Thursday, April 7, 2011
Around the NFC West: Jake Locker's visit
By Mike Sando
Aaron Wilson of National Football Post says the Seahawks are holding a private workout with University of Washington quarterback Jake Locker. The team already has an outstanding feel for Locker. Most of Seattle's coaches and top personnel people attended Locker's recent pro day. Coach Pete Carroll and his former USC assistant, Huskies coach Steve Sarkisian, spoke at length during the pro day. Their relationship should help inform Carroll on Locker, a player Carroll already knows well from facing him in the Pac-10.
Doug Farrar of Sports Press Northwest has a hard time envisioning Ryan Mallett fitting in the Seahawks' offense. Farrar: "The 5.47 40-yard dash Mallett ran at his pro day is a concern to a degree, but it’s more about his extremely slow 10-yard splits – quarterbacks don’t generally run 40 yards in a straight line, but they are often asked to get outside the pocket and make shorter runs to stay alive and continue to make plays. Because of his height, Mallett takes too long to reset his body after moving in and out of the pocket, and quarterbacks have to have quicker reactions than ever before."
Adam Caplan of Foxsports.com says the Seahawks' contract with receiver Mike Williams is filled with incentives designed to protect the team. Earlier: Williams contract details. The Seahawks set up the deal so they could get out of it at any time without much complication. I was a little surprised Williams accepted it, but his willingness to do so showed he was serious about holding up his end.
Darren Urban of azcardinals.com is sticking with LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson as his choice for the Cardinals at No. 5. Urban: "The idea Von Miller will be selected before the Cards pick is gaining steam (at this point, I also tend to believe it). The way things break down, QB Blaine Gabbert has been popular as a remaining candidate -- along with Patrick Peterson -- and guys like Mel Kiper and Todd McShay are saying the Cards will/should take Gabbert. I’ll stick with the idea of Peterson in such a scenario."
Also from Urban: Cardinals quarterbacks coach Chris Miller reflects on how pro days have changed since he entered the NFL in 1987. Urban: "After Miller finished at Oregon, he played in three postseason all-star games – the Blue-Grey, the Senior Bowl and the Hula Bowl. He attended that year’s version of the combine. Then he waited. There were no pre-draft visits to take, even though he was one of the elite quarterbacks (Miller was taken 12th, Vinny Testaverde went No. 1 while the Cards, picking sixth, took the infamous Kelly Stouffer). He didn’t go to the draft either. Instead, he had about 60 family and friends at a local spot in Oregon, getting up at 4:30 a.m. – the draft was on Saturday at 8 a.m. EST, or 5 a.m. on the West Coast. No prime-time event then."
Kevin Lynch of Niner Insider has this to say about the 49ers' new radio commentator, Eric Davis: "Davis was greatly influenced by Ronnie Lott and kept Lott's spirit alive in the locker room with his work ethic and the seriousness with the way he went about his task. Davis will likely provide more insights on what it means and what it is like to be a player, something he relayed often in his work at Comcast Sportsnet."
Daniel Brown of the San Jose Mercury News recalls a couple classic calls from Davis' predecessor, Gary Plummer. Brown: "Plummer irritated the 49ers by admonishing receiver Michael Crabtree for his lackadaisical play. He said on the air that Crabtree ought to be benched for a Week 1 effort that included misplaying two balls into interceptions and drawing two penalty flags. Later in the season, Plummer openly questioned offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye's play-calling against the Raiders. Plummer wondered why the 49ers kept running the ball up the middle against a makeshift defensive line that was vulnerable on the edges. After Bill LaFleur shanked his final punt of a miserable 2003 season, Plummer blared: 'So long, Bill LaFleur. Get back to the sidelines, keep going and don't stop until you're on a plane.' "
Nick Wagoner of stlouisrams.com checks in with Rams general manager Billy Devaney for thoughts as the team dives into staff meetings to discuss draft prospects. Devaney, coach Steve Spagnuolo, assistants and personnel people are meeting to discuss a different position each day. Devaney: "It’s kind of fun because everybody has their say. Nobody is dogmatic. I usually don’t say anything and Spags may voice an opinion a little bit here and there but we want coaches and scouts to have the freedom to express themselves without thinking, 'Oh God, the general manager or head coach doesn’t like this guy.' We want them to be absolutely comfortable giving their opinions on a player."
Gary Horowitz of the Statesman Journal catches up with Rams running back Steven Jackson, who attended an Oregon State practice recently while on business for Nike. Jackson addressed the team after practice. Jackson: "I'm not sure how long it's been since I've been on campus, but I did not know there was a weight room right there. These things that you guys have the privilege to have, understand that guys have laid the groundwork for that. And you guys will lay the groundwork for the next generation."