Thursday, February 10, 2011
Around the NFC West: Tapping 49ers' past
By Mike Sando
Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com says 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh and staff plan to watch videos showing former coach Bill Walsh and various offensive coordinators installing the offense used during the 1980s. Harbaugh plans to run a version of that offense. Maiocco: "The 49ers recently received a shipment of tapes and DVDs from NFL Films that contains videos of Walsh and some of his offensive coordinators through the years installing the offense. The 49ers' library of videos at the team's offices in Santa Clara had been decimated through the years with numerous coaches 'borrowing' the resources and failing to return them. But through the years, NFL Films backed up many of the tapes. The 49ers taped all meetings during Walsh's time with the club. The 49ers are currently cataloging the contents of the box, and soon Harbaugh and his staff will have a chance to view the videos."
Eric Branch of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat looks at quarterbacks drafted recently and where NFL teams selected them.
Clare Farnsworth of seahawks.com checks in with general manager John Schneider for thoughts on the Super Bowl. Schneider left the Packers after the 2009 season. Schneider: "I’m really excited for everybody there. I’ve compared the people in Green Bay’s building in a very similar manner to the people here. As soon as you walk into the building here, you can tell there are just really good people and a vibe in the building." Packers GM Ted Thompson left the Seahawks one year before they appeared in a Super Bowl.
Mike Salk and Brock Huard of 710ESPN Seattle examine four Seattle players facing uncertain futures. On Aaron Curry: "Thirty games into his professional career it is hard to find areas of real growth and development in Curry’s game. He struggles to play in space, change direction, redirect receivers, recognize schemes and concepts, and play with any level of anticipation. He can maul a tight end at the point of attack, and use his physical attributes in a straight line bull rush, but there are many linebackers across the league that can perform those duties."
Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic says the Cardinals' new defensive coordinator, Ray Horton, emphasized pressure as a top priority. Horton: "I'm here to say right now, the first call is going to be a blitz. No question about it."
Also from Somers: Horton made a positive first impression. Somers: "While this is his first job as coordinator, Horton handled his introductory news conference like he had been there before. He was direct, succinct and approachable. I watched him afterward conduct one-on-one interviews with local television stations. While he repeated the same message -- pressure, pressure and more pressure -- he gave each one a little something different. He remembered every interviewer's name and took the time to introduce himself to an intern. Does that stuff matter? Maybe not. But I have had the chance to interview Horton three times over the past week, twice at the Super Bowl, and was impressed each time by his intelligence and ability to convey his message."
Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer says Bengals assistant Louis Cioffi will be joining Horton on the Cardinals' staff. Horton and Cioffi coached together on the Bengals. Reedy: "Cioffi, 37, joined the Bengals in 1997 as a defensive assistant. Horton was hired as defensive backs the same year and coached five seasons here. Horton was also with the Bengals are six seasons as a player and was part of the ’88 team that advanced to Super Bowl XXIII."
Mike Jurecki of XTRA910 radio says the Cardinals let go secondary coaches Donnie Henderson and Rick Courtright.
Darren Urban of azcardinals.com checks in with Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau for thoughts on Horton. LeBeau: "There was never question in my mind he is ready to be a coordinator. He understands the A's to the Z's of defensive football and he’s an extremely bright man. He had a great rapport with the players. He was one of those players who you recognize almost instantly was going to make a great coach."
Roger Hensley of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch asks colleagues whether Mike Karney's recent release means the Rams are shifting away from Steven Jackson toward Sam Bradford. Jim Thomas: "Karney already was being phased out late in the 2010 season when he didn’t dress for four games. But there’s no doubt losing Karney isn’t great news for Jackson. It’s another sign that the offense is being tilted more toward Bradford than Jackson." True fullbacks are having a harder time finding their way onto the field, particularly when they do not contribute much on special teams. Devoting a roster spot to Karney was increasingly difficult last season even though the Rams' offense did value the fullback in certain personnel groupings.
Jenni Carlson of the Oklahoman checks in with Rams quarterback Sam Bradford for thoughts on learning a new offense. Bradford was attending an Oklahoma basketball game. Bradford on a potential lockout: "I think it hampers me and my teammates as much as we let it. Even though there could be a lockout, there could be a strike, we’re gonna have to get together. I think we all understand the importance of the offseason. It’s definitely way too important to let it go by without us being together."