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Spinning Shady

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Drew Rosenhaus stood outside the indoor practice facility at the UPMC Sports Performance Complex on the South Side like the rest of us – except for making one phone call after another on his Bluetooth – while waiting to learn the results of LeSean McCoy’s performance at Pitt’s Pro Day.

The fast-talking sports agent and his fast-talking client are an interesting match, as one claims to represent the NFL’s best running backs and the other hopes to soon earn that distinction.

Plus, both like to wear the Superman logo on their shirts.

“We represent more of the top runners in the league than any agency combined, and I think I know how to evaluate running backs,” Rosenhaus boasts, “and this guy is the best.”

It was weird, then, to watch Rosenhaus doing damage control Tuesday afternoon following McCoy’s workout. They were disappointed in his 40-yard dash times, which were in the 4.5-second range. Not because they were poor – they would have ranked fifth among backs at the NFL Combine – but rather didn’t propel him into the upper half of the draft’s first round.

McCoy was hoping to pull a DARRELLE REVIS and rocket into a top-15 pick.

Instead, McCoy was disappointed with a performance that included “17 or 18″ reps of 225 pounds on the bench press, a 29-inch vertical leap and 8-foot-11 broad jump. None of those marks would have registered among the top 10 at his position at the combine and show a lack of explosiveness.

In fact, 300-pound nose tackle Rashaad Duncan jumped better.

“What I said to him today is he’s nowhere done from being finished,” Rosenhaus said. “You have to stay focused until the draft because this is a very critical time. Now that he’s finished with his pro day and the combine, he’s going to have a series of visits – maybe a dozen teams – and he’s probably going to have another dozen individual workouts and meetings.”

As the saying goes, all it takes is for one team to fall in love. And, sometimes, you overlook some shortcomings when you’re in love. The session was closed to the media, but I’m told that one team clocked McCoy in the 4.46-second range while others had him as slow as 4.56.

“I’m kind of disappointed in that,” McCoy said, “but, other than that, everything went well. It’s more the football things I did well today.”

McCoy reportedly excelled in position drills and showed exceptional hands as a receiver out of the backfield. Either way, he is still considered a late first-round pick based on his production the past two seasons.

“LeSean is a good person, an outstanding football player. He did a lot for his program at a very good school. That says it all,” Rosenhaus said. “Whether you can work out at the combine or not is nice, but it’s not going to make or break him. Nor will today. What’s going to make or break him is the body of his work.”

But it’s obvious McCoy still has some work to do on his body.

Here is how other draft-eligible Panthers fared:

· Receiver Derek Kinder looked lean at 6-foot, 202, and ran the 40-yard dash in 4.46 seconds only 18 months after suffering a torn ACL. He’s no longer wearing the bulky brace on his right knee, proclaimed himself 100 percent and believes he has returned to his All-Big East form of 2007.

“It’s amazing what you can do without a brace,” Kinder said. “I was around that time before the injury. Hopefully, that opened some eyes.”

· Duncan also showed off some surprising athleticism by running the 40 in the 5.1-second range, recording a 31.5-inch vertical and a 9-foot-3 broad jump. Not bad for a 6-foot-1{1/2}, 300-pounder.

“When I got through running, one of the coaches said I carry my weight well,” Duncan said. “They liked my film, too. I guess I impressed a lot of teams.”

More impressive is that Duncan is carrying a full course load and is on track to graduate April 26 – the second day of the NFL Draft.

“I’ve still got to go to school. I’ve only been here four years,” Duncan said. “I’ve been working out and training, but I’ve still got to go to class. That’s been a struggle right there.”

· Despite his diminutive size, LaRod Stephens-Howling might have improved his stock – at least, as a return specialist – by running in the low 4.4s. It was the fastest times of the day.

· All-America middle linebacker Scott McKillop stood pat with his NFL Combine test results – he ranked among the top 10 at his position in the bench press (27 reps), vertical (35.5) and broad (9-11) jumps and three-cone drill (7.00) – but participated in position drills.

“I sat down with my agent and my family and they said I did well at the combine with an even surface and talent that was supposed to be better than me, I performed pretty well,” McKillop said.

Afterward, McKillop met with Buffalo Bills coaches.

A likely second-day pick, all he’s looking for is an opportunity.

“I have no idea,” McKillop said. “A lot of things can happen between now and April 25 and 26. The only thing I can do is hope for the best and keep working hard. I just want to get a chance to play somewhere.”

· C.J. Davis said the feedback is that his mid-season move from left guard to center could pay dividends. At 6-2, 308, he is better suited for the position, and one team sent an offensive line coach to watch him.

Where Davis struggled at the NFL Combine, he was pleased with his pro day effort after improving his bench press from 21 repetitions to 23. One factor was that Davis had blood drawn just before his bench press at the combine and felt it affected his performance.

“Mentally, it kind of had me. It knocked me off, getting off to a bad start with the lift,” Davis said. “Anything is better than what I did before. I felt it was way better, by far. I think I was more comfortable. I was too anxious at the combine. No excuses, though. I just didn’t perform.”

· Despite spending his college career at fullback, Conredge Collins is hoping to prove versatile enough to play either running back position. He has trimmed down to 224 pounds, and said he hopes to find himself in a role similar to the Baltimore Ravens’ LeRon McClain.

· Former Sto-Rox three-sport star Adam DiMichele served as the quarterback for Pitt’s backs and receivers. DiMichele will work out again at Temple’s Pro Day Thursday morning, and said that while teams have shown interest strictly at quarterback he’s open to running routes at receiver.

“That’s all that people have asked me to do so far,” DiMichele said, “but if the opportunity comes and somebody wants me to do something else, I wouldn’t be against it.”

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