Friday, August 5, 2011
Around the NFC West: Giving Martz due
By Mike Sando
Bryan Burwell of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch credits Mike Martz for helping the Rams achieve offensive greatness, lamenting only that the current Rams couldn't learn more about the Greatest Show on Turf days by attending Marshall Faulk's Hall of Fame proceedings in Canton. Faulk on Martz: "Listen, man, this is part of my (induction) speech and I'll share that with you. Eight, 10 years ago, (people were calling) Mike Martz crazy, just crazy for throwing the ball the way he did, right? But if you look at today's game, Green Bay just won the Super Bowl throwing it 50 times. Pittsburgh lost throwing it 45 times. Look what Tom Brady does now. Look how much Peyton Manning throws it. This league is doing what Mike Martz started, what he envisioned professional football offenses should look like."
Kathleen Nelson of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says first-round pick Robert Quinn resumed practicing in individual drills after sitting out with an injury.
Nick Wagoner of stlouisrams.com says Mike Sims-Walker made an impact quickly in his first practice with the Rams. Wagoner: "On Mike Sims-Walker’s second practice snap as a member of the St. Louis Rams, he ran past his defender and glided down the sideline where quarterback Sam Bradford hit him in stride for a touchdown that covered roughly 50 yards. It was a play that in Sims-Walker’s mind had been a long time coming. Although many of the veteran free agents who signed with the Rams in the last week have been in St. Louis for a few days, Thursday provided their first opportunity to practice with their new team."
Jason LaCanfora of NFL.com expects veteran tight end Bo Scaife to visit the Rams.
Steve Giegerich of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch experiences Rams camp through the eyes of team interns.
Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com checks in with 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh regarding Taylor Mays' availability by trade. Harbaugh suggests other teams initiated trade talks and the 49ers are merely indulging them. Harbaugh: "Full disclosure, there have been inquiries about Taylor over the past eight days. Now it's to the point, let's check it out. That's where we are now." Why send out an email to the rest of the league announcing Mays' availability if other teams had already initiated talks? It doesn't really matter. Mays is available. That is the bottom line.
Also from Maiocco: Braylon Edwards' addition gives the 49ers two of the first three players chosen in the 2005 draft. Alex Smith is the other.
Grant Cohn of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat passes along a transcript from Smith's interview session. Smith: "I want to come out, a new offense, new coaching staff, new day, absolutely. I was pretty anxious, pretty jacked up. It didn’t help having to watch for basically a week, you can sign but you can’t do anything, and then you’re just sitting here watching, chomping at the bit. So it’s great to finally get out there, we had a lot of fun. Obviously, we’ve got a long road ahead of us, but it felt like we took a step today and we’ll look at film and try to take another one tomorrow."
Lowell Cohn of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat says Harbaugh wasn't interested in comparing quarterbacks.
Mark Purdy of the San Jose Mercury News says nothing Smith does in practice matters as much any longer. The games are what matter.
Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle offers thoughts on the 49ers' revamped secondary. Branch: "Donte Whitner, 26, who reportedly signed a three-year contract worth $11.5 million, ranked fifth in the NFL with 140 tackles last year, the only season in his five-year career in which he's played 16 games. The deal signaled the end of free-agent safety Dashon Goldson's four-year tenure as the Niners' new regime continued to aggressively retool a defense which ranked 24th in the NFL against the pass last year."
Rod Mar of seahawks.com offers photos from the team's first practice with its 2011 free-agent class participating.
Clare Farnsworth of seahawks.com provides notes from the Seahawks' practice Thursday. New tight end Zach Miller had this to say about new quarterback Tarvaris Jackson: "I was really impressed. Obviously, just seeing him play on film and on TV is a lot different than getting to play with the guy. I was really impressed. He had a ton of zip on the ball. He was hitting receivers out here and hitting the tight ends. I was really impressed with how accurate he was."
Also from Farnsworth: a quick run through the Seahawks' free-agent additions.
Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times has this to say about Jackson: "For the record, I thought Jackson looked like a competent quarterback who was practicing with this teammates for the first time. He made some nice throws, he looked natural in the instance I saw when he pulled down the ball and ran. He also admitted himself he missed Mike Williams on a go route, showing that he'll have to develop a better understanding of where his receivers like the ball. Jackson looks much more natural and fluid rolling out than Charlie Whitehurst has in his time here."
Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune offers thoughts via video regarding Jackson, singling out a couple plays that impressed.
Also from Boling: more thoughts on Jackson, this time in writing.
Eric D. Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune files notes from practice, including this one: "Safety Kam Chancellor continues to shine, as he battles for the starting safety job next to Earl Thomas. Chancellor had his second interception in two days off a tipped ball by Aaron Curry intended to Carlson, Jackson’s only interception of the day."
Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic says new Cardinals quarterback Kevin Kolb was working through issues associated with participating in practice for the first time following an extended layoff. Somers: "It was a unique practice because the number of players working increased from 66 to 90. It was the first workout for several expected starters such as Kolb, guard Daryn Colledge and tight ends Todd Heap and Jeff King. The only thing they learned from watching earlier practices is that standing in one place results in a sore back."
Also from Somers: "The Cardinals made no attempt to re-sign backup nose tackle Gabe Watson, who signed with the Giants on Tuesday. The team doesn't seem to be worried about replacing Watson, however. Veteran defensive ends Nick Eason and Vonnie Holliday can play there, said coach Ken Whisenhunt, and the hope is that David Carter, a sixth-round pick, can also give the team depth at nose tackle and end."
More from Somers: Newly signed linebacker Stewart Bradley is making a positive impression and will likely start at inside linebacker.
Darren Urban of azcardinals.com says Kolb appeared comfortable in his first practice with the Cardinals. Center Lyle Sendlein: "I’m just amazed. Our plays have a lot of verbiage to it, a lot. I don’t think he screwed up calling one. That’s half the battle."