ap2000000140202

”MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Former Miami Dolphins and West Virginia quarterback Pat White wants to return to the NFL.

White’s father, Bo, said Wednesday his son is going to work out as part of West Virginia’s pro day in Morgantown on March 14.

Bo White says Pat has been in San Diego the past few weeks working with personal quarterbacks coach George Whitfield, whose clients have included NFL quarterbacks Ben RoethlisbergerCam Newton and Andrew Luck.

The Dolphins selected White in the second round of the NFL draft in 2009. He played in 13 games before being released in September 2010.

The mobile White went 34-8 as a starter at West Virginia, becoming the first quarterback to start four bowl victories in college football history.”

From url : http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap1000000145776/article/former-nfl-qb-pat-white-working-out-at-west-virginia-pro-day

Lane Johnson did wonders for his draft stock at the NFL Scouting Combine.

The Oklahoma offensive tackle was the top performer in five drills and impressed evaluators with his speed and agility in positional work.

Johnson said media trainers from Oklahoma helped him prep for the team interview process in Indianapolis, though he acknowledged a meeting with one team left him scratching his head.

”One thing caught me off guard. I was meeting with Cincinnati, and I went in there and they told me to remember five things,” Johnson told XEPRS-AM in San Diego (viaSportsRadioInterviews.com). ”They just listed five things like a bear, a flower, a tree, a man and like a dog. And they told me to remember those terms, at the end of the meeting to see if I could remember them.

”And from that point on, they listed numbers. They said, like, 9167, and then told me to repeat them in reverse order. So that was probably the weirdest meeting I’ve ever been a part of.”

Remember, teams only get 15 minutes with these guys. It seems odd the Bengals believe an evolutionary version of ”Simon” will help them determine if Johnson is capable of protecting Andy Dalton.

For what it’s worth, Johnson says he got four of the five memory tests correct. It’s unclear if his 20 percent failure rate will take him off the Bengals’ draft board.”

From url : http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap1000000145912/article/lane-johnson-talks-strange-bengals-combine-interview