The NFL Scouting Combine is in full flux, the Collective Bargaining Agreement issue still lingers and the Vikings have a roster to build and improve this offseason. With all of that going on, I bet you have questions.
If so, you’ve come to the right place because the Monday Morning Mailbag has answers.
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If there was an award given out at the Scouting Combine for most entertaining interview, former Cal DE Cameron Jordan would win it hands down. He entered the media center at Lucas Oil Stadium on Saturday afternoon and by the time he left, everyone gathered around his podium was either shaking their head with amusement, laughing or both.
Cameron is the son of former Vikings TE Steve Jordan, the best TE in franchise history. So of course he gets a bunch of questions about being the son of a former NFL player and about potentially playing for the same team as his dad. As redundant as that must get, Cameron answers them all well and also with some humor.
“My dad was always trying to give me tips on how to be a tight end because that’s what he played,” Jordan said on Saturday. “He was just always giving me tips on how to beat a guy or control a guy and he’d give any tip that he can. I may listen to about 45 percent of it, but you know he gives me a lot of advice so I take it for what it is.”
With a big smile on his face following that answer, Jordan answered another question about what happens to the other 55% of the advice.
“He is my father, so I listen to most of the things he says but, yeah, 55 percent does slip through the ear and go out the other. He’d probably tell you the same thing.”
But that’s not all. Clearly a loquacious and happy-go-lucky type while off the field, Jordan was asked if he’s able to turn that off once he is on the field.
“If you see my film, I’m hitting people, I’m laying people out, and actually it’s sort of a switch because I still have the smile on but it’s for a different motive,” Jordan said. “It put the biggest smile on me to hit a quarterback and hear the wind come out of his chest. That puts my smile on me…when I hit a running back, you know, a running back could be 220 (pounds), he doesn’t have too much of a chance, so when I lay him out I put up a smile because I tell him I’m coming back next time, I’ll be there soon.”
As for Jordan on the field, he stands at 6-4 and weighs in at 287 pounds, which could make him a good fit in either a 3-4 scheme or the Vikings 4-3 alignment. He says he played all along the defensive line at Cal and feel comfortable playing anywhere.
“Initially when I came out I thought I would go to a 3-4 team,” Jordan explained. “But now I’ve played in a 4-3, I feel comfortable playing in a 4-3. I feel comfortable playing in a 3-4, two-gap situation and one-gap situation.
“I love to play football anywhere.”
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I spent a part of the early morning here on Day 3 of the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine watching the offensive linemen run the 40-yard dash and a couple of thoughts crossed my mind…
– The 40-yard dash is a standard test at the Combine and obviously its purpose is to help gauge an individuals straight away and high end speed. But when you think about it, there might not be any other position where straight line speed at a length of 40 yards means less than offensive line. When do you ever see an offensive linemen run 40 yards in a straight line? About the only time you see that is when Adrian Peterson is breaking away on a long TD run and the line is chasing him down the field to celebrate in the endzone.
But even given that, there is a practical reason for the coaches and scouts to time the offensive linemen in the 40-yard dash. It’s called the splits. There are stations set up at the 10-yard marker and the 20-yard marker of the 40-yard dash, and the purpose of those stations is to time each player to gauge quickness and speed in a smaller area. This is much more practical in assessing offensive linemen.
– On Friday the offensive linemen and TEs did the bench press. Syracuse C Ryan Bartholomew topped all lineman with 34 reps of the 225-pound bench press. For TEs, Michigan State’s Charlie Gantt and Tennessee’s Luke Stocker both recorded 27 reps.
UPDATE: Bartholomew continues to impress today by registering the top 40-yard dash time so far at 4.89 seconds.
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We are locked and loaded for Day 3 of the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine, where the action will go full-throttle on the field and here at the media center. Let’s go over what we can expect to see today…
– vikings.com Videographer Jordan Struck and I will focus on defensive linemen today in the media center. We will put together package of interviews with the players and post that to vikings.com this afternoon.
– Group 1 (PK, ST, OL), Group 2 (OL) and Group 3 (TEs) will be on the field going through timing stations and skill drills. This is basically what you see on TV when you turn on NFL Network during the Combine.
– Group 4 (QBs, WRs), Group 5 (QBs, WRs) and Group 6 (RBs) have an NFLPA meeting, psychological testing and interviews with teams.
– Group 7 (DL), Group 8 (DL) and Group 9 (LBs) will go through measurements, medical exams, a media session, psychological testing and interviews with teams.
– Group 10 (DBs) and Group 11 (DBs) will arrive in Indianapolis today and go through the orientation and registration processes.
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