Lawrence Timmons and LaMarr Woodley were two players the Steelers got a look at last year at the NFL Scouting Combine.
Combine ready to kick into overdrive
By Teresa Varley
Steelers coaches, scouts, trainers and then some, have descended upon Indianapolis for the annual NFL Scouting Combine. They will join the rest of the NFL world in evaluating over 330 college players who are eligible for this year's draft.
The combine initially began as an opportunity for players to be given physicals without them having to have individual physicals by all 32 teams.
It has grown considerably since its inception to the point where NFL Network provides live coverage of the workouts, something that actually has turned into a positive for the scouts and something football enthusiasts have come to love.
"The participation in recent years has gone way up," said Steelers director of football operations Kevin Colbert. "I hate to admit it, but the televising of the event with the NFL Network is probably the reason. At first we were concerned of that involvement, but now think it actually enhanced it."
The reason for that enhancement is it's an opportunity for players to show what they can do not just in front of the NFL contingent, but a nationwide audience watching at home. Nobody wants to be left out and now players who sometimes waited to workout until a Pro Day was held on their college campus are now taking part fully in the combine.
"It's kind of an unknown phenomenon," said Colbert. "I think really because it's a televised event now, the players' competitive spirit is raised, and they really go out there and perform. They think they're performing in front of a wider audience."
The combine gives the team's access to the players, with the main focus being extensive physicals that are done by medical staffs. But it's more than that. They are able to gain a greater insight into their physical standing – from height and weight to speed and strength along with their football skills. It also provides the chance to interview players, with each team permitted to talk to 60 players.
"The main purpose is to give us a chance to get a physical," Colbert explained. "The physical was the original purpose and still is the main purpose of the combine, the actual physical examination. Since then it's grown into the workouts, and after that it became to where we're now doing the psychological tests and interviews."
NFL Network Coverage:
Live Workouts: Hosted by Rich Eisen with NFL Network analysts Charles Davis, Mike Mayock and Rod Woodson providing daily reports on the prospects participating in the workouts. Airs live Saturday, Feb. 23 through Tuesday, Feb. 26 beginning at 11 a.m. ET each day.
NFL Total Access: NFL Total Access is on location from the Scouting Combine with news, analysis and interviews featuring host Fran Charles alongside analysts Steve Mariucci, Jamie Dukes, and reporter Adam Schefter. Airs live Thursday, Feb. 21 through Monday, Feb. 25 at 7:00 p.m. ET.
Press Conferences: Player, coach and general manager press conferences anchored by Paul Burmeister and Adam Schefter. Airs live Thursday, Feb. 21, and Friday, Feb. 22, at 2:30 p.m. ET as well as Saturday and Sunday at 2:00 p.m. ET.
2008 NFL Scouting Combine Events
Three cone drill
Position specific drills
NFL team interviews
The Wonderlic Test
The Cybex Test