Morning notes from the combine here in INDY:

Hondo S. Carpenter

    1. Lions head coach Rod "SARGE" Marinelli had rave reviews for Joe Thomas and Drew Stanton. He confirmed what I first reported last night that they did meet last night. About Stanton he said, "I love that kid. He is a football player. If you can't see that that kid is all heart you don't know football." About Thomas he said, "I just think he is a star. He is everything you want in a tackle." Clearly Thomas is the front-runner for the Lions #1 pick.Â
    2. CMU's Dan Bazuin and Joe Staley are making a lot of noise. I did a radio show interview here in INDY this morning as well as one in Dallas about Staley. I have met him many times (along with Bazuin) and even had him on Hondo's House. He is a great kid and both of them are stars. If Bazuin is still on the board with the Lions #2 pick, I don't see them passing him up. Marinelli is meeting with him today and they love everything about him and his motor. Imagine CMU having two first round draft picks? Amazing.Â
    3. Jerry Jones the Cowboys owner today was very complimentary about Bill Parcells. He told me "what a fine coach, it was a real loss but we understood why he wanted to step aside and we are real happy with Wade Phillips." I wanted to say but didn't so keeping T.O. was worth losing Parcells?Â
    4. Washington head coach Joe Gibbs was in a very good mood. When we were talking in the hallway he was very talkative about Staley and Bazuin.Â
    5. Mike Martz told me "I really think that Thomas is that Orlando Pace type player and I think you can win with a kid like that. In my offense you have to protect Jon (Kitna) and he can do it. I know we have to address that issue, when is Millen and Marinelli's call."Â
    6. I just had a team official from the Browns come by and ask me about Drew. I told him that a lot of his mistakes were in the second half when he had to take risks to win games. He agreed and said, "I really like that kid. He is a football player that won't melt playing in Cleveland in December."Â
    7. As I was typing #6 a Texans official saw my MSU turtleneck and wanted to talk Drew. He also wanted to talk about Cliff Ryan. "I think Ryan could be a steal. You can tell he has suffered in the coaching side of things since you lost the DL coach to UM, but he can play." I let him know that I am close to Cliff and he is a great kid.Â
    8. I just asked Jerry Reese the GM of the Giants if he wishes Tom Coughlin his head coach would stop the verbal spatting with Tiki Barber and he said "oh yes, that is done, trust me."

    O.K. I have to go speak to a Head Coach that I will tell you about at my next update. I hope your all going crazy for Gameday and I will see you at the Brez tonight. 

    Don't forget my Dantonio and Tressel interviews are up and I am sure that you will enjoy them.

    THANKS FOR READING SPARTAN NATION
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