Monday, May 3, 2010
Around the NFC West: Bradford's debut
By Mike Sando
Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says first-round pick Sam Bradford made the Rams smile during their post-draft camp. Offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur: "Sam did a terrific job. All the reasons for drafting him were obvious. He's very smart. Got a great command of the huddle. He's got great attention to detail. By the end of the weekend, he was repeating things like he got 'em in the installations. And he's very talented. So you take the talent and then the 'work hard' and I think he progressed well in five practices."
Also from Thomas: checking in with some of the Rams' long-shot rookies.
Bryan Burwell of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo has a plan for Bradford, but not a concrete timetable.
Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says it's time for Rams fans to move on from a troubled recent past.
Jim Rodenbush of the St. Louis Globe-Democrat says the Rams kept Bradford under center during his first camp. Shurmur: "He's a natural quarterback. The focus of this camp was to do pretty much everything under center, so we could work on the 1-, the 3-, the 5-, the 7-step drop. As time goes on, what naturally happens is (he’ll) get smoother and smoother."
Also from Rodenbush: Spagnuolo thought rookie Mardy Gilyard appeared natural fielding punts.
Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee sizes up position battles for the 49ers. Barrows: "Make no mistake. Anthony Davis is the favorite to win this battle [at right tackle] beginning in Week One, but he won't be handed the job. Adam Snyder was rolling with the first-team offense at right tackle while second-year player Alex Boone already has worked himself into the conversation after transforming his body in the offseason. [Jimmy] Raye called Boone's conditioning 'tremendous' and the best competition might end up being between Snyder and Boone for the backup spot. Conditioning will be one of the hurdles for Davis. His feet were as quick and impressive as advertised during the rookie minicamp, but he wilted toward the end of each session. He might want to do a few (hundred) gassers between now and the next OTA."
Also from Barrows: Taylor Mays knows where he needs to improve.
More from Barrows: Free-agent cornerback William James is expected to visit the 49ers.
Phil Barber of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat passes along comments from 49ers offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye. Raye on Alex Smith: "There's a tremendous change in him from the way he carries himself and walks in and out of the building with an air of confidence, a totally different guy. If you want to digress to when he came here a year ago and he was six or seven weeks into the year, it's a totally different guy. In terms of his confidence, familiarity with what he's doing, his sense of entitlement, I think all of those things are manifesting themselves right now because of the success that he had, even though some people may deem it as minimal or maybe even being a little suspect about it. For him, from what I've seen, there's been a tremendous change."
Also from Barber: Quotes from defensive coordinator Greg Manusky.
More from Barber: Observations after watching the 49ers' rookies. Also, Mays says his post-draft beef with Pete Carroll won't linger. Mays: "I haven't talked to him. But I'm sure I'll talk to him, and I know he didn't take it personal. And if I saw him right now, I know there wouldn't be any bad blood. I'm sure I'll talk to him in the next couple weeks. There's definitely no bad blood. I wouldn't think he'd feel that way toward me, and I hope he wouldn't think that I feel that way towards him."
Daniel Brown of the San Jose Mercury News says 49ers first-round choice Mike Iupati is getting advice from former NFL guard Jerry Kramer. Both played at Idaho. Kramer: "He can move for a big sucker. I haven't seen a guy pull like that in a long time."
Howard Mintz of the San Jose Mercury News says some Santa Clara residents might not want Raiders fans descending on the 49ers' new stadium as part of a shared-stadium arrangement.
David White of the San Francisco Chronicle says the 49ers are exploring whether Ted Ginn Jr. can help them at receiver, not just as a returner.
Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times says defensive tackle Red Bryant is among the players getting work at defensive end in the Seahawks' new scheme. This is more evidence the Seahawks' 4-3 defense will have 3-4 characteristics and even look like a 3-4 at times.
Also from O'Neil: Mike Williams looks like he's headed for a career revival in Seattle. Carroll: "He's definitely at a place where he's really competitive physically. It's the best I've seen him since maybe his sophomore year of college. He's very serious about it, so maybe he gets a chance to give us some help."
Clare Farnsworth of seahawks.com says cornerback Marcus Trufant enjoyed a strong minicamp after injuries slowed him last season. Trufant did make multiple plays on the ball, although the photo associated with this item appears to show Trufant getting beat deep.
Ben Malcolmson of seahawks.com offers photos from minicamp weekend, including one showing University of Washington coach Steve Sarkisian.
Greg Johns of seattlepi.com passes along Bryant's thoughts on playing in a new spot. Bryant: "The only difference is it's just more space. As far as me being able to take the line of scrimmage and hold the point, I'm pretty good at that. So it almost feels natural. The transition isn't as hard as I first thought it would be. When he first told me, I didn't know. But I've been doing it a few practices now an steadily getting better. I still have a lot to work on, but the coaches believe I can play it, I believe I can play it, my teammates believe I can play it. So we'll see what happens."
Eric D. Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune says Seahawks first-round choice Russell Okung had plenty to digest during his first minicamp.
Also from Williams: The Seahawks like what they see from rookie receiver Golden Tate. Offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates: "I know one thing, over the past two days he’s been very impressive. His work ethic has been unbelievable. He’s very aggressive as far as attacking the ball when the ball’s up in the air. He still has to learn the offense. He has a long way to go, and he has a big playbook to study. But we’re excited to have him."
Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune says Okung was impressive Friday, then faced some challenges Saturday -- a typical pattern for rookies at their first camp. Ben Hamilton, Matt Hasselbeck and Lawyer Milloy are among the veterans lending their expertise.
Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic says the Cardinals feel no need to rush out and sign a veteran cornerback for depth. Coach Ken Whisenhunt wants to monitor players through May and into June. Whisenhunt: "Then we'll be doing more of our sub-receiver sets where we've go three and four [receivers]. That's really where you've got the chance to see different players in different spots. I liked what I saw from the standpoint of the numbers of guys that look like they have the ability to play."
Also from Somers: The Cardinals held their annual rookie dinner. Also, Matt Leinart wasn't wearing a glove on his throwing hand during the recent camp, a change.
Bob McManaman of the Arizona Republic checks in with Toler, who is looking to seize a starting job at cornerback following Bryant McFadden's departure via trade. Whisenhunt: "Greg's got to earn it. "Physically, he's very gifted and we're going to have to see him do it on a consistent basis in order for him to become a starter. But you're excited because he does have the athletic tools and you have seen him do it in a game. But can he continue to do that? That's the big question."
Darren Urban of azcardinals.com says the Cardinals expect to have each of their rookies back for organized team activities -- unlike last season, when Ohio State's graduation schedule prevented Beanie Wells from participating.
Also from Urban: The Cardinals' young defensive backs are fighting to improve their spot on the depth chart. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie: "When B-Mac got traded, that hurt me a little bit because he was a good, good, good friend of mine. When he was gone it was like, 'Damn, who is going to step up and be that leader?' It put pressure on us young guys to step up and do the right thing. I feel confident. I’ve got a player in Mike Adams. And G.T. [Toler], once he gets in that book, there will be no drop-off."