Saturday, June 4, 2011
Mailbag: Lynch, Crabtree, Kendricks, etc.
By Mike Sando
DiLune2 wants to know whether Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch was part of the workouts teammate Justin Forsett organized this past week. He also thought it sounded like receiver Mike Williams was in attendance, but he was not sure.
Mike Sando: I spoke with Forsett and Williams on Friday. Forsett confirmed that Lynch has been in attendance. Williams was also in attendance and said he's hungry to prove he's more than just a guy with a nice comeback story. In general, players are anxious to get back to work and prepare themselves for the 2011 season.
Forsett on Lynch: "He came out today and it’s always good seeing him. We were both at California together. We stay pretty close and he was definitely always working hard."
I'll have more from Forsett and Williams on the blog in the not-too-distant future.
Sam from St. Louis asks which wide receiver and tight end will be most productive for the Rams in 2011, assuming all are healthy and the team does not sign free agents.
Mike Sando: It's an upset if second-round choice Lance Kendricks does not lead the tight ends in receiving. The Rams drafted Kendricks with new offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels in mind. The team does not have outstanding receiving tight ends elsewhere on the roster. Mike Hoomanawanui did show promise as a rookie last season. I'm interested in seeing how the Rams use tight ends in combination.
Mark Clayton would be my choice among the wide receivers if he re-signs and if he is healthy, as you specified he would be. Clayton built an instant rapport with quarterback Sam Bradford last season. It is possible Clayton will not fit as well in the Rams' new offense, but he is a smart player who has earned Bradford's trust. Danny Amendola could rack up good numbers from the slot, so we should not forget about him. The Rams drafted two wide receivers this year. I'm hesitant to anoint them without seeing them in pads because the Rams have a long list of receivers with more experience.
There are fewer tight ends on the roster, clearing an easier path for Kendricks to project as a productive rookie.
Tigre from Costa Rica wants to know whether I saw Matt Barrows' note about San Francisco 49ers receiver Michael Crabtree possibly joining the team for workouts.
Mike Sando: Yeah, I saw Barrows dropping some suspense in a recent tweet. Crabtree has kept a low profile publicly this offseason. I'm interested in seeing how Crabtree interacts with Alex Smith and the other players. Smith pretty much called out Crabtree for not attending workouts to this point. Meanwhile, Crabtree's former sparring partner, tight end Vernon Davis has heaped praise upon Smith while announcing plans to learn the playbook from Smith beginning Monday.
Crabtree has quite often impressed the 49ers with his approach and feel for the game. I'm wary about using Crabtree's lack of participation in informal workouts as the basis for determining whether he's taking his job seriously overall. It is fair to question the rapport between Smith and Crabtree, however.
jandkolepsycho thinks the Arizona Cardinals will be much better off on offense now that they appear serious about incorporating a receiving tight end into their plans.
Mike Sando: Agreed. Arizona continued to lean on four-receiver personnel groupings more heavily than most teams even though Anquan Boldin was long gone. That was because the Cardinals were not strong enough at tight end to justify removing one of those four wideouts. We'll see more "11" personnel with one back and one tight end as long as rookie third-round choice Rob Housler factors as expected. That should, in theory, help the Cardinals in the red zone as well.