Friday, August 20, 2010
Around the NFC West: Hasselbeck's camp
By Mike Sando
Clare Farnsworth of seahawks.com says quarterback Matt Hasselbeck was the Seahawks' best player during training camp. Hasselbeck will be looking to improve upon his performance in the exhibition opener. Coach Pete Carroll: "Matt's looking terrific. He’s played great throughout and he’s as physically well as he’s been in some time. He had a great offseason of hard conditioning. He’s leaner, stronger, faster than he’s been in the last few years. And he feels that way about it, too. Now, let’s take care of him and let’s see how far he can take it."
Also from Farnsworth: How far can the Seahawks' offensive line take them?
More from Farnsworth: How Charlie Whitehurst impressed Seahawks general manager John Schneider.
Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times quotes Carroll as saying Marcus Trufant is more physically fit than he was last season. That appears true on first glance. Trufant appears trimmer and younger. He's probably been able to work out harder now that his back trouble has subsided.
Also from O'Neil: Deon Butler's big opportunity.
Greg Johns of seattlepi.com says Lawrence Jackson's departure from Seattle opens more opportunities for Nick Reed. Lofa Tatupu said earlier in camp that he thought Chris Clemons and Reed were the two best pass-rushers on the team. That's good for Reed but it also validates questions about the overall strength of the team's pass-rush. Jackson didn't seem to fit the 'Leo' role at all.
Also from Johns: Leroy Hill will miss several more weeks.
Eric D. Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune provides video to his interview with draft analyst Rob Rang, who calls Whitehurst's performance in the exhibition opener a surprise.
Also from Williams: Whitehurst's Packers pedigree.
John Boyle of the Everett Herald updates Mike Williams' situation as the former first-round pick from USC tries to revive his career. Williams: "I never doubted my talent, but I needed some time away to really clear my mind," said Williams, who played for first-year Seahawks coach Pete Carroll at USC. I went through a lot in a short period of time, some things that I could control, some that I couldn't, and I just used that time to really get my mind right. And once my mind was right, it was easy for my body to follow, for me to be disciplined and do the things that I needed to do."
Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic checks in with Cardinals rookie free agent Marshay Green. Also, Somers looks at the depth situation at receiver in Arizona.
Also from Somers: another look at the weight issues Deuce Lutui and Herman Johnson are facing. Somers: "A starter in 53 of the Cardinals' past 54 games, Lutui lost that job when he stayed away from off-season practices, unhappy with the team's contract offer. Reggie Wells is playing in front of him, but considering the way he's playing, Lutui will be hard to keep on the bench."
Darren Urban of azcardinals.com offers a few Cardinals notes as the team breaks camp. Urban: "(Ken) Whisenhunt talked about a couple of young defenders today. Linebacker Cody Brown, last year’s second-round pick, hasn’t shown enough yet to make the Cards know he is ready to be a heir apparent for (Joey) Porter or Clark Haggans. That’s what the rest of the preseason is for."
Also from Urban: The Cardinals have three games in 11 days.
More from Urban: Rookie receiver Max Komar fits the slot role, but he likes to play on the outside, too.
Bill Coats of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says Rams rookie Sam Bradford resists the notion that he's the face of the franchise. Of course, Bradford is clearly the face of the franchise, no matter what he says. Bradford: "I think that's ridiculous. I don't think one person is any face of the franchise. It takes 11 guys on offense, 11 guys on defense and however many guys you have playing special teams to win a football game. That's how I look at it. And I wish more people would look at it like that."
Kathleen Nelson of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says kicker Josh Brown was back participating in practice after missing time with a hip injury. Various non-kickers had been handling kicking duties in practice, with comical results in some cases. Jordan Kent wasn't bad, however. Brown: "I think everybody enjoyed it with the humor that's behind it. But the real situation is that if something were to happen, somebody's got to go in. Jordan toward the end got to be more consistent and was trying to figure things out. I think a lot of the guys would never put themselves in that situation if they had the choice."
Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com says the 49ers used Brian Westbrook and Frank Gore in the same backfield Thursday. That sounds good in theory, but teams design their offenses around basic personnel groups, and those groups do not include two halfbacks. Could putting both on the field work? Sure, but I think it's unlikely the 49ers will use that type of grouping frequently.
Also from Maiocco: The 49ers' 2-minute offense fared better in practice.
David White of the San Francisco Chronicle takes a look at 49ers receiver Dominique Zeigler, who has impressed coaches with his route running and all-around game. White says there is "no way" the 49ers will waive him again this summer (assuming Zeigler is healthy this time). White: "Zeigler's willingness to run the most dangerous routes is proving to be his safest bet to make the 53-man roster at last."
Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee updates Diyral Briggs' conversion from defensive end to outside linebacker. Briggs stood out to me during 49ers practices and again during the exhibition opener.
Also from Barrows: a detailed look at Mike Singletary's oversight of linebacker drills. Think he knows a little something about the position?
Phil Barber of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat provides a long list of 49ers players who sat out practice Thursday.
Also from Barber: a look at Singletary's work with the linebackers, and a note about Chilo Rachal's physical play.
Daniel Brown of the San Jose Mercury News checks in with 49ers third-string quarterback Nate Davis, who has gone without gloves in practice recently for a very practical reason. Davis: "Centers they sweat a lot, so sometimes the gloves would get wet and it’s hard to hold onto the ball." Nice.
Also from Brown: Football Outsiders expects a fourth-place finish for the 49ers in the NFC West this season, downplaying the importance of a team having carryover at offensive coordinator. The question in this case is whether the continuity at coordinator benefits Alex Smith more than it would benefit another quarterback, as suggested by Smith's former college coach, Urban Meyer.