I’ve been to countless press conferences and events in my time working in the sports industry, but I’ve never seen anything like the Manti Te’o presser that just went down here in the interview room. The amount of media crunched around the young man was without a doubt into the few hundreds.
I won’t get into the story…everyone knows it by now. But I will say that the linebacker and Heisman Trophy runner-up did an excellent job in my opinion in what was a tough situation.
Here are a few highlights from his 15 minute press conference.
*Te’o was surprised by the media attention and fascination they have with him and this story. He admitted he was embarrassed by what happened but has since moved on. Also, while he has dealt with the media a bunch during his career, he was taken aback by the amount of media here for his press conference. “This is pretty crazy,” he said. “I’ve been in front of a few cameras but never as many as this.”
*Te’o will be meeting with 20 teams here at the NFL Scouting Combine, and so far every team has asked about the incident. He expects that to be the case with each and every team he meets with. Te’o said they want to hear about the incident in his own words and what the truth is from him. Still, he said that usually lasts 30 seconds to a minute and the rest of the time is spent discussing football.
*The toughest part of the whole ordeal was when his sister called and said they had to sneak his family into their house because people were camped out in their front yard.
*Te’o isn’t worried about how he will be embraced by his teammates in the pros based on the incident. He plans to go out there and “focus on the things I can control.”
Along with our contributing writer Ryan Schuler, I’ll have a more in depth breakdown of each position group up on Chargers.com this afternoon. But I had to stop in and say how much I love watching the offensive linemen go through their workouts. They are probably my favorite position to watch save for the wide receivers.
Not the most graceful position, these guys put it all on the line. Even from my spot in the stands I could hear the grunting and groaning of each guy as they push themselves to post the best times possible. So far, I’ve been quite impressed with Eric Fisher and Chance Warmack (photo to the right), even though he had a disappointing 40-yard dash. It’s easy to see why these guys are projected to go high in April’s draft.
I’ll probably stop by with one more entry today on Manti Te’o’s highly anticipated press conference. The media members who stayed away from Lucas Oil Stadium early this morning have come out in droves in the last hour getting ready to speak with the controversial linebacker.
It should be an interesting one!
There is a completely different feel in the air today as the morning marks the beginning of on-field testing. The players are understandably nervous. Most days so far when I walked past them they’d have a smile on their face and were eager to chat.
Today was all business, and understandably so. Today marks the most important day of their young professional careers to date.
Believe it or not, many members of the media are sticking in their hotel rooms to watch coverage on NFL Network. Their access is severely limited to just the interview room, so they figure that’s the best way to get coverage. Luckily, since I am with the Chargers, I have better access and get to watch the workouts live from the stands.
So far, the buzz is all about Arkansas-Pine Bluff’s Terron Armstead. If you come from a small school like Arkansas-Pine Bluff, you have to do something to distinguish yourself and Armstead certainly did that. The 306-pound offensive lineman ran a 4.65 in the 40-yard dash (ed. note – that has since been changed to a 4.71). Yes, you read that correctly. The big man’s time was equal to that of some wide receivers, and the closest time to his so far has been a 5.01 by both Eric Fisher and David Bakhtiari. In history, according to NFL.com the next closest time is a 4.84 by Allen Barbre in 2007.
I’ll have more directly from the stadium later on in the day.
Tags: NFL Scouting Combine
Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »