Little-known fact: Mobile averages more rain in the winter months than Seattle. Between December and March, famously damp Seattle receives an average 19.31 inches of precipitation, while Mobile absorbs 21.94 inches a year.
Having lived in Seattle and being a regular January visitor to southern Alabama, I can attest to the validity of that statistic, which reared its head on a dreary, raw morning for the North team’s practice. Today, temperatures struggled to lurch past 50 degrees, and while the rain didn’t pelt upon us as it did during the monsoon-like storm that engulfed Ladd-Peebles Stadium during last year’s Senior Bowl game, the lower temperatures made the morning feel like the Broncos-Chargers game on Oct. 7, when the cold rain provided an apt accompaniment for a 41-3 Denver loss.
As a result of Thursday morning’s conditions, most of the scouts who convened for Thursday morning’s practice sought the lone refuge that provided a view of the field, huddled in the five rows of bleachers that remained dry below the press box.
This is where the Broncos’ brain trust often sits, regardless of weather. Thursday, they were joined by scouts from the rest of the league and the occasional reporter who doesn’t want to run the risk of ruining his camera.
Hence, some of these photos are from 52 rows away from the playing field. All things considered, they’re not bad.
But the players didn’t have the option of seeking shelter, and for Oklahoma State wide receiver Adarius Bowman, that led to a frustrating day in which several passes slipped just past his grasp.
“I ain’t going to lie. I’m not going to make a lot of excuses, but my fingertips are frozen,” he said. “That was the biggest adjustment. I wish I’d have known it was raining. I would have probably grabbed a hand-warmer.”
Stillwater, Okla. sees weather like that, but not usually between September and November. For Bowman, it’s better to learn how to adjust to the tricky conditions now rather than later.
“They’re not going to cancel any games because of weather,” he said. “I’m just trying to get used to it.
“I feel like I wasn’t prepared today.”
With the players still getting used to one another and also focusing at least as much on impressing scouts and coaches as their hastily assebled teams, timing would be an issue even in warm, dry conditions. Thursday morning, such problems increased ten-fold, with a few players slipping. However, turnovers were few, and some players managed some solid performances, including North Dakota State punter Mike Dragosavich, Virginia Tech wide receiver Eddie Royal and Oklahoma State running back Antrell Savage.
A few more photos …
Offensive linemen Chad Rinehart and Sam Baker tag-team Virginia Tech defensive end Chris Ellis.
Eastern Michigan defensive end Jason Jones keeps Delaware quarterback Joe Flacco within his sights as he closes from the outside.
Cal running back Justin Forsett falls forward for extra yardage.
Virginia Tech’s Eddie Royal beats Colorado’s Terrence Wheatley in one-on-one red-zone drills for a touchdown near the right sideline.
Michigan State tight end Kellen Davis can’t get to this pass amidst a crowd of defenders in the end zone.
That’s all for now … until the next post, vaya con Dios.
Tags: Senior Bowl