The latest Football Today podcast from Ross Tucker and Matt Williamson contained conversations of note for the NFC West. Let's consider a few of them while hoping for a safe Fourth of July holiday here in the U.S.:
Aldon Smith's stabbing: Tucker noted at about the 11:50 mark that Smith, stabbed during a party over the weekend, did not attend the NFL's Rookie Symposium, which was canceled during the lockout last offseason.Smith was reportedly breaking up a fight when injured. Williamson called that behavior understandable. Tucker was generally less sympathetic.
The issue is whether Smith, arrested on a DUI charge earlier this offseason, should have been there in the first place. It's unreasonable to expect an NFL star to cancel his social life at age 22, but Smith has more than his own health at stake. The contract he signed as the seventh overall choice averages about $3.6 million per season through 2014. Smith won't make huge money by NFL standards until reaching free agency -- provided, of course, that his career remains on track at that point.
Potential Rams relocation: The NFL's recent focus on the Los Angeles market has renewed speculation that the Rams would be a leading candidate to relocate there. Nothing appears to have changed here for the Rams. Their lease with St. Louis runs til at least March 2015, something to keep in mind when listening to this segment at roughly the 19-minute mark.
Grimm's accountability: A listener raised tough questions about Arizona Cardinals line coach Russ Grimm's performance at roughly the 40:10 mark. The upcoming season gives Grimm an opportunity to develop young talent. The team finally invested in the position through the draft, something the Cardinals had not done in as meaningful a way since selecting Levi Brown fifth overall in 2007.Tucker and Williamson both marked down Grimm for his performance with the Cardinals to this point. These are fair criticisms until the Cardinals' line improves. Better quarterback play would also help, but that doesn't explain all the issues Arizona has suffered up front. One question could be to what extent Grimm has influenced the Cardinals' personnel decisions. The decision to target Adam Snyder as the starting right guard this offseason seemed a bit curious after the 49ers let him go.
Williamson: "I think the Cardinals could be great. I really like their defense that came on strong. You look at their skill-position players, they can rival just about anyone there now with (Ryan) Williams, (Beanie) Wells, (Rob) Housler, (Todd) Heap, (Andre) Roberts, (Michael) Floyd, (Larry) Fitzgerald, (Early) Doucet. That's a pretty good group. If you have average offensive line and average quarterback play, you can win a lot of games. But I don't expect either those things happening."
Enjoy your Wednesday. I've got some marinated chicken wings and slider patties to grill.