Sunday, August 30, 2015

Combine Day 2

The second day of the scouting combine holds less intrigue for the Eagles, even if it's a day for some of the biggest names of the draft.

Combine Day 2


The second day of the scouting combine holds less intrigue for the Eagles, even if it's a day for some of the biggest names of the draft.

Today quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers meet with the media -- so that means guys like Cam Newton, A.J. Green and former Heisman winner Mark Ingram -- but it's unlikely the Eagles will be looking to any of these positions early in the draft.

Yesterday featured a parade of former Eagles coaches -- Ron Rivera, Steve Spagnuolo, John Harbaugh -- along with Howie Roseman and the draft's top offensive linemen, who are likely to be (or at least should be) of interest to the Birds.

Away from the actual business of the combine is a gathering of just about every agent in the league for an NFLPA-mandated meeting -- which puts a lot of power over player movement in one big room -- and the NFL's announcement of new sideline concussion-testing procedures. Dr. Margot Putukian, chair of the Return-to-Play subcommittee of the NFL's Head, Neck and Spine Committee, presented the testing tool, which won't be mandated but could provide a guideline to teams for how to check for concussions. She stressed that testing for the injury is very complicated and can be difficult to diagnose. While the Eagles' concussion testing came under the spotlight when Stewart Bradley and Kevin Kolb returned to play week 1, Putukian said her subcommittee began looking into the testing tool last May. She said the specific Eagles incident was not what brought about the new guidelines.

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Other scattered thoughts Friday morning:

-- Talked to a couple coaches this morning about what they get out of these few days. Despite all the focus on 40 times and vertical leaps, the thing they find most valuable is the interviews. They have hours and hours of game tape on these guys -- as one coach said, if you go to Ohio State, and you play lousy against Michigan, the Combine isn't going to help. Gauging intelligence and personality seems to be much more of a factor than the measurables we see on TV.

-- That said, the first question to just about every prospect yesterday about their height, weight and wingspan. I know that's what a lot of them are here for, but it just seems creepy.

-- Still, when Nate Solder said he had an 81-inch reach -- wow. Guy is listed at 6-8 and looks like he should be on a court somewhere boxing out Amar'e Stoudemire.

-- One-word impressions of the other top linemen I saw: Gabe Carimi: confident. Anthony Castonzo: smart.

-- It is apparently possible to walk through downtown Indianapolis without ever stepping outside. The roughly mile between my hotel and Lucas Oil Stadium is covered by corridors attached to the city's convention center and the convention center itself.

More later.

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Birds' Eye View is the Inquirer's blog covering all things Philadelphia Eagles and the NFL.

Jeff McLane Inquirer Staff Writer
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