Seahawks coach Pete Carroll is scheduled to talk to the media here in Indianapolis at the NFL's scouting combine, at noon Pacific Time. Think he might get a question or three about his final call of the Super Bowl?
Rams coach Jeff Fisher, co-chair of the NFL's competition committee, got many questions this morning about ideas to tweak the league's replay-review system on officials' calls. He said "there was frustration" among coaches and teams following last season with the system, but then again "there always is." Fisher specifically talked about the idea of replay review expanding to what essentially is its last frontier, penalty calls. He used the example of pass interference and said, "you're talking about going frame by frame by frame to determine the call. I'm not sure that's where we want our game to go right now."
Fisher also reiterated what his general manager, Les Snead, said here Wednesday: The CBSSports.com report from two days ago that Sam Bradford has permission to seek a trade is "inaccurate" and that the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2011, running again after a second torn anterior cruciate ligament in his knee in as many years, is the Rams' quarterback for 2015.
As the offensive linemen run 40-yard dashes and shuttle drills on the other side of this wall from me at Lucas Oil Stadium this morning, two Washington Huskies stars who took remarkable paths to get here are having their first big day at the combine.
Pass rusher Hau'oli Kikaha and defensive tackle Danny Shelton are having their medical examinations and will then talk later today with the media. The medical exam that is renowned among players here for being annoyingly meticulous is likely to be particularly arduous for Kikaha; he tore the same ACL in his knee twice in two years while at UW. He responded by spending last season as the leading sack man in college football, which is a glimpse into what I've learned about his fortitude.
Here is the story I wrote in 2013 on how Kikaha didn't see his father from the time he was 1 1/2 until age 16, was raised often by his two brothers while his single mother worked multiple jobs, got out of his small community in Hawai'i to not only become a football star but a 3.5 student who briefed at symposiums and made multiple overseas trips to study his Pacific Islander heritage while at UW -- all on his way to his big NFL showcase this weekend. Safe to say I'm rooting for him.
Shelton, who pretty much manhandled the South Puget Sound League while at Auburn High School, has gone from a tricky entry to Washington to what many rate as the No. 2 defensive tackle in this draft class. He also is more than a football player. Shelton became a dean's-list student and traveled to Tahiti with Kikaha and 10 other Huskies two years ago to study the many negative effects of French colonization in the South Pacific island nation.
While just 17 and a senior at Auburn High already signed to UW, Shelton and his then-15-year-old brother watched their two older brothers get shot on May 1, 2011. One of the bullets went through the head of Shennon, his second-oldest brother, a beloved middle-school football and basketball coach known as "Skeevie" in their hometown. It killed him a few feet from where Danny was standing.
According to a report by the Auburn Police Department, the brothers were at an apartment following a street fight involving Danny's oldest brother Gaston, whom they call "Tui." Tui then rounded up his brothers, some cousins and a friend and sought retribution. They were met at the apartment not only with resistance, but a gun. Tui was shot through his torso, narrowly missing his heart. Skeevie was mortally wounded in the neck.
Then - mercifully, miraculously, whatever -- the gunman's weapon jammed. With one of his brothers dying and another shot in the chest feet away from him, Danny jumped the shooter.
Pepper spray ended the melee, but not the memory.
"I have flashbacks. I have flashbacks thinking a lot, 'What if this? What if that?'" Danny Shelton told me in 2012. "But then I have to think to myself, I have to move on and look to the future.
"I'm always, constantly thinking about my brother. How it would be different if he was here with me right now, supporting me."
He would be proud to see Danny here today in Indianapolis.
The rest of Shelton's story I wrote while at UW in 2012 is here.