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Posted Feb 25, 2010

The Chiefs have landed at the NFL Combine

Welcome to Indianapolis.

The NFL Combine, held at Lucas Oil Stadium in downtown Indy is about as big of an event as it gets, yet it’s still able to hold exclusive status. Unlike the Senior Bowl and other all-star games/workouts, the Combine is closed to the general public. The actual workouts themselves are also closed to the media (outside the NFL Network).

What’s the big deal about the Combine?

Most everyone is aware of what the players go through here in Indianapolis. Each position group will run the 40-yard dash, show their strength on the bench press and get their vertical measured. They’ll also broad jump, shuffle and run through three-cone drills until scouts need new batteries for their stop watches.

That’s all great, but the majorities of NFL scouts have already filed their formal reports on this year’s crop of collegiate talent and have moved on to scouting the class of 2011. Almost all of the physical tests have already been performed on each one of these players by NFL personnel men at some point in their college careers. Why do it again here in Indy?

How to guys supposedly slide up and down draft boards after working out in shorts and tennis shoes? Where’s the balance between physical specimen and football player? Shouldn’t the countless hours of tape speak for itself?

Again, what’s the big deal about the Combine?

This is something that we’ll ask Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli and head coach Todd Haley this week. But until we get the official word, we’ve received clues about why this is still quite the event, despite potential evaluation holes that could surround the week-long testing.

One of those clues was on my flight to Indianapolis last night. Check that, a bunch of the clues were located on my flight to Indy last night.

Many members of the Chiefs medical staff, consisting of PhD specialists from around the area, were aboard Southwest Airlines flight 683 from Kansas City to Indianapolis Wednesday night. That may be THE BIGGEST clue as to why this even is so important to NFL franchises.

Sure, there are scouts, head coaches, general managers and a bundle of media in attendance to talk to and measure players, but the real value in the weekend likely resides with the docs. The Chiefs medical staff will take prospects through a number of medical tests this week; medical tests that the team is unlikely to perform while the players are still playing for their respective colleges.

Doctors will poke, prod and evaluate. A perfect example of this is the Chiefs first-round pick in 2008 Glenn Dorsey. Coming off a leg injury, medical staffs across the league put Dorsey through the gauntlet of evaluation. There are high financial commitments and the future of franchises at stake in the draft. Any and all medical inquiries have to be direct, precise and intensive.

We won’t get to see what the docs reveal and we won’t see the physical workouts other than on the NFL Network like everyone else. But what we will get to do over these next four days in Indianapolis is bring you exclusive interviews with prospects and words from not only Kansas City Chiefs personnel, but from personnel around the league.

For up-to-the-minute Combine results, you can go here - http://www.nfl.com/combine/top-performers

To view an explanation of all the drills, you can go here –

http://www.nfl.com/combine/workouts

To view the list of prospects, you can go here –

http://www.nfl.com/combine/players

For everything relevant to the Chiefs, you’ve already found the right place right here on kcchiefs.com.

The workouts themselves begin on Saturday, but the coverage of the athletes begins right now.

Welcome to Indy.

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