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Thursday Scouting Combine notebook


INDIANAPOLIS – A look at highlights from Wednesday at the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium…

New Bills head coach Rex Ryan discusses signing of Richie Incognito

Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan addressed the media Wednesday, and answered questions about the recent signing of offensive guard Richie Incognito.

"Knowing what kind of player he is, we wanted to find out for ourselves where he's at and have a conversation with him," Ryan told reporters around a podium Wednesday afternoon.

Incognito was a Pro Bowl guard with the Dolphins, but was cited in an NFL investigation as the leader of a bullying scandal and was suspended the second half of the 2013 season. He did not play in 2014.

"Obviously we felt good about him moving forward and doing things and conducting himself in a way where he's a good teammate and I expect him to be that. What he brings to the table – he's an outstanding player.

"I'm excited to have him on my team."

The Jaguars host the Bills October 25 at Wembley Stadium in London, England.

Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio enjoys being "back on the bike"

After spending nine seasons as the head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars and three years as defensive coordinator of the Denver Broncos, Jack Del Rio is excited about the possibilities as the new head coach of the Oakland Raiders.

"I think you grow from all of those experiences you have as a coach," Del Rio said. "(I) certainly spent three tremendous years in Denver. I'd like to think the last three years have been very beneficial. We were able to do some superior things on the field. You take that experience and part of it was actually being the interim head coach when John (Fox) was battling his heart issues.

"It was good to be back on the bike, and it was a really good bike. We're looking to make this a good bike where we are now."

Del Rio was also confident that the Raiders can compete in the recruiting of free agents once the market opens March 10.

"We have cap space and we have cash, and we have a good staff full of teachers, and we have a good, young quarterback we have a good, young man off the edge in Khalil Mack," Del Rio said. "So the things that we need to be started we have. Now we're going to start adding good, quality people that are fired up to be part of the Raiders. We excited about that process, just getting into it."

Pettine defends Browns owner Jimmy Haslem

Since the end of the 2014 season, the Cleveland Browns have had a number of controversies and distractions.

Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel is in a rehabilitation facility. Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon has been suspended for a year. The league is investigating Browns general manager Ray Farmer for sending text messages to coaches during games.

All that aside, Browns head coach Mike Pettine said Wednesday that one thing bothers him the most since the end of the 2014 season.

"I think the most upsetting thing to me about this month has been the depiction of (Browns owner) Jimmy Haslem," Pettine said.

"I know some will say 'This is a guy that signs his check, so he's going to pump him up.' He's been depicted as a guy that has been meddlesome and involved in a lot of decisions, and that hasn't been the case at all. He was not involved in any draft decisions; he was not involved in any playing time decisions."

Haslam purchased the Browns in October of 2012.

"I can't think of one instance that we've asked for something and he's said 'no,'" Pettine added. "He's very inquisitive, he wants to know what's going on, but for us as a coaching staff in year one he was outstanding."

Browns GM Ray Farmer has a press conference scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Thursday in Indianapolis.

Quotable from around the NFL Scouting Combine on Wednesday:

  • Del Rio on asking owner Mark Davis about the possibility of the team relocating: "I asked point blank what his thoughts were, Mark Davis, on the potential for relocation. He indicated to me that it was his desire to keep the team in Oakland, and that they're working hard to do that. I'm from the area. Obviously I can coach anywhere, but I'm from there and it would be great to keep them right here and hopefully we can get that done."
  • Chiefs head coach Andy Reid on how healthy general manager/head coach relationships work: "They have great communication. They check their egos at the door. They come in and work their tails off. They're honest with each other, which is important."
  • Ryan on the importance of the player interviews at the Scouting Combine: "Sometimes you can tell if a guy is a gym-rat type guy, if they love it and are really passionate about it and that's good. There are other times you walk out and (say) 'That guy doesn't know anything, he doesn't retain anything.' If he's a really good player, you really don't care."
  • Florida State tight end Nick O'Leary on how often he hears the reference to his grandfather, golf legend Jack Nicklaus: "I heard it a lot. I don't watch the TV copies of the games that often, so I don't hear as much as other people."
  • Minnesota tight end Maxx Williams on following his father, former Giants center Brian Williams, into the NFL: "It was a great experience having my dad play in the NFL and growing up around that kind of atmosphere. Being able to be in the locker room, just seeing what the game is all about, the actual inside of the NFL and what football truly is. I know what it's like. I can fall back on my dad if I have any questions. He's one of those guys I've always relied on because he's been there, he's done it and he's succeeded at the highest level."
  • Penn State tackle Donovan Smith on living through the changes while a student at Penn State University: "It made me into the man I am today. You have to learn how to go through adversity, that's what it's taught me. Life is not easy, things are going to be thrown at you every which kind of way and you have to learn to adapt. It definitely taught me a lot."
  • Hobart (Division-III) offensive lineman Ali Marpet on maintaining weight: "Usually during the season I lose seven pounds at least. We did a 'Bod Pod' test, which does our body fat percentage, and it showed if I were to lay in bed for 24 hours I would be wasting 3,500 calories. Just sitting around I need to eat 3,500 calories to maintain my body weight. So, when I'm exercising I think I need 7,000-plus to maintain. So in order for me to gain (weight) I'm eating 8,000, 9,000 calories."
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