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Lamar Miller already thinking Hall of Fame, and other Combine notes

For a look at why Ryan Tannehill would be excited to join the Dolphins – as well as what Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III were saying Friday – see our last post.

Here are 10 quick tidbits from the NFL Combine Friday:

### How confident is UM running back Lamar Miller? Among his comments: “I feel I can be a running back in the Hall of Fame” and “I’m a game-changer” and “I’m much faster” than the draft’s top running back, Alabama’s Trent Richardson.

Miller will run the 40-yard-dash on Sunday and “I’m going to try to break the clock – run a 4.2, a 4.3.” He won’t participate in other drills because he’s recovering from shoulder surgery.

### Pierre Garcon (70 catches, 947 yards last season) turned down a contract offer from the Colts and reportedly will test free agency, meaning two of Peyton Manning's favorite targets - Garcon and former UM star Reggie Wayne will both be available. So will one of his former tight ends, Jacob Tamme. All would be possibilities for the team that signs Manning.

Keep in mind that Dolphins coach Joe Philbin insisted Thursday he is happy with his receiver group. If Miami signs Manning, it likely would need to use its remaining cap space to shore up the offensive line and add a pass rusher. And Garcon and Wayne won't come cheap.

### Broncos executive John Elway, on Tim Tebow: “I was really happy with his progress. We hope he’ll be the guy for a long, long time. We want to see strides in Tim being able to throw down the field and in the pocket. That would make everything he does that much better.”

### Speedy FIU receiver T.Y. Hilton can’t participate in drills this weekend because of a partial tear in a quadriceps sustained during the Panthers’ bowl game. But he said he will be ready to run by FIU’s Pro Day March 9. He hopes to go in the second or third round.

“I always have a chip on my shoulder,” Hilton said. “A lot of teams look at me and say, 'Hey, he came from a smaller school.' I'm going to show those teams I'm here. FIU has some great athletes now. I'm blessed to be able to come from that school.''

He compares his skills to DeSean Jackson and said he watched Devin Hester return punts and kickoffs growing up and "he reminds me of me.'' Hilton, who measured 5-9 and 193 pounds, said he has been working with Carolina and former UM tight end Greg Olsen and Redskins receiver Donte Stallworth.

### Packers general manager Ted Thompson declined to say if the team would use the franchise tag on Matt Flynn, which would enable the Packers to try to trade him instead of losing him for nothing. That decision must be made by March 5 - eight days before free agency begins.

An associate of Flynn said he would be surprised if that happened because Green Bay would on the hook for a $14.4 million salary if it couldn't trade him. And the Packers likely would get a compensatory third-round draft pick if it lost him in free agency.

Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Friday, "In my opinion, he's ready to be an NFL starter. If I was a club who was looking for a good young quarterback, he's definitely someone I would talk to."

### Thompson, on new Dolphins coach Joe Philbin: “A really good man. He understands people. Good evaluator. Good scheme guy. He will do a really good job in Miami.”

### The Dolphins might try to restructure and extend Jake Long’s contract, which expires after next season, in part to create more cap space for this year. But agent Tom Condon said the Dolphins haven’t yet broached the issue.

### Among the numerous players the Dolphins have arranged meetings with: UM receiver Travis Benjamin and UF running back Chris Rainey. Benjamin has been working with ESPN analyst and former NFL standout Cris Carter.

### Former Dolphins linebacker Channing Crowder said he would love to join the Falcons and be reunited with defensive coordinator Mike Nolan. But Atlanta general manager Thomas Dimitroff, who’s in negotiations to re-sign inside linebacker Curtis Lofton, said the team hasn’t contacted Crowder.

### Oklahoma State quarterback Brandon Weeden, a former minor-league baseball player, keeps trying to convince teams his age (28) is not a negative. “I’ve already been a pro,” he said. “That’s what I’m telling teams. They agreed. I’ve had failures and successes. [Also], I didn’t get hit at Oklahoma State. I’m extremely fresh. I can play for a long time. I’ll be a good fit for whoever decides to take me.”

     

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