Friday, February 20, 2009
Sizing up Stafford, Sanchez at combine
By Mike Sando
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
INDIANAPOLIS -- The perceived two best quarterbacks in the 2009 NFL draft are taking their turns under the bright lights in the combine media room at Lucas Oil Stadium.
A few notes and impressions from Georgia's Matt Stafford and USC's Mark Sanchez:
- Stafford will not throw or bench press at the combine. Sanchez plans to throw and said it would "kill him" to skip throwing drills because he's too competitive.
- Stafford ate salmon and asparagus during dinner with the Lions. Sanchez had a club sandwich with no mayo in his meeting with the team.
- Sanchez ate that sandwich at "The Ram" restaurant in downtown Indianapolis, but he mentioned no immediate plans to meet with the Rams' team. He planned to meet Friday night with the Browns, Dolphins, Seahawks and Jets. The Lions, 49ers, Chiefs, Vikings, Redskins, Bucs and Jaguars were on the schedule for Saturday.
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| ||Quarterbacks Matt Stafford and Mark Sanchez are excited to participate. |
- Both quarterbacks appeared comfortable with themselves. Their comments generally sounded more natural than coached, although they did hit on familiar themes. Sanchez used the term "gym rat" to describe himself, exactly what teams want to hear.
- Sanchez's sense of humor shined through. He compared the combine process to speed dating among multiple teams. He provided his own sound effects -- a buzzer -- and had reporters laughing through the manner in which he denied personal knowledge of speed dating. "A friend told me about it," he said.
- Stafford shot down concerns about his junior status by noting that he played in 39 college games, more than some seniors manage.
- Sanchez said the pro-style offense he ran at USC would help him make a smooth transition to the NFL.
- Scheduling conflicts have prevented Stafford from following through on plans to play golf with Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan. Stafford has yet to meet Ryan, but Saints quarterback Drew Brees did offer some advice: "Never lose your confidence."