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Scout.com's Live Combine Blog

By Ed Thompson

Scout.com Senior NFL Analyst

Posted Feb 21, 2008

Scout.com is on site at the NFL Scouting Combine, gathering the information you'll want to know as players and coaches talk to the media. Check back frequently to keep up on who's currently in the media room in Indianapolis and what they're saying.

INDIANAPOLIS -- Check in throughout the day for our live updates that will put you inside the media room as the players and coaches talk to the media.

Click here for more information on your favorite team

Click here for our live free agency blog

1:40- During his morning press conference, Bears head coach Lovie Smith addressed the issue of whether he's prepared to replace LB Lance Briggs. "Well, just like I said with Bernard [berrian]. My entire time in Chicago, I've been with Lance Briggs. He's been an All-Pro player for us. How many teams would like to see an All-Pro go somewhere else? So I'm optimistic. My glass is half-full always, so hopefully that will be the case. I know we've made statements, and we realize when you have a player out there like Lance, a lot of teams want him. We're one of them that do."

He also had this to say about whether or not Cedric Benson is still his No. 1 running back on the team's depth chart. "Right now, it would be hard for me to say many guys are No. 1 at their position. You open everything up. I would like for all of our players to think that they're No. 1 coming in. Again, Cedric, we know what he was able to do. Adrian Peterson was productive and finished the season out strong, and I still think Garrett Wolfe has a bright future ahead of him."

1:00- Jerome Felton out of Furman was one of the first running backs brought into the media room. Born in West Germany since his father was in the military, he's maintained a high emphasis on his studies, earning All-Conference academic honors four times. He's excited about his opportunity to compete against the nation's top running backs since he didn't get much exposure at Furman. "It puts us on an even playing field," he said.

12:35- New York Jets head coach Eric Mangini addressed the media this morning, saying that he hasn't talked to WR Laveranues Coles since his comments about the Jets lying to him, but he plans to sit down with the player and talk about the state of the franchise very soon.

Mangini talked a bit about the risk involved in big free agent signings, saying that it's similar to selecting a high draft pick chemistry is important.

According to Mangini, LB Jonathan Vilma is rehabbing like he does everything all out. He wasn't sure if Vilma would definitely be a starter in 2008 due to scheme issues and the injury. He said a lot will be determined from the point of OTAs and on.

Mangini noted that there aren't necessarily a smaller pool of specific linebacker-to-end prospects in the draft because there are different styles of 3-4. Certain schemes like Baltimore and Dallas have down linemen to the point where the 3-4 is almost a misnomer.

12:20- Michigan offensive tackle Jake Long drew a huge crowd during his press conference. He measured in at 6'7 and 313 pounds. Long talked about returning for his senior year and how it helped his development. "I think I'm smarter identifying the defenses. I worked on the little things in my pass pro and the run game." He said he will be doing a full workout on Saturday.

11:48- Offensive guard Robert Felton out of Arkansas said he's been training in New Jersey and "is ready to get this over with, run some good times." He was very upbeat during his entire session with the media. And he said he measured in at 6035 and 315 pounds. "That was my target weight, so I was happy." He believes his biggest strengths are his footwork and physical style of play. "Playing at Arkansas, you definitely have to be physical," he said.

11:07 - Steelers Director of Football Operations Kevin Colbert talked about the team putting the Transition Tag on Max Starks as insurance as they feel that Alan Faneca is going to draw offers as an unrestricted free agent that they believe will be hard for the club to match.

10:48 a.m. - Branden Albert, guard from the University of Virginia was the first player to meet the media. He measured in at 6'5 1/2 and 309 pounds. He believes he can play guard or tackle at the next level, and although he would feel most comfortable at guard, he said he'll be glad to play either position at the next level. Albert believes that the pro-style offense he played in under Al Groh will help him make the transition to the pros much easier.

Albert believes that his character sets him apart, as Groh emphasized the importance of good character with his players.

The offensive lineman said that his pad level is the one thing he needs to work on. And his decision to come out early was based on his evaluation of the 2008 guard class, believing that he would be rated highly.

As a teammate of DE Chris Long, he was asked what it's like to work against him and his overall opinion of him. Albert replied that anyone blocking him at the next level "is in for a long day


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