Gone are the puppets, godless clowns and Miss Universe. Indianapolis is the place for real journo reportin' (when you're not eating steak and drinking beer). Dozens of coaches and general managers took the podium at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis this week and nary a joke or light-hearted moment was had. If Super Bowl week can be a goofy spectacle, the combine is where business gets real again.
For me, this means a parachute jump into the world of being something close to an actual reporter. This is fun, but I never miss navigating within scrums of sweaty journalists and cameramen trying to get that money quote. I've had the opportunity to sample multiple brands of B.O. since Wednesday. This is why I stick to blogging.
One outlier during the pressers was Packers general manager Ted Thompson, who stole the show during his 15 minutes on the podium. I wrote it on Twitter and I'll do it again here: If Mitch Hedberg were reincarnated as a prominent front-office official in the NFL, he'd be Ted Thompson. The man has a dry wit and subtle sense of humor that served to effectively undercut the rigidness of the world around him. In other words, ol' Ted doesn't seem to take any of this too seriously.
Thompson would be a great next-door neighbor character on a sitcom. Or just my next-door neighbor in real life. Ted, let me know if you're interested.
What's Tom Brady up to?
This video has it all: Multiple dogs, a gratuitous UGGs plug and Tom Brady doing something dangerous in the offseason (this time standing on the edge of a cliff for the sake of a bit). This is the type of elite stuff the "experts" weren't able to see in Brady at the combine all those years ago.
Super Ryan Bros.
Honestly, what took so long for Rex and Rob to join forces? This is either going to be the move that finally gets the Bills back to the playoffs or the teaming that gets both brothers black-balled from the NFL. Odds are 50/50 and I can't wait to see how it plays out.
Meanwhile, here was my favorite Rex sound clip from his (somewhat odd) media availability at the NFL Scouting Combine.
Let's workshop this one before OTAs, Rexy.
Les Snead has the look
I have no idea if Les Snead is any good as a general manager -- the Rams' record in his time there suggests he might not be -- but the man continues to look better than every one of his contemporaries each February in Indianapolis. He's like a hot dad from a low-rated WB series. Come to think of it, has anyone ever checked if he snuck into one of the late seasons of Dawson's Creek? He could have been Pacey Witter's biological father thought to be lost at sea in 1991.
I still miss Jim Harbaugh
It's always the eyes you have to look at with Jim. There's something cooking there.
Trent Richardson lives! (maybe)
Though I don't root against the man, my colleague Marc Sessler and I made a sandwich proposition last summer that Richardson would never play another snap in a regular-season NFL game. Though I remain confident I'll get a lunch out of this, I'm still surprised how many teams are kicking the tires on a guy who would get out-run by linebackers at Lucas Oil Stadium this weekend.
Instagram Of The Week
This is the most J.J. Watt way possible to show you're progressing in a positive manner from groin surgery. Not sure about his handle, but he certainly is not somebody you want to confront in the lane. Seriously, you would suffer fatal blunt-force trauma injuries if you attempted to take a charge on Watt. If there was ever a time to place James Harden-like defense, that's it.
Quote of the Week, Part I
"Am I having a good time? Oh my God, yes! Although I kind of don't remember last night. I might have blacked out. There's absolutely no way I'm telling you my name."
Quote of the Week, Part II
"It would be a tragedy if I had to leave (Atlanta)."
Hero of the Week: Arkansas quarterback Brandon Allen
Everyone is freaking out about hand size at the combine because apparently you have no future in the NFL if you don't have Andre The Giant's digits. It all feels a little overthought, but if you're a prospect you can't ignore or do anything about it.
OR CAN YOU?
Arkansas quarterback Brandon Allen went to the extreme lengths to, um, lengthen his fingers before his measurements were taken at the combine. Allen worked with a masseuse twice a week stretching out his hands "to maybe get another 1/2 inch or 1/4 inch here or there because the muscles in my hands were really tight and this can loosen them up. I have long fingers."
And it worked! By God, it worked!
Until next time ...