INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A look back at Day Two of the NFL Scouting Combine media access at the Indiana Convention Center…
Del Rio "appreciative" of new contract with Raiders
Oakland Raiders Head Coach Jack Del Rio recently signed a new four-year contract, with Raiders Owner Mark Davis "tearing up" the original deal to bring him to the Bay Area.
"That was just more of just MD (Mark Davis) following through and being a man of his word," Del Rio said. "When we talked about the vision I had for the franchise and the possibility of joining him as his head coach, there were several things that I laid out that I thought were imperative – facility upgrades and things like this. He's been very, very generous and supportive.
Del Rio also said that the original contract was not what one might expect to see for an experienced head coach.
"I bet on me on the contract," Del Rio said. "It wasn't a very good contract to start with, but it was an opportunity and I bet on our ability to get this thing turned around, and I feel like we have.
"I knew I was signing a deal that was less than maybe what a guy with nine years of head coaching experience would deserve. Throughout life (there are) many moments when you find the ability to humble yourself and just keep your head down and keep working hard, then that side of it usually takes care of itself."
Colts leadership communicating well early
The Indianapolis Colts have a new general manager in Chris Ballard, and the head coach he inherited says the early communication at the top of the organization is strong.
"It's all good," Colts Head Coach Chuck Pagano said. "We're off to a great start. We have one vision, we have one goal, like-minded. The entire organization is like-minded.
"I think communication is outstanding, that's obviously huge."
Ryan Grigson was fired as the Colts' general manager in late January after taking over the post in 2012. Last January Grigson and Pagano received contract extensions through the 2019 season.
Pagano praised Grigson while looking forward to future in Indianapolis.
"I have all the respect in the world for Ryan (Grigson)," Pagano said. "Ryan and I shared a ton of great moments, a ton of great wins.
"I'm grateful to be here, I'm grateful to be the head football coach and have another opportunity to get this organization and get our franchise to where it needs to be."
McCaffrey excited to show his versatility
Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey was the runner-up for the 2015 Heisman Trophy, mainly for his ability in the backfield.
But it could be his all-around ability that could make him standout to NFL teams this week, including special teams.
"I think there's just a lot of big plays open in the return game and you see special teams have such an impact on the game today," McCaffrey said. "A lot of times it gets taken for granted. Anytime I can have the ball in my hands, I feel like I can do something dangerous. That's really why I love the return game because there's so much space in front of you and there's just another opportunity to make a play."
McCaffrey had one kickoff return for a touchdown and one punt return for a score in the 2015 season with Stanford.
During his 2015 campaign, McCaffrey rushed for 2,019 yards with six rushing touchdowns, but also caught 45 passes for 645 yards and five receiving scores.
"It's something I pride myself on, being extremely versatile," McCaffrey said. "I feel like I can do that stuff. To show coaches I can play running back, I can play receiver, I can do all the return game stuff, is important to me."
NCAA career yardage record-holder looking for mismatches
San Diego State running back Donnel Pumphrey holds the FBS record for career rushing yardage, but at 5-feet-9 and 170 pounds, he understands that mismatches will be key for his success at the next level.
"I'm able to be very versatile, I'm able to catch the ball out of the backfield," Pumphrey said. "I'll be able to create a big mismatch in the game, there will most likely be linebackers and safeties on me.
"So if I'm able to make that a mismatch I'll probably fit very well in the NFL."
His experience in Indianapolis held a few surprises, especially during the medical exam portion when each NFL team doctor has an opportunity to poke and prod any question-mark areas.
"As a kid I did not think the combine would be like this," Pumphrey said. "The whole medical process – I went five hours to get one X-ray on my big toe, so that was one of the craziest things I experienced."
As for the FBS rushing record, Pumphrey said that it was a classic team effort.
"Those guys, they wanted it more than I wanted it and so did the coaching staff," Pumphrey said. "(Head) Coach (Rocky) Long said that if it took 60 carries that last game he was going to make sure I got that record."
Pumphrey finished his career with the Aztecs with 6,405 yards, ahead of Wisconsin's Ron Dayne. The former Badger's total did not include bowl games, which NCAA statistics did not recognize for season totals until 2002.
"It's truly a blessing to even be here and to even have that record," Pumphrey said.
Robinson attacking past head-on
For one of the top offensive line prospects in the 2017 draft class, tackle Cam Robinson from Alabama, the future could be bright in the NFL.
But first, he must address the past in each interview with NFL teams, including an incident before last football season when he was arrested for a misdemeanor charge of carrying a weapon in the presence of narcotics. He was also charged with felony possession of stolen firearms.
The district attorney decided not to prosecute.
"We address the elephant in the room first, which is the incident I got in last summer," Robinson said. "I explain it to them, I tell them what happened, exactly what happened. I'm 100 percent truthful with them and we move on and we talk ball from there.
"I think it's well documented."
The incident happened in May of 2016, but his goal is to make sure there is more to Cam Robinson than an arrest.
"First and foremost I wanted them to understand that I didn't want to let the incident define me as a person," Robinson said. "That's not who I am as a man. I respect myself and I respect my family and the university at the time and all my teammates, I respect them way more than to ever let anything like that happen again. I've put that past me, definitely learned from it."
When asked if he was the best tackle available in the 2017 NFL Draft, Robinson's answer was a little simpler.
"Definitely. Next question."