NFL Combine Buzz Day Three
How would running back Maurice Clarett do in his 40-yard dash time? How would Auburn's Ronnie Brown do after declaring he would participate?
Clarett was very impressive in his media session earlier this week. Would he follow that up with an impressive "40" time?
The anticipation of the results of his runs turned in to disappointment, which was clear on his face from the media throng watching on an NFL Network feed of his performance. You almost didn't need to find out what the times were. You could just look at the expression on his face.
Clearly, Clarett needed to run in the 4.5's to start his climb on draft boards.
It didn't happen.
Unofficially, Clarett's times were 4.72 and 4.89.
What does he do now? How will he handle himself from here on out? Those questions will be answered in the coming weeks and days leading up to April's NFL Draft.
On the other hand, elation had to be the word of the day for Brown.
The expectation was that he probably would run in the 4.6's at best since he is widely recognized as a big back. What the expectations were and what actually happened were two different things.
Brown's official time using an electronic timer on his first run was a 4.48, which is an outstanding time for a back as big as he is. The question now is, how high will his time take him in the top-10 picks in the draft. Will he now be the first back taken? Will he be the first selection overall?
On the pro side, what many knew was going to happen started to become more of a reality on Saturday.
Many NFL observers expected veteran quarterback Jeff Garcia to sign with the Lions after being released by the Browns once free agency starts on March 2. Detroit head coach Steve Mariucci confirmed Saturday that Garcia has already taken a physical with the club and both parties have started to discuss a possible role on the team.
Mariucci made it clear that Joey Harrington will be the club's starting quarterback, but Garcia knows the offense well and could start if called upon.
"The idea was to surround him with talent and that talent is growing up with Joey," he said.
In other combine news of note, Tennessee Titans general manager Floyd Reese confirmed Saturday that quarterback Steve McNair had his contract restructured last Thursday to a more salary-cap friendly number. He believes McNair will play this season for the club and McNair is making progress coming back from sternum surgery.
Reese, when talking about the positions that he was watching during the workouts, said the offensive linemen were very impressive and looked to be in terrific shape as a whole.
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