Much was made Monday over the recent withdrawals of Louisville quarterback Brian Brohm and Boston College quarterback Matt Ryan from this week’s activities, with Brohm removing himself from the game because of a lower leg injury. They joined Michigan offensive tackle Jake Long, LSU defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey and Virginia defensive end Chris Long as seniors who bypassed this year’s Senior Bowl work.
But they are the exception. The vast majority of players don’t decline the chance for what amounts to a week-long job interview. Texas wide receiver Limas Sweed is one; he missed over half his senior season with ligament damage in his hand and said Monday that doctors advised him not to play. But he’s here anyhow.
For others, health isn’t a concern. Some can’t say ‘Yes’ to the Senior Bowl and its audience of team scouts and coaches fast enough.
“I accepted right away, because I didn’t know if maybe they would take it away from me,” said West Virginia fullback Owen Schmitt.
Yet the risk of injury looms over the entire week. While scouts, coaches and personnel executives would almost universally counsel a player to take part in this week’s work, their presence isn’t without some risk, which is linked arm-in-arm with the full-contact, full-speed work that makes these practices such a vital component of pre-draft evaluation.
Injuries are inevitable, as Schmitt’s roommate this week, UNLV linebacker Beau Bell found out first-hand Tuesday morning.
“I’m praying for (Bell) right now because he got rolled up on today in practice,” Schmitt said. “That’s one reason why guys don’t come.”
As for those that were here Tuesday morning for the North squad, a few notes …
… Michigan quarterback Chad Henne was first up among the passers, followed by Delaware’s Joe Flacco and USC’s John David Booty. Flacco seemed a little flustered on occasion, while Booty, displaying a classic drop-back style, was composed …
… The running backs got uncorked throughout the morning, with East Carolina’s Chris Johnson and Oklahoma State’s Dantrell Savage each turning in some solid gains …
… Schmitt lost his helmet in a collision while blocking …
… Several players took their turns on kickoff returns, including Johnson, Virginia Tech wide receiver Eddie Royal, Cal running back Justin Forsett, Colorado’s Terrence Wheatley and Indiana’s Tracy Porter.
Back with more in the blog, photos, a notebook and Broncos TV following the South team practice this afternoon … until then, vaya con Dios.
Tags: Senior Bowl