Friday, July 30, 2010
Around the NFC West: Dockett's contract
By Mike Sando
Darren Urban of azcardinals.com isn't sure what to make of a report suggesting the Cardinals plan to meet Friday with Darnell Dockett and agent Drew Rosenhaus regarding a contract. My thoughts from the most recent NFC West chat: "Dockett discussed his feelings about his contract with me at the Pro Bowl. My sense is that he has a point of no return in his mind -- in other words, there's a point where he wants a deal from the Cardinals or he'll set his mind to playing out this deal and leaving when he can. I don't know when that point would be. It's an emotional issue for Dockett and he gets worked up about it sometimes. Then he probably has time to cool down and reevaluate. We know he's going to work hard and play hard for the Cardinals. That is his identity and he's not changing on that front, in my view. I'm sure he'll discuss the contract and his expectations at some point."
Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic quotes Bill Barnwell of Football Outsiders this way on Matt Leinart: "Most quarterbacks in the league would lose their jobs to Kurt Warner. We think he'll be a lot better than people are projecting. He'll be back practicing with the first team getting first-team reps (snaps). We've found that when guys come in as a starter and practice all week, they play about 10 percent better than when they come in as reserves."
Also from Somers: a look at sleeper candidates for the Cardinals at outside linebacker, including Stevie Baggs. Somers: "Three NFL teams released him before he landed in the Canadian League. Two CFL teams released him and he played in the Arena League before returning to the CFL. He led the league in sacks last year with 12. To make the Cardinals roster, he needs to show those same skills this preseason."
The Associated Press says University of Phoenix Stadium suffered minor damage in a storm Thursday.
Ben Malcolmson of seahawks.com says coach Pete Carroll has installed a scoreboard near the Seahawks' practice field, the better to keep score during drills. Malcolmson: "As part of the head coach’s practice philosophy, Carroll likes keeping score during drills, all in an effort to raise the tenor of competition and increase the level of play. In sports, the scoreboard acts as the ultimate symbol of competition — and now it’s even on the Seahawks practice field."
Clare Farnsworth of seahawks.com checks in with offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates, who has this to say about Matt Hasselbeck: "Matt has been [here] every day, starting in February, and he’s mastered the playbook. When the quarterback understands it as well as he does, it makes all the other positions step up to get to his level. It definitely starts with the quarterback, and Matt is so smart and his football IQ is off the charts. He’s bought in." This piece also includes a position-by-position look at the roster on offense.
Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times says Chester Pitts could earn as much as $2 million from the Seahawks after agreeing to terms on a one-year contract. Pitts can play guard or tackle, but first he'll have to prove he can bounce back from serious knee surgery.
Greg Johns of seattlepi.com quotes Leroy Hill's attorney this way after police sought phone records potentially showing Hill had violated a no-contact order: "This prosecutor is not doing anything I wouldn't expect a prosecutor to do when there is a witness who refuses to cooperate and wishes there was no prosecution. It sounds like there is a bad situation with the warrant. But frankly, they're just searching for evidence and it's entirely normal at this stage for that occur. I don't expect this search warrant issue will amount to anything. We're working toward a settlement toward the underlying assault charge and I expect we'll either resolve or try it (in court) and this warrant will be a distant memory at some point. It's just a prosecutor being careful."
Eric D. Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune says the 2009 Seahawks scored on only 6.3 percent of their opening drives, 27th in the NFL. What was the percentage for their other drives?
John Morgan of Field Gulls offers 15 areas of focus heading into Seahawks training camp. On Aaron Curry: "Curry looked pretty awesome in last year's camp, and so this might speak to the above. Curry is coachable and toolsy as all get out, and I expect him to look very good in camp, but I will watch for improvement."
Bryan Burwell of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Rams and Sam Bradford's agent need to set aside petty differences to make sure Bradford is in camp right away. Burwell: "Given all that's at stake for the Rams organization and the talented young face of the franchise, it's rather baffling why a deal hasn't already been consummated. And the fact that it's still not done makes me wonder why everyone involved -- and that means the Rams management, Bradford's agents and the rather intelligent rookie QB himself -- can't understand the concept of penny wise, pound foolish." The first full-squad practice is usually the target.
Bill Coats of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says Rams guard Mark Setterstrom is headed for injured reserve, as expected.
Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo left open the possibility that Rodger Saffold could play left tackle and Jason Smith could play on the right side. That seems unlikely given Smith's status as the second overall choice in the 2009 draft, but the division-rival Cardinals used the fifth choice in the 2007 draft for a player they used on the right side until this season. Levi Brown is moving to left tackle.
Steve Korte of the Belleville News-Democrat says the Rams plan to have more live tackling this summer. Spagnuolo: "There will be some of that in there. We'll pick and choose. I banged my head against the wall in the offseason when I was putting that practice schedule together. You walk that fine line. You want your team to be tough, you want to be able to tackle, you want to be able to block and do all those things, and I don't think you just flip a switch and do it on game day. If you work on it too much and get guys banged up and you don't have a team, that's not good either. I remember the feedback from last year. These guys liked it. Now they don't want to do it every day, every period, but it's football. I hope they like it, because if they don't, we'll be in trouble."
Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com says 49ers first-round choice Anthony Davis and third-rounder Navorro Bowman have agreed to contract parameters and will sign Friday. Maiocco: "Coach Mike Singletary, perhaps anticipating all rookies under contract, decided to open practice a day earlier than originally planned. The 49ers on Thursday added a 90-minute 'shells' practice to their camp itinerary for Sunday. The team will put on full pads for two practices, as regularly scheduled, on Monday."
Also from Maiocco: He thinks the 49ers would not pursue a contract extension for Alex Smith during the season if the quarterback were playing at a high level. Maiocco: "I think the 49ers will want to see the full sample size of the entire season. I don't believe there would be much risk in losing Smith to another team if he were to have a strong year. The reasons: I just can't see the 49ers not giving him a fair offer, and I can't see him wanting to go elsewhere and starting anew."
Daniel Brown of the San Jose Mercury News wonders whether this is the year the 49ers meet expectations.
Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee says a source told him the 49ers considered trading running back Glen Coffee during the draft.