IOWA CITY — Representatives of around two dozen NFL teams spent Monday on the Iowa campus attending the Hawkeyes’ annual pro day.
As they timed Riley Reiff, measured Adam Gettis and checked out a number of former Iowa players attempting to catch the eye of scouts before next month’s NFL Draft, they weren’t the only ones who learned.
Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz found several of his assistants picking the brains of NFL personnel and even a few former Hawkeyes who have returned to campus this week, talking about new assignments they are taking on in 2012.
He singled out Reese Morgan as an example.
After spending nine seasons as Iowa’s offensive line coach, Morgan begins spring practices Saturday as the Hawkeyes’ new defensive line coach.
Ferentz said Kansas City Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel was among the people he spotted Morgan talking with during the day.
“Romeo’s spent some time coaching defensive lines, knows a bit about it,” Ferentz said. “They had a half-hour discussion on defensive line play.”
Morgan spent time Tuesday talking with former Hawkeye Aaron Kampman, a defensive end with Jacksonville now 10 seasons into his NFL career.
“Just a half-hour ago, he’s up there in the office going one on one with Kampman” Ferentz said. “Every guy who’s walked through the building is getting quizzed, and he’s been out researching with some really good people.”
Morgan’s not alone.
Ferentz sees motivational and technical benefits for current Hawkeyes whenever former players return and welcomes the chance for his coaches to “talk shop” with current NFL players and coaches.
“It’s been a little different situation for us. Guys are out researching and getting with people who are really good in their profession, and I think that is good for all of us,” Ferentz said. “It’s been good to get out and talk with people and good to have some people around.”
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General managers Ted Thompson of the Packers, Scott Pioli of the Chiefs and Kevin Colbert of the Steelers joined Crennel, position coaches from six teams and a number of scouts in attendance at the Hawkeyes’ annual pro day.
On the field, NFL.com reported that they watched Reiff record a vertical jump of 29.5 inches and 26 strength reps, while Gettis did 20 strength reps.
Linebacker Tyler Nielsen posted times of 4.64 and 4.66 seconds in the 40-yard dash, had a 37-inch vertical jump and 9-8 broad jump, while receiver Marvin McNutt ran a 6.95 three-cone drill and performed well in position drills.
Defensive backs Shaun Prater and Jordan Bernstine recorded best times of 4.48 and 4.45, respectively, in the 40, and Bernstine recorded a 41-inch vertical leap and 10-7 broad jump.
Prater’s activity was limited because of a knee injury, but he anticipates doing more when Mike Daniels hosts a workout for scouts in early April.