9:50 a.m. EST: Hello from the brand spanking-new Lucas Oil Field in frigid Indianapolis. DenverBroncos.com is live from the combine this weekend as we bring you the sites, sounds, times and measurable from the NFL’s version of a job fair.
General Managers, coaches, scouts and personnel from all 32 teams are in attendance as the NFL draft winds pick up speed.
Today the offensive lineman, kickers, punters, long snappers and tight ends make their way to the media room and around 1:30 p.m. MST on Friday Head Coach Josh McDaniels will meet with the combine press. So stay logged in all weekend.
Also, fire any combine related questions you might have or prospects you want more info on below and we will do out best to get them answered.
10:03 a.m. EST: And we are under way, the first person to step to the podium, Buffalo Bills Head Coach Dick Jauron. In year’s past, the NFL has setup two podiums for the prospects, coaches and general managers. This year, they have added a third podium … should be interesting.
10:50 a.m. EST: Still no players as of yet, but along with Jauron, Lions Head Coach Jim Schwartz, the Colts Jim Caldwell and the Falcons Mike Smith have spent time at the podium. According to Corry Rush of the NFL, well over 300 media have been credentialed for this year’s event.
11:02 a.m. EST: And the first player has made his way to the media room. Ohio State offensive tackle Alex Boone. First impression, he is every bit of 6’8″ 330 lbs.
Boone was arrested earlier this month in California for resisting arrest and obstruction of a law enforcement officer, said some teams have asked him about it and he responded by taking full responsibility for his actions and vowing to never do it again.
11:00 a.m. EST: ***UPDATE*** Change of plans, earlier in the blog I said Coach McDaniels would speak today, he will actually meet with the media tomorrow (Friday) at around 1:30 p.m. MST.
11:20 a.m. EST: Hartwick’s Jason Boltus has taken his turn at the podium. Where is Hartwick you might ask? Well, we didn’t know either so we looked it up. Hartwick is “a private liberal arts and sciences college of 1,480 students, located in Oneonta, NY in the northern foothills of the Catskill Mountains” according to the school’s website.
Boltus will attempt to be the first Division III quarterback to be drafted in the NFL since 1991.
12:00 p.m. EST: Alabama’s Andre Smith, who many believe is the top-rated offensive lineman, has stepped to the podium with a throng of media surrounding him. Smith is still undecided if he will take part in full workouts at the combine.
While most of the media is gathered around Smith at podium three, Furman’s Joel Bell has a small contingent with him at podium two.
Smith spent several minutes answering questions about being suspended from the Crimson Tide’s Sugar Bowl appearance. He didn’t say what exactly caused the suspension, but he called it a “mistake” and said that missing the game was a difficult thing to endure.
12:30 p.m. EST: Activity has picked up, right now Stanford center Alex Fletcher and BYU’s Ray Feinga are holding court with Wisconsin’s Kraig Urbik just making his way in the room.
Most of the media is gathered around Fletcher, who should look into a career in broadcasting or public speaking after his time in football is done.
12:50 p.m. EST: Baylor’s Jason Smith, who is considered a top offensive tackle prospect, has the media’s attention. So far he may have the quote of the combine. “When I am on the field I take a lot of pride in physically assaulting someone,” Smith said.
1:45 p.m. EST: The media center at Lucas Oil has been busy the last hour. Top offensive line prospects Phil Loadholt of Oklahoma and Mississippi’s Michael Oher have each taken a turn at one side of the room, while Redskins Head Coach Jim Zorn, the Dolphins Tony Sparano and the Raiders Tom Cable have handled the other side.
It hasn’t been just the podiums that have been busy, the interview tables have all been full as well with the largest group gathered around LSU’s Herman Johnson. Now that my friends is a big man — prior to the combine he was listed at 6’7″ 382 lbs. Not sure what he tipped the scales at this morning, but he said that his weight is down.
But being big is not a new thing for Johnson. According to his LSU bio, Johnson weighed 15 pounds and 14 ounces at birth and is listed as one of the biggest babies on record to be born in the state of Louisiana.
2:00 p.m. EST: We have just had our first tight end sighting — Missouri’s Chase Coffman, who is considered one of the top prospects at the position. Coffman spoke at length about his father, former Packers and Chief’s tight end Paul Coffman.
2:15 p.m. EST: Colorado State tight end Korry Sperry just spent a couple of minutes with the media. His first question when he found out a bunch of us were from Colorado, “How is the weather?” Sperry said he has spent the last month in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. in preparation for the combine, but is headed back west when the festivities wrap next week.
2:26 p.m. EST: One thing has been evident as the offensive linemen have come through the media room. Most of them — especially the interior linemen — have expressed the importance of being versatile along the line. With most teams only keeping seven linemen active on game day, the ability to play two positions or even three makes them a bigger asset to the team and to the longevity of their career.
2:58 p.m. EST: Another of the top tight end prospects Brandon Pettigrew just entered in the room. Pettigrew measured in at just over 6’5″ and weighed in at 263 lbs. He said the one knock on him that he has heard is his speed. So to rectify that, he has been working out with Olympic Gold Medalist Michael Johnson. Sounds like a pretty good teacher to me.
3:30 p.m. EST: So we have had a bit of a lull in the media room. The occasional guy will come in — including Oklahoma center and Ft. Collins native Jon Cooper — but it is not as busy as it was two hours ago.
3:46 p.m. EST: The Dean of the NFL Combine, former Cowboys Vice President of player personnel and current Sirius NFL Radio commentator Gil Brandt just introduced Cincinnati guard Trevor Canfield. As he was doing so, he mentioned that six players from Cincinnati are at the combine this year — the most ever for the Bearcats.
Just a random fact you should know.
By the way, Canfield mentioned that one of the players he looked up to was Conrad Dobler.
4:15 p.m. EST: Well looks like that is going to put a wraps on day one from the media room. Later tonight we will be posting the media sessions of Alabama offensive tackle Andre Smith and Oklahoma State tight end Brandon Pettigrew. Also, we will post the best sound bites of the day.
Tomorrow the quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers make their way through the media room as well as Coach McDaniels.
Talk to you all then.