- Mike Sando, NFL Insider
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My favorite part of the NFC West chat this week: Those in the comments section counting how many questions/comments I chose pertaining to each team.
Fabulous, fabulous attention to detail.
My favorite part of blogging in general: being held accountable relentlessly. No misdeed goes unpunished. It's great incentive to stay sharp and aim to please because everyone cares what others think of them, especially those who say they do not care.
Some chatting advice: As comments pile up and I sense one team is being overlooked, I'll enter search terms to single out questions pertaining to specific teams. Those terms are most commonly "hawk" for anything Seahawks related, "card" for anything Cardinals related, "9er" for anything regarding the 49ers and "ram" for anything Rams-related. This means you can optimize for search your questions. My thinking is that the term "hawk" will draw from all entries mentioning Seahawks or Hawks, while "9er" will touch upon anything with "49ers" or "9ers" in the body, etc.
All right, then. Let's advance some NFC West conversations. Instead of singling out one chat highlight per team and publishing them here, I've decided to choose one new question per team.
Brennan from California wants to know how I see the Seahawks' young depth in the secondary shaking out. He wonders whether Atari Bigby has a better chance given his ability to provide some seasoning.
Mike Sando: Undrafted free agent Jeron Johnson has caught the team's attention in a big way, potentially imperiling fifth-round draft choice Mark LeGree's chances at earning a roster spot. LeGree came into camp amid some fanfare as coach Pete Carroll envisioned him becoming a ball-hawking presence. So far, though, LeGree hasn't really stood out. Johnson has been better. Teams do not like cutting draft choices, but Seattle isn't one of those teams that holds onto them no matter what. It's a little early to know what to expect from Bigby in terms of his ability to hold up physically. As much as the team could use some seasoning at safety, seasoning for the sake of seasoning isn't enough.
Mau Mau from Los Angeles wants to know what's going on with the 49ers' center competition. The team singed a Super Bowl starter in Jonathan Goodwin, but Goodwin has yet to start a preseason game for the team. What is going on?
Mike Sando: I overrated Goodwin when the team signed him based on that very Super Bowl pedigree you referenced. My feeling was that Goodwin would represent an upgrade over David Baas, who signed with the New York Giants. So far, though, Adam Snyder has been the starter at center despite not being part of the conversation at center over the years. Center is an important position on the line and it had to be a little disappointing for the 49ers when the Giants offered so much money to Baas. Goodwin and Snyder are both have $2.1 million cap number this season, so there isn't tremendous separation between the two from a salary standpoint.
Matt from Wilmington, N.C., wonders what I think about the Rams' chances against Philadelphia in the regular-season opener at the Edward Jones Dome?
Mike Sando: Well, the Rams would be better off opening the season the way the Cardinals are opening the season, at home against Carolina. But if they have to play the Eagles, they might as well face them in Week 1, and at home. I give the Rams a good shot at winning the game. They'll have a good feel for the Eagles given Steve Spagnuolo's familiarity with Andy Reid's offense. Safety Quintin Mikell's feel for his former team means more because of the position he plays. Safeties tend to be thinkers. Mikell, having signed with the Rams from Philadelphia, will be well-prepared for this matchup. Jeremy Maclin's health issues also work in the Rams' favor given their depth issues in the secondary.
Phil from Connecticut wants to know whether I think Deuce Lutui will open the regular season as the starting right guard for the Cardinals.
Mike Sando: That has been my expectation. He's more talented than Rex Hadnot. I just haven't seen anything from Hadnot that makes me think he would be the obvious preference for Arizona. Lutui comes with baggage and flaws, of course. But he's been in the system for years and has played at a pretty good level most of the time. That is just me talking. I don't know what Russ Grimm and Ken Whisenhunt are thinking specifically about the right guard spot at this moment.
Thanks for listening.