NFL Combine Notebook: Palko, Getsy struggle in drills
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INDIANAPOLIS -- For the first time in the 21-year history in which the NFL Combine has been staged in this city, reporters were allowed to view a small portion of the workouts yesterday.
Although Combine workouts were broadcast on the NFL Network to the general public live for the past two years, reporters were barred from the proceedings for two decades.
Yesterday, 12 reporters were permitted to watch a group of 10 quarterbacks throw for about an hour at the RCA Dome, including Pitt's Tyler Palko of West Allegheny High School and Akron's Luke Getsy of Steel Valley High School.
It was historic, tedious work that brought to mind a twist on the old Beano Cook line: Haven't we suffered enough?
The two highest-rated quarterbacks, JaMarcus Russell of LSU and Brady Quinn of Notre Dame, each declined to throw. None of the rest is considered a first-round pick or even a second-rounder and they then went out and proved it.
They went about their business mostly in unimpressive fashion as they threw a variety of routes to unfamiliar receivers. None of the quarterbacks stood out. The best that could be said about Palko and Getsy is they were inconsistent.
Palko, trying to make a case that he deserves to be drafted higher than the sixth or seventh round, did not make it during the hour we watched him.
He had trouble on some early short slants and out patterns, throwing high and behind on some and high and too far on others. On his first two go routes with the ball 50 yards in the air, one was on target and one forced the receiver to adjust, turning around to catch it.
He hit his first receiver on a 10-yard out in stride but delivered his next pass on the same pattern low and slow.
What appeared to be Palko's most comfortable drill came on two 13-yard curl patterns in which he delivered two sharp passes squarely to his targets.
Palko was among the quarterbacks who took two turns throwing the deep post-corner double moves.
His first two passes were decent, although one receiver ran a poor route and the ball clipped off his hands. His second was caught perfectly along the sideline. He double-pumped on his next try on his second turn and completed the pass. He delivered his final pass over the wrong shoulder of his receiver and the ball fell to the ground.
Getsy needed to prove he does not have a weak arm and he did not do that yesterday.
Revis doesn't run
Pitt cornerback Darrelle Revis did not and will not run at the Combine because, like teammate H.B. Blades, his hamstring muscle was strained while working out.
Revis was scheduled to lift. He will run when Pitt has its pro day March 16.
Not only is he ranked the No. 1 cornerback in the draft by NFLDraftScout.com, but that site's scout, Rob Rang, picked him for the Steelers in his mock draft at No. 15.
Revis said quarterbacks threw his way only 10 or 15 times last season and claimed no receiver beat him.
"I'm not a cocky guy, I'm just confident in my game. When I want people to look at Darrelle Revis, I want them to look at how many categories in which he never gets beat. That's one of the things I take to heart and I work at."
Revis loves to press receivers at the line of scrimmage. He can do that in the NFL, but the pro rules do not permit him to do it beyond 5 yards. He says he can adjust.
"I'm aggressive man," said Revis, an Aliquippa High School grad and nephew of Sean Gilbert. "The worst thing a receiver does not like is when a defensive back gets aggressive and gets up in their face and reroutes their routes. It takes them longer. If you don't touch a receiver and you run down field, he's eventually going to make a play; I mean, you're not putting your hands on him. That's the kind of mind-set I'm in, just being an aggressive guy at this next level."
Lucky No. 7
Pitt linebacker H.B. Blades experienced some bad luck and then some good around the NFL Combine workouts this week.
"I tweaked my hamstring on Thursday working on my starts, so I'm going to see how that feels on Monday. I'm going to lift, definitely, but on the running I'm going to wait and see how it feels."
The good luck came when Combine officials issued him his number for the workouts -- LB07, the number his late uncle wore.
"The biggest influence on me was my uncle Al Blades," H.B. said. "He played down at the University of Miami with Santana [Moss] and Dan [Morgan]. I used to spend every summer down there with those guys and being around [Al] just made me a better person. He died in a car accident [March, 2003] right before I went to the University of Pittsburgh.
"He's actually the only one in my family that told me to leave [Florida]. He supported me in everything I did in life and his memory is still with me. I thought it was a sign of good luck when I came [here] with the number seven. I was like, 'He's taking care of me right now,' because that's the number he wore in college, so I know he's looking down on me right now.'
First Published February 26, 2007 12:00 am