Some quick news from this afternoon on day one of the NFL Scouting Combine.
We’re still waiting for some of the reports to come out of today’s events, but here are some interesting notes from some online reports and entries this afternoon that are worth noting.
- Mike Reiss held his weekly chat this week and offered up some interesting thoughts this afternoon, which could potentially be areas the team focuses on over the next couple of days. One thing that he noted was the fact it’s certainly possible that the team may address the long-snapper position, which was clearly a problem this past season. The 6th round may be the place we could see one selected, which would be – as Reiss pointed out – similar to what they did with Jake Ingram in 2009.
- Another note that was interesting was the discussion regarding the drop off in playing time and snaps toward the latter part of the season for rookie tight end Aaron Hernandez. Most fans obviously felt that it may have been the hip injury that attributed to that, however, Reiss feels it may have had to do with an issue with the rookie’s route running. He noticed that Hernandez and Brady were seen having discussions several times at the end of drives while walking off the field, and that the Patriots quarterback may have been discussing this with him hoping for more precise routes.
- We’re used to seeing the Patriots making trades, especially in the early rounds. Reiss addressed the number of selections he thinks they’ll take, and agrees that we could see them making their selections at #17 and #28, and then trading out of the #33 slot for a 1st round pick in 2012. He also doesn’t expect them to select a receiver in round one.
- With the offensive line being a need, Reiss feels that the focus will likely fall on interior linemen, and we should see some reports on some prospects from him over the next couple of days. He’s a fan of Mike Pouncey, along with Maurkice Pouncey – who is Mike’s brother.
- Obviousy barring a deal struck between the players and owners by next week, free agency isn’t going to start on time. However, when the time comes one guy Reiss feels could have the best chance of landing here would be Saints runningback Pierre Thomas. Another potential player, according to Reiss, could be Carolina’s Steve Smith.
- In another report this afternoon Shalise Manza Young reports that former Patriots strength and conditioning coach Mike Woicik was recognized by his peers for his work in his final season in New England, and was named the 2010 NFL Strength Coach of the Year yesterday. It was the third time in his career he received the honor. He recently opted to take a similar position with the Dallas Cowboys.
- Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland spoke at the Combine Thursday, with Greg Bedard reporting that for now they’re committed to quarterback Chad Henne, although he also noted that Henne was the only quarterback they had. Certainly an interesting way to put it. He also talked about whether or not they were “worried” about the AFC East, saying, “We’ve got to worry about the Miami Dolphins, but obviously the Patriots, the Jets and the Bills would say the same thing as the Dolphins: We’re obsessed with winning the division. We’re obsessed with finding out how to beat our opponents. So we pay attention to them. They pay attention to us. But it’s not going to dictate how we do business.”
- We’ll end with this one. Ian Rapoport of the Boston Herald reported that Wisconsin OT Gabe Carimi spoke with reporters today at the combine and when asked if he’s spoken with the Patriots, he offered up, “I can’t comment on the Patriots.” He’s a tough guy and feels that he’s the “best tackle in the draft”.
We’ll have more later on as more news from the Combine becomes available.