Today is even more of a zoo than yesterday. With a litany of NFL head coaches and general managers scheduled for podium time, the media has beefed up and spaces with a plug nearby have become a premium.
The day started with Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith dodging questions left and right. Lovie said he likes this year's coaching staff, in particular the new presence of Mike Tice who was hired to coach the offensive line. Tice and Bears defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli are both former head coaches, and Lovie says he's gotta a thing for former leaders of men.
The only thing halfway interesting Smith told the media is that his team must address the safety position and that "you can't have too many pass-rushers, especially speed guys on the ends". Sorry, Bears fans, wish I could give you more.
Next up was St. Louis Rams general manager Billy Devaney. There has been lots made in the Rams universe that for the past two drafts they have passed on quarterbacks who went on to have good seasons and help their team right away—Matt Ryan and Mark Sanchez are typically referenced in regard to this topic.
Devaney genuinely empathized with the reporter who asked this.
"You never want to force a quarterback into a pick if he isn't the best player out there, but I hear you," Devaney said. "We should have a helluva defense line at this point." Everyone laughed.
There is speculation that the Rams could draft Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford with their top choice, but with the sudden league-wide obsession over defensive tackles, I wouldn't be shocked if St. Louis ended up with a top-ranked DT like fellow kong, Ndamukong Suh.
Then came Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson. This guy looks like Vince McMahon and speaks very softly. I couldn't get close enough to hear real well, but I caught a few things.
His first question was about Tim Tebow. Why not? The Packers only have a quarterback with the top passer-rating in history, but Double T might know a thing or two about Tebow, right? Maybe—I couldn't hear., but who really cares? Tebow isn't likely to end up in Green Bay. That's part of the Combine; hollow questions aplenty.
I also didn't hear the question that changed Thompson's tone and body language completely. Someone asked something and Thomspon rolled his eyes, smiled and looked elsewhere for another question. The reporter persisted. Ted said something short and apparently terse to the guy and this time did move on. Every question afterward got no more than two sentences and Thompson had clearly answered enough questions for his liking.
The top dog of Washington took over next. No, not Barack: Mike Shanahan. This guy does look like George W. Bush though, so there's some weird presidential connection.
Shanahan said he intends on tendering Jason Campbell and keeping him on the team. He said he enjoys studying for the draft and had extra time to do that this season. He visited practices and camps of the New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers to see how much hitting they do in practice.
That's about it from Shanahan. Then...Marvin Lewis strolled to the podium flanked by Bengals PR point man, Jack Brennan. I had an interesting day with Marvin, but to find out what happened, you will have to check back tonight for part two of today's excitement.