Combine Notes: Morning After 2.22.07

A few things happened yesterday evening and this morning that I thought were important to note. And, I defend Joe Thomas against my better interests.

Browns Win the Toss, Lose the War:

Cleveland won the toss between them and Tampa Bay.  They'll be drafting third this year.  Two things worth mentioning on this one:

1.  It's kind of funny that these things are still determined by a coin flip.  I know that it's because all of the other factors (division record, strength of schedule, conference record, etc) were a wash, but it's still funny.  The future of the franchise decided by a coin flip.  I guess we'll see something similar if the Super Bowl ever goes to overtime.

2.  The scuttlebutt here at the Combine is that neither team really wanted to win the toss.  Both teams are interested in different players that would've been available to them regardless of whether or not they drafted third or fourth.  Cleveland will have to pay their guy whatever is set in the third slot of the draft, whereas Tampa will only have to pay money equivalent to a player chosen in the fourth slot. 

Pac Man Jones Update:

You have to love anyone that needs to have quotations in the middle of their name, such as Adam "Pac Man" Jones.  If you hadn't heard, apparently he was allegedly involved in an incident at a strip club.  Reports vary but, needless to say, he needs a lawyer.  We've learned that he's going to be represented by the same law firm that defended Ray Lewis all those years ago.

I have no joke for that.  I don't think it needs one.  I think it's safe to say that, if Pac Man is acquitted, that you should bet the farm on the Titans winning the Super Bowl and Jones winning the MVP award.  That's not a joke, it's a statement of fact.

Joe Thomas Defense:

I realized that I probaby unfairly attacked Joe Thomas yesterday in my Combine Notes.  I didn't necessarily attack him, but I think I gave him a raw deal.  That stemmed from the fact that he seemed to be too eloquent, polished, and insightful to be a prospect in this year's draft.  He seemed like he was already an NFL player.  And, judging by the fact that he's had dinner with three teams that draft before the Red Birds, he's already an NFL player on another team.  If he's available at #5, the Cardinals should take him and never look back.

He had a number of good points on a number of fairly tough questions.  Here's what he had to say:

Q: On comparisons to Robert Gallery?
A: I think we're different players first of all, but I also think that Robert's situation with three different offensive line coaches in the first three years, that's a really hard situation for anybody, especially coming into the NFL. Everybody's going to want you to do things a different way, and I think that's part of the reason why he's struggled so far.

Q: Are you worried about going to a bad Raider team?
A: I'm not worried at all. Like I said, I'm a different player than Robert Gallery, I respect his game and I really enjoyed watching him all through college, but I think I'm definitely a different kind of player.

Editor's Note: Thankfully, they didn't bring up Leonard Davis in this discussion.  I guess it's because Gallery is fresh in everyone's minds.  I really like his answer to this next question.

Q: A lot of times offensive linemen, it's considered like the 'lock pick' if you're going to go in the top 5. That's the one that you're supposed
to be able to set in stone for the next 10 years. Is that unfair to you guys?

A: I don't think so. I think over the past years, it's been pretty true. You see just about every offensive lineman who's been picked in the top 5, top 10 in the last few years has gone on to start and start for a long career. You can't say that about quarterbacks or running backs or receivers or any of those positions.  They talk about a guy as a bust in the top 5 as an offensive lineman, he might've been a five- or six-year starter but he didn't make the Pro Bowl and they call that a bust. Whereas you're a bust as a receiver only if you get cut after three years.

Overall, very insightful and interesting guy.  I guess I'm just bitter.

Bad, Bad Levi Brown is up first thing this morning (10 a.m. EST) and we've got a full slate of quarterbacks, running backs, and receivers today.  Check back early and often!

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