- Mike Sando, NFL Insider
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Conventional wisdom says quarterback Alex Smith held back the San Francisco 49ers' offense last season. It's also possible coach Jim Harbaugh held back Smith simply because Harbaugh prefers to run an offense that way.
Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee makes that case in responding to Ron Jaworski's recent analysis of Smith. Barrows: "Harbaugh did virtually the same thing at Stanford with Andrew Luck, whom the NFL deemed the top quarterback in the draft this year. That is, the approach is more Harbaugh-related than it is Smith-related. Only one team -- the Tim Tebow-led Broncos -- threw the ball less than San Francisco in 2011. Only two teams -- the Broncos and Texans -- ran the ball more. That run-pass ratio may change slightly in 2012 with the addition of high-profile wideouts Randy Moss, Mario Manningham and A.J. Jenkins. But with Harbaugh, a lover of power-based offenses at the helm, it's very unlikely to change dramatically." Noted: Agreed.
Lowell Cohn of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat says the 49ers should forget about forcing the restoration of $30 million in stadium funds.
Kevin Lynch of the San Francisco Chronicle says the 49ers' receivers have impressed this offseason.
Clare Farnsworth of seahawks.com says undrafted free-agent guard Rishaw Johnson caught the coaching staff's attention this offseason. Johnson went undrafted after his alleged involvement in credit-card fraud precipitated his dismissal from the Mississippi football team. Johnson: "Going into the combine, I thought I was going in the second or third round,. But all my off-field stuff kind of caught up with me."
Darren Urban of azcardinals.com says the team has more in common with the Pittsburgh Steelers than coach roots linking Ken Whisenhunt, Russ Grimm, Ray Horton and others to the Steel City. A sponsorship with Hyundai is the latest commonality. Urban: "The team announced Tuesday a multi-year partnership with car manufacturer Hyundai, a deal that includes Hyundai as presenter of training camp. It will also mean Cardinals players will wear a Hyundai logo patch on practice jerseys throughout the season, a first for the team."
Kelsey Vaughan of stlouisrams.com checks in with rookies participating in a charity bowling event. Defensive tackle Michael Brockers: "I’m losing to a 3-year-old, an 11-year-old and a 6-year-old."
Chase Stuart of Football Perspective lists former Rams and Seahawks coach Chuck Knox high on a chart showing coaches with the best won-lost records in close games. Knox was right between Vince Lombardi and Marv Levy, both Hall of Fame coaches. Ray Malavasi and Dennis Erickson ranked toward the bottom.