NFL combine: Gailey has intel on Tech players

Buffalo Bills head coach Chan Gailey has a nice file on his former. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/AJC).

Buffalo Bills head coach Chan Gailey has a nice file on his former players. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/AJC).

INDIANAPOLIS — Buffalo Bills coach Chan Gailey is settling into his new job.

He’s at the NFL scouting combine with a decided advantage over every team in the league when it comes to the Georgia Tech players.

Defensive end Derrick Morgan, wide receiver Demayius Thomas and running back Jonathan Dwyer are all potential first round draft picks. Gailey recruited them all.

“I can’t talk detached about them, because I’m attached to them,” Gailey said on Thursday. “I know where they came from and I know their families. They are great athletes and great human beings. They understand work ethic. They understand toughness.

“They are going to be very good professional football players. All three of them. I don’t want to get into the strengths and weaknesses because that’s proprietary information.”

Gailey believes that Dwyer has helped himself by dropping 17 pounds before the combine.

Terrell Owens' future in Buffalo is cloudy.

Terrell Owens' future in Buffalo is cloudy.

“I think that will help him,” Gailey said. “He’s always fought the weight problem every year since high school. . . The key for him is to make sure that he stays in that area and not build up too much.”

During his tenure at Georgia Tech from 2002 to 2007, Gailey met some of the top players at the combine on the recruiting trail.

“I think when you are in college you get a lot better feel for a guy,” Gailey said. “You’ve got him for four years and you develop a relationship with him. There are ones that I know and recruited and went to another school, but I know them and that helps.”

ON HIS QB: Gailey has an unsettled quarterback situation in Buffalo. He is in the process of evaluating, while looking at the top quarterbacks in the draft in Notre Dame’s Jimmy Clausen and Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford.

“Every team in the league that doesn’t’ have an All Pro quarterback or somebody that got votes for All Pro is looking to improve their position,” Gailey said.

He completely side-stepped a question about Buffalo bringing in a veteran quarterback. (Tyler Thigpen, whom he was developing in Kansas City could be a candidate.)

ON TERRELL OWENS: Gailey has not talked to wide receiver Terrell Owens, who’s set to become an unrestricted free agent on March 5.

“We’re still sitting there trying to decide the best direction for everyone and exactly how we are going to approach each of them,” Gailey said. “They are all individually evaluated and they are all individually talked to.”

Pittsburgh’s Kevin Colbert on Graham vs. Woodley comparison

Kevin Colbert, Pittsburgh’s director of football operations, noted that there is a big difference between Michigan defensive end Brandon Graham and Lamarr Woodley, who was drafted out of Michigan in the second round of the 2007 draft.

“LaMarr had a little linebacker in his background,” Colbert said. “As a junior at Michigan some of their defensive sets had him playing on his feet. It was not so much of a stretch as it was for guys that played down exclusively.”

Graham, whom the Falcons consider a defensive end, is considered a linebacker by some 3-4 teams.

Several mock drafts have Graham going to the Falcons with the 19th or 20th pick.

Williams checks in on the Suh or McCoy debate

Oklahoma tackle Trent Williams. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/AJC)

Oklahoma tackle Trent Williams. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/AJC)

Oklahoma offensive tackle Trent Williams has a Big 12  point of view on the top two players in this draft, Nebraska’s defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh and Oklahoma’s defensive lineman Gerald McCoy.

“He was great,” Williams said of Suh. “We couldn’t stop him. He has power and strength. Pure strength. We didn’t have a match for him inside. He made it kind of look too easy. I couldn’t do much. I was out there on the edge. I was kind of helpless watching him.”

But if Williams was a general manager, he’d select his teammate with the first overall pick in the draft.

“Obviously, I have a biased opinion,” Williams said. “He (McCoy) has power and quickness. He’s a load and has moves. He’s so quick off the ball. He’s really a nightmare. Suh is a nightmare as well.”

BRADFORD SHOULD BE TOP QB: Williams believes Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford should be the first quarterback taken over Notre Dame’s Jimmy Clausen.

“He’s just a natural born leader,” Williams said. “He’s not an in your face guy, but when he speaks, you know he means business.”

TROY QB LEVI BROWN IS BIG ON LANG, SHEFFIELD

Troy quarterback Levi Brown credits defensive ends Brandon Lang and Cameron Sheffield with helping to

Troy quarterback Levi Brown dazzled with the GMAC Bowl, passing for 386 yards. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/AJC).

Troy quarterback Levi Brown dazzled with the GMAC Bowl, passing for 386 yards. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/AJC).

improve his pocket presence.

Lang played at Tucker High and Sheffield played at Portal.

“In 2007, my first year at Troy I was on the scout team and I was going against them every day,” Brown said. “It helped my pocket awareness so much. That was a huge help for me. I feel like these last two years, I’ve been really good in the pocket and going against them is the reason why.”

San Francisco 49ers GM Scot McCloughan speaks

Scot McCloughan

San Francisco general manager Scot McCloughan takes the podium at the NFL scouting combine. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/AJC).

San Francisco general manager Scot McCloughan was the first to take the podium.

