Good News and Bad News.
The Good News is that the combine is a pretty good place to meet NFL folks.
The bad news is that everything is really, really bizarre While I am no Michael David Smith, I can confirm that I had a very similar conversation with a scout from the Denver Broncos.
Rapid Fire Thoughts:
- The Scouts from the Denver Broncos, despite said conversation about Maurice Jones-Drew's ample rear end, were far more interested in talking politics than football. Although I would have liked more insight in how they look at running backs, if your whole existence revolves around football, as theirs does, I'd want to talk about something else. That said, they were exceedingly nice and surprisingly progressive.
- Mike Tice is a very big guy. I realized once I got to Indianapolis that it would be a smart idea to hang out at the hotel bar where the teams and players are staying. It's paid off, to say the least. As I was sitting enjoying a Screwdriver, Assistant Head Coach Mike Tice sits down next to me with a couple of Redskins coaches. Now, I've had to balance my fanhood with the requirement that I be as professional as possible, so I stayed cool and listened to the conversation. As with the Denver scouts, the subject was about anything but football. Eventually, there was a lull in their conversation and I did the right thing and introduced myself, told Coach Tice that I was very pleased with how Tight End Marcades Lewis developed this season, particularly with the absence of Kyle Brady. Mike was nice enough to take a picture with me, but the Redskins coach had a little trouble with my iphone and the picture was unrecognizable. Note to self: Carry Real Camera.
- New Assistant Secondary Coach Thom Kaumeyer talked with me for about 10 minutes outside the hotel last night. He was, to be frank, awesome. he said that Brian Williams is not going to be moved to safety, but that he will probably play more nickel. He's really excited to be part of the Jaguars because they're "so close" to a championship. He mentioned Sammy Knight as a guy they'd like to keep. More importantly, he didn't walk away when I mentioned being a Jaguars Blogger, and even asked if I had a business card. A damn nice guy and a refreshing experience.
- Watch this video of Jack Del Rio's press conference. At the 2:16 mark if you listen really closely you can hear me asking Jack a question. It's about Marcades Lewis, who is my "default Jaguars player to ask about" at the Combine. It's no big deal to the "real media" to ask a coach a question, but for a guy like me it's almost overwhelming. Knowing that my question is on NFL.com, and knowing that other questions were cut from the end makes it even more exiting.
- I met with a very interesting draft prospect, but his agent implored me to wait until after he works out to talk about it. Because said agent and player were kind enough to talk to me for so long and give me some very good insight, I'm going to wait until tuesday to give the full story. Let's just say that if the Jaguars don't take a defensive end in the first round it's because they've found their guy in the 2nd or 3rd, and I just might know who. I hate to be all secretive, but it's worth the wait.
- As you know, I love Football Outsiders. Aaron Schatz is the founder and has been a fantastic resource at the combine. I spent a good amount of time with Aaron and KC Joyner (The Football Scientist) talking about the "scientific revolution" in football analysis. Aaron also did a long interview with me about the Jaguars, and as soon as I transcribe it, I'll post it!