The NFL's 2010 version of its annual dog and pony show has come and gone. For the second time in three years, an Ohio State defensive end's precipitous rise is part of the narrative, while the rest of the story involves television personalities running in suits… or something.
Amongst Buckeyes making the trip west on I-70, none bettered themselves more than the haunter of Tate Forcier's dreams, Thaddeus Gibson. This story feels like one we've heard before but where the names alone have changed: college defensive end who saw some time dropping back into coverage projected as a possible 3-4 linebacker at the next level? Check. Workout warrior? Check (Thad chalked up 32 reps at 225 on the bench press). Mercurial late-in-the-process bloomer capitalizing on grey haired old dudes' seemingly favoring how twenty-somethings look in their Under Armour more than the way they actually perform on the field? Check and mate.
Thad's production for the 2009 season included a career high in tackles (45), but sacks in '09 actually decreased from 5 a season prior to 4. He did force two fumbles and also had an INT against the Wolverines, but with Ohio State blessed with the burden of a surplus of hosses at DE, didn't exactly wind up having the kind of impact you might expect from a guy receiving first round buzz. Obviously this is no guarantee Gibson's career will mirror VG's in any way (whom the Jets haven't quit on just yet), but you have wonder what sort of situation it would take to maximize Thad's monumental potential.
Injury was the word with a number of other high profile Bucks in attendance at the combine. Kurt Coleman elected not to run the 40 after suffering an abdominal strain several weeks back while prepping for the event. Despite the set back, the 3-year starter at strong safety has designs on setting the scout's records straight come OSU's pro day:
"[The scouts] want to see how fast I am," Coleman said, "because there's a difference between corner speed and safety speed, and they want to see if I have corner speed. I know I have corner speed."
Coleman won't have much choice except to show he's a burner after measuring in rather undersized for a safety at 5'10", 192 lbs. He wasn't the only Buckeye short changed by injury, however, with Doug Worthington also suffering with what was said to be a strained muscle. Doug Wo started to do his own work on the bench press, when apparently the injury occured. He too will put all his stock on the March 12th workouts in conditions far more familiar and comfortable to the athletes in Columbus.
An underwhelming weekend overall for Buckeyes wasn't limited to the defensive representatives on hand, as Aaron Pettrey too had a shaky go at wowing the NFL brass. Still recovering from the knee injury that cost him the final third of his senior season, Pettrey made just 10 of 15 field goal attempts, hitting the uprights on two different kicks. He too will need to essentially put on a clinic to have any hopes of making the possibility of enticing a team into taking a late round flier on him any more probable rather than having to kick his way onto a club as an undrafted FA.
Jim Tressel: Potential Future BW3 Pitchman?
SportsByBrooks had the exclusive that this last weekend our very own Coach made his way down to Orlando to the Buffalo Wild Wings shareholder meeting in Orlando. There Tressel set about motivating the organization and its stockholders to sauce drenched chicken winged greatness. Not a bad gig, particularly considering The Vest collected a cool $50,000+ for his troubles in speaking to the C-Bus originating company. No word as to whether Buckeye devotees in the audience pushed a button that caused someone to blind Coach with a bright flash forcing the speech to go into overtime.