Thursday, May 6, 2010
Around the NFC West: Leinart's mechanics
By Mike Sando
Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic says the Cardinals' coaches are stressing mechanics with their quarterbacks. Somers: "I know many people are going to read about the work on fundamentals and assume (Matt) Leinart is still having problems entering his fifth NFL season. But (Chris) Miller strikes me as someone who would work on fundamentals with any quarterback. And it's important to remember that Ken Whisenhunt and his staff emphasized ball security to Kurt Warner and worked with him on keeping two hands on the ball while moving around in the pocket. And Warner had already won two MVP awards. Leinart, I thought, improved as last week's minicamp progressed. He was erratic the first day but I thought he settled down and looked in command the last two days."
Darren Urban of azcardinals.com says Steve Breaston would like to remain the Cardinals' punt returner, but Breaston knows it's a losing battle because he's too valuable as a receiver. Urban: "Breaston has broken his share of big returns -- Minnesota last year, for instance, and the franchise-changing TD against Pittsburgh in Whisenhunt’s first year that led to a milestone victory -- but it is his sure-handedness (Ken) Whisenhunt loved (he’s never dropped a ball), to go with Breaston’s complete fearlessness back there.)
Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says it's unlikely the NFL will vote on Stan Kroenke's bid to purchase full control of the Rams until sometime this summer at the earliest. Thomas: "In the case of Kroenke, indications are that he might be given a period of time to come into compliance with cross-ownership rules, perhaps a couple of years. Kroenke may need that time given the tax complications of selling or transferring a team to family members."
Howard Balzer of the St. Louis Globe-Democrat says Steven Jackson's back surgery puts a damper on the Rams' offseason. Balzer: "It's certainly not a stretch to believe that any hope of (Sam) Bradford being on the field for the season opener at home against Arizona on Sept. 12 is now tied to Jackson’s health and ability to play at a high level. With the Rams now two weeks away from beginning OTAs, the identity of Jackson’s backup remains unknown. In reality, the Rams need more than just a backup, or a change of pace, as some have suggested, for what Jackson can do. They need a legitimate starter that could carry the load if Jackson has to miss games, which has happened for the last three seasons."
Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com says new 49ers cornerback William James is scheduled to earn $755,000 this season, plus a bonus if he earns a spot on the 53-man roster. Maiocco: "He will likely compete against fellow veteran cornerbacks Karl Paymah and Keith Smith, and well as seventh-round draft pick Philip Adams, for spots on the team. Nate Clements, Shawntae Spencer and Tarell Brown are expected to be the 49ers’ top three corners."
Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News has no problem with the 49ers' confidence, as expressed by Mike Singletary and Patrick Willis. Asked if the 49ers were a playoff team, Willis said they were a championship team. Singletary: "I said last year, I thought we were a playoff team, we missed it. Do I think we’re a championship team? I agree with Pat. You put us on the field today, no. But when it’s all said and done… we’re going to do OK. I’ll put it that way. We’ll do OK."
Eric D. Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune provides a transcript from an hour-long chat featuring Seahawks cornerback Josh Wilson. Wilson on the transition from Jim Mora to Pete Carroll: "Yeah, all the way down the line it's different. Carroll is of course different than Jim Mora, just by his knowledge of winning. He's just trying to get us to that next level, but I guess for me as a defensive guy. Gus Bradley is the same guy. But going from Tim Lewis to Jerry Gray, who's a four-time Pro Bowler. And he knows football. I've got a couple friends from the Redskins that just say he is the 'Football Czar.' It's been fun working with him. He's already shown he knows a lot about the and about getting us in good situations."
John Morgan of Field Gulls revisits Deon Butler's rookie season with the Seahawks. Morgan: "Deon Butler did not do a whole lot, negative or otherwise."