Monday, April 12, 2010
Around the NFC West: Wells' time
By Mike Sando
Dan Bickley of the Arizona Republic says Beanie Wells is looking forward to getting more playing time in his second season with the Cardinals. Bickley: "Wells won't reveal any specific goals for the 2010 season. But you can hear the excitement in his voice. He's preparing like never before, and eager to climb a different mountain. He is the perfect beast to usher in a new era of power football in Arizona. If he can hang onto the ball, he can carry this team a long way."
Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic does not expect the Cardinals to sign Kendall Simmons or Mike Brown before the draft, though both players visited Arizona recently. Brown played high school ball in the Phoenix area, as noted in the next item.
Darren Urban of azcardinals.com says Joey Porter will wear No. 55 for Arizona, with Reggie Walker changing to No. 56.
Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Rams are focusing as much on intangibles as physical ability when assessing quarterbacks. Coach Steve Spagnuolo: "The teams that have been successful lately, it seems to me they have those leadership-type guys. Guys that can get the job done in a pinch. Certainly you want all the other things that go with [playing quarterback] -- a guy that can throw the football, all the physical qualities. But leadership to me is really important at that position."
Also from Thomas: The time has come for Rams part-owner Stan Kroenke to declare his intentions. Thomas: "On Feb. 12, Urbana, Ill., businessman Shahid Kahn reached a sales agreement to purchase 60 percent of the Rams from Chip Rosenbloom and sister Lucia Rodriguez. As part of that agreement, Kroenke was given 60 days to either: Stand pat and keep his current 40 percent share of the team, sell his 40 percent of the team or attempt to exercise matching rights to purchase the full 100 percent of the franchise."
Bryan Burwell of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says potential Rams No. 1 draft choice Sam Bradford has pursued varied interests without pressure from his parents. Burwell: "There was the cello and golf. There was football and there was basketball. There was hockey and just about anything else he could find a way to try, and there was no overly obsessive parent trying to redirect him into choosing one sport over the other and becoming some specialized athletic fanatic. Sam Bradford's life would not become a carefully orchestrated, force-fed extension of his parents. This rare athletic journey never became Kent and Martha Bradford's vicarious thrill ride."
Gil Brandt of NFL.com says the Seahawks put Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen through a three-hour workout Friday. Offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates and quarterbacks coach Jedd Fisch represented the Seahawks. The Rams' Billy Devaney, Steve Spagnuolo and Pat Shurmur attended Clausen's pro day.
Adam Caplan of scout.com expects Bucs free-agent defensive lineman Jimmy Wilkerson to visit the Seahawks this week.
Greg Johns of seattlepi.com checks in with draft analyst Rob Rang for thoughts on the Seahawks. Rang hasn't seen a stronger safety class in the draft over the past 10 years, but he isn't convinced Seattle would use the sixth overall choice for Eric Berry, based on how teams value the position.
Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune also checks in with Rang for Seahawks thoughts. Rang points to South Florida's Nate Allen, Utah's Robert Johnson and Vanderbilt's Myron Lewis among safeties Seattle could consider in the later rounds.
Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee isn't expecting the 49ers to draft Bay Area running backs Jahvid Best or Toby Gerhardt. Barrows: "Best would be an excellent complement at running back, and he would be a shot of adrenaline to the return game. But given his injury history, pick 17 is too early for Best and pick 49 probably is too late."
Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat says wide receiver ranks well down the list of priorities for San Francisco in part because the team likes Josh Morgan. Maiocco: "The 49ers are very happy with Morgan as the No. 2 man. He appears to be a good counterbalance to Michael Crabtree, who's expected to be the team's top wideout for a long time - at least through the remaining five years of his contract. It's surprising to anyone who's been around the 49ers that Morgan's stock fell leading up to the 2008 draft because of so-called 'character concerns' from his time at Virginia Tech. He has been great in the locker room, and a tremendous team player."