BLOG: Coaches & GM’s meet the media at combine

Since myself and Ed Cole have focused most of our efforts on giving you the latest news and updates surrounding the Cardinals and nine ASU and UofA players here in Indianapolis for the NFL Combine, I thought tonight I”d share some of the things I’ve noticed on a broader scale.

First, if an NBA team plays in Indy, you’d never know it. Nearly all of the bars and restaurants we’ve seen are littered with blue and white Colts merchandise, but few support the Pacers which surprises me since the NFL and NBA are the only major sports in the market. What’s even more surprising is the state of Indiana has such a rich basketball tradition, you’d expect to see more Pacers’ fans around here.

As for the combine itself, when we picked up our credentials and made our way to the media tables, there was a large dry erase board with a slew of head coaches and general managers with times next to their names. Being at Lucas Oil Stadium for nearly the entire day, it was interesting to see and hear how the various NFL personnel interacted with the media.

Some, like Ken Whisenhunt, broke the ice with a little joke before fielding questions. Rex Ryan “held court” like only he can, breaking off cliches and sounding as confident/brash as ever. I thought new Tampa Bay head coach Greg Schiano handled his first major dealings with the media well this afternoon. Of course first-year head coach Chuck Pagano was asked about Peyton Manning and he philosophically answered the question…by not answering the question.

As for the players themselves, I was disappointed at how few we had access to. The punters, kickers and long snappers rolled through without much fan fare, but two offensive linemen that have been linked to the Cards and the 13th pick in some mock drafts (Ohio State’s Mike Adams and Stanford’s Jonathan Martin) each spoke in a group session before being hastily ushered back through security where we could not get to.

With over 700 credentialed media (there were only about 150 five years ago), the buzz inside the stadium was electric with at times three separate press conferences going on in different areas of the media center.

Friday will be even busier with quarterbacks, wide receivers and running backs being made available. There is no set schedule for the players arrival in the media center and some (like Stanford’s David DeCastro) weren’t made available for one reason or another. Let’s hope Osweiler, Foles, Criner and Robinson find their way over tomorrow.

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