Indianapolis (WKBW) Greetings from Lucas Oil Stadium. We are off and running here at the NFL Scouting Combine. Today is the first official day of activity here at the Combine. Prospects go through measurements, medical examinations and address the media in groups. Thursday will be Offensive Lineman, Tight Ends and Specialists.
-NFL Head Coaches and General Managers also address the media today. The first one up was Dolphins Head Coach Joe Philbin. The Dolphins just fired offensive line coach Jim Turner and athletic trainer Kevin O'Neil in the wake of the Ted Wells report involving Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin. "I'm the one who who is responsible for the workplace environment", said Philbin. "I have to do a better job, and create a better environment", continued Philbin.
-Bills Head Coach Doug Marrone addressed the national media at the podium and one of the first topics was quarterback EJ Manuel. Marrone was asked about expectations for Manuel in year two and if he thought the Bills needed to add a veteran backup. "I think a couple of things. One. He played last year and really didn't practice that much. If you think about all the players that played in the league e probably practiced the least.", said Marrone. For us the priority just like all of our players is to keep him healthy which is important for us and his development. We are excited about it because when he was in there with the lack of time we had there. He did very well."
As far as adding a veteran QB as a backup Marrone said that the new additions to the coaching staff in QB coach Todd Downing and Senior Offensive Assistant Jim Hostler give the Bills flexibility. "So basically with (Offensive Coordinator) Nate Hackett we have three QB coaches. We can go either way whether it's via the draft or unrestricted free agency or stay the same. Atleast now from a coaching staff we can go in either direction"
-I just caught up with former Bills GM Bill Polian. Polian who now works for ESPN says the combine has changed dramatically since he first attended as a scout in 1984. "The first one I went to was in Tempe Arizona.", said Polian. "It was just us scouts. Very, Very few media. Now of course it has grown into a huge event. A trade show if you will of professional football'.
-I also asked Polian about the direction of the Bills as GM Doug Whaley takes over the reigns of the draft for the first time. "I think they've got a head coach with a plan. He knows how he wants to play", said Polian. "He knows the kind of players that he wants to execute that plan and as long as they stay with that and make good business decisions with who they resign and get people that fit his mold they will be fine.", continued Polian.
-Quote of the day came from Tight End prospect Eric Ebron from North Carolina. He's a play maker at 6-foot-4, 250 pounds. Just ask him. "I am very fast and very different", said Ebron. "I play the tight end role like no one else.". He could be an option for the Bills with the 9th overall pick especially with the uncertainty around the status of pending free agent Scott Chandler.
-Former Canisius High School star and Penn State Guard John Urschel was a bit more modest. Urschel turned heads not only on the Nittany Lions offensive line, but also in the class room at Penn State. He graduated with a double masters in Mathematics but is here in Indy trying to concentrate on a life in the NFL. "It's a common misconception that to be a pro football player that you just have to be athletic. You have to be intelligent as well. Especially at the offensive line position", said Urschel. "There are a lot of mental things that go into this game that kids just don't understand when they started playing the game at a young age".