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NFL combine: 10 things we learned Wednesday

INDIANAPOLIS -- The first groups of draft prospects went through their paces at the scouting combine Wednesday, but the biggest news of the day involved quarterbacks already in the NFL.

Denver coach Gary Kubiak said the Broncos are expecting Peyton Manning to be the team's quarterback in 2015; Cleveland coach Mike Pettine said Johnny Manziel's uncertain status means the Browns are still looking for a starting signal-caller; and Washington coach Jay Gruden said Robert Griffin III will go into the season as the Redskins' starter.

Kubiak said he's already working on terminology for the new offense with the plan that Manning will be behind center. Pettine said he's visited Manziel at the rehab facility where the quarterback was admitted last week. Gruden had hinted after last season that there would be a quarterback competition, but apparently he has decided Griffin is the Redskins' best option.

On the combine front, special-teams players and offensive linemen were the first groups to be officially weighed and measured and to go through medical exams.

Here are 10 things that grabbed the attention of NFL Nation's reporters at the combine Wednesday:

1. Let Peyton be Peyton: Kubiak said he likes to call plays and run the scheme he always has, but he's prepared to put verbiage in the play calls Manning is familiar with. Kubiak said the coaches already are "in the process" of "meshing" what Manning has used with the Broncos and what Kubiak has used in the past. And when it comes to running the no-huddle, he's ready to let Manning do that as well. "He's, obviously, at the line of scrimmage, as good as there has ever been in this game," Kubiak said. "You don't ever take that away from your players, and it's something I look forward to talking with him about -- his mindset, his philosophy." -- Jeff Legwold

2. Browns face serious problems with Manziel: The Browns basically have two quarterback plans -- one with Manziel, one without. The latter is the only reliable option until Manziel returns from treatment, and even then it's uncertain what the team will be getting. Pettine made clear that the organization is proud of Manziel and wants him to come back refreshed. That doesn't mean he'll be equipped to start NFL games. There's no guarantee his on-the-field ability can get it done. If the Browns felt remotely confident Manziel would start in 2015, they wouldn't be scouring the earth for quarterback help. -- Jeremy Fowler

3. Fun with physicals: The linemen had their medical evaluations, which led to some funny or cool moments for some. One said he liked actually being able to see his heart beating. Duke tackle Takoby Cofield was shocked at the size of his vertebrae. So shocked that he asked if that was normal: "I understand I'm a big guy, but the actual vertebrae in my back are, like, massive. I didn't realize the bones were that big. ... I was like, 'Is my vertebrae supposed to be this big?'" It was completely normal. -- Tania Ganguli

4. Interviews have impact: With all the pro days and the Senior Bowl and the myriad other ways teams can evaluate players these days, what is the main reason teams still flock to the combine? The interviews. While in Indianapolis, coaching and scouting staffs that don't attend the Senior Bowl can talk to players for the first time. Staffs that might have started conversations at the college all-star game can continue then at the combine. Here's what Washington head coach and former Bengals assistant Jay Gruden said about the benefit of interviews: "Your needs can change. I may be thinking about [one player at] a position, but somebody else will stand out in the interview room or out on the field out there, and then you go back and watch the tape on them." -- Coley Harvey

5. Plenty of eyes will be on pass-rushers: The Falcons sorely need to add an edge rusher or two and most likely will target that position with the eighth overall pick. ESPN draft expert Todd McShay talked about Nebraska's Randy Gregory, Missouri's Shane Ray and Florida's Dante Fowler Jr. as the top guys off the edge. It's just a matter of which order those three will fall in the draft, but the Falcons would benefit from getting any one of the three. St. Louis Rams general manager Les Snead, who has a pretty formidable pass rush led by Robert Quinn, talked in general terms about the pass-rushers at the top of this year's draft. "I think at the top, there's definitely some guys in college football that rush the passer well," Snead said. "The hardest part about that position is will what they bring to the table translate to the NFL game and who is protecting the passer." -- Vaughn McClure

6. Bears are definitely a 3-4 team: When the Bears brought aboard Vic Fangio as the defensive coordinator, there was plenty of speculation about the team moving to a 3-4 scheme or a hybrid look. But new head coach John Fox made it clear the Bears are definitely moving to a 3-4. What's more is that Fox and general manager Ryan Pace believe several of the players on the current roster, such as Jared Allen, Willie Young and Lamarr Houston, fit the new scheme. "I think he can be very flexible," Pace said of Allen. "We can use him in a variety of ways. He has done it for a lot of years. I feel the same way about several other players. Houston is the same way. I think position flexibility is a strength of some of those guys. And again, I think Vic Fangio and John Fox -- intelligent guys that will find ways to maximize their skill sets." -- Michael C. Wright

7. Chiefs will like this lineman: LSU's La'el Collins looks like the kind of offensive lineman Kansas City general manager John Dorsey and coach Andy Reid prefer. They like linemen who can play several positions. That makes it easier for position changes when injuries strike. Collins, a first-round prospect, can play guard or tackle. "I don't have any preference, left or right," he said. Collins prefers to play tackle, and if the Chiefs were to draft him, that's probably where he'd play. "I just love the one-on-one matchups," he said. "I just love being out there one-on-one with a guy and having my way with him all night." -- Adam Teicher

8. Bush's status might be in question: Reggie Bush, who turns 30 next month, has been a popular candidate as a possible cap casualty for the Lions, especially if the team needs money to retain Ndamukong Suh. General manager Martin Mayhew was noncommittal about Bush's future with Detroit, although he couched that by saying nobody's future with the franchise is locked in. While that is true, that he mentioned the value a player can bring to the organization might be somewhat telling when it comes to Bush, who battled through injuries last season and gained only 334 yards on 84 carries. -- Michael Rothstein

9. In support of Bradford: As is often the case at Lucas Oil Stadium at this time of year, rumors began churning about the Rams and Sam Bradford. One report indicated the Rams have given the quarterback's agent, Tom Condon, permission to seek a trade. While that has to happen for those discussions to take place, things aren't always what they seem. In other words, the Rams aren't shopping Bradford. The bottom line is the Rams want to reduce Bradford's scheduled $16.58 million cap number, and the easiest way for both parties to get a feel for Bradford's market is for his agent to have conversations with other teams. Snead made it clear the team has no intention of getting rid of Bradford and conversations about how best to keep him have started. -- Nick Wagoner

10. Don't expect Gore to land in Indy: The Colts are looking for a running back to complement Andrew Luck's arm because Trent Richardson turned out to be a failure and there are plenty of question marks about the rest of the running backs on the roster. San Francisco running back Frank Gore, who has eight 1,000-yard seasons in his 10 seasons, is about to become a free agent. The Colts shouldn't get their hopes up for Gore, though. "Frank, the energizer battery, just keeps on ticking," 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said. "The last two games of the season, I think you saw what Frank still has left in the tank. Very good football player. One of the most passionate, if not the most passionate football player I've ever been around. Still think he's got it in him, and I know he still believes it. I talked to him the other day on the phone, and we're going to do what we can to get him back as a 49er." -- Mike Wells