Saturday, February 23, 2008


The Draft is quickly approaching as the NFL kicks off it's annual Combine workouts in Indianapolis. The Combine is a tool that scouts use to really judge a player's athleticism. Three cone drills, 40 yard dash, Vertical jumps tests, and bench press is a few of the standard tests used.

Now in my profession these are standard tools to measure certain athletic traits, mainly to work with an athlete and measure progress. These tests have been around since the 50's, and with the national love affair with functional training they are here to stay. The main thing we as fans and hopefully our scouts do is take this and add it to a players portfolio along with personal interviews. The main focus should still be on past play and how that play coupled with measurables, and attitude would enhance the team.

Let's all hope that we can avoid a Jacoby Sheppard situation. He was a player drafted by the Rams in the 2nd round much higher than his play indicated because he had an outstanding combine. You can draft a great athletic athlete but if he is a classic underachiever or average on the field who cares if he's really fast, strong, or agile.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Saunders, The Draft, and Free Agency

The Rams were patient and on paper look like they were rewarded by signing former Rams' coach Al Saunders. The core skill position players are familiar with his scheme. All pluses.

Good move but risky move by Linehan. On the one hand it certainly can be viewed as an olive branch to those veterans like Bulger, Bruce, and Holt. These players may not have been the best fit in Linehan's scheme but as for Saunders scheme, anyone can review the tape. Linehan will be a 3rd year head coach with coaches like Halsett and now Saunders with NFL cred breathing down his neck should they get off to a slow start yet again.

Look for a speedy WR in the draft or free agency to fill the Az-Hakim position. Where Drew Bennett fits now is anyones' guess.

We are still a few weeks from the combine but this will be our first chance to see arguably the top 3-5 players in action. Dorsey, Chris Long, and Darren McFadden all skipped the Senior Bowl so the combine will give us a glimpse if these three players remain highly touted.

Free agency will be interesting. Will pricey vets like Bruce, Little, and Pace return or renegotiate? Will the Rams be able to attract big name free agents? Will the defense stick with a 4-3 or be molded into a 3-4?

Should be interesting.....

And finally like many or almost all of you I'm thrilled the Pats lost. Gives me a little bit of closure for SB XXXVI.