Lions eye Tomlinson Concussion concerns ImPACT combine
By CLIFF BRUNT
INDIANAPOLIS — With 30 losses in the previous two seasons, the Detroit Lions are willing to consider any option available to get things turned around. Those options include trading the No. 2 pick in the draft and making a run at LaDainian Tomlinson.
"We're open to just about everything," Detroit coach Jim Schwartz said yesterday at the NFL scouting combine. "Whether you keep the second pick or whether you trade down, it doesn't change what you have to do — that's make good decisions in the draft. There are blue chip players available a lot of different spots in the draft."
The Lions, who were just 2-14 last year after going 0-16 in 2008, need to upgrade their running game. Detroit ranked 24th in the league with 101 yards per game. So Schwartz didn't rule out picking up Tomlinson, the longtime San Diego Chargers back who was released Monday after a nine-year run in which he became one of the greatest running backs in NFL history.
"We'll look at every way we can to improve the team," Schwartz said. "I don't think we make any decisions and just blanket say, 'No, we're not interested.' Every player has something they can bring and if they can help us win, we'll look at just about everything. I have a tremendous amount of respect for him."
JUST WORK OUT: San Francisco general manager Scot McCloughan said he'd like all the top prospects to attend the combine and work out.
"My personal, selfish opinion is you get a chance to compete, you come and compete," he said. "It doesn't matter, whether its dominoes, coming to the Senior Bowl or coming out here. Also, you can't put it all on the kids' shoulders. They've got agents, they've got people in their ears telling them what's best for their future and what's best for their draft status."
McCloughan said he hasn't downgraded a prospect for choosing not to show up.
"The guys that have gone to the Senior Bowl, they're top-notch guys, and they come here and they work — are usually guys who end up in the NFL and have good careers," McCloughan said.
SMITH IS THE MAN: A year ago, San Francisco was rumored to be among the teams in the hunt for Michael Vick.
A year later, they feel much better about quarterback Alex Smith.
"I feel very good about saying that Alex Smith is our starter going into the next football season," coach Mike Singletary said.
Smith threw for 2,350 yards and 18 touchdowns with 12 interceptions and was sacked 22 times this season. He completed 225 of his 372 passes.