Let the Games Begin
By: Mark Solway 
Posted: 2007-02-21
Category: Washington Redskins News
Starting tomorrow, the nation's finest college football talent will get their last and perhaps best chance to put an exclamation point on their college careers in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Yes football fans and NFL draft junkies, it's time for the NFL Scouting Combine.

Gone are the days of the combine being just a little off season excursion for college players. The combine has become both so popular with football fans, and so important to NFL
teams' scouting processes, that it could even be considered as important as the draft itself.

It seems that for players, the combine has become arguably the most important week of their college careers. Somehow a player can make or break his draft day status without
even playing an actual game while at the RCA Dome this week. True there are more examples of players hurting their draft status at the combine, but there are also plenty of
examples of guys that soared up boards after what ostensibly equates to 'working out well'.

Doesn't it seem a little ridiculous that a player could play well for three or four years in college, establish himself as one of the best at his position, and then have a bad run in the
forty-yard dash and fall twenty spots in the draft because of it? It happens though, and seemingly more and more with the growth of the NFL Draft's popularity. Is it a by-product of
over-hyping off season events? After all, perhaps the biggest story to come out of the 2006 NFL Combine, was Vince Young's score on the wonderlic test. Considering Young's
rookie season in Tennessee, that does seem a tad over-hyped now doesn't it?

Sure the draft is most important off season event to the respective teams themselves, but what about the league?

After all, the Draft is only over two days and nobody cares as much about the second day's festivities and coverage as they do the first day's. The combine spans almost a week,
and gives the league an opportunity to sell considerably more advertising than the draft does. Especially considering that the NFL Network has exclusive rights to the coverage.

This is the fourth consecutive season that the NFL Network will be covering the event, but it is the first time that the entire week's coverage will be offered in high definition. The
meat of the coverage are the actual workouts which will be aired at 11a.m. ET from Saturday through Tuesday.

NFL Network will also be broadcasting eight hours of live press conferences, five hours of news and interviews on NFL Total Access, and several other Combine-related shows. It
will once again give NFL fans an unprecedented look inside the affair offering 27 hours of coverage. That's a considerably larger ad prospectus than even the draft itself provides.

Yes football fans and NFL draft junkies, the NFL Scouting Combine is a win/win situation for both the league and it's fans.

Bank on it.


You can find more information about the combine at NFL.com's dedicated section. http://www.nfl.com/nflnetwork/combine_2007


The following is NFL Network's day-by-day telecast plans:

Thursday, Feb. 22
2 pm. ET: 2007 Scouting Combine Press Conferences (LIVE)
6:30 PM ET: Path to the Draft from the Scouting Combine
7 pm. ET: NFL Total Access at the Scouting Combine (LIVE)

Friday, Feb. 23
2 pm. ET: 2007 Scouting Combine Press Conferences (LIVE)
6:30 PM ET: Path to the Draft from the Scouting Combine
7 pm. ET: NFL Total Access at the Scouting Combine (LIVE)

Saturday, Feb. 24
11 am. ET: Workouts: Tight Ends, Kickers and Offensive Linemen (LIVE) (repeats at 4 & 8 pm.)
2 pm. ET: 2007 Scouting Combine Press Conferences (LIVE)
7 pm. ET/PT: NFL Total Access at the Scouting Combine (LIVE)

Sunday, Feb. 25
11 am. ET: Workouts: Quarterbacks, Running Backs and Wide Receivers (LIVE) (repeats at 4 & 8 pm.)
2 pm. ET: 2007 Scouting Combine Press Conferences (LIVE)
7 pm. ET/PT: NFL Total Access at the Scouting Combine (LIVE)

Monday, Feb. 26
11 am. ET: Workouts: Linebackers and Defensive Linemen (LIVE) (repeats at 4 & 8 pm.)
7 pm. ET/PT: NFL Total Access at the Scouting Combine (LIVE)

Tuesday, Feb. 27
11 am. ET: Workouts: Defensive Backs (LIVE) (repeats at 4 & 8 pm.)

Wednesday, Feb. 28
8 pm. ET/PT: 2007 NFL Scouting Combine Wrap-Up Show

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