Thursday, February 4, 2010
Around the NFC West: Clinging to past
By Mike Sando
Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch passes along thoughts on the comments Jack Youngblood made about the Rams on his radio show. Youngblood took issue with the team's decision to fire long-time trainer Jim Anderson. Youngblood: "Jim Anderson is probably the finest trainer in the National Football League. He’s there 26, 27 years. The most experienced man in the building. Think about that. The most experienced pro football man in the building. And he gets let go. Why? I know for a fact that there’s no trainer in the National Football League that gave himself to his football team, to his players, better than Jim Anderson did." With all due respect, Youngblood has been retired for 25 years and probably hasn't conducted an audit of current training staffs across the league. The Rams certainly aren't going to say anything negative about an outgoing employee who served the team diligently for many years, but it's clear the new regime felt it was time for fresh blood in a key role. These sorts of moves will draw criticism until the new Rams regime shows evidence things are heading in the right direction. The Rams have no present. Until then, the distant past will look preferable.
Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch checks in with former Rams running back Marshall Faulk, who says the Bears' offensive players had better report to camp in shape now that Mike Martz is their offensive coordinator. Faulk: "This will be eye-opening (for Jay Cutler). He'll never have as much on his plate as he’ll have. ... Last year, it looked like he was bored in the (Chicago) offense. A little frustrated. If he’s frustrated (under Martz), it'll not be because he’s bored."
Also from Thomas: catching up with former Rams defensive back Todd Lyght.
Shawntae Spencer of the 49ers answers questions from fans on the team's Web site. Does he get nervous playing against elite receivers? Spencer: "Nervous? No! I have nothing to lose, everything to gain. They’re the stars, I’m just me. That’s how I look at it. The matchups with guys like Andre Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald and Calvin Johnson are usually for guys like Nate Clements or Walt Harris. It was kind of easier to dominate the No. 2 receiver in the past, but when I got a chance to go against the top receivers I embraced it."
John Crumpacker of the San Francisco Chronicle says the 49ers' are allowing offensive quality-control coach Shane Day to interview with the Bears for a job as quarterbacks coach under Mike Martz. That is pretty standard.
Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press-Democract says it's unlikely the 49ers will acquire Donovan McNabb from the Eagles because too many things would have to fall into place. I have questioned whether the Eagles would trade McNabb. If McNabb is available, of course the 49ers should investigate.
Also from Maiocco: The 49ers have promoted Paraag Marathe to executive vice president of football and business operations. Maiocco: "In his new role, Marathe will continue to report directly to general manager Scot McCloughan on football matters. He will now also report to 49ers president and CEO Jed York on the business side of the organization. Marathe will work alongside the chief marketing officer when an individual is hired for that newly opened position." The 49ers have tweaked their front-office roles this offseason, parting with chief operating officer Andy Dolich and creating a new position for chief marketing officer.
Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee looks at several players the 49ers might not consider drafting in 2010, including Alabama nose tackle Terrence Cody. Barrows: "He can be dominant at times and would be a big barrier between offensive players and Patrick Willis. But with Cody, you have to look at the cost-benefit ratio. How many snaps can you get from a guy who weighs 370 pounds? That question likely will push Cody to the bottom of the first round where a playoff team like the Chargers or Patriots will pounce."
Dan Bickley of the Arizona Republic draws comparisons between former USC teammates Reggie Bush and Matt Leinart. Bush: "I spoke to Matt when I first heard that Kurt Warner was retiring, and I told him, 'You know what? It's time to go to work now. All eyes will be on you, and it's time to go to work.' I know he's capable of being a starting quarterback, a great quarterback in this league because I've seen it firsthand. I know this is a different level, but I know he's more than ready."
Darren Urban of azcardinals.com says a 30-minute special on Kurt Warner's legacy will air on regional Arizona television before most likely making its way to the team Web site.
Also from Urban: Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald says nice things about Leinart on the Dan Patrick Show after Warner noted that it's tough to know how well Leinart will fare because the quarterback hasn't played much. Fitzgerald: "A lot of the experience Kurt is talking about (that Leinart didn’t get) is due to him. (Kurt) is a Hall of Fame player and Matt Leinart, having to back him up for so many years, it's made it difficult. It's not about Matt Leinart not being able to play. I just think it’s been how good Kurt’s been able to play. He really set the bar high."
Greg Johns of seattlepi.com says former Seahawks Na'Shan Goddard and Marlon Favorite have surfaced at the Super Bowl as members of the Saints. Goddard played left tackle for the Seahawks in Mike Holmgren's final game as Seahawks head coach. The team had trouble running a play. That's no slam on Goddard, only a reflection of what can happen when a practice-squad player finds himself lining up against front-line talent in a game situation.
Earl Vaughan Jr. of the Fay Observer says Seahawks linebacker Aaron Curry is having his high school jersey retired.