Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Around the NFC West: Joey Porter's legacy
By Mike Sando
Darren Urban of azcardinals.com says the Cardinals signed Joey Porter for more than his pass-rush abilities. Porter, meanwhile, feels an obligation to his legacy. Porter: "Pride is about my legacy. I don’t want to be a player that, when it is all done, they are like, 'You know, he was good for the first 10 or 12 years and then he just fell off.' When I leave the game, I want it to be on my terms. Where I don’t think I can play at the high level, so I decide to shut it down. Not where they decide I don’t have it no more and they cut me. Every day I come out here, pride plays a big role, because pride won’t allow me to play mediocre."
Also from Urban: sees more good things from free-agent receiver Stephen Williams. Urban: "Stephen Williams had another fine showing. He was open deep on one play although the ball by Matt Leinart was slightly underthrown, allowing CB Tru McBride to knock it away. Williams also caught a nice 42-yard bomb from Leinart in the back of the end zone during the two-minute drill that looked close to good."
More from Urban: Breaking down video forces players to be accountable.
Zach Buchanan of the Arizona Republic says the Cardinals are gambling on Brandon Keith at right tackle.
Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic says the Cardinals' Gerald Hayes has a chance to be ready for the regular-season opener. Coach Ken Whisenhunt: "I wouldn't rule it out, but I wouldn't say it's probable, either. I think the next couple weeks are going to be critical. Hopefully we'll have him."
Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com takes a player-by-player look at the 49ers' offense during the team's exhibition opener at Indianapolis. Maiocco on center David Baas: "Baas played very well at center. If he continues to improve, he will hold off Tony Wragge for the starting job to open the regular season. Moreover, he'll be in position to compete for playing time when Eric Heitmann returns from his broken leg."
Also from Maiocco: a player-by-player look at the 49ers' defense. On Taylor Mays: "Entered game after nine plays and wore the green dot on his helmet, signifying he was responsible for relaying the play calls to the defense. He was much better as a tackler than in coverage. Gave up a 16-yard catch to Jacob Tamme. But showed exceptional ability on one play when he was 10 yards off the line of scrimmage at the snap of the ball, closed quickly and tackled Brown for a 3-yard loss on a short third-down pass. He tried to disguise coverage in the second quarter, but did not get back in time to fulfill responsibility in two-deep coverage. But the deep pass for Taj Smith was not caught."
Phil Barber of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat says the 49ers are taking things slowly with newly signed running back Brian Westbrook.
Also from Barber: Receiver Ted Ginn Jr. continues to impress. Barber: "Alex Smith's best throw of the day may have been a strike to Ginn down the left sideline, right on target vs. CB Shawntae Spencer's coverage. Ginn made an even better catch later when he reached back to get Smith's throw with one hand. The starting QB was off-target on some passes, but finished with a flourish in simulated 2-minute drill. He completed it with a touchdown throw to WR Jason Hill."
Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee checks in with Westbrook and Frank Gore.
Also from Barrows: Ginn is more likely to contribute on kickoff returns than on punt returns.
Greg Johns of seattlepi.com says the Seahawks like what they've seen from rookie Dexter Davis. Johns: "Now three weeks and one preseason game into training camp, the Seahawks appear to have found a hidden gem. Davis, 23, had a sack and four quarterback hits in Saturday's 20-18 victory over Tennessee while continuing to flash the speed and athleticism that have been opening eyes since camp opened."
Clare Farnsworth of seahawks.com takes a look at newly acquired defensive lineman Kentwan Balmer. Also, depth on the offensive line is diminished without Ray Willis. Farnsworth: "Without Willis, the No. 1 line remains the same with -- from left tackle to right -- Russell Okung, Ben Hamilton, Chris Spencer, Max Unger and Locklear. But Mansfield Wrotto is now at left tackle with the No. 2 line, where Willis was getting most of his work. In practice today, the rest of the No. 2 consisted of Steve Vallos at left guard, where Wrotto and Mike Gibson had been working; Jeff Byers at center, because Vallos was at guard; and a right side of guard Mitch Erickson and tackle Joe Toledo."
Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times says rookie tight end Anthony McCoy continues to drop passes. I saw him drop at least three while attending Seattle practices.
Percy Allen of the Seattle Times says Balmer is getting a second chance to realize his potential.
Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune checks in with veteran Seahawks defensive tackle Craig Terrill, who was mistaken for musician Tom Petty during a recent practice.
Also from Boling: a look at where Willis' injury leaves the Seahawks' offensive line. Also: "Ben Obomanu has been a little bit of a forgotten man in the receivers corps with addition of Mike Williams, the drafting of Golden Tate and the return of Deion Branch. After Saturday’s two catches for 36 yards, Obomanu had another good practice Monday."
John Morgan of Field Gulls says the Seahawks picked up a talented player at a bargain price in acquiring Balmer, but there's no guarantee the team will come out ahead.
Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Rams had more fights in practice Tuesday than they had victories last season. Coach Steve Spagnuolo: "There is a fine line, no question. And I'm always harping on them that you can practice physical and aggressive and still take care of each other. Don't pull jerseys. Don't try to throw guys on the ground. We're getting there. But some guys haven't figured it out yet."
Also from Thomas: The Rams cut safety David Roach and signed Brett Johnson. Both are safeties.
Bill Coats of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says Jordan Kent is trying to make his mark in Rams camp. Coats: "The 6-foot-4, 219-pound Kent appears to be firmly in the mix. He's displayed improved receiving skills, plus he has desirable versatility as a strong special-teams contributor and possibly as an emergency place-kicker."