Greetings from Indy!
And we arrive in Indianapolis! Itís now been roughly nine hours since myself and PFW traveling companions Dan Arkush, Mike Wilkening and Dan Parr arrived after a rather painless, three-hour trek Chicago, and as much as Iíd love to bombard you with the latest and greatest from the center of the NFL world (for this week, at least), I must admit that thus far, thereís nothing noteworthy to report. Sigh.
So far, my time has been mostly consumed by trying to figure out how this darn Internet-splitter thing works so that Parr and I can both work from our shared hotel room instead of one of us trekking downstairs to the lobby to get online (for the record, we couldnít figure it out. No, weíre not the most technologically savvy of folks), kicking myself for being an idiot for somehow leaving my tape recorder in Chi-town (hopefully I can pick one up before heading down to the RCA Dome tomorrow morning) and cursing the frigid temperatures. I didnít exactly expect balmy conditions in Indianapolis in February, but a wind chill of -8 degrees is borderline ridiculous.
Alas, we wolfed down a quality meal at Ramís, a fine sports bar in downtown. In the next couple days, this city is going to be crawling with all the NFL big wigs ó from coaches, to executives, to even some players ó but tonight, we pretty much saw the C-list crowd. Saw a couple guys wearing heavy duty Chargers, Giants and Bucs jackets at the dive, and while I canít tell you if they were offensive quality control coaches or area scouts, I can guarantee you they werenít Norv Turner, Tom Coughlin and Jon Gruden.
Well, the next four days are certainly going to be pretty busy, so Iím going to call it an early night. Hope youíll check out the blog and various Combine reports on PFW through the weekend, as weíll be covering the event from every angle. And if thereís a particular issue youíre particularly curious about, drop a line and Iíll do my best to get you your answer. No promises, except to say Iíll do what I can. Catch you all tomorrow.
Posted by Matt Sohn on February 20, 2008 9:48 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
O-line main focus on first day
A little more than three hours than now, another Combine will be underway. And the PFW crew is getting ready to cover it like a blanket. It should be interesting. Although you couldn't necessarily tell by the activity on the streets of down town Indianapolis last night, attendance is expected to be greater than ever. That's why we're planning on getting to the Convention Center as soon as the doors open, so we can track down a work area and claim a space that we will be taking up the next four days.
The foucs on the first day is offenswive linemen, and this year's crop is supposed to be bountiful, with as many as five to six first-rounders expected to possibly come from this position, But there will also be plenty of coaches and front-office execs. I know Lovie Smith of the Bears is on tap in the late morning. Last year at this time, he was one of the hot stories, as the Bears were dragging their feet in getting him a new contract after he led the team to the Super Bowl. What a difference a year makes. I'll be back later today. We're off and running!!!
Posted by Dan Arkush on February 21, 2008 4:03 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
Thursday's schedule of Combine speakers
All times Eastern:
10 a.m.: Bears head coach Lovie Smith
10:30 a.m.: Bills head coach Dick Jauron
11 a.m.: Steelers director of football operations Kevin Colbert
11:30 a.m.: Jets head coach Eric Mangini
1 p.m.: 49ers general manager Scot McCloughan
1:30 p.m.: 49ers head coach Mike Nolan
Also, offensive linemen, tight ends and specialists will be meeting with the media.
Posted by Mike Wilkening on February 21, 2008 8:03 AM | Permalink | Comments (0
February 21, 2008
And a guard shall lead them...
The first prospect to make an appearance today was Virginia OG Branden Albert, far and away the most well-regarded player at his position and likely the only one with a shot at going in Round One. Albert, who measured in at 6-5Ĺ and 309 pounds, is athletic enough to play tackle ó he played the position in high school and made two starts at left tackle at UVA ó and he said he's open to playing either position. Albert said his athleticism is his greatest strength, but also noted he must work on his pad level and his in-line blocking.
Posted by Mike Wilkening on February 21, 2008 8:46 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)