INDIANAPOLIS Mike Martin could feel like he got a careers worth of experience playing defensive tackle at Michigan all of it in his senior year.
After three seasons on a unit that seemed like an after-thought in the plans of former head coach Rich Rodriguez, Martin closed out his career with the Wolverines on a defense that was one of the nations best.
It was tougher and more disciplined as a result of the emphasis placed on it by new head coach Brady Hoke and Greg Mattison, Hokes hand-picked defensive coordinator.
Martin doesnt have a hard time explaining how much he learned about defense in 2011.
More than I did in my first three years combined easily, Martin said Saturday.
There could be a payoff in Aprils NFL draft for Martin. Martin was able to show his skills in 2011 as a tough interior defender, and he has continued to work with Mattison in the offseason to prepare for this weeks NFL Scouting Combine and the draft.
The statistics are a true indicator of the turnaround made by Michigans defense from 2010, Rodriguezs last season in Ann Arbor, and 2011 under Hoke and Mattison.
It wasnt very emphasized, Martin said of the approach by Rodriguez. He didnt really spend much time on the defense. We were kind of a supplement -- just there, trying to help out the offense.
Michigan gave up an average of 450.7 yards and 35.23 points per game in 2010. In 2011, the totals were 317.6 yards and 17.38 points.
In a 42-35 victory at Indiana in 2010, the Wolverines were on the field for 98 plays an incredibly large total.
That was enough for a game film and a sequel.
Martin grew up in Redford and played at Catholic Central High in Novi. He could have entered the NFL draft in 2011 and skipped his senior season but never thought about it.
No thought at all, he said of making the decision. I didnt do what I wanted to do at Michigan yet. I would have regretted it big time if I left.
We didnt win a Big Ten championship, but we got a Sugar Bowl championship and won 10 games and beat Ohio.
Did he say Ohio?
Not Ohio State?
Ohio, Martin replied, smiling.
The tradition of one storied rivalry has never changed.
The fastest way to attract readers, viewers or spark a debate is to mention the name of Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow. Nobody is lukewarm on Tebow.
The first question for John Elway, a Hall of Fame quarterback for the Broncos and their executive vicepresident for football operations, was about Tebow, and how he performed after taking over as the starter when the Broncos were 1-4.
Were happy with his year last year, Elway said. I was really happy with his progress. I know Tim is going to work hard this offseason, and were hoping that hes going to be the guy for a long, long time.
I think there are things that we have to get him to do within our offense to be more successful as an offense.
The Broncos have to sign a couple quarterbacks for depth and competition. Tebow and Brady Quinn were the only quarterbacks on the roster at the end of last season. Quinn is a free agent and will not be back.
Tyrone Crawford, a defensive end at Boise State, has maintained connections with Titus Young, a college teammate at Boise who had a successful rookie season playing wide receiver for the Lions.
We tweet sometimes, Crawford said Saturday.
The Lions drafted Young on the second round last year to fill the third-receiver position, and he played well.
Crawford had 13.5 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks in 2011 and made the All Mountain-West team. He is working out in Saline, Mich., under the guidance of Dr. D.S. Ping, a long-time agent who also helps players in their conditioning programs.
Crawford said he spoke to the Lions when he played in the East-West Shrine game last month.
Cordy Glenn began his college career at Georgia in 2008 protecting quarterback Matthew Stafford, who was drafted first overall by the Lions in 2009 and passed for 5,038 yards in 2011.
I played with him my freshman year, Glenn said. It was a good experience. He was a great leader. Coming in as a freshman, he made it easier for me.
Glenn is one of the biggest offensive-line prospects in the draft, at 6-5 and 345 pounds. Opinions are divided on whether he is best suited for guard or tackle.
At Georgia, Glenn played 28 games at left guard, 17 at left tackle and four at right guard.
Im just hoping to get drafted, he said. Im pretty athletic. Hopefully, I can be pretty good at it on the next level. Theres not necessarily one I prefer.
Glenn doesnt think his weight is a negative issue.
Ive basically been a pretty big guy the whole time I was at Georgia, Glenn said.
From the idiotic idea file
There have been rumbles about changing the Combines workout format to have players compete in drills. For example, two prospects would do the bench press or run the 40-yard dash at the same time.
The intent would be to make the drills more interesting and attract more viewers on television.
Dont count on it happening, for a couple of reasons. The NFLs competition committee isnt likely to go for it, and neither are the athletes and their agents. They have the ultimate leverage by skipping those drills at the Combine and doing them on their pro day or individual workouts.