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Old 02-17-2009, 06:23 AM   #1
A Son of Martha

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Default Time for the combine

NFL from the sidelines

After hobnobbing around the NFL in the press boxes and sidelines, sports reporter Dale Lolley will let you know the insider scoop.
Monday, February 16, 2009

Time for the combine


It's a bit of a quiet period in the NFL, what with free agency still a couple of weeks away and all.

But the eyes and ears of the league will descend upon Indianapolis this week for the combine.

For guys like me, who concentrate so much on the NFL game that they only get to watch snippets of college games all year, it's a chance to catch up on some of the draft stuff.

I'll watch all the coverage - several times, actually, since it will be re-run a number of times on the NFL Network. Obviously, watching a guy play is completely different from watching him run around in shorts, but you get a feel for a guy as an athlete.

The teams, meanwhile, will be trying to get a feel for them as people during their one-on-one meetings.

Here's some of the guys I'll be focusing on as possible first-day draft picks for the Steelers:

Round 1
Alex Mack, C, California. Mack's 6-4, 315-pounder who has the size to line up at guard as well.
Eben Britton, OT, Arizona. Britton is considered the fourth or fifth best offensive tackle prospect in this draft. At 6-5, 310 pounds, he has the size of a LT. I want to see how he moves to determine if he can play that spot in the NFL.
Max Unger, C, Oregon. At 6-5, 305, Unger's not quite as big as Mack, but he's played OT at the collegiate level.
Tyson Jackson, DE, LSU. The 6-5, 290-pound Jackson has prototypical 3-4 defensive end size. But does he have the motor?

Round 2
Phil Loadholt, OT, Oklahoma. Loadholt lives up to his name at 6-7, 340 pounds. He looks like a RT. Can he move?
Derrick Williams, WR, Penn State. Nate Washington could be gone and Williams could challenge Limas Sweed for the No. 3 spot while also taking over in the return game.
CBs Coye Francis, San Jose State; Victor Harris, Virginia Tech; Bruce Johnson, Miami; Sean Smith, Utah; Keenan Lewis, Oregon State. All have second-round grades right now and it will be a position of need if Bryant McFadden leaves. Deshea Townsend isn't getting any younger and his contract is up after the 2009 season.

The last word on Butler

Here's the last word on the Keith Butler-Arizona Cardinals flirtation.

It turns out my source in Arizona was right, the Cardinals did, indeed, ask for and receive permission from the Steelers to talk to Butler about their defensive coordinator opening.

According to the Arizona Republic, Butler decided to stay in Pittsburgh, declining the interview offer.
Posted by Dale Lolley at 5:05 PM
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Old 02-17-2009, 08:11 AM   #2
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Default Re: Time for the combine

Don't sniff around our players Arizona.
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