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Combing the Combine: Sunday's Notes

INDIANAPOLIS – The star of the Combine on the final day of media access was Auburn cornerback David Irons. While his stock has been on the rise since his impressive Senior Bowl week, that's not why people were buzzing about Irons on Sunday. Instead, it was for his standup comedy routine at the podium.

Irons' brother, Kenny, played running back at Auburn with him and was also present at the Combine. David was relentless on his brother throughout his time with the media, poking jabs at him whenever he had the chance.

"It was very competitive between us even with looks-wise," Irons said. "I told him I look better than him, he told me he looks better than me. We always have someone say who looks better. He was the ugliest out of the bunch. Some days my mom says she wishes she never had him. No, I'm joking. Other than that, he's a great guy."

The two have a bet over which one will run a faster 40-yard dash at the Combine. Kenny ran a 4.47 on Sunday but according to his brother, that won't be good enough.

"He needs to be in 4.3s to win that bet," David said. "He always thought he was faster for some reason. He must have raced someone that was slower than him. He came to the house when I was in junior college and he thought he could beat me in a race. He had never raced me before in his life and all of a sudden he thinks he's going to run this amazing 40 time today. He thinks he's faster than me because he's been training."

David continued the good-natured ribbing by saying he wants nothing to do with playing on the same team as his brother in the NFL.

"I would love to play against him. I can't play with him again. If a team drafted me on the same team, I don't think I would report to camp. I've been with him forever, all my life. I told him it's time to divorce, sign the papers over in divorce court. You can't play like that. I see that guy every day. I can't even go to scary movies because I see him every day. I told him he needed to get with Steven Spielberg and make one of the scariest movies out there. On Halloween, I can't go trick-or-treating without him bringing his own self to be his costume. Kids don't come to our house anymore like they used to at Halloween. He's a pumpkin and a little Johnny Appleseed and everything."

Irons then left the podium to an ovation for his entertaining interview. Oh yeah, he's also a pretty good cornerback but if that doesn't work out, there's always standup comedy. David will get a chance to beat out his brother's 4.7 40 when he runs on Tuesday.

Tennessee Shooter
Titans head coach Jeff Fisher had some interesting comments at the Combine this week about the Patriots, Rodney Harrison and the continued perception that his team played a dirty game when the two teams met in the season finale in Tennessee.

Harrison and many Patriots still contend that Titans receive Bobby Wade's block on the safety, one that left him with what turned out to be a season-ending knee injury, was dirty or at the very least, unnecessary. Fisher disagrees.

"That's his opinion," Fisher said at the Combine yesterday. "I would never say anything about their play. If you ask a question, watch the earlier part of the game and watch his play. If you want to be objective, watch his play."

"Bobby was just doing what he was supposed to do, block one of the best safeties in the league. The block was not illegal. It was clean. I felt bad for Rodney that he got hurt, but that happens sometimes."

The play led to much pushing and shoving on the field because some Patriots believed Fisher winked and smiled toward the field as Harrison lay injured. Linebacker Tedy Bruschi was one of more heated Patriots, focusing his fire toward the Tennessee sideline.

"I have more respect for that team than most people, I think, and for Tedy and everybody," Fisher said. "I think there was a misunderstanding. We needed to win that ball game. If three things happened and we won the ball game, we would have been a playoff team, so we were not just finishing the season. We were playing. Maybe we caught them a little off guard from an intensity standpoint.

"There were a number of penalties called in that game and they weren't all on us. I have no issues with the game, no issues with the players. The only thing I was disappointed in was that Rodney was hurt. I felt bad for him."

Numbers GamePenn State defensive tackle Jay Alford told an interesting tale at the Combine on Sunday of his love for the number 13.

"I always thought No. 13 brought me luck," Alford said. "My freshman year in high school I played quarterback and I chose No. 13. As time went on, it became my thing.

"When I got to varsity, I chose 76, because you add the numbers up, it's 13. When I first got to Penn State, I chose 85, because they equal 13. When 13 was available my junior year after Kinta Palmer, a wide receiver, left I said, 'Hey, I may as well get the number that I want', so I took it."

So what number does Alford hope to wear in the NFL where the No. 13 would be prohibited by rule for a defensive lineman?

"94."

You do the math.

Notes

--It wasn't a good day for former Minnesota RB Gary Russell. Russell, who didn't play last season because he was academically ineligible, said on Friday that he didn't want to come out and lay an egg like Maurice Clarett did at the Combine. Unfortunately for Laurence Maroney's close friend, he was worse than Clarett. He ran two 40s over 4.8 and only did nine reps of 225. Russell now has virtually no chance of being drafted.

--They say speed kills but a lack of it hurt UTEP WR Johnnie Lee Higgins' draft stock. On Friday, Higgins claimed he was once clocked at 4.18 but said he would settle for a 4.2 at the Combine. Unfortunately for Higgins, he'll have to settle for a 4.48, good for 10th in his group.

--Calvin Johnson secured his spot in the top five after blazing a 4.36 40-yard dash. Two other receivers who earned themselves some money on Sunday were Tennessee's Robert Meachem (4.39) and Washington State's Jason Hill (4.32). Meachem should now go in the late first round, while Hill could jump up to the second round area.

--At running back, Adrian Peterson helped himself with a 4.35, while Marshawn Lynch hurt his stock by running in the 4.5 range.

--WR Courtney Taylor received a lot of praise in the media workroom on Sunday, despite the fact that he wasn't even there. Taylor's teammate at Auburn, Irons, along with Alabama State's Michael Coe and Arkansas' Chris Houston all said Taylor was one of the best receivers they've ever faced because of his crisp route running.

"Courtney Taylor is really good," Coe said. "I think people are underrating him a little bit but he's one of the best receivers I've ever faced."

Coe played against Taylor while he was a starting cornerback at Arkansas.

--Central Missouri State QB Toby Korrodi had the top ball speed on the day, throwing 63 mph. Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith came in at 58.5 mph.

--Purdue DE Anthony Spencer came in sporting a Mohawk. Spencer said he's been growing it out and people have been calling it a "Frohawk."

A Colts fan growing up in Indianapolis, Spencer said he would have no problem chasing Peyton Manning in a Patriots uniform.

"Hey, if they pay me, I'll do anything they ask me to do. I was a Colts fan as a kid but my new favorite team will be the one that drafts me."

--Florida DE Jarvis Moss had some harsh words for the Ohio State team he and the Gators rolled over on their way to winning the National Championship.

"We were baffled that no one thought we had a chance," Moss said "We played a lot better teams than Ohio State during the year to be honest with you. I think there are four or five teams in the SEC that would have done the same thing to Ohio State that we did if they had played them."

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