Friday, August 6, 2010
Around the NFC West: Feeley and Bradford
By Mike Sando
Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch checks in with Rams quarterback A.J. Feeley, who appears likely to start in Week 1, but not later in the season. Feeley on mentoring No. 1 overall choice Sam Bradford: "I want to help him out as much as he wants to be helped out. But everybody wants to play. If you don't want to play, you shouldn't be in this position. It's what you do. ... The nature of playing quarterback is you help each other out in the meeting room. Those guys that don't have good meeting rooms, where the guys don't get along, that's where bad things happen. But we have a great group."
Kathleen Nelson of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says Rams tackle Jason Smith missed practice to rest a toe injury.
Also from Nelson: a fuller injury update from Rams camp.
Roger Hensley of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch asks colleagues what to expect from Bradford during the team's upcoming scrimmage. Jeff Gordon: "We all know the kid has a great arm – and that the Rams aren’t going to put him at risk to show that off. So fans ought to settle for seeing him command the huddle and demonstrate composure. Will he handle the mechanics of it all without any yips? Last year Keith Null had a rocky start making his adjustment from the spread offense of college to the pro passing game. But he settled in nicely. If Bradford does the same, folks should be happy with that."
Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times says Seahawks linebacker Lofa Tatupu misses his late father. Tatupu: "Last time I ever spoke to him, I told him I was going to make him proud. And that I loved him."
Also from O'Neil: Defensive tackle Kevin Vickerson appears a bit fragile.
Clare Farnsworth of seahawks.com details Quinn Pitcock's journey from depression back to the NFL. Pitcock: "I cast myself away from everybody and became almost a hermit. I was a hermit for a year. No one knew where I was at."
Also from Farnsworth: a look at the team's tight ends as part of a Thursday roundup.
Greg Johns of seattlepi.com says newly re-signed linebacker Anthony Heygood didn't make it through warm-ups Thursday. Johns: "Heygood, re-signed by the Seahawks on Wednesday to beef up their depth at the position, tore his Achilles' tendon during stretching exercises before the team's first practice Thursday." Also, receiver Mike Williams emerged with a strong morning practice after a quiet couple days.
Also from Johns: Pitcock says lots of athletes suffer from depression and he'd like to do something about it. Pitcock: "Being alpha males and being the strong type, you try not to show your weaknesses. That's why I want to start a charity more toward that and also any kind of addictions or stuff like that and get people more open to asking for help. Because no one great got anywhere by themselves. They always need help to get there. That was my biggest problem. I always wanted to do it all on my own. Now I'm open to everybody helping me get where I want to be."
More from Johns: Seattle released receiver Mike Hass to make room for Pitcock on the roster.
John Morgan of Field Gulls says Julius Jones enjoyed a strong practice Thursday.
Also from Morgan: Williams has good size, but can he separate from defensive backs consistently?
Sam Good of 49ers.com says players had no idea where they were going to practice Thursday.
David White of the San Francisco Chronicle says the new practice venue made life easier for players. White:"Niners training camp hit the coastal road to Cal State-Monterey Bay, a seaside campus on the retired grounds of Fort Ord. The ocean breeze was cool, the driving mist was salty and the marine-layered conditions hovered in the low 50s."
John Crumpacker of the San Francisco Chronicle says Jerry Rice's work ethic set him apart during a Hall of Fame career. Crumpacker: "In an Oct. 14, 1990, game against Atlanta at Candlestick Park, then-Falcons coach Jerry Glanville foolishly thought he could cover Rice with a single man, a cornerback named Charles Dimry. It was a move that had Dimry paying dearly for his coach's arrogance. Rice caught a career-high five touchdown passes among his 13 receptions overall for 225 yards. The man throwing all those passes to him, Joe Montana, finished with 476 yards passing, the most of his career."
Also from Crumpacker: Rice adjusted from one great quarterback to another. Rice: "Steve Young was the first lefty I worked with. I used to have Ted Walsh throw to me because it was so unusual seeing that delivery. They had very similar throwing styles. They both threw ducks. ... I'm just joking. Steve always threw spirals."
Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com has this to say about the 49ers' situation at wide receiver: "I don't see the 49ers going with four-WR sets. The reason: they are not going to take Vernon Davis or Frank Gore or another back off the field. Brandon Jones is having a difficult time getting practice time among the group of wideouts. It'll be tough for him to make the team."
Also from Maiocco: Rice declined to take days off even when Bill Walsh suggested he take it easy.
Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee says improved confidence is helping safety Reggie Smith. Barrows: "As far as the on-field action, the defense spent the day practicing one of its nickel packages. This one employs three safeties - Reggie Smith was No. 3 - and two linemen, who usually are Justin Smith and Ray McDonald. They rush the quarterback along with specialists Parys Haralson and Ahmad Brooks. Reggie Smith has been filling in with the first-string defense when veteran Michael Lewis has been given a break and it appears he's preparing for the role Mark Roman had last year."
Daniel Brown of the San Jose Mercury News says one player in particular couldn't believe the 49ers were relocating practice to Seaside, Calif. Tight end Tony Curtis grew up there.
Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic sizes up the situation at inside linebacker in Arizona. Linebackers coach Matt Raich on Paris Lenon: "He's not Patrick Willis [of the 49ers]. He's not the fastest guy. He's not the biggest guy. But you could tell he understood the game. When he got the chance to make plays, he stepped up and made plays."
Also from Somers: The Cardinals were relieved to learn Ben Patrick suffered no ligament damage to his injured knee.
More from Somers: "Quarterback Matt Leinart made a point of trying to bond with his offensive linemen this offseason. He even paid for several of them to go to Hawaii with him in late June and early July. Center Lyle Sendlein, guard/tackle Jeremy Bridges and tackles Brandon Keith and Levi Brown accepted the offer. Guard Alan Faneca was there with his family and spent some time with the group, too."
Darren Urban of azcardinals.com says the Cardinals are optimistic about Brown moving to left tackle. Coach Ken Whisenhunt: "One of the things [Wednesday] night in practice that was apparent to me was the number of times he went against Joey Porter, and Joey is someone who brings it in practice every snap. I asked Joey after his assessment of Levi, and he said Levi is going to be fine. When you have a veteran player like Joey, who has gone against some good tackles, make that assessment, it makes you feel good about the progress Levi has made."
Also from Urban: a look at the Cardinals' situation on the offensive line.