Thursday, January 21, 2010
Around the NFC West: Carroll in charge
By Mike Sando
Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune says there's no mistaking who's in charge of the Seahawks. It's new coach Pete Carroll, who appeared alongside CEO Tod Leiweke and general manager John Schneider at the news conference to introduce Schneider. Boling: "Leiweke was standing between them, so we may assume that Carroll didn’t actually have his hand up the back of Schneider’s jacket so that he could somehow operate controls to make his lips move."
Greg Johns of seattlepi.com says former Seahawks running back Sherman Smith could be returning to the organization as running backs coach. That would leave receivers coach as the most significant opening on the staff.
Clare Farnsworth of seahawks.com takes a look at Carroll's first Seahawks coaching staff, offering mini-bios for known hires.
Also from Farnsworth: Carroll and Schneider hit it off right away. Leiweke: "I would say most compelling for me is the amazing energy between the man to my right and the man to my left. They connected. They saw eye-to-eye. They had a similar philosophy on how we’re going to do this. It was just fantastic to witness that, because that’s really, ultimately what we wanted to create."
Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times says Schneider was short on details when pressed for information on how the Seahawks might proceed in upgrading their roster.
Jerry Brewer of the Seattle Times looks at the budding relationship between Carroll and Schneider. Brewer: "There's nothing like a good man crush to emphasize how much the Seahawks have changed in the past two weeks. PC and The Schneid didn't finish each other's sentences Wednesday, but they did expound on each other's thoughts. Forget the past. Feel the love. Embrace the unity. Of course, buried beneath the hype of this epic partnership was the unveiling of the Seahawks' worst-kept secret — Carroll runs the show. The franchise finally admitted it. For all the talk of collaboration, the Seahawks will be molded in Carroll's image."
Eric D. Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune says Carroll and Schneider cannot work "shoulder to shoulder" if Carroll has the ultimate authority. Someone has to make the call. Carroll made it clear he would be the guy. Everything about Schneider's past says he'll have no trouble working alongside Carroll or most head coaches.
John Morgan of Field Gulls sizes up UCLA's Brian Price as a potential Seahawks draft choice in 2010. Morgan: "There's plenty of talent behind (Ndamukong) Suh and (Gerald) McCoy, enough that a patient front office could wait and pick someone like Geno Atkins, Earl Mitchell or Lamarr Houston and still get value, but between Suh and that final tier is a group of defensive tackles of great talent and ability. And no tackle looks half as good as Price."
Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic begins a position-by-position look at the Cardinals' roster with a look at the offensive line. On Levi Brown: "The expectations are high for Brown, the fifth overall pick in 2007. He hasn't lived up to that draft status. He was inconsistent in pass blocking, but coaches feel like that was a matter of bad technique rather than lack of athleticism. It was interesting that Ken Whisenhunt challenged Brown after Brown was named a Pro Bowl alternate. The Cardinals want, and need, more from him. But people in the know tell me he was the team's most consistent offensive lineman in 2009, and coaches were especially pleased with the way he improved over the final month of the season."
Also from Somers: Adrian Wilson, Larry Fitzgerald and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie have withdrawn from the Pro Bowl.
Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Rams face key questions as the team's leadership gathers in Los Angeles. He poses this one to general manager Billy Devaney: "There's a concern that you're taking an overly conservative approach in building a roster. Your previous two No. 1 draft picks -- defensive end Chris Long and offensive tackle Jason Smith -- are reflective of that. Do you have it in you to make bold and daring decisions? Are you willing to take intelligent gambles? Or is this all about doing the safest thing in order to cover yourself and protect your job?"
Howard Balzer of the St. Louis Globe-Democrat provides an overview for the Rams' meetings. Balzer: "At one point, there were indications that potential buyers might be trying to low-ball (Chip) Rosenbloom and (Lucia) Rodriguez. Contrary to popular belief, there isn’t an immediate urgency for them to sell the team, and there has always been the feeling that the family would like to continue the legacy begun by their parents, Carroll Rosenbloom and Georgia Frontiere, and keep the team. That might be a longshot, but not impossible if a new agreement results in what the owners hope eventually will be a decreased percentage of the revenue going to the players."
Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee says the 49ers' Justin Smith would be headed to the Pro Bowl if the Vikings advanced to the Super Bowl. Frank Gore has already been promoted. Gore: "To be in the Pro Bowl, it means a lot. I felt that missing some games this season, and to still be able to make a special game like this is a great opportunity. All I can say is that it's a blessing."
Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat takes a closer look at the 49ers' defensive backs. Shawntae Spencer, Dashon Goldson and Tarell Brown appear to form the core. Maiocco: "But there are some questions about all of the others, including veteran performers Nate Clements and Michael Lewis. Clements was demoted from the lineup for the Nov. 1 game against the Colts. Then, he sustained a broken shoulder blade that ended his season. His scheduled salary for 2010 is a whopping $6 million. Lewis has been among the 49ers' leading tacklers in each of his three seasons with the club. But three concussions last season in short period of time is a reason for concern."