Friday, February 24, 2012
Picking up leftover combine pieces
By Mike Reiss
INDIANAPOLIS -- A few leftovers from the first day of the NFL combine:
1. How Patriots turned the page. Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio, said the team is still cleaning up from the 2011 season, which includes a "player by player analysis, with strengths and weaknesses, kind of a summary of what the player is and what the player, in our opinion, his future is moving forward." At the same time, Caserio declared the mourning period from the Super Bowl loss over. "The way I look at it, it’s kind of like another game during the year – win or lose, the next day, ‘here’s what happened’ and then you move on to the next game. We don’t have a next game to move on to. This is the next game, sort of, that’s in town. That’s where we are. We were up and running the following week, in draft meetings with our scouting staff going through these prospects."
2. Igwenagu and UMass connection. As Jets coach Rex Ryan was in the middle of his Thursday news conference, saying he would no longer make any Super Bowl guarantees, Emil Igwenagu of UMass entered the media center for interviews. Igwenagu is one of the more versatile players at the combine, with experience at fullback, tailback, H-back and tight end. Yahoo! Sports' "Shutdown Corner" blog has more on Igwenagu and how UMass is showing up on NFL scouts' radar more than ever, thanks to the emergence of alums like Giants receiver Victor Cruz.
3. Patriots ties for late-round OL prospect. Late-round offensive line prospect Kelvin Beachum of SMU had Adrian Klemm as his position coach, calling him his mentor. Klemm was the first-ever draft choice in Bill Belichick's tenure as Patriots coach, a second-round pick out of Hawaii in 2000 who never became the stalwart the Patriots hoped. Much like Klemm, Beachum played tackle in college but is preparing to line up at guard in the NFL.