NFL Combine notes: Weird state of mind in New York

MIKE GANTER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:04 PM ET

INDIANAPOLIS — We’re all for doing one’s due diligence when considering handing over the kind of sizable cheques a first-round selection brings with it, but we’re not sure this is the right kind of due diligence.

New York Giants GM Jerry Reese was asked on Saturday about Cam Newton and the off-field baggage he brings with him.

After starting out by saying he thought the Newton bashing was “Much to do about nothing” — Reese went on to say, “As far as I know, he’s a good kid. When you go to a school, you ask around and you find out, ‘How does he treat the custodian?’ ”

Right, because the way he treats the janitor, assuming he even realizes his school had a janitor, tells you what kind of man he is.

But the Giants aren’t the only New York football team looking silly here.

There was Rex Ryan on Thursday just after guaranteeing a Super Bowl for next season talking about the Jets’ approach to the draft.

‘I’m fortunate that we got an incredible scouting department and a GM that knows the blueprint for success. So I really lean on Mike Tannenbaum and Joey Clinkscales and Scott Cohen. With that, the coaches get involved. We have an incredible process that we go through. And we have great confidence. And we know we’re picking — I don’t know where we’re picking – I think we’re picking 30th or something like that.

“There’s going to be a few players taken before. But that’s a good thing. And we got to get used to picking here. But I feel great about the process.”

For the Jets’ sake, you have to hope Tannenbaum is taking this draft a little more seriously than Ryan.

Rams scout arrested

There are sad stories that leave you on the verge of tears and then there are sad stories like this one.

St. Louis Rams scout Luke Driscoll was arrested early Saturday morning for urinating on a building in downtown Indianapolis, site of the NFL Scouting Combine, according to reports.

Not only that but Driscoll, an 11-year member of the Rams scouting staff, exposed himself to a female police officer which added on a charge of public nudity to the public-intoxication charge.

The Rams are doing their own investigation of the charges, but in Roger Goodell’s NFL, this type of behaviour winds up costing a guy either in his wallet or with his job.

Wrong question, right answer

Kansas City Chiefs GM Scott Pioli seems to be the voice of reason so far at this combine when the questions of a labour lockout and the effect that would have on incoming rookies, team preparation or any one of the other 100 ways the question can be asked is raised.

“It’s one of those things I don’t spend time worrying about or thinking about,” Pioli said. “Whatever the rules are, there will be the same rules for 32 teams.”

For whatever reason, this seems to be the most popular question here — that and what is your height and weight? — despite the fact that the answer is redundant. It really doesn’t matter. There’s no advantage or disadvantage for any team here.

The league can lock the players out as of Friday and with only minute progress made between the league and the players’ union in meetings with a federally-appointed mediator — a lockout appears imminent.

All for the family

If you want to root for a guy to go high in the draft, you could do worse than getting behind former Alabama DL Marcell Dareus.

Dareus is one of seven kids in his family, the second to youngest from a single-parent family from Birmingham, Alabama — his dad died when he was six and his mother just passed away this past May.

Dareus, the 2010 BCS MVP in a game in which he knocked out Texas QB Colt McCoy with a big hit, is one of the top two or three rated defensive tackles in the draft — and coming out of Nick Saban’s Alabama program is as pro-ready as anyone at his position.

He has former NFL great Warren Sapp in his corner promoting him as the top tackle out there and a resume that speaks for itself.

But he warrants your support because of the reason he come out as a junior.

Dareus and his six siblings remain very tight. They’ve all come up the hard way with little in terms of creature comforts. Dareus intends to change that once he’s drafted.

And if that’s not enough, he’s got a solid sense of humour to sway you. Asked how he would describe himself as a football player, Dareus said, “I describe myself as a nice guy. I’m a real nice guy. Everybody I tackle I pretty much help ’em up. But I’m coming after you the next play.”


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