ShareThis Page

NFL Combine notebook: Ex-Pitt QB continues to fly under NFL's radar

| Monday, Feb. 24, 2014, 10:06 p.m.

One of the more under-the-radar players at the NFL Combine was Pitt quarterback Tom Savage, who bounced around between Rutgers and Arizona before finally landing in Pittsburgh and starting last season.

“A big, strong kid who can throw the football,” NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock said. “He's been at three colleges, so nobody even knows about him, but he's a big kid with a live arm.”

• The NFL Competition Committee is expected to take up a proposal next month to penalize those in the league who use racial slurs; an in-game infraction would be a 15-yard penalty. Steelers safety Ryan Clark told ESPN that team chairman Dan Rooney, through cornerback Ike Taylor, asked the Steelers players to stop using them, even when it was black players kidding with other black players. Clark said the self-imposed ban lasted for a while, but the players eventually went back to using them.

• South Carolina defensive lineman Jadeveon Clowney's 4.53 time in the 40-yard dash was major news at the combine, and it took attention away from the almost as impressive 4.58 by a Pennsylvania defensive lineman: Larry Webster of Bloomsburg. The 6-foot-6 Webster weighs 252 pounds or about 30 less than Aaron Donald of Pitt. The third-fastest time among linemen was the 4.60 by Howard Jones of Shepherd, a Division II school in West Virginia about 190 miles from Pittsburgh. However, Jones, at 235 pounds, appears to be too small to play defensive end in the NFL.

• Despite Clowney's rapid 40 time, he underachieved in weightlifting with only 21 reps of 225 pounds — and this after a season in which he had 10 12 fewer sacks than in 2012.“He's the scariest, (most) freakish, physical specimen I've ever seen since I've been doing this, as a potential upside defensive lineman,” Mayock said. “However, that doesn't mean I'm saying he's the best defensive lineman in the draft or the best player in the draft, because he worries me with a lot of the red flags.”

• The story that wouldn't die in Indianapolis was the Browns' inquiry about trading for 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh, which San Francisco wouldn't even discuss. Now, according to the NFL Network, Southern Cal also was interested in talking to Harbaugh if the 49ers had given permission. The USC search was headed by former Steelers linebackers coach Jed Hughes, now a well-known executive search firm head.

— Alan Robinson

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.