Around the NFC West: West youth served

August, 8, 2012
8/08/12
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Two young pass-rushers, Bruce Irvin of Seattle and Robert Quinn of St. Louis, have jumped out during the camp practices I've watched.

Both look like they have the potential to achieve double-digit sacks this season.

Rams rookie Janoris Jenkins has also made a strong first impression. The time could be coming for an NFC West update on younger players with the potential to break out in 2012.

In the meantime ...

Nick Wagoner of stlouisrams.com says Brian Quick, the big wide receiver St. Louis drafted in the second round, has put together consecutive strong days in Rams camp.

Also from Wagoner: Another Rams rookie, Isaiah Pead, served notice by running over rookie corner Janoris Jenkins.

Bryan Burwell of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch sizes up second-year Rams defensive end Robert Quinn. Burwell: "In a flock of extremely oversized defensive linemen that coach Jeff Fisher loves to collect, Quinn sticks out like a gazelle among the rhinos and elephants. ... He is cut like a well-muscled inverted triangle, wide shoulders spreading out forever, but everything quickly tapering down to these long, bowlegged sprinter's legs. All around him are 300-pound big bodies, stomping and pounding and rumbling along with sheer power and strength. But there is last year's first-round pick pawing the ground in a three-point stance like Usain Bolt ready to explode out of the starting blocks."

Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com provides a transcript to an interview with receiver Michael Crabtree, who speaks in generalities. Can the passing offense get better? Crabtree: "Every year I think we can get better. Every year is the year to get better. Of course, I'm thinking like that this year. Really just getting into that end zone. That's the goal for this year. Wideouts, quarterback and offense, as one. Put some points up. I'm sure that's what everybody's planning to do. We just got to go out and do it."

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee offered this take on Crabtree: "Crabtree wasn't combative. But he clearly didn't agree with the line of questioning that suggested that this was the latest in a string of offseasons in which he's been sidetracked. The 10th overall draft pick in 2009 has yet to play in a preseason game. He missed his rookie season with a contract dispute, suffered a neck injury in 2010 and last year was rehabilitating from a broken foot."

Clare Farnsworth of seahawks.com says Braylon Edwards stood on the practice field even though Terrell Owens was commanding all the attention from afar. Coach Pete Carroll: "Braylon has done very well. He’s learning very fast. He’s had a chance to compete right from the beginning. He’s made some big grabs already. He did it again today. So he's factoring in and making a bid for playing time."

Also from Farnsworth: Carroll's explanation for giving more reps to Matt Flynn and Russell Wilson.

Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times says size mattered when Seattle decided to sign Owens. Carroll: "When you see a guy that's 6-3 1/2 and 220 and runs as fast as he runs and has the kind of background and route-running ability and all that stuff, let's see where it fits. That's really what it is. I like the look in his eye. He's dead serious about proving himself and doing something. So, I'm just going to give him a chance to do it. We're thrilled to give come out here and have him battle."

Steve Kelley of the Seattle Times sees more pluses than minuses in the Seahawks' signing of Owens. Kelley: "He could sabotage a December stretch run. He could blow up a promising season. This is a risk/reward signing. And, despite the inherent dangers, it is a risk worth taking. In the short term, the Owens rewards far outweigh the risks. ... He won't be a problem in August or September. He will be on his best behavior because he knows the world, or at least the NFL Network, is watching and this could be his last chance."

Brady Henderson of 710ESPN Seattle passes along thoughts from Seahawks general manager John Schneider regarding Owens. Henderson: "Schneider acknowledged Owens' reputation as a bad teammate and a so-called 'quarterback killer,' but said his two most recent stops, Buffalo in 2009 and Cincinnati in 2010, were incident-free."

Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune takes an in-depth look at Seattle's quarterback situation coming into this week. Boling's take: "It will be Flynn when the season starts. Jackson has shown he’s willing and able to be a solid backup. But I wouldn’t be surprised to see a limited roll-out package put in that could exploit Wilson’s skills as a change-up for a series or two as he learns what the NFL game is all about."

Art Thiel of Sports Press Northwest thinks the Owens signing makes sense for a team without much proven firepower at receiver.

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic has the latest from Cardinals camp. Beanie Wells is back, and coach Ken Whisenhunt expects Kevin Kolb to play Friday. Somers: "Tuesday morning's walkthrough was the first time since 2011 that Wells joined his teammates on the practice field. He did not practice during minicamp or voluntary practices and missed the first two weeks of training camp. Wells' preseason debut is more likely to come next week against the Raiders than Friday against the Chiefs."

Also from Somers: a report from the Cardinals' joint practice with the Chiefs. Former Cardinals receiver Steve Breaston, now with Kansas City: "It was good. You hear a lot about (cornerback) Patrick Peterson, how he works and things like that. It was very good working against him. That's a high talent level right there."

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com says Whisenhunt had good things to say about Ryan Williams after the second-year running back fought through knee soreness to practice.

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch profiles the Rams' new quarterbacks coach, Frank Cignetti: "A big part of my job is the preparation of the quarterback so he can be successful. The fundamentals, the mechanics. Whether it's run-game footwork or pass-game footwork. Whether it's ball-handling, decision-making. It's just constant evaluation of the fundamentals of the position."

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