• I was among a group of reporters who attended the second session of quarterback and receiver drills Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium. After three days of talking and writing football, it was nice to see balls in the air.
West Virginia’s Geno Smith and Syracuse’s Ryan Nassib came to the combine rated among the top few quarterbacks, at least among those who threw. Both were solid Sunday, although I thought Smith had a little better day and ran well for a big guy (6-foot-3, 214 pounds).
Tennessee wideout Cordarrelle Patterson looked big, fast and raw. The Rock Hill native was not particularly fluid getting out his cuts. But he’s a physical specimen who will be drafted high – before the Panthers pick at 14.
• Some critics thought South Carolina receiver/returner Ace Sanders erred in leaving Columbia a year early. Uh, not so much. Though he tweeted he was unhappy with his 40, Sanders looked incredibly quick making his cuts and made a great, fingertip catch on a post-corner route.
• The NFL Network cameras zoomed in on Patriots coach Bill Belichick watching from a luxury box. It appeared Belichick saw himself on a TV monitor and pretended to nod off, although that presupposes Belichick has a sense of humor. He could have been loosening his neck with his eyes closed.
• Among the locals, Elon receiver Aaron Mellette had a good day, despite a drop on an out route. Duke receiver Conner Vernon slipped after making a catch, but popped up and finished the drill.
• By Sunday, the media room had mostly cleared out. The remaining reporters were running on fumes and bad coffee. If any prospects next year get caught in a catfish involving a dead, fake girlfriend, they should wait until Sunday to face the media.
• Most of the coaches from the Panthers’ revamped offensive staff were on the Sunday evening flight to Charlotte. New quarterbacks coach Ken Dorsey watched the QB workout. The Panthers will be looking for a backup if they don’t re-sign Derek Anderson. They’re pretty set with the No. 1 guy.
Go to Butler’s Hinkle Fieldhouse if you’re in Indy. Very cool, historic venue, like the Palestra in Philly. After the game, go to Plump’s Last Shot, owned by the Milan High star, Bobby Plump, whose last-second shot won the 1954 state title for Milan High and inspired “Hoosiers.” Soak in the memorabilia at the bar, and the grease. Get the fried pork tenderloin sandwich. Count calories when you get home.