NFL Coaches, GMs Discuss Mountaineer Players from Combine - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

NFL Coaches, GMs Discuss Mountaineer Players from Combine


College and professional football are colliding at Lucas Oil Stadium this weekend as the NFL Scouting Combine takes over Indianapolis.

West Virginia University will have four players on hand in offensive lineman Joe Madsen, quarterback Geno Smith and receivers Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey. Madsen and other offensive linemen will meet the media throughout Thursday's session, while Smith, Austin and Bailey face the cameras on Friday.

Along with the pro hopefuls are the ones who will be making the decisions in late April when the Draft begins. Head coaches and general managers took to the podium on Thursday and aside from all of the inquiries regarding their teams' needs and recent successes or failures on the field, a few of them also fielded questions about some former Mountaineer players.

That's what happens when the West Virginia Illustrated microphone is placed in the room.

Below is a list of some quotes from a variety of those coaches and general managers gathered from the first few hours of Thursday's media session at the NFL Combine:


Pittsburgh Steelers GM Kevin Colbert on FB Will Johnson:

"Will Johnson did a great job for us. You know, we signed Will Johnson out of the West Virginia Pro Day last year as a free agent, a fullback candidate and quite honestly, he exceeded our expectations. We didn't know what he was going to be able to do because he really didn't do much of what we asked him to do at West Virginia. He was more of a backside, move kind of tight end. In our situation he became a traditional fullback and he did a great job, so we're hoping he can continue that. I think [seeing him at WVU's Pro Day] was good fortune for both Will and us."


Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano on WVU's four participants in this year's Combine:

"They're all good players. I'm glad I didn't have to coach against them this year. They're good players, they're going to do great."


Schiano on CB Keith Tandy and LB Najee Goode, both of whom he drafted a year ago to Tampa Bay:

"Keith and Naj are really the kind of young men that we want to bring into our organization. They worked incredibly hard, they're good football players and they both made strides as the year went on and I think are going to have the opportunity to compete for playing time coming up here in 2013."

"You know what I think happens is rookies kind of lead within their rookie class. I don't think rookies are going to very often step out and lead the entire football team because of veterans and those kind of things. But they [Tandy and Goode] certainly are guys that do things the right way and serve as a great example for the rest of our rookie class."


Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Munchak on free agent RB/RS Darius Reynaud's future potential:

"He's probably not a natural running back. With that speed, you can do a lot of things with him like we did. He definitely has return ability, everyone has seen that last year with returning three kicks. The good thing he did is he didn't put the ball on the ground at all. He did a great job there. He did what we asked him to do in the running back game. He's not a guy that you're going to count on third down to block and do those kind of things, so it's going to be pretty obvious what he's going to do when he's in there.

"I think he feels more comfortable as a receiver than he does as a running back, but he's more of a utility guy so if guys got hurt, it was nice to know that he was there to help us finish the game."


Tennessee Titans GM Ruston Webster on free agent RB/RS Darius Reynaud taking advantage of opportunities:

"He's done that. He took advantage of a great opportunity with us. When Marc Mariani went down with his injury, it opened a spot for him and he took full advantage of it and was a big factor for us, for sure."

"We definitely want him back."


Chicago Bears GM Phil Emery on LB J.T. Thomas:

"He has to continue to improve in terms of the football end of it in regular downs. He's just got to continue to grow as a player in his knowledge and his fits into our defense and we're expecting him to do that during OTAs and during fall camp and let's see where he goes. Let's see if he takes that next step."


Seattle Seahawks GM John Schneider on DE Bruce Irvin:

"Bruce still has a huge upside. He's only rushed the passer for three years now, so from a technique standpoint, there are a lot of things that he needs to improve on. He knows that. It's very rare to find somebody with his ability to jump off the ball and his speed and cut corners and work his way back to the quarterback, but I think he knows that that frustration that came out in him a couple times where he wasn't able to quite finish on the quarterback and it's not always about those quarterback sacks. It's about moving the quarterback and he was able to move the quarterback a ton, so those are some things that don't show up, but I think he'd tell you that he needs some work to do. But in terms of going back and thinking about the pick, we're obviously really excited about it."

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