To work out or not to work out. That was the question facing many of the top college prospects working out at the National Football Scouting Combine, which wrapped up its seven-day run at the RCA Dome and Indiana Convention Center on Tuesday.

Although the total number of players agreeing to go through all the requested drills was up this year as compared to past combines, several of the top candidates to be early round draft picks — most notably running back Reggie Bush along with quarterbacks Matt Leinart and Vince Young — opted not to take part in some, if not all, of the required physical tests.

All three, instead, have decided to wait until they have their own personal workout days on their college campuses over the next month. Others, such as former Minnesota running back Laurence Maroney — a possible Indianapolis Colts first-round selection — decided not to take part in some of the running drills due to nagging injuries but did go through some of the other tests.

Still, for the most part, coaches and general managers from around the National Football League seemed to be pleased with the total number of prospects deciding to fully participate in the workouts.

“We had a lot more guys who decided to run this year than we have had in past couple of combines and I think that’s sort of a credit to you guys,” Houston Texans general manager Charley Casserley said recently, referring to the media’s coverage of the combine and the surprisingly slow performance of former Ohio State running back Maurice Clarett.

“Last year, when so much was made of some of the guys and their 40 times, or their slow 40 times, I think it made some of the guys this year decide to go out and do most, if not all, that we asked them to do.”

In past combines, agents attempted to persuade players not to run because that the old RCA Dome turf was thought to be old and too slow. This year, combine organizers tried to take full advantage of the facility’s new FieldTurf playing surface. Still, the perception was still there that the times would be slow again this year.

“All I know is, during the season, when [Indianapolis receiver] Marvin Harrison scores touchdowns on it and [defensive ends] Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis gets sacks, I pick up the paper and [the media says] the Colts have a phenomenal home-field advantage because they’re turf is so fast, and they’re slow but they play fast on that turf,” Colts team president Bill Polian was quick to point out.

“It’s hard for me to believe that between January 16 and now, it’s become slow. What happened? It’s a fast surface and it’s no different than the old surface in terms of 40 times. Fast guys run fast. That’s the bottom line.”

n CBA agreement expected — There were indications Tuesday that an agreement between the National Football League’s owners and the league’s player association on an extension of the collective bargaining agreement was imminent.

If a deal is reached by today, the NFL’s free agency deadline could be moved back a week. In the absence of a new CBA, league teams would be forced to begin trimming rosters of high-priced free agents as soon as Friday.

Stadium-naming announcement scheduled — A press conference has been announced for 1:30 p.m. today at the Colts’ Union Federal Football Complex.

It is expected that the team and city officials will announce that they have come to terms with Lucas Oil Products to name the new stadium, which is expected to be ready by the start of the 2008 NFL season.

Lucas Oil, which is now based in California, began as a family run business in Milltown, Indiana.

Trending Video

Recommended for you