From the Press Box—Let's Destroy Some Early Combine Noise

Killjoy Garda punches some holes in the popular buzz emanating from Indianapolis.

It's Combine Time! Also known as 'Silly Season' and we would also accept 'the Underwear Olympiad'.

We're just getting started in Indianapolis—well 'we' meaning everyone watching, I'm not actually there this year—and the nonsense is flying fast a furious.

Prospects are already moving up boards and we haven't even seen them on the field

So, me being the stick in the mud that I am, I'm going to pop some nonsense already bouncing around the interwebs and among media folk.

Let's have some fun.

Matt Barkley is rocketing up draft boards!

Apparently, Barkley killed it at his press conference today. He pretty much had to given he won't be throwing this weekend due to continued issues with his shoulder.

That said, no, he's not moving up draft boards because he handled the media.

OK maybe he's moving up media boards, but likely he isn't moving much for teams.

Listen, this guy is from USC and while it's debatable whether that school can produce a worthwhile quarterback, one thing they do is prep you for the media.

A quarterback at the University of Southern California lives in a city that breathes media and dealing with it. USC has, for many years, been THE football school (and franchise since they lack one).

The press is there all the time, all over these kids.

They learn to handle the attention very, very quickly.

You know what would be a story? If Barkley was terrible with the media.

Now he could move up via interviews with teams, but I'll be honest—even then be careful. QBs coming out of USC are smart (football wise) and good in a room.

So even then, take it with a grain of salt.


Alex Smith isn't going anywhere (probably) and certainly not being cut. The Vikings don't intend to trade Percy Harvin (only by accident). Darrelle Revis is absolutely in the Jets' plans in 2013.

I love absolutes.

I mean, how could you not, right? Such sure things.

Of course, what can any of these coaches and GMs really say but boilerplate 'we love him' statements?

Anything else and they tip their hand both to the player and other teams.

Harvin will absolutely be traded if the right deal comes along, and you can bet the right deal isn't quite as steep as we imagine it.

Smith can completely end up elsewhere, though I believe Harbaugh when he says the guy won't be cut. He's under contract, they should get a return on him.

That said, I don't believe 99% of what comes out of the mouths of GMs and coaches this week.

I will say Jim Harbaugh's Judge Judy/Ronald Reagan trust monologue is the greatest moment in Combine presser history.

We learned a lot about....

I guess this is attached to the "Matt Barkley" section but anyone touting that these players changed their opinion by standing up in front of the media is blinded by the mics.

Really, the only time this really comes into play is when a player has massive questions about him—often off the field issues. Ryan Mallett was a guy who helped his cause a few years back while Janoris Jenkins did a great job of making his case last year.

That hasn't happened yet this year—Manti Te'o won't talk until Saturday.

And even then, all we'll really learn a bit about Te'o is how he handles the media. Ultimately, we won't see where he makes an impact—in the interview room with teams.

So, no, we didn't really learn anything new in the many, many press conferences we saw.

That's it for now. Saturday morning I will be hosting a Google Hangout with beat writers from the Combine—follow me on twitter (@andrew_garda) and I'll let you know where it's at.

I did do a brief guest appearance with Lance Zierlein to talk Detroit Lions, which you can check out below.

I'll touch base at some point over the weekend and early next week especially if Te'o's girlfriend shows up.

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Comments (3)

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razor's picture

February 23, 2013 at 09:08 am

If I was Alex Smith there's no way I would even touch a football again in SF. I tell coach JH to GFY!

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MarkinMadison's picture

February 23, 2013 at 11:50 am

Dude gets benched. His backup leads the team to the Super Bowl. And you want him to pull a Carson Palmer. C'mon man. You're smarter than that.

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imfubared's picture

March 01, 2013 at 01:54 pm

Early on I had him AS the achiles heel of this team and I believe the coaches felt the same. He kicked his own ass in the 2011 playoff loss at home. They never forgave him.

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