- Mike Sando, NFL Insider
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Jason from Phoenix writes: Hey Sando, big fan of the blog. I was wondering what the chances are of the Cardinals possibly trading for Kevin Kolb might be? Obviously, Derek Anderson is not the answer and I don't think any of the the QBs coming out next year look like franchise QBs, so making a trade for a potential starting QB seems to make sense to me. I don't know if the Eagles would take a Charlie Whitehurst-type of package. I think it might take more to land Kolb.
Mike Sando: The structure of Kolb's contract would facilitate a trade; his salary this season is $715,000. I just don't see that happening. The Eagles gave Kolb a $10.7 million signing bonus and I do no think it's in their best interests to give up on him just because Michael Vick looks like the best option for now. Vick hasn't proved reliable for the long term.
We could see Max Hall get some work at quarterback for the Cardinals this season. It's a little early to give up on Anderson. He has jumped into an offense in transition. The Cardinals have played both their games on the road. Larry Fitzgerald was not full strength in the opener. Beanie Wells has not played. Let's watch the next few games to see if Anderson makes strides. He might not be the answer, but do you feel good enough about Kolb to give up something for him in a trade?
Aaron from Tacoma writes: Hey Mike, I'm a loyal Seahawks fan and have been my whole life. I just wanted to ask you a question about the team on both sides of the ball.
On offense, why isn't Golden Tate starting/getting more playing time at wide receiver? Why don't the Seahawks run more three- and four-receiver sets?
On defense, why does Lawyer Milloy start? I would much rather have Jordan Babineaux or Kam Chancellor play more snaps. When it's third down, how come the Hawks don't blitz more like we did in Week 1 against San Fransico?
Last question: Why isn't Dexter Davis getting in on passing downs with distances between 3-7 yards and more? He's shown flashes of being the passrusher the Seahawks desire. Thanks, Mike.
Mike Sando: No problem, Aaron. The Seahawks are running lots of three-receiver stuff and Matt Hasselbeck has been most effective from this grouping. The team has run three-receiver personnel more than any other grouping -- about 44 percent of snaps -- in part because that's what Seattle used so much after falling behind at Denver.
The Seahawks have run only two snaps of four-receiver personnel. There's little sense in removing the running back or the tight end if those players offer more than the fourth receiver. Leaving the tight end and the back on the field makes the run game a factor.
Milloy starts because he is tough, reliable and a leader. Babineaux is also getting quite a few snaps.
Davis played only a handful of snaps against Denver. It might be easier working him into the game when the Seahawks are winning. Davis did get more snaps against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 1.
Greg from Seattle writes: You said that Alex Smith was effective in his final drive largely because the Saints were worried about Frank Gore. Were they really? With just over two minutes and no timeouts, was there really much chance that Gore would get the ball more than once or twice? Sure, there was enough time that the threat was theoretically still there. But I think it was pretty clear that if the Niners were going to get down the field, Smith would have to do it for them.
Mike Sando: I meant that Smith was effective overall, not just on the last drive, because of that running game. But Gore still was a factor on that last drive. He scored the 7-yard touchdown on a run right up the middle. The threat of the pass might have set up that one, though.
Tony from Sonora writes: Hey Mike, love the blog. Why is it that everyone is always raging on the NFC West? The NFC West has had one less Super Bowl team than the AFC East has had in the last 10 years. All we hear about is regular-season wins. It sucks to go 14-2 and then to lose in the first round of the playoffs (the Chargers come to mind). Maybe I am wrong, but I think I would rather go 9-7 and go to the Super Bowl than go 16-0 and lose my first playoff game.
Mike Sando: Yes, I would rather be a 9-7 team in the Super Bowl than a 14-2 team that went one and done. The critics are looking at the overall mediocrity and sub-mediocrity of the division, not the occasional exception. I'll defend the division to the extent it deserves to be defended. I just don't think the Super Bowl berths make this division stronger on the whole than some of the others.
Travis from parts unknown writes: Nice comments about the Rams' Mark Clayton, but look how many drops he has. If catches three balls during the Cardinals game, the Rams might have been able to sustain some drives.
Mike Sando: No doubt. If he catches even one of those passes, the outcome might have been different. There was one in particular -- a pass Clayton singled out as Sam Bradford's best that day -- that might have produced a touchdown. Clayton did have 10 catches in that game, so I give him some slack.
Mike from Scottsdale, Ariz., writes: Mike, I really enjoy your NFC West blog. I was reading your analysis of the players drafted in 2010 and found it very interesting. However, I noticed that you said nothing about players who were undrafted but still made their respective teams. Are you going to do a status update on them as well? I know that the Cardinals have three undrafted rookies who made the team. Two of them are higher on the depth chart than rookies who actually got drafted. Not to mention that all three undrafted rookies have seen playing time.
Mike Sando: Yes, I noticed that for Arizona. Seattle seemingly would have been a candidate to have more undrafted rookies sneak through, but that was not the case. The Rams' Dominique Curry has made a very positive impression as an undrafted receiver. He has special-teams value as well. The Cardinals were the team that had the most significant ones -- a reflection, somewhat, of the turnover Arizona has undergone since last season. The decision to go with an undrafted rookie quarterback in the No. 2 role was unusual.