TEMPE, Ariz. -- Brady Quinn shared a knowing glance with Michael Bush at dinner on Saturday, a day before the two would take the field at the NFL's veteran combine.
"No one is quite as old as I am," Quinn said, smiling. "I saw Michael Bush last night, and we looked at each other and kind of greeted each other, saying, 'I haven't seen you in a while,' and all of that. It's definitely the love and passion that keeps me out here."
Quinn and Bush, both 30 years old, played in 16 NFL seasons between them, but now are staring at perhaps their final chance to make it back in the NFL.
"It's just my love for the game," Quinn said, when asked why he chose to take another bite at the apple. "Had I not taken this opportunity to do this, I'd look back a year, two years, three years if I wasn't playing and regret it -- not giving it every opportunity to come out here and have one last chance of still playing in the NFL."
More than 100 players competed in the inaugural event, which included combine testing like the 40-yard dash along with on-the-field, positional workouts. All 32 teams were represented, including the San Diego Chargers' director of pro scouting, Dennis Abraham.
Bush scoffed at the notion of having to run a 40-yard dash for the first time in years, pointing to his film as proof of what he can do in the league. Told he ran an unofficial 4.91, Bush was shocked. A disclaimer: Hand-held times recorded by NFL scouts at the combine were generally at least one-tenth of a second faster than the unofficial electronic times.
"I'm still trying to be positive about everything, even with that number you hit me with," Bush said after a reporter told him his 40 time. "I've been knocked down before, so you've got to keep on going."
Although Bush may not have put his best foot forward, another veteran running back shined. Mikel Leshoure ran a 4.6-second, 40-yard time and looked solid in running back drills. A former second-round selection by the Detroit Lions in the 2012 draft, Leshoure could compete for a job as part of a running back committee this season if given an opportunity.
Another player who caught the ball well was fullback Dan Moore. The University of Montana product went to training camp with the Indianapolis Colts in 2013 but suffered a shoulder injury during training camp and was waived before final roster cuts.
Moore was out of the league in 2014 but spent the year working out in his native Tucson, Arizona. He wants another chance.
"I know I can still play, but I feel like I didn't get an opportunity to get in there and show it the last time," Moore said. "I feel like I got unfinished business. So I want to get back in there and let them know that I'm ready, and I can still play."
Along with Quinn, quarterbacks who threw the ball include former Oakland Raider Tyler Wilson, Mike Kafka and Jerrod Johnson.
A Texas A&M Product, Johnson last played in the NFL with the Chicago Bears in 2013 before spending time in the Canadian Football League with the Montreal Alouettes last year. Like the rest of the players on hand, Johnson is looking for another shot to earn a job on an NFL roster.
Johnson has continued his training in Houston, Texas, where he started a business training future quarterbacks.
"I just wanted to show that I have the skill set to play in the league, it's really that simple," Johnson said. "I had two balls that I wish I had thrown differently, but other than that I think I had a good day."