NFL Combines: Working out

The NFL Combines have become a glorified sport of Olympic Events. Run the forty, three-cone drill and shuttle, show your speed, quickness and ability to move laterally. But what happens when you bypass the event and don't even workout?

Many head coaches expressed a strong desire to see everyone work out at the NFL combines in Indianapolis. League personnel spent big money to have their entire scouting staff present for the event.

An even playing field, such as the field of the RCA Dome provides, to evaluate talent makes their job infinitely easier.

When a player runs on a hard track that may elevate forty times, calculations have to be made to compensate for the different track used. Plus, working out at the school's facility provides comfort to the player working out, rather than the high pressure situation of the combines.

And what is the NFL if it isn't pressure.

According to New York Jets head coach Herm Edwards, he wants to see how players respond to "inconvenience."

"Football is about inconvenience," he said.

When training camp begins, many player won't be able to even see their families as the day begins early and ends late with practices and meetings sprinkled in between.

The combines are a test of that inconvenience as players are pushed and prodded and expected to push their energy and lifeblood to the limits.

It may not be the forty times that separates a NFL prospect. But if they show the courage to workout on the grandest of stages and in front of league personnel from every team in the league, that can bump a player up.

The last drill of the day may be the toughest. Is this prospect giving it all he has and pulling from that reserve tank known as will?

Tony Dungy, the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts, agrees, "They get a star next to their name when they say, 'This is the big stage and I want to be the best on the big stage.'"

One player who originally was slated to pass on the workouts apparently got the word.

The initial prognosis was Ronnie Brown would not work out at the combines but he showed up for the forty yard dash and turned in the one of the best times of any back to lineup in his group. His first run netted him an official time of 4.48. His unofficial 4.32 forty on his second go-round, however, had the scouts and coaches in attendance turning towards each other with excitement.

With Cedric Benson sitting out of the workouts, Brown may have elevated himself atop every draft board with his choice to run.

h NFL team notes from the running back and fullback workout:

Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis was on hand with tons of Raiders scouts to watch the running backs. Without cap space, it would appear they will not be a player in free agency and will focus on the draft to solve their running back woes.

Dallas Cowboys head coach Bill Parcells was on hand to watch and time the running backs and fullbacks. After selecting Julius Jones last year, it is more likely that his interest laid in the fullbacks.

Kansas City Chiefs head coach Dick Vermeil sat and watched the running backs and fullbacks. With Larry Johnson and Priest Holmes in the cupboard, Vermeil was focusing in on the fullbacks.


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