Polian: Thumbs up for new combine venue
INDIANAPOLIS -- The scouting combine runs through Tuesday, but the media's four-day stretch is winding down as reporters and bloggers shuffle off to the airport. Some assistant coaches will follow as their groups finish their work.
Colts president Bill Polian said Lucas Oil Stadium has been a hit hosting the event for the first time.
The rubble from the imploded RCA Dome still stands between the new stadium and the convention center, meaning everybody had to step outside at least briefly to get here. In a year the buildings will be connected and executives, coaches, scouts and reporters of special stature staying at a number of downtown hotels won't need so much as a sweater for a walk to a workout or meeting.
"Everyone to a man or lady has said how much they enjoy this and how interesting and how exciting the building is," Polian said. "I have not talked at any length to the people who operate the combine. That will come at a later time with the competition committee. But in preliminary discussion it seems everything has gone fine."
Then, ESPN.com AFC East kingpin Tim Graham asked this poetic question: "Do you find that teams are wistful and miss that corridor where they had to walk past us?"
Said Polian to laughter: "No, I haven't. No one's mentioned that to me, no."
Those who wanted to avoid on-the-record conversations here have been able. Previously if you waited someone out long enough, there was a better than 90 perent chance he'd have to walk past you because of the way convention center traffic was funneled.
One thing he thought was clear from some excellent 40 times run by receivers is that Lucas Oil Stadium qualifies as a fast track.
Finally, while we talk venue, it seems the right spot to share the opening of Bill Belichick's 12-minute soliloquy that preceded the first question he fielded at his surprising podium session.
"Well, it's kind of interesting to be here at this stadium. As the combine has moved along, it's come a long way. I remember being at Arizona State. It was getting dark, standing out there, watching The Fridge do his vertical jump. That was quite a sight to see.
Of course, coming to The Dome, and now coming in here, it's amazing how the combine has grown at every turn, the media, the agents, the players, and the preparation for it. And all these guys who spend months preparing for it. So it's become quite an event."