Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Around the NFC West: Bradford's the one
By Mike Sando
Bryan Burwell of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch came away from Sam Bradford's workout thinking the Rams should draft the Oklahoma quarterback first overall. Burwell: "I am the noted defender of Ndamukong Suh. I have been pounding his drum since the late fall when I repeatedly witnessed his total domination of Big 12 offenses and admired the way he t0ssed enemy quarterbacks like rag dolls and shoved aside blockers like they were piles of dirty laundry. But I kept saying all along that I was willing to change my mind, under the right circumstances. These are those circumstances."
Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says Kurt Warner's story could be headed to the big screen. Directors will not have to embellish.
Also from Miklasz: Rams general manager Billy Devaney definitely likes Bradford. Miklasz: "I know this to be absolutely true: Devaney loves Bradford’s makeup. His intelligence and maturity. Devaney is confident that Bradford will bring a strong work ethic and dedication to the job. Devaney believes that Bradford understands the demands of this position and profession. And that Bradford knows how important it is for the QB to step up, earn respect and trust from teammates, and become a leader. When Devaney looks at Bradford he doesn’t see Ryan Leaf. What he sees, on the character scale, is someone a lot closer to Peyton Manning."
Tony Ventrella of seahawks.com says coach Pete Carroll spent part of his Saturday night ringside for a Police Athletic League boxing show
Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times points out newly signed Seahawks receiver Sean Morey's connection to Carroll. O'Neil: "Morey entered the NFL in 1999 from Brown, a seventh-round pick by the New England Patriots, who were then coached by Pete Carroll. That was Carroll's final season with the Patriots, and he's returning to the NFL this season after coaching the previous nine seasons at USC."
Art Thiel of seattlepi.com is having a hard time figuring out the Seahawks' offseason plan. Thiel: "Morey was named as a special-teamer on Sports Illustrated's All-Decade team, which is good, but we would appear to be on to a new decade. He joins wide receiver Ruvell Martin, tight end Chris Baker, defensive end Chris Clemons, linebacker Matt McCoy and running back Quinton Ganther as the new acquisitions for the new general manager, John Schneider, and the new coach, Pete Carroll. One could argue that after successive seasons of four and five wins, respectively, all this newness is mandatory. But on paper, the new players appear to make nothing more than a first-rate special-teams outfit."
Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic says the Cardinals' offseason roster changes came into focus Monday as the team gathered for its offseason program. One constant: Strength coach John Lott was back after re-signing with the team earlier in the offseason, a priority for coach Ken Whisenhunt. Somers: "Whisenhunt was pleased with the attendance Monday but there were some notable absences. Defensive end Darnell Dockett continued his preference of working out on his own, and it's hard to argue with the results. He's emerged as one of the better defensive ends in the game. Receiver Larry Fitzgerald is on a trip overseas, but is an avid follower of Lott's and is expected to attend most of the sessions. The club's starting secondary was there Monday, as were the running backs and most of the offensive linemen. Numerous players, including (Adrian) Wilson and running back Beanie Wells, have been working out for weeks at the team's complex. You could light a match on Wilson's abs, yet he said he was afraid of sitting too long and getting out of shape."
Paola Boivin of the Arizona Republic weighs in on Joey Porter's recent arrest. Porter's wife, Christy, had this to say during an interview with a California television station: "There are two sides to every story. We're here to kind of put out the fire of all the allegations that has been made against him. They are false, and we're looking to exonerate his name 100 percent."
Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee says most prominent players showed up for the first day of the 49ers' organized team activities. Barrows: "The sessions are not mandatory, although most of the top players are attending. Frank Gore, for instance, works out in Miami during the offseason but flew in for the two-day session. Those who did not attend Monday were CB Nate Clements, LB Ahmad Brooks, CB Shawntae Spencer, LB Patrick Willis and linebacker Manny Lawson. Willis is recovering from surgery on his knee. Brooks is a restricted free agent and Franklin has been designated as the 49ers' franchise player. Neither has signed his tender offer, i.e., neither has a contract at the moment."
Also from Barrows: a feature on Trent Baalke, the 49ers' top personnel person after Scot McCloughan's departure.
Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat checks in with 49ers guard David Baas, who has much to prove and is acting like it.
Daniel Brown of the San Jose Mercury News says the 49ers' offense is way ahead of where they've been in past offseasons.
Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News says quarterback Alex Smith took charge of the offense on the 49ers' first day of OTAs.
David White of the San Francisco Chronicle says Smith is showing stronger command of the offense. Expect this to be a recurring theme all offseason. It beats the alternative.