Tag:Will Brinson
Posted on: February 26, 2012 1:07 pm
 

Coples attempts to explain issues with hustle

Is Coples effort an issue. (US Presswire)
By Will Brinson

INDIANAPOLIS -- There are lots of questions about whether or not UNC defensive end Quinton Coples gives 100 percent on every play. And Coples was asked those questions almost immediately when he stepped to the podium in Indy for his combine media interview.

His logic for explaining away the perceived slacking that scouts and teams and people who watched football attached to his game is pretty outstanding, provided that you appreciate people who use insane excuses.

"I can see where it can look like that on film, but overall I felt like I did the right job and did the right thing sacrificing for my team and that was important to me at the time," Coples said. "I think I have long strides and things of that nature so it may come fast to me in the game and film will slow it down a little bit. People have their own opinions and some people don't even think it was a problem."

Think about that: Coples is so fast and so in-tune to the game of football, that the game simply starts to crawl for him and when you watch film it appears as if he's not trying. Except here's the problem: that's not how it works.

If the game slows down for you, you look faster. Not slower. A sign of a supernatural understanding of the game isn't "moving around lethargically," it's "doing things before anyone could imagine you doing them."

Here's the issue though: it's hard to blame Coples for not trying too hard his senior season. He was busted by the NCAA, eventually cleared, moved to defensive tackle for Marvin Austin, watched his coach get fired and spent his entire season answering questions not about his skill as a football player, but rather about potential NCAA penalties and UNC's issues off the field.

His effort is definitely an issue, and this won't be the last time Coples has to discuss it. But it's also kind of hard to blame him for checking out a little early, given everything that UNC went through.

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Posted on: February 26, 2012 12:48 pm
Edited on: February 26, 2012 12:49 pm
 

Janoris Jenkins answers all character questions

Jenkins' character will be scrutinized.(Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

INDIANAPOLIS -- When the announcement that Janoris Jenkins would speak to the press came over the loudspeaker at the NFL combine, media members members moved faster than they do for the sandwich cart. And Jenkins, a character-issue-ridden cornerback who was booted from Florida and finished his college career at North Alabama, didn't disappoint.

The defensive back, considered one of the top talents in the draft, was asked about his marijuana use, his children (he has four of them), his time at Florida, and the slew of red flags that accompany his draft status. To his credit, he was -- almost to a fault -- honest, he answered every question sincerely, and he didn't pull an Antonio Cromartie and forget his kids names.

"Janoris Jenkins Jr., Legend, Janorion and Paris," Jenkins said when someone asked him what his childrens' names were.

Jenkins was dismissed from Florida after being arrested for marijuana possession and signed on with North Alabama. The experience hurt his draft stock, but he repeatedly said it's been a tremendous learning experience and that he's "done" with marijuana.

"I'm done with it forever," Jenkins said. "I can't do it, man."

Jenkins also said the last time he used marijuana was when he was arrested and kicked off the team at Florida. And Jenkins said that he's been arrested three times, twice for marijuana and once for a bar fight. Jenkins said that he failed only one drug test at Florida.

It's going to be fascinating to see what happens with Jenkins leading up to the draft in April. He's an incredible talent, who hung with the best receivers in the SEC before transferring to North Alabama, where he says he wasn't challenged enough.

But he has big-time character issues. That he's willing to stand up on a podium and speak openly and honestly about those issues is impressive and could go a long way with teams interested in improving their secondary.

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Posted on: February 26, 2012 10:39 am
Edited on: February 26, 2012 1:23 pm
 

RG3's official 40 time is 4.41, Luck in 4.67

Griffin keeps wowing everyone in Indy. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

INDIANAPOLIS -- If you thought it was impossible for NFL people to fall more in love with Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III, you thought wrong. RG3 proved exactly why on Sunday, shredding the 40-yard dash and looking as fast as expected en route to running an official 4.41 40-yard dash.

Andrew Luck, not exactly known as a speedster, was perhaps more impressive with his unofficial 4.59 40 time, later changed to a 4.67 official time.

