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
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 an 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
The initial prognosis was Ronnie Brown would not work out at the combines, but he
showed up for the 40-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.
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.
NFL Combines: Working out
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