Titans GM Jon Robinson Looking for Clues at Combine

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INDIANAPOLIS – Titans general manager Jon Robinson has seen plenty of "workout warriors" in his day, players who ace drills at the NFL Combine after so-so college careers. 

He's also witnessed some disappointing workouts after watching players excel on the field on Saturdays.

Here this week, Robinson and his staff will watch over 300 NFL prospects go through drills at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Robinson came to town with an open mind, but he's not going to lose track of what matters most.

"To me, the most important thing is the game tape,'' Robinson said. "That is what they are going to be doing. They are not going to be running the three-cone drill during the game.

"The combine and workouts are a part of the process. You have to take everything into consideration."

Like all 32 NFL teams, the Titans will flood Indianapolis with members of the personnel department, scouting staff and coaching staff this week.

During the afternoons, they'll watch the NFL prospects participate in position drills. The players will be timed in the 40-yard dash, the three-cone drill and shuttle run. They'll be tested in the vertical jump and broad jump, and bench press 225 pounds as many reps as they can. Some players, of course, won't participate in some of the drills, either because of an injury or because they'd rather showcase themselves as their school's pro day instead.

Robinson said the combine provides clues.

"I think it validates what you see on tape on some players that you like, and players that you don't like, it makes you go back and watch more film on the player and try and determine, 'OK, what did I miss on the guy?,'" Robinson said when asked about the importance of workouts at the NFL Combine. "If it is a lineman that runs slow, well, he is really not going to be able to get out there on screens or he's not going to be able to get downfield and block. Or this skill player, he is going to have a hard time outrunning somebody with the ball in his hands or catching somebody that has the ball. It goes hand in hand."

At night, the Titans and every other NFL team will conduct 15-minute interviews with 60 prospects they had to choose in advance.

A few more pieces of the puzzle that will come together this week:

• The players will take the Wonderlic test, which measures intelligence.

• Medical tests for the players will provide insight on past injuries, and reveal potential concerns.

Robinson said the NFL Combine is more than just about the prospects, however. One thing is for sure: It will be a busy week for everyone involved.

"You catch up with guys you haven't seen in the league,'' Robinson said. "That's where a couple of trades kind of manifested last year for us, a least initial conversations about that. So that's kind of where you start to think about those things and talk about possible scenarios.

"The nights are taken up with prospect interviews, and really trying to get as best a feel as possible in 15 minutes. And then the days are watching the players move around. It's where we get a chance to gauge the pure athletic movement that they do or don't have as it relates to how they'd fit our football team."

TitansOnline.com looks back at some current and former Titans players taking part in the NFL Scouting Combine. (AP Photos)

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