- Mike Reiss, ESPN New England Patriots reporter
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INDIANAPOLIS -- Some afternoon quick hits, with a New England twist, from Day 2 of the NFL combine:
1. BC's Pantale recovered from broken foot; excited for combine. Boston College tight end Chris Pantale said he measured 6-foot-5 "and some change" while weighing 254 pounds. Pantale, who projects as a later-round pick, hoped to be a little heavier but he wasn't discouraged. He touched on his recovery from a broken foot, saying: "I feel great. I feel healthy. My foot hasn't limited me in any way during my training. I've been training for two months now, so I feel good and confident with everything I'm going into today and tomorrow. I'm excited for the opportunity to prove myself amongst the best tight ends in the country here."
2. More than 800 media credentials issued. One of the differences between this year's combine and past years is the overflowing number of media members on hand. An NFL official noted the number exceeded 800, which is an all-time high. In the area outside the media center, there is a full radio row -- a smaller version of what one might see at the Super Bowl -- while ESPN, NBC and others have television-type setups.
3. Pete Carroll on Armond Armstead. Former Southern Cal coach Pete Carroll had high praise for Armond Armstead, the first-year Patriots defensive lineman who played for him with the Trojans. He called him a "great kid" and added that when he was recruited, he was viewed as a "high-round" draft choice at that time (first- or second-round type). He was often used as a defensive end over the tight end at USC.
4. Tavon Austin has studied Wes Welker. If the Patriots lose Wes Welker to free agency this offseason, the team may look to the draft to replace their Pro Bowl slot receiver. No player has drawn more comparisons to Welker than West Virginia's Tavon Austin, who checked in at 5-foot-8 and 174 pounds here at the combine. The physical similarities are apparent: Both players possess elite quickness and change-of-direction skills, and they also happened to play under Dana Holgorsen during college. Austin spoke to reporters on Friday and mentioned Welker as a player who he molds his game after. "He kind of taught me some of the things [Welker's] doing. I've seen a lot of film on [him]."
INDIANAPOLIS -- Some afternoon quick hits, with a New England twist, from Day 2 of the NFL combine:1. BC's Pantale recovered from broken foot; excited for combine.