The NFL Combine is well under way in Indy with quarterbacks, wideouts, tight ends, offensive linemen and specialists' workouts in the books and the story of the combine is still Tim Tebow.
Despite lingering concerns over his throwing motion, the Gator quarterback is saying all of the right things in interviews, surely killed his Wonderlic and has saturated the NFL Network to the point where I can't turn it on without seeing him either interviewed or discussed.
Add to his list of solid weekend performances his time in the 40. Tebow turned in the fourth-best time amongst quarterbacks, posting a 4.72. Rust Belt Tebow, Central Michigan's Dan LeFevour, turned in an even better mark with a timed 4.66. Jevan Snead reportedly worked out well, which should help his cause if he can figure out a way to burn all game tapes from his games against Alabama, Auburn and Oklahoma State.
The real burners torched what had been considered a slow track: Clemson wide receiver Jacoby Ford put up a 4.28 while teammate and the guy most thought would win the unofficial 40 crown, C.J. Spiller, ran a 4.37.
On the Buckeye front, we know Aaron Pettrey worked out Saturday, but don't have any details on his performance. We do know that his knee was put through the paces by team medical personnel on Thursday and by "put through the paces", I mean nine hours of prodding.
Thad Gibson and Doug Worthington will get in the bulk of their work today when defensive linemen and linebackers work out for scouts and GMs, but Gibson got off to a solid start in the bench press Sunday evening, putting up 225 a respectable 32 times. The 32 presses were less than the 44 repetitions produced by Georgia's Jeff Owens, but the effort put Thad on par with Suh (32) and one ahead of Michigan's Brandon Graham (31).
If you're fortunate enough to have NFL Network access during the day, beyond catching Gibson and Worthington, you may be treated to a flopping Mount Cody on the track, but considering he passed on the bench, you may also be disappointed.
Coleman will get his chance on Tuesday and talk as it relates to him still focuses on his size, or lack thereof. Which is kind of funny because if you take a glance at the size of any of the top cornerbacks in the draft, they're all in the 5-10ish range. He even stacks up well compared to Eric Berry and Earl Thomas. If he runs well enough to get a shot at corner somewhere (remember, he said he's gunning for a 4.4), the size worries will evaporate. If he doesn't and enters the league as a safety, GMs will rue the day they passed on him for a "lack of size". The guy is a playmaker and his football IQ is off the charts.
Status Updates on Buckeyes Already in the League
The Dispatch's Ken Gordon has been in Indy since last week and has done an awesome job catching up with coaches, GMs and other personnel and getting assessments of former Buckeyes on their roster. Unsurprisingly, the Rams love them some Laurinaitis, while this might be a "make-or-break" year for Gholston in New York.
Actually, strike that. Not the part about the teams' views on Laurinaitis and Gholston, but more specifically the part where I said "unsurprisingly". I have to admit that when each player was drafted, I thought big Vern's future looked a lot brighter in the NFL. Hats off to Little Animal.
It Was Like Oregon Was Playing in Slow Motion
Tressel appeared at a clinic in Strongsville over the weekend and provided some insight into how his defense was able to hold the Ducks to near season lows across the board in offense:
In preparations for the high-scoring and fast-paced Oregon Ducks in the Rose Bowl, a game won by the Buckeyes, 26-17, Tressel and his staff installed a "2 offense tempo practice" drill in which his first-team defense stayed on the field the entire time while his first- and second-team offenses ran plays without huddles, literally as fast as they could execute, Tressel said. The offenses switched every two plays, which was the only mini-break the defense was awarded.
You don't need me to tell you how well the preparation worked. Jermale Hines summed it up best:
"It was great for our offense because they were able to get into a tempo during practice, but for the defense, they were gased," said Tressel. "But I remember (safety) Jermale Hines telling me after (the Rose Bowl), 'Coach, it was like Oregon was playing in slow motion."
Bob Baptist Has Done the Work So You Don't Have To
With Sparty's win in West Lafayette yesterday, the Buckeyes need only a win against Illinois this week to lock down a share of the regular season Big Ten crown and a number one seed in the conference tourney. No matter what happens in the other remaining games, the #1 seed will go to Matta's crew if they prevail over the Illini.