A couple of highlights:

  • On Michael Crabtree: “We saw a real good football player. . . when the ball was in his hands, he scored 42 touchdowns (at Texas Tech).”
  • On Spread offenses: McCloughan said teams will still have to run the football in the fourth quarter. Especially teams on the East Coast that play in open air stadiums.
  • On the switch to a passing league: He doesn’t think how teams evaluate defensive backs changes. He’s a Ron Wolf understudy and believes it’s a big man game. He likes big corners.
  • On his mentor Mike Holmgren being back in the league:  “I’m glad he’s back in the NFL. The NFL needs him and deserves him.”
  • On catching the Arizona Cardinals in the NFC West:  “I know this, with the staffs that are in our division, with the coaches and all that, it’s going to get back to being a tough one at some point. What we have to do is take care of our business. . . we have to find a way to win the division and get in the playoffs.”
  • On quarterbacks not throwing at the combine:  “If you get a chance to compete, come and compete. . .  also, you can’t blame it all on the kids. They’ve got agents in their ear telling them what’s best for their future. What’s best for their draft status. I think if you just got to the kids, they’d work here. . . You can’t really hurt yourself. You can only help yourself.”

All’s quiet at NFL scouting combine . . . for now

All's quiet at Lucas Oil Stadium right now. Just a bunch of reporters getting set up in the media room. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/AJC)

Just a bunch of reporters getting set up in the media room. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/AJC)

INDIANAPOLIS – It was a nice drive through some light snow flurries down to Lucas Oil Stadium this morning.

There wasn’t much of a rush hour here at 7:30 a.m. I pushed the rental car right off the ramp and pulled right into the parking lot at “The Luc.” It’s really nice inside, but it looks like a massive warehouse from the outside.

The NFL scouting combine action will start up with interviews of players in about an hour. I’ll be updating early and often today.

While we are waiting for that to get started, let’s look at the tender rules for the Falcons’ restricted free agents.

Here are the Falcons who appear set to become restricted free agents:

Michael Koenen, punter (5 accrued seasons)

Tyson Clabo, right tackle (4 accrued seasons)

Harvey Dahl, right guard (4 accrued seasons)

Jamaal Fudge, safety (4 accrued seasons)

Jerious Norwood, running back (4 accrued seasons)

Quinn Ojinnaka, Guard/tackle (4 accrued seasons)

Charlie Peprah, safety (4 accrued seasons)

Jason Snelling, running back (3 accrued seasons)

Antoine Harris, safety (3 accrued seasons)

Now, the key is which tenders the Falcons place on the players.

Here are the tender classifications, courtesy of the league’s NFLLabor.com site.

Clabo and Dahl' contract status is tied to the league's contract negotiations with the Union.

Which tender would you play on starters Tyson Clabo and Harvey Dahl.

Player with THREE Accrued Seasons

Right of First Refusal — $1,101,000

Right of First Refusal + Pick in player’s original draft round — $1,101,000*

Right of First Refusal + Second-Round Draft Pick — $1,684,000*

Right of First Refusal + First-Round Draft Pick — $2,396,000*

Right of First Refusal + First- AND Third-Round Draft Picks — $3,043,000*

*or 110% of player’s 2009 Paragraph 5 Salary, whichever is greater

Player with FOUR Accrued Seasons

Right of First Refusal — $1,176,000

Right of First Refusal + Pick in player’s original draft round — $1,176,000*

Right of First Refusal + Second-Round Draft Pick — $1,759,000*

Right of First Refusal + First-Round Draft Pick — $2,521,000*

Right of First Refusal + First- AND Third-Round Draft Picks — $3,168,000*

*or 110% of player’s 2009 Paragraph 5 Salary, whichever is greater

Player with FIVE Accrued Seasons

Right of First Refusal — $1,226,000

Right of First Refusal + Pick in player’s original draft round — $1,226,000*

Right of First Refusal + Second-Round Draft Pick — $1,809,000*

Right of First Refusal + First-Round Draft Pick — $2,621,000*

Right of First Refusal + First- AND Third-Round Draft Picks — $3,268,000*

*or 110% of player’s 2009 Paragraph 5 Salary, whichever is greater

While we are waiting for the combine to get started, you all can play president Rich McKay and general manager Thomas Dimitroff and start slapping tenders on the restricted free agents.

16 comments Add your comment

Jordan

February 25th, 2010
9:18 am

First for once?!

nativefalcon

February 25th, 2010
9:22 am

E.lo

February 25th, 2010
9:22 am

I have to settle for sloppy seconds!

nativefalcon

February 25th, 2010
9:22 am

I mean second and third. :(

E.lo

February 25th, 2010
9:22 am

Ughhh sloppy thirds!

PMC

February 25th, 2010
9:29 am

How are those tenders applied DOL?

can they choose which tender to apply per the years served or is it related to salary the previous year?

TheManMike

February 25th, 2010
9:31 am

What it is D.O.B. – Really looking forward to reading your notes throughout the day. Hook us up with as much as you can! Enjoy….

1eyedJack

February 25th, 2010
9:37 am

Of that group I think you got to tender Michael Koenen, either Clabo or Dahl and Jason Snelling.

Cowboys

February 25th, 2010
10:32 am

It dont matter the cowboy’s still are going to be superbowl champs.

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Ed

February 25th, 2010
10:49 pm

Clabo and Snelling for sure ought to be tendered significantly; Koenen may not be a necessity for kickoffs anymore and his punting is average (or below looking at the Tampa game), and since he was ubdrafted, no more than a right of first refusal tender. I think we’ll draft a saftey, but ought to tender one of the rfa;s.

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eddie

February 26th, 2010
6:51 am

Did Gailey not sign Morgan Burnett? Why no comment about him?

Buzzthis

February 26th, 2010
7:57 pm

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>30-24<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< IN YOUR HOUSE HAHAHAH

Analyze this

February 27th, 2010
11:44 am

[...] During his tenure at Georgia Tech, Bills HC Chan Gailey said Thursday that RB Jonathan Dwyer’s weight has long been a concern. Atlanta Journal-Constitution [...]