The NFL combine, which started today, is a bizarre combination of job interview and beauty pageant. Prospective players are given numbers then judged for their appearance, ability to complete an array of physical and psychological tests and handle a bizarre few days that improve their chances in the draft. It's stressful, tiring, weird, and completely necessary.
Some Bears shared their memories of the combine with the team's official website. Offensive lineman Gabe Carimi found a coach using an odd way to test his hearing.
“One coach heard that I had [a procedure] to fix an eardrum hole, so he was whispering during our whole meeting. It was inaudible for anyone to hear. I had to keep asking him what he was saying. That was the weirdest thing.”
Though his patented football punch causes many fumbles, Pro Bowler Charles Tillman isn't known for murder. Nonetheless, Peanut was asked if he had any homicidal tendencies.
“One of the tests—I’m pretty sure it was the Giants—asked if you ever felt like you wanted to kill your coach. Sure, you don't agree with a coach sometimes. But I’ve never felt like killing a coach or anyone.”
Some Bears have shrugged off the pressure. Defensive lineman Stephen Paea broke the combine's bench press record by pushing up 255 lbs. 49 times. Earl Bennett was surprised when the Packers asked him if he could handle practice.
“The Packers said ‘[Cornerback] Al Harris is going to be in your face every play [at practice] ready to beat you down; are you going to be prepared for that?’ I was just kind of like, ‘Um, yeah, it’s football.’”