Ten Things I Think I Think
1. I think these are my quick-hit thoughts of Combine Weekend:
a. Interviewed Ndamukong Suh and Gerald McCoy away from the masses and came away impressed with both. Suh seemed more polished, practiced; McCoy almost innocent about the whole process and the spotlight he's about to be thrust in. Talked to several teams about both, and as one GM said: "The one thing we know pretty much is there's no skeletons on either guy.''
b. In one decade, the number of media covering this event has increased 25-fold. Seriously. That's an accurate number.
c. Tim Tebow didn't do himself any favors by not throwing, choosing to wait 'til his Pro Day March 17 so he could perfect his new throwing motion. He said in Mobile that he had nothing to hide, and some NFL people I spoke with noted how he'd changed between then and now.
d. Like what Ross Tucker said on Twitter about Tebow after his terrific workout at nearly tight-end size. Tucker thinks teams will look harder at him now at a tight end or H-back type.
e. Really impressed with Colt McCoy. He's confident in himself, and I don't see why not. He talks and carries himself like a starting NFL quarterback.
f. There's a dispute whether Idaho guard Mike Iupati can play tackle in the NFL, but there's no dispute about his effort, strength and mean streak. He leaves Indy a solid low-first-round prospect.
g. Scouts think Jimmy Clausen's too cocky.
2. I think there is virtually no chance left tackle Chris Samuels, with neck and back issues, will return to play for the Redskins. He'll retire, confirming what the Redskins pretty much already knew -- they have to find a new left tackle, and fast, so Mike Shanahan's offense has a chance of working.
3. I think, too, there is virtually no chance the players help the owners in the stadium-building and stadium-debt business. I sense solidarity among the union officials that the owners asking for $1 billion to be exempted from the revenue pool they divide will be a non-starter for a long time.
4. I think I'll be very interested to see if any team goes after union president Kevin Mawae, who, despite being 39, had an above-average year for a center in Tennessee
5. I think I wouldn't be surprised if the union got some help from Capitol Hill in forcing the owners to open their books, so players could get a full accounting of exactly how much they're making.
6. I think the Saints are close to a long-term deal with guard Jahri Evans, which would be a coup. They don't want to keep having to tag him and paying him a high guaranteed salary; they'd like to finalize a long-term deal with the most valuable player on their line.
7. I think I loved how Kent State, of the Mid-American Conference, just coincidentally inducted NFL Pro Bowlers Antonio Gates and James Harrison -- undrafted former Golden Flash players -- into the school's Hall of Fame Saturday. Gates and Harrison didn't attend the combine, yet went on to be two of the best players in the NFL, and I asked both about the burgeoning importance of the combine in the eyes of so many around the NFL. "I feel like you can get a dog and a cat to run and jump,'' said Gates. "It can be overrated. So many other attributes determine whether you can play. You can't judge desire to win at the combine. You can't judge playing through pain.'' Said Harrison: "Does the combine judge whether you have a little dog in you? You might run 4.3, but if you can't tackle a standing dummy, you can't play football.''
8. I think it wouldn't be the scouting combine without Gil Brandt. I learn something every time I talk to the man.
9. I think Mike Holmgren looked and sounded like a man with a sense of urgency to pick a quarterback, put him under center, and let him play 16 games -- without the pressure of looking over his shoulder at the backup. "A quarterback needs two full seasons before you can judge him. What's Brady Quinn started? Twelve games? How can we know if he's the guy?'' Just from listening to him, it sounds like the Browns will give the job to Quinn, draft a passer sometime after the first round, and groom him in case Quinn's not The Man.
10. I think these are my non-football thoughts of the week:
a. Google "Amy Bishop, Huntsville.'' If you haven't followed this story, you'll think Stephen King wrote it.
b. Loved what Conan O'Brien Tweeted, about interviewing a squirrel in the backyard the other day and threw to a commercial. "Somebody help me,'' he pleaded.
c. If NHL players are involved, I'm going to be tempted to go to Sochi in 2014.
d. Bring on baseball. Lots of it. I've got to get ready for my Rotisserie Draft, and I have no idea who's closing for Tampa Bay.
e. Of course, by the looks of things in Boston, we'll need an ark by April, not Fenway.
f. Great job, Bob Costas. All of it. Impressive how he can shift from Peyton Manning to Shaun White and look comfortable doing it. The great thing about Costas is how he can juggle all those sports, look interested, and talk competently. Assists to Bruce Cornblatt, Aaron Cohen and Joe Gesue too
g. How great was that women's skating final? How rare to see none of those women choking. Beautiful performances.
h. Coffeenerdness: You know you've got a serious espresso problem when you walk four blocks out of your way on a windy 14-degree morning with no head covering so you can get a Starbucks latte. That happened three times at the Combine. Look on the bright side: It's coffee, not whisky.
i. Conrad Hotel, you can't be beat.
j. I just don't think the Super Bowl should be scheduled to be played outdoors in February in New Jersey. So shoot me.
NFL Truth & Rumors