INDIANAPOLIS -- Twenty-seven NFL head coaches and general managers spoke at the NFL Scouting Combine. Some of them said virtually nothing of substance. Others were chock-full of nuggets. All of them spoke in code.
Teams don't normally announce franchise tags or roster cuts during the combine. But they leave a lot of breadcrumbs about what player personnel moves are coming. It's a day for football news diehards. Here's what Marc Sessler, Chris Wesseling and I learned during a frenetic Thursday:
"I don't anticipate that," Schneider said.
"Every team is going to do everything in their bag to get it done. So who knows? I don't know," Gettleman said.
Gettleman kept stressing how cap-strapped the Panthers were. He didn't want to make short-term decisions. He also emphasized he wouldn't have big, long-term deals for a lot of players. And that you should spend big on big players. (Translation: Cornerback Captain Munnerlyn shouldn't expect a huge, long-term offer.)
"Steve's had a great career, and (long pause) the bottom line is, it's part of the evaluation process," Gettleman said. Strange.
"Mike's got a lot of experience. He's done a lot of things in his career in the NFL ... We do what we always do -- what we think is best for our football team."
- Only at the combine: Belichick waxed nostalgic about when the combine was held outdoors and he watched Refrigerator Perry's vertical jump in the fading light of man's mortality.
- In veteran player news, the Titans were quite noncommittal on Chris Johnson's future. Atlanta Falcons coach Mike Smith, however, strongly indicatedOsi Umenyiora would be back with the team. Vikings GM Rick Spielman spoke strongly about linebacker Chad Greenway's leadership. And Bears coach Marc Trestman said Julius Peppers was "very important" to the team, indicating that perhaps the team is trying to work out a reduced contract.
"With the supply and demand at quarterback, Carson at least puts us in the position where you don't have to force, and when I say force, you're sitting at 20 or wherever we are in the draft, and feel like we have to have one," Keim said.
- Garrett spent five minutes tying himself into knots explaining the new Cowboys coaching structure. I left more confused than ever.
"Main thing about tonight is to get by without getting fined," Ryan said. "I'll open it up to questions."