Live From Indy! Defensive Backs Arrive

The defensive linemen and linebackers have rolled through the Media Room and now it's time for the defensive backs. We're blogging again today for the final player interviews from the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.

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    4:20 P.M. Georgia Tech CB Kenny Scott said he doesn't feel the Cover 2 exploits his skills and that he prefers to play press. He described himself as a shutdown corner who doesn't shy away from physical contact. He said he loved going up against Calvin Johnson in practice and talked about his ridiculous vertical. He's going to do a full workout at the Combine.

    4:03 P.M. Wake Forest safety Josh Gattis plans on doing a full workout at the Combine, and spoke extensively about why field vision is so important at his position. "You can't go out there with that tunnel vision. You've really got to see a lot of things on the field. Coming from my position as a safety, I'm in a position where I've got to make all the checks, all the coverages, and all the calls. So if I don't see something correctly, in can cost six [or] seven points. You've always get to step on your toes when you're back there ... That's what playmakers do. That's how you make plays."

    3:30 P.M. Notre Dame DT Derek Landri could play either end or tackle in the 4-3 scheme (he played both at Notre Dame), but feels he's better suited to playing tackle. He said he models himself after Warren Sapp (even though he's significantly lighter than Sapp at 6'2", 288), John Randle, and Howie Long. He won't work out until his Pro Day because he tweaked his MCL at the Sugar Bowl.

    2:35 P.M. Don't tell Pittsburgh cornerback Darrelle Revis that the shutdown cornerback is a thing of the past. Revis estimates that opposing quarterbacks only targeted him 10-15 times all of last season. He still had two interceptions and intentionally dropped one on fourth down against WVU. His uncle is former NFL player Sean Gilbert and he's from the same town as Ty Law (they've been in contact with each other, but there's no relation). He's certainly got the right friends and the right pedigree, but we'll have to wait for his Pro Day on March 16 to see him run (tweaked his hamstring).

    2:28 P.M. Here are the top 10 times in the 40-yard dash from the wide receivers that were posted in the Media Room: Mike Walker, Central Florida, 4.35; Laurent Robinson, Illinois State, 4.38; Robert Meachem, Tennessee, 4.39; Mike Mason, Tennessee, 4.40; Legedu Naanee, Boise State, 4.41; Chandler Williams, Florida International, 4.42; Steve Smith, Southern Cal, 4.44; Paul Williams, Fresno State, 4.45; Ryne Robinson, Miami (OH), 4.47; Courtney Taylor, Auburn, 4.50.

    2:13 P.M. Texas cornerback Aaron Ross (6-0, 193), who plans on doing a full workout, said he has been labeled as a gambler – and he agrees.

    "It's not far-fetched. I believe being a corner you've got to take some risks sometimes," Ross said. "If you don't, you end up with no picks [and] no plays. So you've got to take risks."

    Ross admits that his girlfriend, Olympic gold-medalist sprinter Sanya Richards, is a better athlete than he is, but Ross loves being a return man that can get the crowd excited.

    "I feel like returning has a lot to do with confidence," he said. "Once you get your confidence in catching the ball and trusting your blockers and your coaching scheme, then you should be alright. Then the rest just comes from natural ability."

    He wants to be in the top five defensive backs as far as measurables. His personal best in the 40-yard dash is 4.4.

    2:04 P.M. Florida free safety Reggie Nelson initially went to Coffeyville Community College due to SATs. He lost his mother, Mary Lakes, to breast cancer in December 2006. He says that his mom's death makes all the attention bittersweet because he wants her here. He was able to focus while his mom was ill and when she passed because she would have wanted him to do his best. His mom kept him in the dark about the cancer because she didn't want him to worry.

    Teams have been talking to him about playing corner due to his (6-0, 195). He has played corner in spring ball and wouldn't mind it in the NFL. He loves to hit, likes playing in the box and on the line.

    2:02 P.M.The top five quarterbacks, in terms of ball speed, out of Group 4 were: Toby Korrodi, Central Missouri, 63 mph; John Beck, BYU, 61.1; Kevin Kolb, Houston, 55.2; Trent Edwards, Stanford, 55.2; James Pinkey, ECU, 53.9. Brady Quinn of Notre Dame did not throw. JaMarcus Russell of LSU is not expected to throw.

    1:55 P.M. Washington State safety Eric Frampton didn't agree with the suggestion that the Pac-10 was a finesse conference. "I would rephrase that and say we're more of a speed-conference - speed-based," he said. "I know looking at teams on the east coast, you see a lot of size. They recruit big guys at different positions, certain positions. But I think for the Pac-10, it's speed. They want speed across the board." Frampton will do a full workout at the Combine and has already had his first formal interview.

