NFL Soon To Be A Bush League
The microscopic view of this year's crop of college football talent began at the NFL Combine on Thursday afternoon at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis. Prospective draft picks will be measured, tested, interviewed, poked, and prodded extensively over the next few days; all in an effort to help NFL teams match their own needs to the players they think can help them the most.
The NFL Network is offering unprecedented coverage of the combine this year, providing fans and draft junkies with an even more detailed look at the players that will be available to their favorite NFL team. Coverage kicked off today with press conferences involving some of the higher profile prospects. Heisman trophy winner Reggie Bush was one of the first players to take the podium and face the barrage of questions from the media present.
There were of course the obligatory questions about why Reggie chose not to workout at the Combine, was he worthy of the number one selection overall, what tools did he possess other then football skills, what he thought of the hiring of Gary Kubiak, and so on. But perhaps more important than the specific answers that Bush gave to the questions asked, was the poise and intelligence that he addressed each one. With reporters firing questions at him like a French firing squad, Reggie took his time answering questions and handled them with great composure. He even asked for clarification of a question several times to ensure that he answered effectively.
The big question of the day seemed to be could Bush be an every down back. Reggie stated that while he wasn't the biggest of running backs, he was willing and able to 'carry the load'. He weighed in officially at 201 pounds (and 5-11¾"), but said he was working on gaining a little more weight and ideally would like to be at about 205 pounds. Bush said that he would continue to work out at USC with the staff in preparation for what will be a much-anticipated pro date on April 2nd.
While he may not be scheduled to workout at the combine, Reggie was certainly working the crowd and even managed to crack a joke or two. When asked what he liked best about Houston, Bush replied, "It's a no tax state!" He was certainly very aware of the fact that the cameras were on him; "I'm competing right here, right now."
And so it begins. A lot of these young players have been scouted for years but the combine is still the first chance many teams actually get to know an individual. The impression they leave will go a long way to fortifying their draft positions. Will Bush establish himself as a number one selection in Indianapolis, or will Houston need until his pro date to decide?
This article was released on 2006-02-23.
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