Senior Bowl a warning for coaches and scouts

Jan. 30, 2010 at 10:03 p.m.
Updated Jan. 29, 2010 at 7:30 p.m.

By Joseph Goodman

McClatchy Newspapers


MOBILE, Ala. — With the Senior Bowl out of the way, the Dolphins' coaching staff and player development personnel can now focus on preparation for the NFL Scouting Combine.

The NFL Scouting Combine is from Feb. 24 to March 2 in Indianapolis. Dolphins coach Tony Sparano and his assistants were scheduled to return to South Florida on Sunday after their South team's 31-13 loss to the North on Saturday in the Senior Bowl.

"We'll be in combine meetings for the next couple weeks, getting ourselves prepared for the combine, and the coaches will be doing some offseason work," Sparano said.

Before the Senior Bowl, Sparano warned his assistants against "falling in love" with prospects they coach in the all-star game and get to know during the combine.

"It's one of the things that we try to talk about before we come down here is you can't really do that," Sparano said. "You can't fall in love with the players that you're working with specifically this week.

"It's the same with the combine. It's hard to dismiss four years or three years or however long these kids have played just on one workout or any of those type of things. I think those things all help — it's kind of cumulative — but at the same time, I think what they've done in college and what they've put out there on tape is probably the priority."


Three graduates of Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas competed in the Senior Bowl: defensive tackle Geno Atkins (Georgia), offensive tackle Sam Young (Notre Dame) and kicker Brett Swenson (Michigan State).

Atkins had one sack and three tackles competing for the South team.

Swenson kicked a 43-yard field goal and made 4 of 4 extra-point attempts for the North.

"It was a great experience measuring myself against all these guys," said Young, who is training in North Miami Beach. "Now I'm going to start preparing for the combine. This week let me know what to expect."

Former Georgia tackle Jeff Owens of Plantation competed for the South team and was credited with a quarterback hurry. Former West Virginia quarterback Jarrett Brown of Palm Beach County completed 4 of 7 passes for 57 yards and an interception. And former Clemson receiver Jacoby Ford of Palm Beach had one catch for 7 yards.


The emotional personality of former Oregon running back LeGarrette Blount was one of the highlights of the Senior Bowl.

Blount had the game's most spirited individual celebration after running for a 14-yard touchdown in the second quarter. Blount, a native of Madison, is the Oregon player who was suspended during the 2009 season for punching a Boise State player and then going after Boise State's fans.

The Floridian had plenty to prove, and he let his emotions spill over after his impressive run.

After the score, Blount carried the football 20 yards up the field, tossed it on the ground and then performed a brief dance. Blount (6-2, 240 pounds) rushed for 37 yards on seven carries.


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