    1:47 P.M. Arkansas cornerback Chris Houston said he's been timed at 4.22 and 4.23 recently on a track in Orlando. Using that speed to cover the nation's top receivers mano a mano, here are his evaluations: Dwayne Jarrett – "real long;" Sidney Rice – "best athlete, can really jump;" Robert Meachem – "speed;" Dwayne Bowe – "real physical, REAL;" Courtney Taylor – "great route runner." To Houston's recollection, only Meachem scored on him. The junior could be the first corner drafted.

    1:38 P.M. The last group of quarterback throwing speeds have been posted. Here are the top five of the group: Troy Smith, Ohio State, 58.5 mph; Jeff Rowe, Nevada, 57; Drew Stanton, Michigan State, 55.7; Jared Zabransky, Boise State, 55.2; Paul Thompson, Oklahoma, 54.8.

    1:16 P.M. California cornerback Daymeion Hughes considers himself to be a solid cover corner and a ball hawk (eight interceptions last season). He also wanted everyone to know, however, that despite his size (5-11, 190), he's very comfortable playing against bigger receivers (Dwayne Jarrett never caught a touchdown against him in three seasons). As he puts it, "It's easier to cover the bigger guys. There's more to hit. They're so big, you can hit them in the chest, get in their body and slow them down."

    12:21 P.M. Oregon safety J.D. Nelson's father, Darrin Nelson, had a lengthy NFL career and is currently the Senior Associate Athletic Director at Standford (said there was a Pac-10 rivalry between him and his Dad). Darrin Nelson was also involved in the Herschel Walker trade. As for JD, he considers himself to be an "in the box" safety that likes contact.

    11:44 A.M. LaRon Landry, the elite free safety from LSU, recounted for reporters his most memorable play. As a junior, he and the strong safety both blitzed the A gap.

    "One of us had to come free," Landry said. "I was the free one."

    He knocked Alabama quarterback Brodie Croyle out of the game for a few plays.

    "There's a highlight tape of my hardest hits and on that one it shows Brodie on the bench just out of it," Landry said. And the point? "I just love contact."

    Landry, 6-0, 213, will participate in all drills here. He hasn't spoken with any teams yet.

    11:15 A.M. Due to a groin injury sustained at the Senior Bowl, North Carolina State cornerback A.J. Davis won't be doing any of the drills here at the Combine. He'll be working out at his Pro Day on March 20. He's disappointed that he won't be able to run here, since he ran track throughout his college career and he looks at the Combine as being very similar to a track meet atmosphere.

    11:09 A.M. Florida cornerback Reggie Lewis was originally recruited by Florida State to play cornerback, but went to Florida to play receiver. Looking back, after a National Championship, he has no regrets. He still feels he's a bit raw and needs to work on his ability to support against the run, but feels his athleticism and speed ( 4.37-4.43 is his average in the 40) will make up for any inexperience scouts feel he might have.

    11:01 A.M. Fresno State cornerback Marcus McCauley says that he knows that NFL teams are aware of his speed, and he hopes to run a 4.35 forty at the Combine. As one of the bigger cornerbacks in this draft, he feels he has something more important than just speed to display here at the Combine. "My change of direction skills, because of my size, he said. "I want to show them that I can move as well as the smaller guys."

    10:37 A.M Michigan defensive end Lamar Woodley said that he's been approached by a few teams about moving to outside linebacker in the 3-4 scheme. But his preference, since he's got more playing experience there, would be to stay at DE even though some teams may think he's too small to play the position at the next level.

    "I'm the kind of guy who uses his heart," he said. "I'm the kind of guy who is going to get it done."

    Woodley said he won't be working out due to a strained hamstring.

    10:03 A.M Michigan cornerback Leon Hall called Dwayne Jarrett the best receiver he's gone up against. Jarrett beat Hall for a 62-yard touchdown in the Rose Bowl. Hall had also been beaten by Ted Ginn deep a few weeks earlier. With his speed coming into question, Hall just smiled when asked about his 40 time. He wouldn't reveal what he's been running, or what he expects to run, but when asked if he's "excited" about proving the doubters wrong when he runs Tuesday, Hall smiled and said, "Yes, sir, I am."

    9:45 A.M.Penn State defensive lineman Jay Alford got the ball rolling Sunday morning by speaking to all five of the reporters in the media room. The 6-3.3, 304-pound defensive tackle from Penn State has talked to the Steelers about playing end in a 3-4 defense and the Chiefs about playing next to former teammate Tamba Hali in their 4-3. Alford had eight sacks as a 4-3 tackle his senior year.

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