Rams keeping open mind about draft’s top pick
AP Sports Writer
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – St. Louis general manager Bill Devaney isn’t sure what the Rams will do with the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft. Or even if they’ll make a pick at that spot.
He knows this: The speculation doesn’t mean a thing.
Devaney knocked every rumor swirling around the Rams this offseason, from trade talks about Michael Vick or the draft’s top pick, to the latest one – that they’re guaranteed to take Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford.
“You know that’s a lot of pressure off of us right away,” Devaney joked Friday at the league’s annual scouting combine. “We’re onto the second round now.”
How ridiculous does the chatter get this week in Indy?
Devaney said the Rams are continuing to collect information rather than making iron-clad decisions. After all, the draft still is two months away.
On March 5, the Rams and other teams will be able to start signing free agents, which is another way Devaney could fill pressing needs, including quarterback.
“You know we may be thinking we need A, B and C and if you sign a guy that might change what we need,” Devaney said.
But Devaney is keeping an open mind.
Four players are on the Rams radar at the moment: Bradford, Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen, and defensive tackles Gerald McCoy of Oklahoma and Ndamukong Suh of Nebraska.
“When you’re 1-15, there’s a lot of different directions you can go,” Devaney said. “There’s pros and cons whatever way you decide to go.”
One thing that is off the table is a trade for running back Steven Jackson.
“We need more players like Steven Jackson, we can’t be moving him out of the building,” Devaney said.
TEBOW CREATES EXODUS: Just when Packers coach Mike McCarthy was answering a question about former Florida quarterback Tim Tebow’s chances of succeeding in the NFL, the announcement that the media had been waiting for arrived: “Some guy named Tebow at podium C.”
Even as McCarthy finished his thought, half the reporters listening to his answer ditched him and ran to Tebow, whose press conference by far was the most attended so far at the combine, and perhaps the most popular in many years.
For the reporters who bailed, the following is part of McCarthy’s response.
“I don’t know enough about Tim Tebow, but what I do know about him, I would definitely love to coach him. I think the guy’s a winner – just the way he plays the game. I know a lot’s being said about his mechanics. Just the way he approaches the game, I think he’ll do everything he needs to do to improve.”
ARIZONA WITHDRAWS: The Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee has withdrawn its bid to host the Super Bowl in 2014, an NFL spokesman said Friday.
The remaining candidates now are New York, South Florida, and Tampa.
There is no basis for declaring a front runner, the spokesman said. No presentations have been made to the ownership and no poll of the owners has been taken.
Dallas hosts the Super Bowl in 2011, Indianapolis in 2012 and New Orleans in 2013.
TOUGH LOSS: Bears coach Lovie Smith acknowledged that Chicago will be trying to find more pass rushers this offseason, and one reason was the unexpected death of defensive end Gaines Adams.
Chicago traded this year’s second-round draft pick to obtain Adams last season, leaving the Bears without either a first or second-round pick.
The bigger problem is finding a replacement for Adams.
“It hurts, and of course it’s tragic to lose a guy like Gaines,” Smith said. “The idea was for Gaines to have a bigger role with us this year, so we’re one lineman down.”
SNEAD TO WORK OUT: Big name quarterbacks Colt McCoy, Sam Bradford, Tim Tebow and Jimmy Clausen won’t throw at the combine, but Mississippi’s Jevan Snead will.
“That’s one thing I came here to do – show everybody I can throw the ball,” he said. “They’ve seen me make all the throws on film. I want them to be able to see me make them in person. I love the competition. I’m just looking forward to getting out there and doing it.”
Snead passed for 2,632 yards and 20 touchdowns last season, but he also threw 20 interceptions, perhaps leaving him with a bit to prove. He had thrown for 2,762 yards, 26 touchdowns and 13 interceptions the previous year.
Snead hopes his willingness to perform in front of the scouts gives him an edge and helps make up for his dip in productivity.
“I certainly hope so,” he said. “If it does, it does. If not, then I can still say I came out here and did my best.”
AP Sports Writer Michael Marot contributed to this report.