Griffin's time (both officially and unofficially) was the second-fastest by a quarterback since 2006, with only Reggie McNeal's time of 4.35 in 2006 beating him out. Russell Wilson of Wisconsin ran a 4.50 40 for the second-fastest time of the day, and Jordan Jefferson of LSU ran a 4.59.

The bump up from unofficial to official doesn't matter too much; Griffin got below 4.4 seconds on an unofficial time and that's all people around the league really need to see.

Griffin ran track at Baylor (and in high school) and his performance at the combine -- on the field, in front of the mic, wherever -- has only continued to cement his status as a lock for top-five status in the NFL draft.

It would be stunning, honestly, if RG3 fell further than the second pick. There's a strong belief that the Rams will hold an auction for the No. 2 pick and that someone will pay a hefty price to move up and grab Griffin.

Which is why folks in St. Louis should be enjoying this almost as much as teams who are chasing Griffin are.

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Posted on: February 25, 2012 7:17 pm
 

Report: Pats 'likely' to franchise tag Wes Welker

Welkers will reportedly get the franchise tag from New England. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

We've mentioned Wes Welker's name several times over the past few weeks. Once as our pick for the top available free-agent wide receiver and previously as a player on whom the franchise tag would probably be used.

And that appears to be the case: according to a report from Adam Schefter of ESPN, the Patriots "are likely" to utilize the franchise tag and place it on Welker before the March 5 deadline, in order to prevent Welker from hitting the open market. If Welker signed his tender, he would receive a guaranteed, one-year salary of $9.5 million.

There was some belief that the Patriots wouldn't commit that much cash in guaranteed money to Welker and would let him test the market and then attempt to re-sign him at a lower rate than what Welker reportedly wants (it's believed he wants to be paid somewhere in the range of $14 to $15 million per year).

Ian Rapoport of the Boston Herald reported on Saturday that the logic behind the Patriots change of heart is that the market for Welker in free agency would be "incredibly active."

The last time New England used the franchise tag, things did not go smoothly. Logan Mankins, one of the defendants in the Lockout Lawsuit, held out for seven games after the labor crisis was resolved.

And there's a chance that a similar stand-off could occur with Welker if the two sides don't reach a long-term deal. Welker's critical to the Patriots offense -- he has 554 receptions and 6,105 receiving yards since 2007 -- but he would also like to be paid like one of the top wideouts in the game and given his age and previous injury history, the security of one more big contract.

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Posted on: February 25, 2012 6:13 pm
Edited on: February 25, 2012 6:18 pm
 

Devon Still: 'I'm the best DT in this draft'

Still doesn't lack for confidence. (US Presswire)
By Will Brinson

INDIANAPOLIS -- NFL prospects are, by the nature of the combine, forced into comparisons. The top group of guys at every position want to be the best. And many of them think they're the best. Like Devon Still, Penn State defensive tackle, who isn't interested in hearing all the hype surrounding LSU tackle Michael Brockers.

Still was asked how the defensive tackle class shapes up and said that "hands-down" he's the best DT in the draft.

"I think hands-down I'm the best defensive tackle in this draft," Still said. "I was able to take over a lot of games this season. Just the production I had -- I was able to disrupt plays even if I wasn't making the statistics."

Still was speaking specifically of Brockers. And Brockers, who met with the media later on during the day, was asked specifically about Still, but declined to make his opinion on the comparison known ... for know.

"If he said that, he said that," Brockers said. "I can’t really go back and comment on that statement. We’ll see Monday."

Monday's when the defensive tackles, defensive ends and linebackers take the field for the drills. For now, we'll simply have to rely on our own rankings: Still is the 10th-best player in the draft according to NFLDraftScout.com ... and Brockers is eighth.

Brockers is also the top defensive tackle in the draft. For now.

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Posted on: February 25, 2012 5:43 pm
Edited on: February 27, 2012 12:13 pm
 

Crennel: Chiefs 'crazy not to consider' Peyton

KC would be 'crazy not to consider' Manning, according to their coach. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

INDIANAPOLIS -- As we've noted throughout the week, there are lots of Peyton Manning-related questions for the players, coaches and general managers in Indy for the combine. Most of the comments resulting from the Peyton questions have resulted in vague answers of the ducking variety.

But not new Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel. Asked if there would be any consideration" for Manning, Crennel stated that he couldn't talk about someone on another roster ... and then proceeded to talk about someone on another team's roster.

"I'm not supposed to talk about anybody else's players and he's still a player with Indianapolis," Crennel said. "But with a talent like that I would be crazy not to consider it if he were available."

Crennel's boss, Scott Pioli, had been less forthcoming the day before.

"I would never talk about a player that's with another team, even if he's projected to be a free agent," Pioli said. "There are NFL tampering rules that prevent me from talking about that."

Crennel's comment was precisely what Pioli wanted to avoid: a direct comment about a specific player currently under contract with another team. An NFL spokesman told CBSSports.com that the league will not comment on potential tampering charges

Ed. Note: A previous version of this story contained a comment from the NFL that was the result of a miscommunication. We apologize for the error.

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Posted on: February 25, 2012 3:49 pm
Edited on: February 25, 2012 3:52 pm
 

LSU's Brockers up to 322 pounds for combine

Brockers somehow put on another 15 pounds before the combine. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

INDIANAPOLIS -- Between the time he came to LSU as a freshman in 2009 and the time he left after the 2011 season, Michael Brockers gained more than 50 pounds. (Although Brockers might try to tell you it's closer to 30.) Since the end of the season, he's gained another 15 pounds, clocking in at 322 pounds on Saturday at the combine.

But the weight is, as NFLDraftScout.com's eighth-ranked prospect put it on Saturday, "good." Brockers, who won't run the 40 or bench at the combine, said that the addition of any weight is primarily muscle-based.

"I guess I'm just blessed to have this body frame and still be able to be quick," Brockers said before acknowledging that the weight does slow him down some. "Oh yeah. When I went from 280 and I jumped up to 310 my 40 time went from like 4.8 to five-flat."

Brockers, who said he'd probably need to put on even more weight if he wanted to truly play defensive tackle in the NFL, is a guy analysts are fawning over at the combine. He's got the combination of size, speed, success, raw talent and ability to play multiple positions is enticing.

"I'm all over the board," Brockers said. "Since I played so many positions at LSU, I feel like I'm all down the line. I played the five [technique]. Not on passing situations, really more run situations."

Some teams to watch for Brockers are the Panthers at No. 9 overall; Carolina's definitely going defense and his biggest need  gave up the 25th most rushing yards per game in the NFL in 2011 and the eighth-most yards per carry in the NFL.

"I play the run, and I feel like I'm a force in the middle," Brockers said.

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Posted on: February 25, 2012 2:27 pm
 

Orson Charles decides not to run 40-yard dash

Charles bailed on running the 40 Saturday. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

INDIANAPOLIS -- We declared Georgia tight end Orson Charles, the third-rated tight end prospect on NFLDraftScout.com's board, one of the winners from the second day of the combine in Indy, primarily because he beasted the bench press exercise.

And we expected to see Charles pick up some more momentum on Saturday by posting a fast 40 time, but he's decided not to run at the combine. According to Josh Norris of Rotoworld, Charles decided not to run because his training was delayed due to his decision to enter the draft.

Charles is participating in all the receiving drills and obviously did well for himself on Friday. And he'll run at Georgia's Pro Day, which is believed to take place some time in April (it's yet to be scheduled).

Still, seeing Charles lose some of the positive momentum he gained on Friday by not running on Saturday is a touch disappointing.

Especially given that, as Pete Prisco wrote earlier in the week, the 2012 tight end class is a shallow one, even though the revolution of tight ends as pass catchers and offensive weapons is underway across the league.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com