Seven tight ends walk into the room at the same time. That sounds a bit like a joke set-up in some ways, but it's the reality at the NFL combine where you're scrambling to not only conduct interviews or attend press conferences, but then also to transcribe those words into print. There's little time and lots of frenzy on a day like today, so it's hard to inject any of your own insights. With that said, at the end of the day, here's a few thoughts on the Combine, the Chiefs and the NFL:
*I will eat my words if the Chiefs somehow end up with him, and, of course, this has nothing to do with his on-field abilities, but I'll be sorely disappointed with the fifth pick overall if it's Dez Bryant written on the card read by Roger Goodell (or whoever announces such festivities). His press conference came off immature, ill focused and just nowhere near the character and readiness reflected in dozens of other interviews throughout the day. Of course, that has nothing to do with beating your man downfield, so...
More after the jump:*The health of tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Jermaine Gresham should not be a concern to any teams looking to draft them, according to statements given today at the NFL Combine. Both are expected to go in the early rounds of the draft.
*It's hard not to be impressed by several of the quarterbacks present here, but West Virginia's Jarrett Brown and Ole Miss' Jevan Snead are certainly two that impress.
*No way Russell Okung is not the real deal. That's a double negative, so I guess I could just say "Russell Okung is the real deal." Then again, that's less dramatic, so I stick with the first.
*For all the space missing in the Combine for interview room, you could actually run the 40 in the bathroom. Unrelated, and rather Peter King like statement I know, but if you were here, you'd be discussing it, too.
*I feel for Tim Tebow. His press conference was easily the most attended event of the day and had everyone scrambling, whether you're a high profile anchor on ESPN or a blogger for iwriteaboutfootballinmyparentsbasement.com. He was asked every typical question about his release, mechanics, footwork, position in the media, etc. and he handled everything with aplomb. He was cordial to those who came across aggressively and really holds himself well overall. After the conference, you could hear numerous reporters discussing his incredible demeanor and hoping he does well in the long run to silence his detractors.
*I asked some Tony Gonzalez related questions to Mike Smith, the Atlanta Falcons head coach, and he gave some great answers about his effect on the team. I'll post those tomorrow (since I'm finishing up today), but suffice to say, it makes you miss the leadership he brought to the Chiefs for so many years.
*There's no more prominent media observation here at my first combine than the difference between the good reporters and the bad ones. And there are certainly more bad ones than good. You see the same guys running from interview to interview asking the exact same two or three questions again and again. It's annoying and they're not even good questions in the first place. Some writers meander all day, talking about how they have to finish their blog post or featurette, as if writing 500 words was a difficulty that required a mental wrestling match of some sort. Oh, well, at least it's just good to be here.
*Being able to sit two feet from Scott Pioli and ask questions during and after the press conference, let me just say that, while I am indeed biased, there's a total feeling the team is in perfect hands. And hearing him discuss the current coaching staff... well, let me just say that I called our own Joel Thorman afterwards to debrief and he agreed from his own interactions with Pioli. Pioli exudes confidence, seems to know exactly what he's doing and gives you the idea that while it might take time, Chiefs nation will be set for a long time when he rights the ship.
Much more to come tomorrow when the defensive players arrive, including certain monsters that go by Suh and McCoy.