NFL combine: Latest news, notes as team personnel addresses media
Throughout the first two days of the NFL Scouting Combine, coaches and general managers will be made available to the media to answer questions about impending roster moves and expectations for the upcoming season.
This is really the first opportunity that team personnel can address what they saw from their squads last year and what roster additions need to be made as free agency and the NFL draft loom on the horizon.
Here’s a roundup of the biggest news from the team personnel at the combine.
• General manager Steve Keim believes that running back Andre Ellington can still make an impact on the offense, but said he is ready to move on if Ellington can’t stay healthy, reports Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic. Once the starter in Arizona, Ellington has missed 10 games each of the last two seasons.
• Keim and head coach Bruce Arians have spent significant time talking about eventually finding a replacement for 36-year-old quarterback Carson Palmer, Arians told NFL.com. The team feels Palmer has at least two seasons left, which may delay their drafting of a quarterback.
• Defensive end Mario Williams told ESPN’s Josina Anderson he is willing to remain with the team. Williams has been rumored as a cut due to his high salary and complaints about the team’s defensive scheme. “I love my team. I love my teammates. Everything has been fine,” Williams said. “It’s just a matter of if there can be a better understanding of being able to do what we do..at least meet half way. That’s all, meet halfway.”
• Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune reports that the team is currently negotiating a long-term contract with wide receiver Alshon Jeffery. The team could also use their franchise tag on the receiver.
• Head coach John Fox said Wednesday that he thinks drafting players who will contribute to “team speed and explosion” will aid the team in making plays, according to NFL.com.
• Coach Hue Jackson made it clear that Johnny Manziel’s future does not include a spot on the Browns roster. When asked about the troubled quarterback, Jackson said that the franchise would not tolerate his kind of behavior moving forward.
Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports that coach Gary Kubiak believes quarterback Brock Osweiler has a bright future and wants him to be with the team moving forward.
• Kubiak also said he would like the Broncos to use the draft to improve the offensive line, according to NFL.com.
Los Angeles Rams
• Vincent Bonsignore of the Los Angeles Daily News reports that the Rams plan to have at least one new quarterback on the roster when camp starts. It is possible that they team will bring in two new quarterback this season.
• Coach Jack Del Rio said that he is in favor of instant replay being expanded to every play on the field.
• Scott Bair of CSNCalifornia.com reports that Del Rio made it clear that improving his team’s secondary is a top priority.
• Jeremy Fowler of ESPN reports that Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert believes linebacker Lawrence Timmons is very valuable and will “certainly be back” for 2016.
San Francisco 49ers
• 49ers general manager Trent Baalke expects quarterback Colin Kaepernick to be with the team on April 1, reports Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle. Kaepernick is due to earn $11.9 million on that date.
• Despite the apparent commitment to Kaepernick, the Baalke also likes North Dakota State quarterback Carson Wentz, who Scout ranks as the No. 18 draft prospect and the No. 3 quarterback. The 49ers have the No. 7 pick in the draft.
“[Wentz is] a good football player,” Baalke said. “He’s got the stature you're looking for. He’s got the intelligence you're looking for. There are so many positives to draw from.”
• Running back Carlos Hyde has spent the offseason working out with Colts running back Frank Gore in Miami, Branch reports. He is still recovering from surgery to repair a stress fracture in his foot.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
• Coach Dirk Koetter said that he is looking to model his team after the Carolina Panthers, reports Jonathan Jones of the Charlotte Observer. He believes that the patience Carolina has shown with its coaches is a good quality.
• Koetter has been particularly impressed by the players at the combine from Ohio State, Clemson and Alabama.
“Huge, huge, talent on those football teams. I mean really, really, impressive,” Koetter said, according to NFL.com. “There are a lot of guys on that Ohio State team that are definitely going to have long careers in the NFL.”
• General manager Jason Licht said he has been able to focus on scouting more positions this offseason now that Jameis Winston has solidified himself in the quarterback position.
• Coach Mike Mularkey said that quarterback Marcus Mariota will be expected to run more in the offense next year and that the coaching staff has already design running plays for him.
• Coach Jay Gruden is confident that quarterback Kirk Cousins will be back next season, whether he signs a long term deal of the team uses the franchise tag, reports Mike Jones of the Washington Post.