From Comcast SportsNetNEW YORK (AP) -- The NFL will hold 10 regional combines and a 2013 super regional combine beginning late in January.The regionals are a supplement to the NFL's national scouting combine in Indianapolis in late February.Regional combines are conducted specifically for players eligible for the 2013 draft but not attending the Indianapolis combine; players with college playing experience who want to gauge their pro potential; and players with some professional playing experience but who have been out of the game for a period of time.NFL executive Ray Anderson says the regional combines program " provides players who may not have had the chance before the opportunity to work out for NFL personnel executives. It allows all 32 clubs a chance to further evaluate future prospects."The regional combines will be at NFL facilities except for Honolulu (University of Hawaii) on Jan. 24-25 and Los Angeles (Orange Coast College) on Feb. 9-10.The other sites are Houston on Feb. 16; Berea, Ohio, on Feb. 17; Florham Park, N.J., on March 2-3; Tampa on March 9; Lake Forest, Ill., on March 10; Flowery Branch, Ga., on March 16-17; Renton, Wash., on March 23-24; Owings Mills, Md., on March 23-24; and the super regional at Dallas Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas."The regional combine showed me the competition and level of energy you need to play in the NFL," said Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Kevin Elliott, who impressed teams at last year's Tampa Bay combine and received an invitation to the 2012 super regional in Detroit. "It was definitely a blessing and I recommend it to anybody who's trying to get to the NFL."When this season began, 14 players who attended an NFL regional combine andor the super regional combine last year had made teams. An additional 14 were on practice squads.
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BRIGHTON, Mass. – While David Pastrnak, Tuukka Rask and David Backes are back from competing in the World Cup of Hockey in Toronto, that doesn’t mean you’ll see those players on the ice over the next couple of days. Perhaps the trio will practice on Monday in the fourth on-ice session at main training camp, but Bruins GM Don Sweeney confirmed that none of those returning players will suit up against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the B’s preseason debut at TD Garden on Monday night.
“Yeah…absolutely,” said Sweeney when asked if those three players have been ruled out for Monday night. “They’re going to get through the weekend here. Next week, we’ll evaluate [them] when they get on the ice. But, all those guys will not be on the ice until next week.
“It might be case-by-case for each guy. Those guys have been playing for a while at a high level. It’s unique for David Backes coming into the organization, so he’d like to integrate himself. I talked yesterday with all three of them just to get a read of where they’re at. But, sometime first of next week, they’ll be on [the ice].”
Both Pastrnak and Rask have checked in with the Bruins media over the last couple of days after returning from Toronto, and the Bruins goaltender, in particular, has plenty of motivation coming off a down statistical season. The 2.56 goals against average and .915 save percentage were well below his career numbers, and people like B’s President Cam Neely have pointed to Rask as somebody that needs to have a better season for Boston to rebound back into the playoffs this year.
“There were a couple of years where the standards pretty high, so obviously when they go down there’s something to rebound from. You kind of know where you can be. That’s where I try to be every year and I’m working on being there this year, and taking us to the playoffs and moving forward,” said Rask. “But every year is a new year where you’ve got to work hard, and set your goals to be at your best. More often than not you hope [being at your best] is going to happen, and I hope this year is going to be a great year for us.”
Clearly Rask wasn’t alone in his struggles last season behind a mistake-prone defense that allowed plenty of Grade chances, and that could be a repeating phenomenon again this season for the Bruins unless the defense is substantially upgraded along the way.
As far as the other three B’s players still taking part in the World Cup, it could be a while for Patrice and Brad Marchand as Team Canada has advanced to the final best-of-three series that could also feature Zdeno Chara if Team Europe is victorious.