Thursday, March 24, 2011
Around the NFC West: Andy Dalton in first?
By Mike Sando
Brady Henderson of 710ESPN Seattle quotes Trent Dilfer as saying Andy Dalton will be a first-round draft choice and a candidate for the Seahawks at No. 25 if available then. Dilfer: "I can't tell you how much Aaron Rodgers I see in Andy Dalton. They have tremendously quick releases, they can throw from multiple foot platforms, meaning they can be off balance, very aggressive by nature, (they can) extend the play, and they understand the value of a completion. I think that's one of the biggest things in evaluating a quarterback that goes unnoticed is which guys understand the value of completing the football. It doesn't have to be glamorous all the time, but they're going to get a completion, they're going to move the chains and they're going to get completions in the biggest moments of games. That's what I see with Andy Dalton. If there's one guy in this draft -- if I was coaching -- that I would want to coach, it's Andy Dalton."
Don Banks of SI.com sees no reason the Seahawks wouldn't pursue Kevin Kolb this offseason. Coach Pete Carroll: "It's good that people think that. Because every opportunity that's available, we investigate. We want to [take] every opportunity, and that's one that's been out there. They've said he's a guy they would possibly move. So those kind of discussions, it doesn't matter where it's coming from, we're trying to be privy to all of it. We just want to know what's going on."
Clare Farnsworth of seahawks.com says retired defensive end Michael Sinclair is grateful to land a spot on the 35th anniversary team, as voted by fans online.
Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic isn't reading too much into the Cardinals' workout with Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert. Somers: "The Cardinals will have private workouts and/or meetings with several of the top prospects, as you would expect from a team with the fifth overall pick. Their interest in Gabbert is genuine, but I'm still doubtful they will take a quarterback with that high of a selection. I believe they are leaning more toward a player more likely to make an immediate impact."
Darren Urban of azcardinals.com says Darnell Dockett realizes he needs to come out of games at times to remain fresh and most productive.
Also from Urban: a look at what quality control coach Ryan Slowik does for a living. Urban: "The job of quality control coach isn’t as vague as the name suggests. Slowik’s duties are very specific, breaking down game video – both the Cardinals’ games and other teams – building playbooks, analyzing stats. Slowik also serves as, essentially, an assistant linebackers coach and an assistant special teams coach. The goal is to move up the ladder, of course. Position coach. Coordinator. Head coach. Six seasons into his career, it’s about working and waiting."
Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Rams have no plans to hire a quarterbacks coach. That means Sam Bradford will work directly with new offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. Thomas: "I think that's a safe statement. We're going to head that way, at least this year. And I think it's a good thing. Josh has done it that way before. I think it's terrific that Sam will get the direct how-to-do-it, everything Josh is thinking. Now, you can put a quarterback coach in there and it works fine, but for the first year of absorbing it. I feel real comfortable because Josh has done it this way. Josh is really efficient with his time and his work. And when they finally get together, I just think it'll be good."
Also from Thomas: Spagnuolo responds to a question I asked at the NFL owners meeting regarding Oshiomogho Atogwe's departure. Spagnuolo: "O.J.'s a special guy. But you know it happens in this business. This is year 13 now (for Spagnuolo as an NFL coach). I've had to go through these before. I understand it. I get it. I know O.J. feels the same. I wish him a lot of luck. I do. And we'll remain close friends, I know, forever."
Tony Softli of 101ESPN St. Louis breaks down the Rams' options at No. 14 in the NFL draft, listing players the team could move back to select. Softli: "The Rams and general manager Billy Devaney will know by Washington’s pick at No. 10 if they are going to trade out of this spot or if they will have their guy waiting for them. If their player is off the board, look for the Rams to trade out of the 14th pick and drop back. They must be careful not to go back too far with the possibility of getting jumped by other teams and taking a chance of losing a player they really like. In this case, Devaney must make sure there are 6-10 players the team would love to have if they find a trade partner and move back."
Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com says 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh did not know his dealings with quarterback Alex Smith during a dead period could invite a fine from the NFL.
Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee says it was probably "money well spent" if the 49ers were fined for spending too much organized time with Smith this offseason. Barrows: "Given the 49ers' quarterback situation -- one player, David Carr, under contract - Harbaugh had to get to know Smith to understand whether he was a plausible possibility should the labor situation grind into late summer."
Kevin Lynch of Niner Insider says the NFL's new rules for kickoffs make the 49ers more apt to sign a strong-legged kicker and less apt to focus on landing a return specialist in the draft. Lynch: "Diminishing kickoffs could also mean a drop in LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson's draft status. But is it enough to allow Peterson to fall to the 49ers's seventh overall pick? Peterson's position on mock drafts ranges from first to seventh, however many draftnicks consider him the most talented player in the draft." It might be easier to justify using a starter on kick returns if the rules change produces more touchbacks, as expected.
Eric Branch of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat says kicking off from the 35 instead of the 30 could make it easier for veteran kickers such as the 49ers' Joe Nedney to stick around longer. Nedney had four touchbacks in 37 kickoffs last season before an injury sidelined him.