Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Four under-the-radar camp developments
By Mike Sando
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -- NFC West teams are far enough along in training camps for storylines to emerge. Here are four potentially prominent storylines that have not panned out:
- Arizona Cardinals: Brandon Keith is the new starting right tackle for the Arizona Cardinals. Keith isn't getting much attention at camp and I think it's because he's blending right in with the starters. If Keith were struggling in pass-rush drills, for example, he would stand out. I took notes during those drills Tuesday and my one line on Keith read simply, "72 stones 78." In other words, Keith neutralized nose tackle Alan Branch, who is in shape and having a good camp.
- San Francisco 49ers: Cornerback was supposedly the big weakness for the 49ers, but that position could be OK with Shawntae Spencer and a well-conditioned Nate Clements in camp. Clements is the bigger name, but Spencer has some appealing qualities. He's got a matter-of-fact personality and a good sense of humor, which adds up to leadership potential as long as he remains on course.
- St. Louis Rams: Sam Bradford is getting all the attention, and rightfully so. But if Steven Jackson were struggling to return from back surgery, we'd be hearing plenty about it. Instead, Jackson is doing what he did before the injury. He's running hard and looking good. The Rams have put no limitations on him other than shielding him from live tackling.
- Seattle Seahawks: Charlie Whitehurst's acquisition before the draft was supposed to shake up the quarterback position. He's been a non-story to this point in training camp. Matt Hasselbeck remains the clear No. 1 option and there's been no evidence suggesting he's too old or a poor fit for the new system.
Any one of these slumbering storylines could reemerge during camp. So far, though, they've been overshadowed.