Brink thinks he opened eyes at NFL Combine

FORMER COUGAR quarterback Alex Brink, fresh off the plane from the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, said Monday that he thinks he acquitted himself well in four days of poking, prodding, interviewing and drilling. He also noted with glee that the Cougar game tape most of the NFL coaches had watched of him was this past season's Apple Cup.

"That's a pretty good one to watch," chuckled Brink, who connected on 27 of 40 Apple Cup passes for 399 yards and five TDs, including the 35-yard game winner to Brandon Gibson with 31 seconds left.

At the Combine, Brink said he threw roughly 30 graded passes to receivers running a variety of routes, and the results were positive.

"There were only two or three (passes) that I would like to have back, but I didn't throw any incompletions, which is important when you're (in drills) not facing defenders," Brink told CF.C.

Speculation that he doesn't have the arm strength to make it in the NFL made the deep balls and long outs critical for him.

"The big thing for me was the verticals, digs and outs and I think I showed people I could throw with good velocity and accuracy. I definitely know I didn't hurt myself and think I opened some eyes," he said.

In the group of 10 quarterbacks he was rotating with, he said he definitely held is own. Among those in that group were John David Booty of USC, Erik Ainge of Tennessee and Colt Brennan of Hawaii.

He said two quarterbacks – Chad Henne of Michigan and Joe Flacco of Delaware – were head-and-shoulders above the rest on arm strength – but everyone else was in the same ballpark.

Aside from arm strength and accuracy, footwork is critical for quarterbacks and Brink said he felt very good about his work in the three-, five- and seven-step drop evaluations.

Brink said his 40 time was disappointing – 4.9 on the electronic timer (which typically translates to 4.8 on a stopwatch) – but that virtually all of the 20 quarterbacks invited to the Combine posted times around there.

He said he turned in the top time among QBs in the 20-yard shuttle, and was in the top five for vertical jump (28 inches), broad jump and three-cone drill.

Brink had about 20 unscheduled interviews with various teams and one interview –- with the Rams -– in which the club specifically asked for a one-on-one with him. He said St. Louis head coach Scott Linehan and office coordinator Al Saunders put him through the paces, asking him to draw and dissect plays on a white board and talk about progressions.

After a few days at home in Eugene, Brink will head to Pullman to start preparations for Pro Day there on March 6. That's when NFL coaches and scouts from a number of teams will put this past season's Cougar seniors through an array of weight room tests and field drills.

Brink said he'll spend most of his prep time passing to Michael Bumpus, Charles Dillon and Jed Collins. None of those Cougars (nor linemen Bobby Byrd and Ropati Pitoitua) was invited to the Combine – something Brink said he doesn't understand after watching the 300 athletes who were at the Combine.

The only other Cougar at the gathering was safety Husain Abdullah.

Since mid January, Brink –- who checks in at 6-2 ½ and 211 pounds -- had been in Houston working out with noted trainer Danny Arnold and throwing under the watchful eye of Jerry Rhome, the esteemed former NFL quarterbacks coach.

NOTABLE NOTES:
  • Bumpus, Pitoitua and Byrd have been working out for the last month with a trainer in Florida.

  • Brink's agent is Missoula-based Ken Staninger, a well-known representative to Pacific Northwest athletes. One of his clients earned a Super Bowl MVP award a few years back -– a guy named Mark Rypien.


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