Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Around the NFC West: Proactive Bradford
By Mike Sando
Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch offers thoughts on the Rams' draft before passing along this anecdote regarding first-round choice Sam Bradford: "After the Rams completed their draft, Bradford (back home in Oklahoma) called Rams Park to get the phone numbers for each player chosen by the team. Bradford wanted to call every Rams draft pick to welcome them to the team and express his enthusiasm for work with them in rebuilding the franchise. That’s impressive."
Also from Miklasz: Mardy Gilyard gives the Rams a playmaker. Miklasz: "For weeks, GM Billy Devaney said his goal in the draft was to add playmakers, and Gilyard is that. Tough, quick, elusive and extremely competitive. Can return kicks and punts. Plays with confidence and edge. He’ll add production and personality to a bland receiver corps."
Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch updates the Rams' dealings with free-agent running back Brian Westbrook. Thomas: "Westbrook's left knee, which was first injured playing basketball at DeMatha High School in Maryland, requires careful maintenance. The knee usually swells up if he practices or plays on artificial turf. And it wasn't unusual for Westbrook to miss practice over the past couple of seasons to let the knee rest."
Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times provides a transcript from Seattle scout Matt Berry's comments regarding first-round safety Earl Thomas. Berry: "He has the ability to change the game from the safety position and have an impact on the ball. So that stuff jumps out on tape. As a scout, when you see a guy flying sideline to sideline. You see him anticipating the ball."
Also from O'Neil: Berry on first-round tackle Russell Okung. Berry: "So you kind of watch him, and you see him grow and get better. And you see the games where he struggles and you see the games where he played, the last two games against Texas, playing against [Brian] Orakpo and then against [Sergio] Kindle, he was the dominant player on the field. You really noticed how he finishes and how he competes, down in and down out. Those things are really attractive at that position, going forward with your evaluation."
Greg Johns of seattlepi.com says LenDale White is looking to redefine himself in Seattle. Titans coach Jeff Fisher: "As far as LenDale falling out of favor, he practiced. He was prepared to play. I think I can't blame him for wanting to play more. That's the kind of players you want on your roster. Considering the circumstances, he handled things. There were issues I don't need to bring up. I thought he handled things reasonably well."
Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic says the Cardinals probably would not offer a lucrative deal for free-agent guard Alan Faneca. Meanwhile, restricted free-agent guard Deuce Lutui remains unsigned. Somers: "According to a source, Lutui has been working out with a trainer in town and has stayed in touch with (line coach Russ) Grimm. Cardinals officials are surprised Lutui hasn't chosen to sign the tender. He wants a long-term deal, which is understandable, since the $1.759 million is not guaranteed. If the Cardinals cut him, Lutui doesn't get it."
Phil Barber of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat says 49ers coach Mike Singletary wasn't upset with LeGarrette Blount for the running back's decision to sign with Tennessee instead. Barber: "Singletary said something else that fascinated me. You expect coaches to speak to the people surrounding potential picks -- coaches, teammates, family members -- before the draft. They call it due diligence. But guess how Singletary spent yesterday and today. Calling those same people to ask what he can do to get his new draft picks, and even undrafted free agents, ready to succeed at the NFL level."