Winston looking to future, will throw at the Combine
The most crowded media session of the week came Friday afternoon when Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston stepped onto a podium inside the media center at Lucas Oil Stadium.
"This is about me moving forward and earning the trust of these 32 teams out there," Winston said in an opening statement. "By saying that, I'm a competitor and I know what I'm capable of doing, so I will be throwing tomorrow at the Combine."
Winston reportedly underwent extra examination for a shoulder issue at the Combine, but disputed the report, saying that the MRI he underwent Friday was just like every other player in Indianapolis.
Winston said that his baseball career is on hold as he concentrates on preparing for the 2015 NFL Draft.
"I'm a quarterback," Winston said. "Actually, this is the first time ever I've had an offseason to work on being a quarterback. I've been playing baseball, I was a pitcher. This is my first time having an offseason, and I love it. I love just putting everything to football. I'm a quarterback, this is what I do."
Winston was asked if the interview portion of the Combine was more important than the on-field aspect, considering his off-field troubles in the past.
"I believe everything that happens here is very important … because this is our first job interview," Winston said. "Of course I want to make a first impression because first impressions last a long time, but I also want to be about what I'm saying. I'm a young man, but now I'm going to the next level to take a grown man's position and that's important to me. Football is my passion. I've been doing this since I was young and I know the responsibilities I have to take upon when I'm going to the face of someone's franchise."
Fisher talks football inflation, instant replay, Los Angeles
St. Louis Rams head coach Jeff Fisher, a long-time member of the NFL's Competition Committee, addressed the New England Patriots' deflated football scandal.
"Every year we have Wilson come in and we discuss balls and discuss gauges, we discuss that," Fisher said.
The NFL investigation into the New England Patriots' football inflation levels during the AFC Championship Game is still pending.
"I would submit that we probably won't have any discussions until everything has been resolved at the league-office level," Fisher said.
Fisher was also asked about the committee addressing the possibility of expanded instant replay.
"There are a number of proposals this year, probably the largest number that I can remember with respect to instant replay," Fisher said. "A number of those proposals involve including penalties. That will all be discussed. We are scratching the surface right now; we will look at it in detail. To comment at this point is going to be very premature. That will probably be one of the major topics of discussion as we resume our meetings in Naples next week."
With the news of the Chargers and Raiders teaming up for a stadium complex in the Los Angeles area, the Rams – another team rumored to have stadium interests in Southern California – have not had any official response.
Fisher said that his focus throughout the rumors of the franchise's move has been on football.
"If I don't know anything, then someone asks me and I say I don't know anything, then I'm telling the truth," Fisher said. "My focus is on this year and our football team in St. Louis. And as things come up nearly on a daily basis right now, they're going to continue to change. Whatever happens happens. I love St. Louis, we have a great fan base, but we've got some work to do as we go through this process however it ends up. Our focus is on the 2015 Rams."
Carroll on psyche of organization after Super Bowl loss
Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said the organization has moved on from the Super Bowl loss to the New England Patriots, mainly because the league calendar requires it.
Even before the Super Bowl, Seahawks scouts and personnel people worked on this year's free agency and draft classes like every other team, and the coaches quickly caught up after the game.
"We are in a situation that is notable because the way our game finished, coming off a Super Bowl, all of those things, there are a lot of things for us to grow from and to learn from and we shared the experience with the world," Carroll said. "In that I feel there is a responsibility to really extend the message of accountability and that's getting to the truth of what happened and then being prepared to move on constructively and productively and immediately as soon as you possibly can.
"We're not in the world of blaming and fixing blame and figuring out what went wrong. That's already been dealt with and it's time to move, so we're moving."
Carroll also discussed losing defensive assistant coaches so often, and how the Seahawks overcome losses in the coaching ranks.
"This (defense) has been something that has been near and dear to my heart for a long time," Carroll said. "I felt like we've been really growing our own for a long time. This is a clear illustration of that."
The last two Seahawks defensive coordinators have become head coaches, Gus Bradley with the Jaguars and Dan Quinn with the Atlanta Falcons. Following this season, the Seahawks also lost linebackers coach Ken Norton, Jr. to the Oakland Raiders as defensive coordinator, and defensive assistant Marquand Manuel followed Quinn to the Falcons as defensive backs coach.
Carroll said there is always a plan in place to replace departed coaches with those who will protect the established defensive system.
"It's always a challenge, but we're always planning for this," Carroll said. "With that thought in mind, it's (new) guys' time to step up. That's just how we will continue to it. We have a system and philosophy intact and one that we are really committed to and have had great success with.
"As new guys step into those roles, they do bring uniqueness because they are different. They'll bring some special qualities that we certainly didn't have before."
Quotable from around the NFL Scouting Combine on Thursday:
- Texas defensive lineman Malcom Brown on supporting his family: "It just gives me more motives. I'm just not playing for myself anymore. I'm playing to support a whole family. I can't just think about myself when I make decisions. Then I just can't be like, "Oh, you don't need to go hard this play,' but then you have to think about my daughters and my wife, not being able to support them, so I just give it my all."
- Southern California defensive lineman Leonard Williams on playing football for the first time in high school: "I was too big for Pop Warner. There was a weight limit and I was above it. As a kid it made me really sad because it's a lot of boys' dream to play football, and to not be able to do that was hard. The weight limit was 180, and I've always been a big kid. I tried to play Pop Warner when I was in middle school and I was already like 210, so I couldn't just cut 30 pounds to play football. I actually played rugby for a little while at a state team, and actually liked rugby a lot. It taught me the physicalness before I played football."
- Florida defensive end Dante Fowler, Jr. on where he can play on defense: "I really can play anywhere. Really in (then-Florida Head) Coach (Will) Muschamp's defense it was multiple, we played 3-4 and 4-3. My freshman year I played a lot of defensive end, my sophomore year I played a lot of both and then my junior year we played a lot of 3-4 so I was the buck and I stood up and just ran around. I'm all over the place."
- Fowler, Jr., a native of St. Petersburg, Florida, on if he was a Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan growing up said, after a hesitation: "They're my home team. I like the Bucs, but the Bucs are the Bucs, you know what I mean?"