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American football meets speed dating 
By earjerseyqq102 on Oct 16, 2013 07:38 AM
American football meets speed dating


The 2009 NFL season ended just 17 days ago with the New Orleans Saints' thrilling victory over the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl 44, but the 32 teams are already beginning their preparations for the 2010 season.


One of the biggest events of the offseason takes place in Indianapolis this week as the leading 300 players from the college football ranks are put through a battery of physical and mental tests that could have a dramatic impact on where they are selected in April's annual NFL Draft.


The NFL Combine which runs until 2 March is unique in world sport. For a player looking to prove his worth in front of hundreds of scouts, coaches and personnel executives, it can feel like a headspinning combination of a cattle market and a speeddating session.


While most participants have already played at least three years of highprofile college American football, this is the first time NFL scouts are able to get their hands on them. And the talent evaluators from America's most powerful sports league leave nothing to chance in their bid to find out everything they can about the young men they could potentially invest millions of dollars in.


It's hard to imagine something similar featuring young stars from the world of football or rugby union. But it remains the prime opportunity for each NFL team to learn more about their future financial investments.


"It's going to be like a meat market," admits Andre Dixon, a running back from Connecticut who will take part in this year's combine. "You're going to feel like you're cattle and they're looking for the biggest cow."


"I remember them measuring how far back my arm stretched," recalls quarterback Josh Freeman, who was chosen in the Dwayne Bowe Jersey White first round of the draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after successfully working out at the 2009 combine. "They leave no stone unturned."


Before they even begin to partake in drills that remotely resemble something you would see on the field of play, players have to strip to their underwear in order to be measured for height and weight.


Team officials also carry out extra tests to find a player's wingspan, the size of his calves, Chiefs Dwayne Bowe Jersey wrists, arms, legs and torso. Each athlete is also forced to lie down in a giant egglike contraption Dwayne Bowe Black Jersey which measures body fat. There is not much room for dignity during these proceedings.


Medical tests are also very thorough as players are checked for blood pressure, heart and organ function, and undergo several Xrays in addition to flexibility testing. They are also screened for illegal and performanceenhancing substances.


It can be exhausting stuff. And that's all before the player has stepped onto the gridiron at Lucas Oil Field home of the Indianapolis Colts.


When they do get onto the field, players will go through drills that relate to their respective positions. Quarterbacks will throw a barrage of passes, receivers will catch balls and cornerbacks will showcase their ability to shadow the fastest men in the game. And so on.


There are other standard drills that are spread across each position: the 40yard dash, bench press, vertical jump, broad jump, threecone drill and the 20 and 60yard shuttles are all designed to test a www.nikekansascitychiefsstore.com/Authentic-Dwayne-Bowe-Jersey player's explosiveness, speed and power.


At last year's combine, wide receiver Darrius HeywardBey had scouts salivating as he covered the 40yard dash in just 4.3 seconds, highlighting the kind of sprinter's speed that ought to be perfect for his position.


Rather than look at his college career at Maryland which was reasonable but not earthshattering the Oakland Raiders were completely fooled into thinking they were looking at the second coming of Jerry Rice. They reached for HeywardBey and selected him with the seventh overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft. It was a move that led to headscratching among experts across America.


The Raiders felt they had a breathtaking talent in their midst and did not hesitate in signing HeywardBey to a fiveyear contract that would pay him 4.96 million in 2009.


The rookie wide receiver then showed that his receiving skills did not come close to his ability to run in a straight line over 40 yards. He caught just nine passes that's an average of 550,880 per reception. Nice work if you can get it!


Players are also tested for their mental sharpness. They are expected to undergo a 12minute, 50question Wonderlic test which is used as a standard intellectual measuring stick across American industry.


The importance of such test results is often disputed. The average score for an NFL player is 21 (journalists average 26 apparently!) but the legendary Dan Marino reportedly scored just 14. And any score under 10 is meant to suggest that a player has serious literacy problems.


Florida State kicker Sebastian Janikowski scored just nine points in 2000 but I doubt he loses much sleep over those results given that he has just signed a contract extension with the Raiders worth 2.6 million per year, which makes him the highestpaid kicker in the business.


Here are a few examples of questions prospective NFL players might face in Indianapolis this week (answers at the bottom of the page):


1. Paper sells for 21 cents per pad. What will four pads cost?


2. A train travels 20 feet in 1/5 of a second. At this same speed, how many feet will it travel in three seconds?


3. A boy is 17 years old and his sister is twice as old. When the boy is 23 years old, what will be the age of his sister?


4. The hours of daylight and darkness in September are nearest equal to the hours of daylight and darkness in. ?


Of more interest to the NFL clubs are the psychological evaluations that let the coaching staffs know what kind of player they could be investing in.


Are they getting a committed professional dedicated to team goals and someone who is determined to win a Super Bowl ring, or are they about to sign a selfcentred individual content to pick up a big salary without so much as a sniff of championship glory?


Each NFL team will gather in Indianapolis with their own team of psychologists looking to analyse every seeminglyinane remark made by players who are expected to meet each club until after 11pm each night.


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