INDIANAPOLIS – The 48 head coaches and general mangers talking this week at the NFL Combine began speaking to the media on Wednesday morning.
Along with those interviews, measurables for the offensive line, tight ends and specialists took place on Wednesday.
Here is a live run down from what was learned at the first day of the Combine:
Josh McCown was the popular free agent quarterback name thrown around at the Combine on Wednesday. The Jets are on the Colts schedule in 2015 and there's uncertainty on the New York starting quarterback for sure. Will new head coach Todd Bowels move away from Geno Smith?
Mayhew, the Lions GM, was peppered with Ndamukong Suh questions. He talked like a guy that is committed to locking Suh up to a deal and/or franchise tag (must be used by March 2). Mayhew said the Lions are "prepared financially" to keep Suh in Detroit. One pull that Mayhew reiterated the Lions have is playing in a 4-3 scheme, a system Suh enjoys. This obviously differs from the Colts 3-4 hybrid defensive scheme.
New Bills Head Coach Rex Ryan was his typical enthusiastic self at Wednesday's Combine. The Colts will see the Bills on the road next season. Is E.J. Manuel going to be the quarterback? Ryan would only go as far to say that solidifying up that QB position had to be an offseason focus with an already stout defense in place.
Titans GM Ruston Weber made it pretty clear that they are open to Zach Mettenberger (2014 sixth-round pick) being the starter at quarterback but didn't seem as committed to 2011 first-round pick Jake Locker. Weber said the quarterback position is the top offseason priority for the Titans and seemed very open to selecting Jameis Winston or Marcus Mariota with the second overall pick.
Reports of Frank Gore to the Colts have picked up steam this week. San Francisco GM Trent Baalke was asked about Gore on Wednesday and sung his praises. Baalke called the 10-year vet "the most passionate football player" he's ever been around. It will be an interesting few weeks to see where Gore will end up with free agency beginning on March 10.
The Colts host Denver in 2015 and listening to Broncos new head coach Gary Kubiak on Wednesday, he gave every indication that Peyton Manning will be the quarterback. While there haven't been any "assurances" to Manning definitely returning, Kubiak talked often on building the offense around the strengths of Manning. So it looks like the Colts and Manning will see each other for a fourth time in the last three years with a 2015 regular season meeting at Lucas Oil.
The No. 1 pick in this year's draft (held by the Buccaneers), should have intrigue to the Colts. Tampa Bay travels to Indianapolis this year meaning Jameis Winston could be the visiting quarterback. Lovie Smith played his poker hand very well on Wednesday talking up current quarterback Mike Glennon. He addressed Winston though and said they have not taken him off their board due to the Florida State quarterback's off-the-field issues in college.
One of my favorite things about the Combine is listening to GM's share their thoughts on the depth of the draft. Pittsburgh GM Kevin Colbert pointed to offensive tackle. The Colts tackle outlook has a cornerstone in Anthony Castonzo and then some uncertainty in Gosder Cherilus (injuries) and Joe Reitz (unrestricted free agent). Could the Colts take a tackle for the second straight year (Ulrick John-7th round pick in 2014)?
As expected, the running back position is catching the eye of the men doing the selecting later this spring. Colbert pointed to the underclassmen in the ball carrier department. Just 74 underclassmen have declared for the draft this year, well below the 98 number from 2014.