Around the NFC West: Walsh and DeBartolo
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
Kevin Lynch of Niner Insider revisits the relationship between 49ers legends Bill Walsh and Eddie DeBartolo. Lynch: "Because of the way things ended, I don't think Eddie ever got the credit he deserved. He was a master at hiring the right people, chief among them, Walsh. Walsh was known in football circles at that time, but that was about it. All he had done up to that point, in the view of many, was take Stanford to the Blue Bonnet Bowl. But Eddie and Carmen Policy saw something in him."
Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee checks in with new 49ers defensive end Demetric Evans via ESPN 980 in Washington, D.C. Evans on Mike Singletary's impact during the free-agent recruiting process: "Yeah, for one he's a Christian guy and not only did he meet with me privately, he met with me in front of some of the defensive players. He was just cutting it clean and dry [with them] saying, 'Hey, we're bringing Demetric to compete for the starting job. Hey, I want you to meet him. Hey, this is Takeo Spikes, Walt Harris.' So that made me feel more welcome when the team knows why you're coming in there and to have somebody there introducing you to some of the guys. It was very personal."
Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic quotes Matt Leinart as saying he won't ask for a trade from the Cardinals even though Kurt Warner appears likely to start for the next two seasons.
Also from Somers: A jovial Anquan Boldin shrugged off questions about his future in Arizona. Boldin: "Letting my agent take care of it; I'm completely out of that. I'm enjoying the off-season, and I plan on continuing to do that. When it gets done, it will get done. I can't worry about when, or if, it's going to happen. The only thing I can do right now is take care of myself, continue to work out, stay in shape, enjoy the off-season. Because the season comes around quick."
Matthew Heuett of Seahawk Addicts explains why he thinks safety Brian Russell gets a bad rap. Some Seahawks fans I encounter do hold Russell responsible for a disproportionate number of problems on defense. The coaching staff obviously hasn't agreed with that sentiment, at least not to a strong enough degree to make a lineup change. My primary criticism of Russell relates to his tackling. Sometimes he hits guys with a shoulder, failing to wrap up, allowing receivers and running backs to gain extra yardage.
Free-agent fullback Mike Karney could draw interest from the Rams this week. The Rams are looking for a traditional fullback. The 258-pound Karney could fit the profile. Here is what Scouts Inc. once said about the recently released Saints fullback: "Lacks athleticism after the catch but will get upfield and provide a physical finish. As a lead blocker Karney is inconsistent with pad level on contact and will get upright at times. Has some pop but is not a consistently strong finisher. Does a good job taking advantage of off-balance defenders and he will unload on stationary targets. Doesn't have great adjustment skills and will look slow sifting through traffic to find LBs not in the hole. Struggles against quickness in pass protection, lacking good feet to slide-and-mirror, but will find a way to get a piece of blitzers. Overall, Karney is an effective starter who has size and plays with good effort."