Heisman winner Griffin wows at NFL Combine

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Heisman winner Griffin wows at NFL Combine

From Comcast SportsNet
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Robert Griffin III proved he's the fastest quarterback at this year's NFL scouting combine. It might not be enough to supplant Andrew Luck as the No. 1 pick. The two finally got a chance to demonstrate their athleticism Sunday when workouts began. Griffin showed his speed in the 40-yard dash, finishing officially in 4.41 seconds -- the best of any quarterback. Unofficially, Luck ran a 4.59, the same time Cam Newton posted in 2011, but the time was later adjusted to an official 4.69, fourth among quarterbacks. Even so, not much has changed in the rankings. "I think what was surprising to some people was how athletic Andrew Luck is. I think a lot of people might be surprised to compare his measurables to Cam Newton from a year ago," NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock said. "Cam Newton hits you over the head with a sledge hammer as far as his athletic ability; it's pretty obvious, whereas with Andrew Luck, it's sneaky athletic. " His broad jump (10 feet, 4 inches) was two inches short of Cam Newton's best in 2011, and Luck's vertical jump (36 inches) was actually better than Newton's (35 inches). Griffin and Luck both skipped Sunday's throwing drills as planned, opting instead to do that with familiar receivers in a familiar environment during Pro Day workouts. Justin Blackmon, the No. 1 ranked receiver in this draft class, ran the gauntlet -- a drill in which players must catch balls thrown quickly in succession. Blackmon sat out the 40, as expected, after he said he hurt his hamstring last week. Three receivers led the official results: Georgia Tech's Stephen Hill, Stanford's Chris Owusu and Miami's Travis Benjamin all finished with official times of 4.36. Receivers A.J. Jenkins of Illinois and Devon Wylie of Fresno State rounded out the top five at 4.39. Miami's Lamar Miller (4.40) was the fastest running back of the day. Defensive linemen and linebackers will work out Monday. But as has been the case all week, the quarterbacks were the feature attraction. "I don't think they really hurt themselves here," Mayock said. "Most teams will take into account and appreciate the fact that they worked out. Those two quarterbacks are specials kids, and what they did in gym shorts today isn't going to change anything. Outside of not throwing the football, nothing is going to change. Both of them had athletic days (today) which I knew they would." ------ FANS WELCOME: A little more than three weeks after the NFL allowed fans to watch the Super Bowl's media day for the first time, league officials let a smattering of fans watch the combine workouts for the first time. The league gave out about 250 free tickets to some of Sunday's workouts. NFL Network televises the performances, but league officials traditionally have kept the workouts closed because they didn't want spectators becoming a distraction by cheering. On Sunday, fans got to see the showcase group and the head-to-head battle between Griffin and Luck. ------ CRICK ALMOST READY: Nebraska defensive lineman Jared Crick is nearly recovered from the pectoral tear that cost him more than half his senior season. When his college career ended, he was eighth on the school's career sacks (20), including 9 in both 2009 and 2010. Now he's trying to prove he's healthy in time for April's draft. "I'm not there yet, but I'm getting there," he said. "I'm almost there. I've got to keep showing them that I'm improving, and I'm getting better." Crick said he can now do his normal weight-lifting routine, and he plans to do all the workouts March 8. If he's healthy, Crick might be a first-round pick. "I know my question mark about the pectoral is if I'm going to be able to get back to 100 percent in time for OTAs (offseason team activities)," he said. "As long as I prove I'm on schedule for a full recovery, that's all I can do." ------ TOONING UP: Good hands are just part of the Toon family's legacy. Last season, Nick Toon caught 64 passes for 926 yards and 10 touchdowns for Wisconsin, the same school his father, Al, starred at before a successful NFL career. Al Toon caught 517 passes for 6,605 yards and 31 touchdowns from 1985-1992, all with the New York Jets. Living up to his father's reputation is something the younger Toon has prepared for his entire life. "I think my biggest strength is my hands," he said. "A receiver's job is to catch the ball. That's something my dad taught me from a young age, something I've continued to work on." as one of the 300-plus invitees to this week's workouts in Indy, the son is hoping to emulate his father's NFL career. "My dad was a great route runner, had great hands," Nick Toon said. "He was fast, and he was one of the first of his kind as far as the big receivers go. I think I look like him a little bit when I'm out there playing. That would only make sense."

Inactives: Amerson, Riley re-join Raiders starting lineup vs Bills

Inactives: Amerson, Riley re-join Raiders starting lineup vs Bills

OAKLAND – The Raiders knew they were going to be without some interior defensive linemen on Sunday against Buffalo, with Stacy McGee and Darius Latham ruled out earlier in the week.

There were several other key defender with an uncertain playing status, and the Silver and Black got good news on all of them. Cornerback David Amerson (knee) said he was ready to return after missing last week, and he will play against the Bills.

Interior linebackers Malcolm Smith and Perry Riley Jr., both questionable with hamstring injuries, are active and ready to go. They are key cogs in a run defense that must operate well to slow the NFL’s best run game.

The Raiders will move on without DJ Hayden, who is now on injured reserve, and will look to either Dexter McDonald or Keith McGill, a safety with professional experience at cornerback, as the No. 4 option. TJ Carrie will take on Hayden’s job at slot corner.

There was a curious inactive, with DeAndre Washington a healthy scratch for a second straight week as the Raiders consolidate their running back rotation. Latavius Murray has become a true lead dog, with Jalen Richard as an accent back and return man.

Menelik Watson will be the extra lineman moving forward, meaning Denver Kirkland was a tolerated inactive against Buffalo.

The Bills are missing some key players, including tight end Charles Clay, receivers Percy Harvin and Robert Wood and cornerback Ronald Darby.

 

Despite losing record with Rams, Fisher gets contract extension

Despite losing record with Rams, Fisher gets contract extension

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The Los Angeles Rams have given coach Jeff Fisher and general manager Les Snead contract extensions.

Rams spokesman Artis Twyman confirmed the moves before Sunday's game against the New England Patriots. The deal for Fisher was first reported by the NFL Network, which said it was a two-year extension through 2018.

Twyman said he couldn't comment on terms of the deals. He said, "I think that's something coach Fisher will discuss after the game."

In his fifth season with the Rams, the first four in St. Louis, Fisher has presided over a 31-43-1 record. They have yet to finish above .500 in his tenure and they haven't made the playoffs since 2004.

Snead also became the Rams' general manager in 2012, taking over a 2-14 team.

Both Fisher and Snead were in the final month of their deals. Owner Stan Kroenke, who moved the franchise from St. Louis to Los Angeles this year, has praised Fisher, a Southern California native, for capably shepherding the team's move.

Fisher was in a similar position in 1997 when the Houston Oilers moved to Nashville. He oversaw that transition during his fourth season in charge of that franchise, and by 1999 the Titans were AFC champions, losing, coincidentally, to the Rams in the Super Bowl.

Fisher coached the Titans through 2010, then was hired by the Rams after sitting out the 2011 season.

Fisher also has been a co-chairman of the NFL's powerful Competition Committee, which helps set the rules.

Before joining the Rams, Snead spent 13 seasons in the Falcons' front office.