Combine mania

Have you ever seen so much discussion over hand sizes? We have months to go until the NFL Draft, which mercilessly won’t be held until May this year, and now with the NFL combine the endless talk about the draft is only intensifying. Be prepared for endless scrutiny, and the sizes of body parts will be a big (pun intended) part of it. Good grief.

Here are some of the stats that has everyone talking.

Johnny Manziel – Texas A&M (9 7/8 inches)
Blake Bortles – Central Florida (9 3/8)
Teddy Bridgewater – Louisville (9 1/4)
Tajh Boyd – Clemson (9 5/8)
Derek Carr – Fresno State (9 1/8)
AJ McCarron – Alabama (10)
Jimmy Garoppolo – Eastern Illinois (9 1/4)

Teddy Bridgewater seems perfectly pro ready, but now fans can obsess as to whether his hands are too small. Blake Bortles is a huge guy, but he doesn’t have really big hands. Johnny Manziel seems to have the hands, along with big feet and plenty of confidence, so there’s something for his fans to hang their hats on.

With today’s interviews, now there’s even more to obsess about as reporters, fans and Twitter addicts obsess over every word.

What will the draft order be for the top three quarterback contenders (Manziel, Bortles and Bridgewater) – who knows? If you’re a betting man trying to guess you might have better luck over at gamevillage.com (You can like gamevillage.com on Facebook). Perhaps the combine and then the individual workouts will help clarify the situation, but I doubt it.

Nobody really knows what teams like the Texans, Jaguars and Browns will do. Two of them have new coaches. The Browns have a new everybody, though Ray Farmer was there with the last regime, even if he wasn’t making the decisions.

We also have three guys with completely different style and levels of development. Teddy Bridgewater is the most pro ready. Johnny Manziel is the great college star who can improvise with the best of them, but who runs too much and is at greater risk to get injured in the NFL. Then you have Blake Bortles. The ky is the ceiling with him, maybe, given his size and athleticism. But he ran a read option scheme in college. He ran way too much, and the pro game seems like a huge leap for him.

So this process with be interesting and yet tedious all at the same time. I wish it were over tomorrow.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

Rex Ryan guarantees the Jets will win the Super Bowl next year

New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan reacts with fans after the game against the Buffalo Bills in week 17 of the NFL season at New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey on January 2, 2011. The Jets defeated the Bills 38-7 and advance to the playoffs. UPI /John Angelillo

Pardon the cliché but there are three things we can all count on in life: Death, taxes and Rex Ryan making a bold statement when he has a microphone in front of his face.

At his press conference on Thursday from the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis, Ryan told the media: “I thought we were going to win the Super Bowl the first two years. I guarantee we’ll win it this year.”

Ah, whatever. Wake me when Mike Smith, Lovie Smith or another one of the more conservative coaches guarantees a Super Bowl victory for their team. Ryan could show the media the most intricate details about how he’s going to rob a bank tomorrow and I would just shrug my shoulders and say, “Oh that crazy Rex Ryan. Always talking.”

Still, I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: I think Rex Ryan is good for the NFL. The stuffy MLB doesn’t want to let Mark Cuban anywhere near the game of baseball, which I think is a shame. I take my sports as seriously as the next guy, but in the end it’s just entertainment. While they can get on people’s nerves at times, guys like Ryan and Cuban entertain people, which is good.

I’d rather listen to Ryan guarantee Super Bowl victories, watch him dress up like his brother Rob or even talk about his recent appearance on CSI then be fed the same cookie-cutter responses from the other 31 head coaches. What did Ron Rivera say on Thursday that anyone didn’t expect him to? “We are exploring a quarterback (at No. 1).” No sh*t, even though you have Jimmy Clausen atop your depth chart right now?

By no means is that a knock on Rivera, I’m just pointing out that I like a little spice with my meal. I like that Ryan just went Broadway Joe Namath on everybody, even though the act will probably eventually get tired.

Watch Rich Eisen get smoked in the 40-yard-dash [video]

Rich Eisen ran the 40 at the NFL combine and this is what happened…

Blogging the Bloggers: MJ, Duke, Taylor Mays and more

– CELTICS LIFE comments on the fact that Michael Jordan bought the Charlotte Bobcats for “only” $175 million.

– DIGITAL SPORTS DAILY wonders who has the inside track on the fourth #1 seed after Duke’s loss to Maryland last night.

– In a very enlightening piece, PRO FOOTBALL TALK asks and answers 20 questions about an uncapped year in the NFL.

– FIVE TOOL TOOL lists 10 reasons why fantasy baseball is becoming too popular.

– RUMORS AND RANTS has proof that Taylor Mays ran the 40 faster than his “official” 4.43 time. Here’s the video:

Blogging the Bloggers: USA Hockey, NFL Combine, Bill Simmons and more

After USA’s win over Canada in hockey, RUMORS AND RANTS asks, “Hey Canada, How Does That Feel?”

– DRAFT ACE lists 10 players who should shine at the NFL combine.

– In light of USA’s upset over Canada, COLD HARD FOOTBALL FACTS lists 10 days that shook the sports world.

– PRO FOOTBALL TALK says that Julius Peppers’ lack of passion makes him a big free agent risk.

– SPORTSbyBROOKS says that Bill Simmons took a shot at Rick Reilly over the Tiger Woods’ statement.

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