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Combore 2009

Combore 2009

There's even a logo for it.
(I posted this a year ago but it bears repeating. I'm not sure if the number of media credentials still is 400; it may be down a bit due to the state of the newspaper business, but the larger points remain.)

I'm an NFL writer. I'm an NFL guy. But I couldn't possibly be less interested in the alleged NFL "event" going on this weekend.

The combine (I refuse to capitalize it) is all over the sports media. There were some 400 media credentials issued for the gathering, more than one for every player participating. Every paper has its team beat reporters in Indianapolis. Sirius NFL radio is there for many of its daily shows. The omnipresent ESPN is there. The NFL Network is the worst, carrying hour upon tedious hour of live coverage from the RCA Dome and the various other media centers in downtown Indy. They're even counting down highlights and showing classic combine moments from years past.

And why are they all there? To watch a bunch of college dropouts run around in shorts and t-shirts doing a variety of tasks, most of which are unrelated to football. The prospects run the 40, do a vertical jump from a standing start, pump iron, run laterally over some pads lined up on the ground, and do something called a three-cone drill. They get weighed, measured, poked and prodded. Fortunately, the TV coverage does not include the weigh-in which, I understand, in conducted in minimal clothing.

The purpose of this is to provide NFL coaches and general managers with what they call "measurables". That way, in three years when five of a given team's seven draft picks are working at Best Buy, the GM can go to his boss and say, "but our second-round guy ran a 4.355 40 and the fifth-rounder had a shuttle drill time that was off the charts." Of course, he won't remind his boss that he ignored the fact that those draftees were utterly unproductive on the field of play.

For their part, most of the players have put a dent into the former schools' graduation rates, dropping out to prepare full-time for the combine. A cottage industry has sprung up centered around training NFL prospects in the finer points of the shuttle run and shaving a few hundredths of a second off of their 40 times. All of this is bankrolled by eager agents, who front the kids expense money is exchange for a hefty chunk of their first few paychecks.

I suppose it's necessary, a good way for all of the teams to pool their resources and get some needed information. And it would be a bit much for a prospect to have to run the 40-yard dash 32 times. The economy of scale does make some sense.

But 400 media credentials? There are pressers going on almost constantly, providing quotes, notes and nuggets to fuel the 24/7 sports media machine. It's kind of like the event we had all of two and a half weeks ago in Tampa. I mean, has that much changed since the Super Bowl that we need a whole new round of it?

At least in Tampa the media frenzy was centered on an actual event, a football game for the NFL championship. This weekend's press opportunity revolves around something that's sort of like a track meet minus the crowds, the excitement, and the awarding of medals.

I'm usually a sucker for anything with the letters "NFL" as part of name. But I'll pass on this one.

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RGIII reportedly earns tryout with Los Angeles Chargers

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RGIII reportedly earns tryout with Los Angeles Chargers

Robert Griffin III's career resurgence in Cleveland ended following a lackluster 2016 season in which injuries sidelined him for all buy five games.

The Former 2012 Rookie of the Year finished the season 87-of-147 for 886 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions before being released by the team in March.

But the Redskins' former No. 2 overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft is not giving up on his goal.

RGIII will reportedly work out for the Los Angeles Chargers, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

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Griffin III has spent the offseason working out with former Browns coordinator Pep Hamilton. According to Ian Rapoport, who spoke with Hamilton, RGIII is in very good health and is throwing the ball very well.

The Chargers' quarterback situation is as clear as any on the NFL. Phillip Rivers is the starting quarterback. He has been the Chargers' starting quarterback since 2006, and will be the team's starting quarterback until he retires or is traded. And despite Rivers starting every regular-season game for each of the last 11 seasons, the Chargers have no real plan at backup. There's career backup Kellen Clemens and rookies Mike Bercovici (Arizona State) and Eli Jenkins (Jacksonville State). That's it. 

Even if he remains injury riddled, RGIII does that have the tools to bat out backups Clemens, Bercovici and Jenkins.

But for now, it's a step in the right direction for the polarizing former Redskins quarterback.

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Unlucky Day: Cowboys release WR Lucky Whitehead following arrest warrant

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Unlucky Day: Cowboys release WR Lucky Whitehead following arrest warrant

Monday was an unlucky day for Cowboys wide receiver Lucky Whitehead.

What started with a warrant for his arrest ended with him being released by the Cowboys.

Back on June 22, Whitehead was arrested on charges of petit larceny in Woodbridge The former Osbourn High School (Va.) and Florida Atlantic wide receiver was popped for shoplifting under $200 of merchandise at a local Wawa convenience store.

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An arraignment was scheduled for July 6. Court records indicate that Whitehead did not show up to court, and on Monday, July 24, a warrant for his arrest was issued, the Prince William County police Department confirmed. On Monday afternoon, Whitehead was informed that he was being released, according to Ian Rapoport.

Whitehead told the Dallas Morning News on Monday that he wasn't even aware that he was wanted in court. 

Whitehead's agent also claimed that the wide receiver wasn't in Virginia at the time of the arrest.

This all comes less than a week after Whitehead's pet dog was kidnapped and held for ransom. Whitehead got the dog back 24 hours later.

The Bealton, Va. native appeared in 15 games last season, hauling in three catches for 48 yards. He also carried the ball 10 times for 82 yards. Whitehead's biggest contribution came in the return game, where he returned 25 punts for 195 yards and 17 kickoffs for 394 yards.

Whitehead signed a 3-year, $1.5 million deal with the Cowboys in 2015 after going undrafted in the 2015 NFL Draft.