During the 2019 NFL Combine, talk of height, weight, 40-yard dash times and body fat percentages have percolated through the air inside of Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. However, NFL head coaches and general managers have taken to various podiums and microphones to formally begin talks regarding the upcoming season.
Head coach Dan Quinn has pledged to take a hands-on approach with defensive end Vic Beasley. The edge rusher has only ten sacks in the past two seasons and is approaching the fifth-year option on his rookie contract. The team has not made a public status update regarding Beasley’s deal, however these comments from Quinn may have shed some light inside the Falcons’ thought process:
“I’m very much looking forward to having a hands-on approach with him,” Quinn said at the NFL combine. “I told him by the end of the spring he’ll either love me or hate me, and I’m good with either of them but we’re going to put it in. He knows the work that it’s going to take to play really consistent, and I’m looking forward to seeing him do it.”
Also, Quinn said running back Devonta Freeman is excited to get back into the fold for the Falcons. After missing the majority of the 2018 season, the Falcons finished 27th in rushing. If the Falcons are unable to keep RB2 Tevin Coleman, expect the team to draft a running back late in the Draft or bring in an undrafted free agent.
Starting quarterback Cam Newton successfully undergone surgery to repair his injured throwing shoulder. While head coach Ron Rivera has stated several times that Newton is still leading the ‘Cats in Uptown Charlotte, he is looking for options should Newton miss all or portions of the 2019 season.
“I know the last few years, we have looked at taking a quarterback,” Rivera admitted Thursday. “Couple times, the guy that we liked got taken before we got a chance to (draft him). And the only reason you do it obviously is to increase your depth. We like who we have at our depth positions right now. We think both those guys (Taylor Heinicke and Kyle Allen) came in and played well, showed us that they are more than capable back ups. And again, we’re really pleased with Cam’s progress so far this offseason based on the reports I’m getting from Ryan Vermillion.”
Rivera on Eric Reid signing and the state of the secondary: pic.twitter.com/noD5Sv019x— Sheena Quick (@Sheena_Marie3) February 28, 2019
New Orleans Saints
Sean Payton was one of four head coaches that did not speak at the Combine. Bill Belichick, Jon Gruden and Mike Tomlin were the others. In addition, general manager Mickey Loomis did not speak to reporters in Indianapolis. However, instant replay was a hot topic so far this week.
“You don’t want to get me started on instant replay,” Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Arians said. “I think there are a lot of things that we can improve in our officiating. And I think it should be addressed soon.”
Any rule change would require a two-thirds vote (24 of the 32 owners) at the league’s owners’ meeting in March.
“We’d like to not have the play that happened in the New Orleans play,” Denver Broncos general manager John Elway said. “We are doing everything we can to try to eliminate those type plays. Now whether that’s through an additional official or though replay, we are still exploring all options.”
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
After a year working for CBS in a broadcast booth, new head coach Bruce Arians returned to the NFL Combine inspired and rejuvenated. He was pleased with conversations he’s had with wide receiver DeSean Jackson, as he mends a tattered relationship with the flashy and productive wide out and the organization. Arians loves to stretch defenses and it would seem to be plausible that Jackson would benefit right away from Arians’s new system.
In addition, the reclamation project of Jameis Winston is underway. The 25 year old signal caller has known Arians since the ninth grade, according to Bruce’s son Jake.
“There’s a few mechanical things. You can’t be Superman on every throw,” Arians said. “[Jameis Winston] can be, and when you have great ones, they think they can be, but you just have to pick and choose when you want to be Superman. I’ve known him since the ninth grade, I saw the talent. I didn’t really know the work ethic but he’s there at five o’clock in the morning so there’s no reason he can’t be really, really successful.”