U of L Pro Day

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Gibbs, Lewis attend U of L Pro Day

On Monday Joe Gibbs of the Washington Redskins and Marvin Lewis of the Cincinnati Bengals, along with more than a dozen other NFL scouts, arrived at U of L to watch the departing Cardinals work out on Pro Day. <P> <B>ITV Gallery:</a> <a href="http://louisville.scout.com/2/357956.html">U of L Pro Day</a></b><P>

They had their choice of a number of schools to visit, as Louisville, along with Minnesota, Colorado, Utah, UAB and other schools across the country held their annual Pro Day on Monday, but two NFL head coaches, Joe Gibbs and Marvin Lewis, decided that U of L is where they needed to be.

"I think they have some very good athletes," Washington head coach Joe Gibbs said. "I want to congratulate Bobby on a great year. I think he put together a terrific season this year and I think he's got some very good football players."

Working out for the two head coaches, as well as over a dozen other NFL scouts were Stefan LeFors, Kerry Rhodes, Eric Shelton, Lionel Gates, Marcus Jones, J.R. Russell and nearly every other departing senior.

"It's not really nerve racking, it's just like practice," explained Russell. "You just have to keep your mind focused basically. It's a mind thing."

After going through the tough four days of the NFL Combine, LeFors was able to enjoy Pro Day without the nervousness.

"I'm enjoying it," LeFors explained. "I was kind of nervous at the combine, but I knew what to expect this time. I was anxious to get it started."

Despite participating in last week's NFL Combine in Indianapolis, Russell and others, who will likely hear their names during the April draft, having the head coaches present provided another opportunity to shine.

"If the head coaches are out there, they're looking at somebody," said Russell. "These coaches weren't out here for nothing."

Running back Eric Shelton, who chose to enter the NFL Draft early, agreed.

"It makes you feel good," said Shelton. "You know when the head coaches come in for your personal workout that they find interest in some of the players. It just gives you a good feeling about your standing at the next level and how guys look at you."

For LeFors, whom the Redskins seemed to pay extra attention to on Monday, having Gibbs present validates his hopes of being selected in next month's draft.


Stefan LeFors visits with the Redskins
"I talked to Coach Gibbs, their quarterback coach and their offensive coordinator and there seems to be some interest there, but other than that I really don't know which teams are interested in me more than others," said LeFors. "I talked to all of the coaches last week at the combine."

Gibbs however, wasn't prepared to show his cards.

"I think you're coming to look at everybody," explained Gibbs. "Obviously, you have certain people highlighted, though. The most important thing is not this but how they play. We've done a lot of film work before we get here."

Others had a similar responses when asked about which NFL teams are expressing more than the usual interest.

"I've interviewed with about half of the NFL teams at the combine," Shelton said. "Most of them are pretty interested but I can't really be specific about who was more interested than the others because you never really know."

"I've talked to just about every team in the league," Russell said. "It's just about doing your best and letting them make their decision."

For Shelton, who wowed the coaches at the NFL Combine with his size, speed and agility, sitting down and visiting with the individual coaches brings added pressure.

"I would say the interviews," responded Shelton when asked about the hardest part of the combine. "The workouts are pretty standard, but in the interviews they throw all kind of curve ball questions at you and you've got to be prepared for that."

For Gibbs, his trip to Louisville was as much, if not more, about meeting the players.

"As much as anything to me it's getting a chance to meet the players, talk to them and get some feeling of their personality and how they communicate with you," Gibbs said.


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