Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Around the NFC West: Looking at the 'Leo'
By Mike Sando
Clare Farnsworth of seahawks.com says Chris Clemons projects as a stand-up defensive end for Seattle. Farnsworth: "Clemons is a ’tweener player who has been playing a hybrid position for the Seahawks since they acquired him in a March trade with the Philadelphia Eagles. There are others in line at the defensive end spot coach Pete Carroll brought with him from the University of Southern California -- Nick Reed, Ricky Foley and Dexter Davis. But the line forms behind Clemons."
Also from Farnsworth: quick bios on the aforementioned players.
Nate Davis of USA Today puts ex-Seahawks Walter Jones and Steve Hutchinson on his NFL all-decade team, but Torry Holt and Orlando Pace miss the cut among NFC West notables. Says ESPN analyst Trent Dilfer: "Walt and Steve were the best left guard-left tackle tandem for a few years that the league's ever seen. What we did with those two was mind-boggling. I saw Walt get beat one time in four years. My opinion -- greatest offensive lineman to ever play the game."
Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times has this to say about Seattle quarterbacks Matt Hasselbeck and Charlie Whitehurst: "It was very clear there was a difference in the way starter Matt Hasselbeck went through his progressions, came off his first read, and the way Whitehurst did. Whitehurst had many more instances in which he ended up throwing the ball away, neither finding nor forcing a spot to throw the ball. Hasselbeck is getting the majority of the repetitions during the practices, but Whitehurst is getting a healthy chunk, too. Mike Teel isn't seeing much time at all during the 11-on-11 team drills."
Darren Urban of azcardinals.com recounts 49ers-Cardinals games from the last decade or so, noting that the 49ers once went 2-14, with both victories over Arizona. Urban: "Now that both teams have been revived to the level of division title contenders -- and given the dichotomy of the Cards’ 10-6 division-winning record if a year ago compared to the Niners’ sweep of Arizona despite a .500 record -- this season’s matchups may be the most anticipated since the two moved in together in the NFC West."
Revenge of the Birds' Andrew602 says the Cardinals are enjoying one of their better situations at running back, at least in recent years.
Brian Burwell of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Rams' pending sale is preventing the team from making offseason moves that would add salary. Burwell: "No matter how much general manager Billy Devaney and team president Kevin Demoff swear that they have not been hamstrung by the ownership being in limbo, we have to know better. Our own Jim Thomas has said that he's had several conversations with agents who have been told by Rams officials that they can't get business done on the free agent marketplace because they don't have the cash to make deals. No matter how much Rosenbloom says that he hasn't put the clamps down on spending, think about it. If you were selling a house, how much would you be willing to spend beyond the most superficial improvements?"
Jeff Gordon of stltoday.com says this about the Rams' status: "As I’ve noted in this corner of cyberspace, the Sam Bradford contract could become a big dilemma. If I represented Bradford, I wouldn’t finalize any deal until the ownership is resolved. Demoff has similar concerns from the Rams side, since the next owner will write the big checks on this massive contract. How much can he get done with ownership in limbo? Moving forward through the spring and summer, the Rams will need to make additional changes. Fans applaud Devaney for shedding failures like Alex Barron, but they fret about the remaining holes."
Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com looks at 49ers players with contracts expiring after the 2010 or 20100 seasons. Maiocco on center Eric Heitmann, whose deal runs through 2011: "He is getting up there in service and slowing down. This is the reason several people I spoke with before the draft believed the 49ers should’ve taken guard/center Maurkice Pouncey instead of Mike Iupati with the No. 17 overall pick. After Heitmann’s deal expires, the 49ers can think about him on a year-to-year basis."
Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee says the 49ers' announcement on William James' signing shows where Dre Bly and Walt Harris stand with the team -- on the outside.