2011 Senior Bowl: Wednesday Daily News and Notes

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After another long day, one that will be my last here Live, at the Senior Bowl, I got a great scoop that will hopefully lead to a great column in the future.

I would wager to say that one neighborhood anywhere has had two Top 10 NFL Draft picks. But if Nick Fairley goes number one, it will be for sure a first. But what if that neighbor is Jamarcus Russell? Will that impact his stock? We'll see. That and more here in our Daily Notes.

Cab Driver Scoop

Getting a ride to practice today, I called a cab service of a guy I used before. His name was Shelton, from Royalty Taxi Service, and he was a fair enough guy. However, I found out quickly that'd I'd like to call his taxi much more often.

-First off, he asked me about Nick Fairley and what I thought of him. We went on for a little while, and then he brought up that we'd be passing his house soon. That caught me a bit off guard, but as we drove past it, he pointed a few houses down....to JaMarcus Russell's house.

-He said that Fairley and JaMarcus went to the same high school with his son, who was killed in a driveby shooting, and all three were best of friends. Actually, his wife is JaMarcus Russell's godmother.

-He said that JaMarcus Russell has been in contact with the Miami Dolphins all season and and is under the impression that should get a tryout and a roster spot next year.

-He said that after Fairley had issues with academics in college, he looked to JaMarcus for advice (somewhat ironically funny), and that the two still stay in touch and both still visit back home.

-Now is this a good thing for Nick Fairley's draft stock? Probably not, and he'll probably hope no NFL scouts get my drive. Either way, I'm under the impression that I'll be interviewing both VERY soon, along with over 100 other interviews coming to the site.

Team Observations

San Diego Chargers - For sure the most notable one that I saw, Chargers front office guy Randy Mueller was on the field talking to Ryan Kerrigan, and the team was also heavily talking to Brooks Reed. Shaun Phillips's days could be numbered

Philadelphia Eagles - The Eagles went hard after the offensive tackles on North, having a scout talk to both Gabe Carimi and Anthony Castanzo. They obviously need help on the offensive line, both could be good fits there. Also, they were talking to Jarvis Jenkins for a long while.

New York Jets - They had two scouts double teaming Ryan Kerrigan with questions and asking him to draw things. They seemed very interested, and should be more interested when he plays more linebacker tomorrow.

San Francisco 49ers - They were speaking with Von Miller, who would be a perfect fit if he makes it to them on draft day.

Cleveland Browns - They spoke with Colin McCarthy the most and even again in the meeting rooms, and he did have a big day today. Also, Greg Jones and new addition Jock Sanders was talked to a lot on the field.

New Orleans Saints - Quinton Carter was the focus of their on the field action today, and he could be a good fit to play opposite Malcolm Jenkins at safety.

Carolina Panthers - They were talking to North Carolina safety Da'Norris Searcy for a VERY long time today, and he could be a favorite target of there in the middle rounds.

Oakland Raiders - They spoke with Jalil Brown for a bit, but I saw a Raiders scout with Cedric Thornton  for a good ten minutes on the field. He's a good athlete, raw, with baggage: Perfect for Oakland.

Jacksonville Jaguars: They talked to two running backs in Owen Marecic and Kendall Hunter. Hunter had a great day, and if he's there late in the draft, I think he could be a good third back to this mix. At 5'7, 199, he's built similarly to Maurice Jones-Drew.

Baltimore Ravens- Vincent Newsome, I'm guessing a close relative of GM Ozzie Newsome, was watching the offensive linemen very closely all day (I was standing next to him much of the day) and after practice he went right for Clint Boling. He'd fit well on that team, I think he makes a lot of sense in the 2nd-3rd round.

Press Conference

-Coach Chan Gailey was again very quotable today, and had some good things to day about a few guys. He said about Phil Taylor that "he is a FORCE.". When asked if Ahmad Black could hold up in the NFL, he said "he has the talent to do it" and that he's a possible cornerback. He spoke of Danny Watkins that his age is not an issue and that he's "done an excellent job this week". He said that Kelvin Sheppard "has really taken charge of the defense, calling out plays, and his instincts are as good as anyone here". Some high praise for one of the better linebackers here. He also said that Sam Acho may NEED to be a linebacker because he questions his physical play, and of Brooks Reed he said "His motor is amazing...he's going to play somewhere next year."

-Coach Marvin Lewis had a few good things to say, but the most important part was that Jeremy Beal and Ryan Kerrigan both could play linebacker and both will play it more tomorrow. He also talked about how the scouts have liked to see the North offensive tackles (Nate Solder, Gabe Carimi, and Anthony Castanzo) at different positions on the line, saying that they are "like sponges" and are "eager, hungry to learn."

-Some notes on the players that spoke were that Christian Ponder said that he will NOT be throwing at the combine and will wait until his Pro Day, which I think is a bit of a mistake. Also, Cameron Jordan said that "Tyson [Alualu] was a leader by example, I am a leader by voice", which has been obvious this week, even if he has been a bit outspoken, he a very personable guy. Also, Vincent Brown said that he compares his game to and watches a lot of Greg Jennings, who I heard broke his leg and scored a touchdown?

Other Notes

-I spoke briefly with a scout walking back to my hotel, and he had two interesting points to make. One was that Nate Solder was probably behind the other tackles on the North Squad (Gabe Carimi and Anthony Castanzo) because he had an extra 2 months off, while those two guys were at bowl games. Also, he pointed out that some teams like Baltimore or New York (Jets) could use Phil Taylor as a 5-technique. I don't like either guy that much, but both are very valid points.

-Most scouts were packing up and leaving today, so I'd imagine tomorrow will be near dead and by the walk-through day on Friday, not much else will be going on outside of the field.

-There were a lot of fans today hogging up the fence area for us scouts, and most of them were either Florida State fans or Alabama fans, both looking for autographs. Greg McElroy was more than accommodating, great with the kids.

-In being here at the Senior Bowl, I can tell you that these players are run ragged here with meetings, practices, luncheons, more meetings, interviews, and more meetings, they don't have time to relax. Some said they haven't really eaten or slept properly all week. So, it really frustrates me to see some agents or financial planners hound these kids. I have met a few so far, and the ones I've still spoken to have gone at it the right way. But I could of swore I saw a financial advisor steal a phone number, and I saw one with Jarvis Jenkins who wouldn't let him talk to NFL scouts until he gave them his number and promised to meet. I've tried to ask a few quick questions, get a number for an interview if they'd like, and let them get to the scouts. Agents, take note: that's how you get respect.


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