As the interest in the NFL continues to grow, the push for 24-7 coverage of big events has increased as well. Most fans have become accustomed to the wall-to-wall coverage on draft weekend, but anyone who has watched the Senior Bowl the last couple of years knows that the NFL Network has provided extended coverage of the practices and position workouts. The same is true of the Combine, which begins Wednesday as players arrive in Indianapolis.
The league is going to have an unprecedented amount of Combine coverage, which will include the broadcasting of many of the workout sessions. The league has announced the dates for position workouts. They are as follows:
Saturday, Feb. 23 -- offensive linemen, tight ends, specialists.
Sunday, Feb. 24 -- quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers.
Monday, Feb. 25 -- defensive linemen, linebackers.
Tuesday, Feb. 26 – cornerbacks, safeties.
For Vikings fans, the most interesting positions to keep an eye on early will probably be the Sunday and Monday sessions. With interest expected to be high at wide receiver and defensive end, as well as the possibility of quarterback if one of the top one or two QB prospects should do a slide like Brady Quinn did last year and Aaron Rodgers did prior to him, the Vikings coaching and scouting staff will likely do a considerable amount of scouting for those positions – to either solidify or discount some of their scouting reports on players.
VU’s Tim Yotter will be in Indy for the Combine, so be sure to look back often for his daily reports from the RCA Dome to learn whose stock is on the rise and who is falling.
* The Bears released veteran wide receiver Muhsin Muhammad Monday. Muhammad was signed by the Bears to a huge contract in 2005, but never lived up to the expense as a possession receiver. It also would appear to mean that the Bears have opened up more money to make sure they can re-sign Bernard Berrian, who is scheduled to become a free agent at the end of the month.
* The Bears' house cleaning didn’t end with Muhammad. The team also declined a contract option on DT Darwin Walker, which makes him an unrestricted free agent, and plan to release offensive tackle Fred Miller before March 4, when he is due a $500,000 roster bonus.
* The Chiefs, as expected, are placing the franchise tag on defensive end Jared Allen. Last year, the team put the franchise tag on RB Larry Johnson, which resulted in Johnson getting into a protracted holdout.
* Zach Thomas, recently released by the Dolphins, must feel like the prettiest girl at the prom. On Monday, he received a contract offer from the Patriots and has also had inquiries from the Saints, Cowboys, Texans, Bills and Jets. Maybe the Dolphins should have considered trading Thomas instead of cutting him.