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Stories That Only Interest Us: Thursday, February 23

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We went from "Link Dump" to this. We're an impressively creative bunch.

Combine serves a purpose, but its influence is overrated
Charley Casserly, a former general manager for the Washington Redskins and Houston Texans, remarks how insanely over-hyped the NFL Combine has become. Initially an event for coaches, scouts and medial personnel to get closer glimpses at prospects, the Combine has turned into a circus where speed, strength and agility skills somehow outweighs good ol' fashioned game tape. "What, he dropped 40 of 47 passes thrown to him last year? Who gives a rats ass about that? That kid out of Coastal Carolina runs a 4.45!" [Note: The previous was a work of fiction and any names (Jerome Simpson), circumstances, 40-times and school names was merely coincidental].

Green Bay Packers, Jermichael Finley reach two-year, $15M deal
Jermaine Gresham is comfortably secured through 2014, with a salary of $2.1 million during the final season of that contract. Finley might be the first step in setting the stage for ridiculous annual salaries for ridiculously athletic tight ends. Thankfully by the time Gresham is a free agent, everything will be out of control.

E.J. Manuel Played An Exhibition Game With A Broken Leg
When your starting quarterback suffers a broken leg, the most sensible response would be to take him out of the game put him in shotgun. During last year's Champs Sports Bowl game against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (is there any other kind), Florida St. Seminoles quarterback E.J. Manuel continued playing last year's Champ's Bowl game with a fractured fibula in his left leg. Imagine the backup quarterback's ego after that.

"Hey kid, Manuel has a fractured fibula but since you're still pretty awful, we're keeping him in the game and putting him in shotgun."

Ohio State sign tries to claim academic superiority over Michigan
Death, taxes and this.

Ranking the 2011 Offensive Lines - Part 1 |
Pro Football Focus ranks the best offensive lines, first ranking the last half, which doesn't include the Cincinnati Bengals.

Marvez: David Cornwell has become the head of the NFL Coaches Association
Now we can have some fun with the David Cornwell vs. DeMaurice Smith battles -- if only both regularly used Twitter.

Evan Mathis: O-Line Insight
Former Bengals offensive guard Evan Mathis talks about being an offensive lineman. Bengals offensive line coach Paul Alexander wonders who this is.

Wisconsin state assembly passes resolution declaring 12/12/12 as ‘Aaron Rodgers Day’
Though it looks cute saying 12/12/12, the year isn't just "12". Getting rid of the "20" is like saying Andy Dalton has a perfect passer rating on passes that were completed for touchdowns. You can't just disregard the other important... you know what, it's Wisconsin. They have nothing else.

Competition Committee to consider adjusting 12 men penalty
If a defense is holding onto a 3-4 point lead with 20 seconds remaining in the game, all they need to do is pack the field with 50 players. After the play is over, the defense will be penalized five yards and the 7-9 seconds lost are forever gone. Penalize the defense? Hell. You've just won the game for them. Solution: Time should be restored to what it was before the snap on all penalties that negate plays in the final two minutes of the game.

Here are 10 things to watch at the NFL combine
ESPN's NFL Insider John Clayton considers ten things to watch for during the NFL Combine this weekend.

5 Guys Who Must Leave Cincy - Bleacher Report
It's just hard to take anyone seriously that offers up Nate Clements as one of five Bengals players that need to leave Cincinnati. Because apparently the Bengals have a minor league system and we're loaded with replaceable cornerbacks in the Triple-A. Seriously.