NFL notes: New England executive on Brian Ferentz; Cleveland coach on Eric Steinbach, Mike Adams on Adrian Clayborn plus videos
A few notes from the NFL Scouting Combine here in Indianapolis:
New England Director of Player Personnel Nick Caserio spoke with Boston-area media about the Patriots' offseason departures and other moves. Brian Ferentz recently left the Patriots as their tight ends coach to join Iowa as the Hawkeyes' offensive line coach and work under his father, Kirk Ferentz.
Here's what Caserio said (tip of the cap to the Boston Globe's Shalise Manza Young):
"Iíve got a lot of respect for Brian, Brian is a great coach, heís been in our program, he actually started in personnel and worked his way over to coaching.
"But itís a good opportunity for Brian. Iím sure heís excited; you probably donít get a chance too often to work with your father and coach your brother at the same time. Brian did a good job for us while he was here."
Former Iowa offensive lineman Eric Steinbach missed all of†last season with a training camp back injury and subsequent surgery. Steinbach, 31, plays guard for the Cleveland Browns. He was one of the NFL's most durable offensive linemen before last season, playing all but three games from 2003 through 2010.
Browns Coach Pat Shurmer was confident Steinbach will return in good shape this year.
"He's rehabbing from his back injury so he's doing fine," Shurmer said. "We're hopeful that†he's going to be back."
Ohio State tackle Mike Adams was asked who was the toughest player he faced in college.
"My junior year I played against (Wisconsin's) J.J. Watt, (Purdue's Ryan Kerrigan and (Iowa's) Adrian Clayborn," he said. "Those three guys, they all were great players. All of them definitely made a name for themselves in their rookie years, so I would say those three guys."
Both Kerrigan (Washington) and Clayborn (Tampa Bay) had 7.5 sacks this year. Kerrigan was a rush linebacker in a 3-4 defense and Clayborn was a 4-3 defensive end. Watt (Houston) played defensive end in a 3-4, in which he often had to occupy blockers, but had 5.5 sacks.