The 2014 NFL Scouting Combine officially opens its doors to the media Thursday morning at Lucas Oil Field in Indianapolis. And as is the case every winter, the boys (and girl!) of PFW/Patriots.com will be on the ground in the Circle City to put forth the most comprehensive, unique coverage that any Patriots fan could ask for.
Over the four days of media access, the majority of NFL teams will send a coach, GM or both to the podium for a press conference. That inevitably leads to a myriad of league-related stories, topics and notes, including plenty of free agent and franchise tag talk.
Unfortunately for Patriots fans, Bill Belichick rarely takes to the Combine dais. He last stepped up to the mic on the final of the four days back in 2009. More recently, New England Director of Player Personnel Nick Caserio has held less formal chats with the media in a less formal setting in the hallway of the media are in Indy.
Rest assured, though, if a member of the Patriots coaching staff or front office holds media availability at the Combine we'll have it covered, in terms of both text updates and from a video perspective on Patriots Today.
We'll also be pumping out daily breakdowns of the various position groups of prospects that come through the media workroom. We won't just be focused on the likes of Johnny Manziel or Michael Sam, we'll break down a variety of the players at all the positions each and every day.
With the Patriots current needs, an increased focus could come on tight end, defensive line, safety and wide receiver among the other spots.
Also, look for daily notebooks on Patriots.com as well as frequent PFW blog entries with information, quirky tales or even a rundown of our annual trip to St. Elmo's for indescribable shrimp cocktail and an incredible steak. Oh, and maybe I'll even whine about my 15-mile Boston Marathon training run that I'll have to get through Saturday morning on the snow-covered sidewalks of Indy! Actually, I think I just did.
But really, it's all about the future NFL players on hand – including Dartmouth, Mass.'s own All-SEC Georgia tight end Arthur Lynch! (Disclaimer: this is the first of many mentions I will make of Lynch, who hails from my hometown, to help hype him up throughout the pre-draft process.)
Here is a schedule of the position groupings that will come through the media workroom during the four days of access:
Thursday, Feb. 20 – Offensive linemen, Kickers, Punters, Long Snappers, Tight ends.
Friday, Feb. 21 – Quarterbacks, Running backs, Wide receivers.
Saturday, Feb. 22 – Defensive linemen, Linebackers.
Sunday, Feb. 23 – Defensive backs.
We fly out of Boston tomorrow afternoon and land in Indy early in the evening. So the blog updates could begin as soon as I get done enjoying my big meat-happy meal at the Weber Grill!
It's the 2014 NFL Combine. The most wonderful time of the pre-draft year for draftniks everywhere!