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Horse Tracks - 2/25/10; Scouting Combine set to begin


The yearly poking and prodding, lifting and running and shuttling is set to begin in Indianapolis.  Thanks to the NFL Marketing Machine, this 4 day probing of a select group of draft-eligible college players has taken on a life of its own.  For some, it is the end-all, be-all of determining whether a player has 'it' or not.  I've never been one of those guys.  Sure, it is entertaining, and anything that gets us closer to the draft makes me feel good, but the Combine gets much more attention than it really should.  For every player, like Chris Johnson of the Titans, that proves an outstanding Combine is no fluke, there are 5 or 10 guys that flame out.  The problem with 40 times, and squats and the bench press is while they can test strength and quickness, they cannot determine a player's want, desire, hunger or fire.  In essence, the NFL tries to quantify the unquantifiable.  It is a system that is inherent to fail at many levels.  For me, I like to see what a guy does on the football field.  30 minutes worth of tests, in shorts, in an environmentally perfect  setting does not remove 3 or 4 years of game footage.  That doesn't mean I won't watch the combine, it simply means that I avoid the hype.

Taking the Next Step -
To some in the general public, the 2009 season might be framed as Ryan McBean's breakout campaign.

Woody's Mailbag: Broncos rumors abound, but don't believe the hype - The Denver Post
I've heard those rumors about Donovan McNabb. It's typical blog-brain stuff. Don't believe it. It will never happen.

Krieger: Snitching credo deters testimony - The Denver Post
It took three years to bring the murder of Broncos cornerback Darrent Williams to a courtroom because prosecutors couldn't get witnesses to talk about the gang shooting for fear of retaliation.

Coin flip involving Jaguars, Bears a big deal to Denver - The Denver Post
The Broncos need the Bears to get motivated. For if ever a team had reason to tank a coin flip, it's the Bears.

Broncos counting on Bears to win coin flip Friday | All Things Broncos
A coin flip to determine whether the Broncos will have the No. 10 or No. 11 overall pick in the 2010 draft will be held here Friday at the NFL scouting combine. The flip will actually be made between the Chicago Bears and Jacksonville Jaguars, who each had 7-9 records last season.

Franchise Tag – Broncos are it | All Things Broncos
Everybody knows the Broncos’ offseason priority is fortifying the defensive front in their 3-4 system. Already, few good defensive linemen will become available in free agency because the new uncapped rules will mean fourth and fifth-year players are not eligible for unrestricted free agency.

Prosecution witness in Clark trial admits she was drunk, high - The Denver Post
The first witness who can place Willie Clark inside the white Chevrolet Tahoe used in the drive-by shooting of Denver Broncos cornerback Darrent Williams admitted she was drunk and high on New Year's Eve 2006.

Testimony in Williams' death continues - The Denver Post
Willie D. Clark, 26, is on trial in the death of Broncos cornerback Darrent Williams early New Year's Day 2007. Williams was riding in a stretch Hummer limousine near 11th Avenue and Speer Boulevard when a single bullet struck him in the neck.

An emotional LaDainian Tomlinson bids San Diego Chargers sad farewell - ESPN
LaDainian Tomlinson bid an emotional farewell to San Diego, then looked toward a future that he hopes will include an elusive Super Bowl title.

Brian Westbrook says he's not retiring, has heard from NFL teams for 2010 - ESPN
A day after he was released by the Philadelphia Eagles, running back Brian Westbrook said his career is not over.

NFL declines to punish Oakland Raiders coach Tom Cable - ESPN
Oakland Raiders coach Tom Cable will not be punished by the NFL after an investigation into allegations of domestic violence against women and a fight with an assistant coach.

Sources: Texas QB Colt McCoy advised not throw at combine - ESPN Dallas
University of Texas QB Colt McCoy, who suffered an injury to his throwing arm early in the BCS Championship Game against Alabama, will not throw during the NFL combine this week. McCoy was advised by Dr. James Andrews not to throw, sources told ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen.

Owner Robert Kraft says Vince Wilfork and the New England Patriots are close to reaching a long-term deal - ESPN Boston
Patriots owner Robert Kraft, attending the NFL combine in Indianapolis, said Wednesday that the team is "very close" to a contract with Pro Bowl nose tackle Vince Wilfork and that he hopes negotiations will wrap up soon, according to reports.

Behind the scenes at the NFL combine | National Football Post
For those who watch the combine on TV and wonder what goes on behind the scenes, here are 10 happenings you won’t see that dominate conversations on the streets and in the hotels of Indy. NFL teams will spend countless hours evaluating and interviewing players and holding internal meetings with scouts and coaches, but there will be other activities taking place throughout the week.

In memory of Mosi Tatupu | National Football Post
In 1992, I was part of a venture called the Professional Spring Football League and was trying to get the team in Boston going, the New England Blitz. Our head coach was Steve Grogan (as good a guy as there is), who was putting the band back together from the Patriots with coaches including Steve Nelson, Roland James and Mosi. Although we didn't last long before the money ran out on the league, I became an instant fan of Mosi, who brought a great spirit and teamwork to the group.

Mock Draft: 2.0 | National Football Post
10. Denver Broncos: Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State With a ton of questions surrounding the Denver wide receiving corps, Bryant is the kind of talent who can step in and compete as a starter from day one.

Wilson: Knowshon Moreno allegedly involved in bar fight | National Football Post
Something obviously happened, though, since Moreno has reportedly told police officers that he was hit first, according to the Athens Banner-Herald.

Biggs: Chiefs release Goff, re-sign two | National Football Post
The rebuilding Kansas City Chiefs announced a series of moves today, starting with the release of veteran guard Mike Goff.

Market for Dansby starting to heat up? | National Football Post
As the combine is set to open in Indianapolis this week, rumors are beginning to circulate that one of Dansby’s four choices may have a mutual interest in the soon-to-be free agent linebacker.

Colts defensive captain Brackett unlikely to get franchise tag
The Indianapolis Colts still want middle linebacker Gary Brackett on their roster -- just not as their franchise player.

Free-agent rules add more importance to draft for final eight teams
The NFL has long followed a player-acquisition system designed to give weaker teams the best possible chance to get better in a hurry and, therefore, help promote competitive balance. And this year, the rules could very well tilt the playing field more heavily in their favor.

No longer rookies, some second-year players must emerge
This time last year, Aaron Maybin was out to prove he could play outside linebacker and/or defensive end. Chase Coffman was set to show he was more than just a receiving tight end. And Everette Brown was a first-round worthy pass rusher.

Combine participants ready to make their mark
The NFL Scouting Combine is on the horizon, and roughly 330 prospects are anxiously anticipating the most important four-day interview of their lives.