Nick's Notes: Saturday
Saturday, February 23, 2008
-It was a busy day here again today, but a little bit of a breather after yesterday’s marathon session. Today was the day for defensive linemen and linebackers so there was plenty of players of interest to the Rams in the house today.
-First, I would be remiss if I didn’t at least mention something I meant to get in yesterday. If you want a good laugh, take a look at Arkansas running back Felix Jones next to comedian Dave Chappelle. These two don’t just look alike; it’s possible they are the same person. I couldn’t help but think of some of the best clips from Chappelle’s show when Jones was addressing the media on Friday.
-Anyway, on to today’s festivities.
-For those that want to know what kind of guy Billy Devaney, the Rams new Executive Vice President of Player Personnel, is just look no further than this anecdote. A scribe in attendance at Devaney’s media briefing Friday asked him a number of “logistical” questions. In other words, the reporter wanted to know specific dates and deadlines for certain aspects of free agency. Why he had to ask Devaney remains in question, but Devaney calmly answered the questions without so much as a dirty look. Good enough, right? Well, apparently Devaney went to his hotel last night, looked up his answers to those logistical questions and realized he’d made a mistake. Devaney returned to the media room today, sought out the reporter and gave him the correct information. He didn’t have to do that, but it’s reassuring to know the guy making the decisions on player personnel cares enough to make sure that even when he doesn’t have the right answer he will go and find the right one and admit an error.
-Sometimes personnel guys will talk about how a player looks good “getting off the bus.” In other words, the player looks the part. Well, if God was going to create a player to play defensive end, I’m sure he’d look something like Miami defensive end Calais Campbell. Campbell is 6’8, 280 pounds and a good athlete. Of course, Campbell is a bit raw and has a long way to go to dominate, but he might have the highest ceiling of anyone at the combine. For that reason alone, he will go in the first two rounds in April.
-LSU defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey is in Indianapolis after all. Early reports had him missing because of a death in the family. But Dorsey is here and expected to participate. He did not address the media Saturday, but will be available on Sunday. Look for a feature story on the top ranked defensive tackle in this year’s draft tomorrow.
-Virginia defensive end Chris Long did address the media and I have to say, if I wasn’t already sold on him before, I am now. The kid is poised, well spoken, funny and not full of clichés. That means little to fans and coaches, but reporters love it. Oh, by the way, the guy can play some football. Rumblings from the hallway say Long is growing on the Rams, too.
-Texas defensive tackle Frank Okam is massive, just large, large human being. Some have questioned his effort, but if he gets it together, he could be the next Keith Traylor/Grady Jackson type of nose tackle in the NFL.
-Oklahoma linebacker Curtis Lofton told me that he feels overlooked by people around the country who gave all of the attention to the likes of Penn State ’s Dan Connor this season. Lofton is a productive player who I think will be outstanding at the NFL level and he is going to forever play with a chip on his shoulder because of his perceived slights.
-Illinois linebacker J Leman is a great quote and a super productive player. His lack of athleticism will keep him out of the upper echelon, but he’s one of those players who was so productive in college that there’s an excellent chance he will prove some people wrong when he gets his shot.
-The Rams are working toward completing their staff as coach Scott Linehan and Co. are meeting with a few potential assistant strength and conditioning coaches this weekend. Something could be done within a few days.
-Tackle Orlando Pace is recovering well and Linehan says he sees Pace is fully committed to getting back to form.
-Defensive end Leonard Little is coming to St. Louis next week to meet with team doctors. Early indications close to Little say he is coming along great in his recovery from toe surgery. Just how well he’s coming along could make a difference in his future with the team and potential contract restructure.
-USC defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis is as engaging as ever. He just met with the media and was asked what the strangest question he’s been asked by a team so far. He said a team asked him what he would change about himself, not as a player but as a person. His response: “I’m not sure I’d change anything about myself. I kind of like myself.” Lots of people like Ellis, including the Rams and he continues to elbow his way up draft boards everywhere.
-The Bears re-signed quarterback Rex Grossman. Which brings up an important question…Why?
-That’s all for today. One more day tomorrow with defensive backs in the house and we’ll get to know Mr. Dorsey a little bit.