What to watch as Texans' staff heads to Indy

February, 19, 2014
Feb 19
2:45
PM ET
This is the day when pretty much any flight going from any NFL city to Indianapolis will be packed with people heading to the combine.

The flight I'm currently on is no different. We've got Texans coaches, doctors, local media who cover the team and Houston-based agents. So far nobody's created a "Draft Johnny Football" sign to parade around first class, although there's still time. Someone could be crafting one in the back of the plane.

Here's a look at what the next few days will be like, including some notes:

Wednesday, Feb. 19
  • PK/ST/OL/TE medical pre-exam and X-rays, orientation, interviews

Note: As many of you likely know, the combine originated as a medical event -- a chance for teams to conduct individual examinations on players. It's an extremely grueling process for the participants that involves discussing just about every injury they've ever had.

Thursday, Feb. 20
  • PK/ST/OL/TE measurements, medical exams, media, interviews
  • QB/WR/RB medical pre-exam and X-rays, orientation, interviews

Note: The media portion of the combine contributes to subterfuge. What really matters in team's evaluations of players is how they do in team interviews and exams, but media interviews impact public perception and teams always hope their opponents believe perception over reality. Former Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel and former Missouri defensive end Michael Sam will draw the biggest crowds when their turns come.

Friday, Feb. 21
  • PK/ST workout; PK/ST/OL/TE bench press, psychological testing, interviews
  • QB/WR/RB measurements, medical exams, media, interviews
  • DL/LB medical pre-exam and X-rays, orientation, interviews

Note: A tight end of interest here is Oregon's Colt Lyerla. An arrest for cocaine possession in the fall is cause for concern, but here teams will have a chance to look him in the eye and try to assess whether he's past that.

Saturday, Feb. 22
  • OL/TE on-field workout (timing, stations, skill drills)
  • QB/WR/RB psychological testing, bench press, interviews
  • DL/LB measurements, medical exams, media, interviews
  • DB medical pre-exam and X-rays, orientation, interviews

Note: Offensive line on-field workouts start. Some scuttlebutt on the Texans' interest in offensive tackle Greg Robinson has surfaced since the Senior Bowl. The former Auburn player distinguished himself there and could be a top-five pick. The Texans do need help on the line -- that's probably the biggest offensive need outside quarterback.

Sunday, Feb. 23
  • QB/WR/RB on-field workout (timing, stations, skill drills)
  • DL/LB psychological testing, bench press, interviews
  • DB measurements, medical exams, media, interviews

Note: The Texans need a quarterback. Manziel won't throw, and neither will AJ McCarron. Former UCF quarterback Blake Bortles said on Twitter he will and is excited to do it. Former Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is also expected to throw. As I discussed yesterday, throwing at the combine is a risk. The players aren't familiar with their surroundings or their receivers and it's a stressful week for them as it is. The reward can be good, too. If you can put yourself through all that and still look accurate, teams will notice.

Monday, Feb. 24
  • DL/LB on-field workout (timing, stations, skill drills)
  • DB psychological testing, bench press, interviews

Note: Here's another area the Texans will monitor closely. Jadeveon Clowney is expected to do all the drills and he's expected to be very fast. Maybe not the 4.4-second 40-yard dash he thinks he can run, but anything under 4.6 would be impressive for the 275-pound player. Here we'll also see Sam, who recently revealed he is gay. Sam wants his evaluation to be all about football and that will be an interesting process for him. He is a better player with his hand on the ground as a defensive end, but the SEC co-defensive player of the year might be a little bit small to play the position in the NFL.

Tuesday, Feb. 25
  • DB on-field workout (timing, stations, skill drills)

Note: And we're done.

Tania Ganguli

ESPN Houston Texans reporter

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