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Friday Scouting Combine notebook


Browns General Manager Ray Farmer takes responsibility for texting scandal

Cleveland Browns General Manager Ray Farmer spoke with the media Thursday morning. Before taking questions, he apologized for his role in the texting scandal.

"I take full responsibility for myself and my actions," Farmer said. "There is a platform to have those conversations and to have those things talked about and discussed. I misplayed that platform, something I've learned from, something I'll be better at. I've corrected that mistake."

Farmer was accused of texting members of the coaching staff during game play, which is against league rules.

"I apologize to (Browns owner) Jimmy Haslam, our fans and our football staff," he said.

When asked if he knew it was against league rules, Farmer said, "People understand what the rules are. Sometimes, in my case I will tell you that it is not an excuse, but sometimes your emotions get the best of you at times."

Farmer said he is unaware what punishment from the NFL awaits.

Farmer also addressed the future of the Browns' quarterback position with Johnny Manziel in a rehabilitation program and the future of Brian Hoyer in Cleveland in question.

"I would tell you that a plan never ceases to exist," he said. "The easy way to say it is we are going to drive competition at every spot. It doesn't matter who is on our roster, who is not on our roster. The object is always to make the Cleveland Browns a better football team."

Chuck Pagano awaiting results of Patriots ball-deflation investigation

Colts Head Coach Chuck Pagano had a simple answer for reports that a Colts staff member might have tampered with deflated New England Patriots footballs in the AFC Championship Game.

"That's ludicrous," Pagano said. "There's an investigation that is going on. When the report comes out, we're all anticipating to see what's in that report and then we'll go from there. Our league does a great job in making sure that everybody does the right thing. Let's leave it at that.

"To be honest with you I had no idea until they started talking about it a day later. As a coach I'm trying to get a first down and get off the field, which we didn't do a very good job of."

Falcons Head Coach Dan Quinn, Florida defensive end Dante Fowler, Jr. connected

As the Seattle Seahawks' defensive coordinator the last two seasons, new Falcons head coach Dan Quinn understands the importance of pass rush to a successful defense.

He also understands one of the pass rushers available in this draft a little more than most.

Before running the defense in Seattle, Quinn was the defensive coordinator and defensive line coach at the University of Florida, working extensively in the recruitment and development of Dante Fowler, Jr.

"He's a terrific player; I've known him all the way through coming up," Quinn said. "He has that kind of versatility where he plays on his feet, he can play down, he plays inside, outside. I know that's the way they tried to feature him there (Florida)."

Quinn said seeing what the Florida staff saw in Fowler years ago come to light is rewarding.

"When you look at a player, you want to find out that vision of what that player can become, and sometimes the players don't even know that," Quinn said. "It's our job to pull it out of them, draw it out of them.

"Dante's turned out to be the player that we thought maybe he would have been three or four years ago, and now it is up to him to take the next step and develop."

Quotable from around the NFL Scouting Combine on Thursday:

  • Packers general manager Ted Thompson on why the football front office model works in Green Bay: "I think a lot of it goes back to the legacy of (former GM) Ron Wolf. He set the organization up when he was hired in 1992 a certain way so that football decisions would be made by football people, whether it be the facilities, whether it be money, whether it be any of that other sort of thing – it would be a football decision based on what's best for the football team. That turned the organization around; it put the organization in a better light. All of the sudden players from around the league could see the Packers put their money where their mouth is."
  • Southern California wide receiver Nelson Agholor on speaking with former college teammate and Jaguars receiver Marqise Lee about the pre-draft process: "He told me to have fun – prepare, but have fun. And be comfortable, be comfortable in my game, be comfortable in myself. That's something that when you get on a stage like this some guys kind of forget."
  • Oklahoma wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham on teams asking about off-field problems that got him kicked off the team at Missouri, forcing a transfer to Oklahoma: "All the decisions I made, I wish I could take it back. It's happened. I was young, I made mistakes, I understand that, and I just want to focus on one thing, and just look forward to this draft and being the best I can be."
  • Alabama quarterback Blake Sims on what he's learned with a personal quarterback coach: "My drop is very fast. Sometimes I get out of control and off balance. Private quarterback Coach (Ken) Mastrole had told me one time, 'Let's make your first three steps fast, and try to gather yourself in four and five,' and I think that's the best thing. Every time I work with that man, it's like something better that he always tells me that makes me even better that day."
  • Michigan wide receiver Devin Funchess on getting advice from former Michigan quarterback and Jaguars running back Denard Robinson: "He just told me to have fun with it. Keep a smile on my face and just go with the punches and make sure I stay focused throughout. I just talk to him a little bit, he's busy throughout the season, so I don't want to bug him a lot. I just talk to him a bit to see what's going on."
  • Alabama running back T.J. Yeldon, who mentioned the Jaguars as a team he had met with earlier in the week, on what he needs to show this week: "My speed. Come Saturday in the 40-time, we will see."
  • Nebraska running back Ameer Abdullah on running 30 yards or more at the end of drills at the Senior Bowl: "That's what it's about. You can't train differently than how you're going to play on Saturdays or Sunday. That's what the running back position is about. When you finish a drill, sprint 30 yards, because when you get in a game and you have to sprint 30 yards it won't be the first time you have to do it. It will be second nature and you won't be winded. That's something I learned from Ahman Green and a lot of guys that played at Nebraska before me."
  • Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon on missing the NCAA single-season rushing record by 41 yards: "To even be mentioned in the same sentence as Barry Sanders is an honor. That's a great person to be second to. A great player, phenomenal player. I was 40 yards away. It sucked a little bit, but it is what it is. It's standing there for someone else to break."
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