Around the NFC West: What Holt has left
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
KC Joyner of The Fifth Down says former Rams mainstay Torry Holt has enough left to help the Jaguars and that Holt can still get deep on medium- and deep-level go routes, if not all-out bomb routes. Joyner: "A third variation is what I call a short go route, which is where the receiver runs straight downfield around 15 yards. This is normally run against a cover-two defense and is set at that depth because the receiver can get past the cornerback playing the underneath zone and catch the pass before the over-the-top safety can close to defend the pass. Holt was two for three for 39 yards here and thus 5 of 8 for 141 yards [17.6 YPA] on medium and deep level go routes."
Also from Joyner: An analytical look at Chris Long's rookie season with the Rams. Joyner: "What troubles me isn't Long's performance per se. A lot of young defensive linemen have trouble in their first year in the league. It's how he was treated compared with another defensive lineman who was recently picked very early in a draft, namely Mario Williams of the Texans. When Williams didn't dominate the league his first year, you would have thought by the general reaction of the media and the fans that Houston's management was completely inept for not taking Reggie Bush instead."
VanRam of Turf Show Times offers his own take on the Long-Williams comparisons. VanRam: "Unfortunately and unfairly for Williams, his reviews had more to do with Rocket Ismail ... I mean, Reggie Bush, than anything else. Well, that and the expectations that Williams would help right a struggling ship since he was drafted over the most hyped college prospect in a long time."
Kevin Lynch of Niner Insider says times are changing for the 49ers as the team embraces former owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr. The 49ers are reconnecting with their past in numerous ways now that Jed York has taken over as team president. The greatest 49ers teams won because Bill Walsh implemented a revolutionary system, Walsh drafted excellent players, the coaching staff developed those players and DeBartolo Jr. provided the necessary resources.
Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee provides background information on DeBartolo's ownership.
Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat says Jeff Ulbrich's willingness to take a pay cut appears to solidify the linebacker's immediate future with the team as a key special-teams player and backup linebacker.
Carrie Watters of the Arizona Republic wonders whether the Cardinals' successful 2008 season will help Arizona land the Super Bowl in 2013. Miami and New Orleans are also in the running. Watters: "NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, in the midst of the Cards' playoff run last season, said he expected Arizona to see more Super Bowls in part because of strong Bidwill lobbying. Representatives from the three competing locales will deliver 15-minute presentations at Tuesday's NFL owners meeting in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., followed by five-minute pitches from team owners."
Eric D. Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune says Deion Branch, Seneca Wallace, Courtney Taylor and Jordan Babineaux joined Seahawks cornerback Marcus Trufant for the annual Trufant Family Foundation event in Tacoma. Trufant: "This is where I started playing ball, out here on these practice fields and everything. That's where I started. So it's always good to bring it back and kind of make it a full circle."