Thursday, August 11, 2011
Around the NFC West: Hasselbeck reflects
By Mike Sando
Jerry Brewer of the Seattle Times catches up with former Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, who opens up about his thoughts on leaving Seattle. Hasselbeck: "The most disappointing thing for me is that last year was so hard holding it together, with all of the adversity that we faced, and it was really, really important to me that we won our division. And it was really important to Pete (Carroll). That was great. It was a big part of the reason that I loved playing for Pete. That was my only fear at all, ever, with the changes, is that people wouldn't be trying to win as hard as they could. But I never really felt that. ... So I just felt like it was a big foundation for what was to come. And then -- bam! -- I don't get to be a part of it. So, that's hard."
Also from Brewer: Hasselbeck, Jake Locker and the Titans' plan. Hasselbeck: "This has been, like, a wholesale change. The change from Holmgren to Knapp was like moving from Boston to South Carolina. And then to Bates was like moving to Southern California. But now all of a sudden, I'm in France."
Clare Farnsworth of seahawks.com says coach Pete Carroll isn't sure what to expect from his team Thursday night. Carroll: "We have no idea what’s going to happen. Fortunately, it’s preseason. So we have a chance to figure it out. That’s most important right now."
Also from Farnsworth: Rookie guard John Moffitt is scrambling to get caught up.
Christian Caple of seattlepi.com offers five things to watch when the Seahawks face the Chargers.
Eric D. Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune expects third-string quarterback Josh Portis to play extensively against the Chargers.
Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune profiles new Seahawks quarterback Tarvaris Jackson. Teammate Ben Obomanu played against Jackson in high school and had this to say about the experience: "The funniest thing is I played DB, too, and I had a couple interceptions off him. Our coaches said that Tarvaris had such a strong arm that his receivers couldn’t always catch it and it would bounce off their chests. So coaches told us to wait for the ricochet."
Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic says the Cardinals aren't expecting a pretty performance against Oakland in their exhibition opener. Somers: "On offense, only five starters from last year are in their same positions. A handful of new starters, including quarterback Kevin Kolb, tight end Todd Heap and guard Daryn Colledge have a week's experience in the system. There is a lot to sort out before the regular season starts Sept. 11 at home against Carolina."
Also from Somers: Five things to watch when Arizona visits Oakland.
Darren Urban of azcardinals.com will be watching linebacker Stewart Bradley, among others, when the Cardinals face the Raiders. Urban: "So far, it’s hard not to be excited seeing what Bradley does in the middle there. Hopefully he can stay healthy. With so much vague with the outside linebacker spots, a trio of Bradley, Daryl Washington and Paris Lenon wouldn’t be bad."
Also from Urban: The exhibition season is particularly valuable for Kevin Kolb and the Cardinals this season.
Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says signing Justin Bannan to help beef up the defensive interior was a priority for the Rams this summer. Bannan: "The fact that they wanted me, they really went out of their way to let me know that, and to me that goes a long way. In my view, you want to go where you're wanted. The coaches did a great job of reaching out to me early in the week (following the end of the lockout), and getting this thing going."
Also from Thomas: an updated look at the Rams' receiving situation. Thomas: "Mardy Gilyard rounds out the top eight. After a disappointing first year, he has gotten off to a good start in this camp. He was working with the starting unit as the slot receiver during the period in which Amendola -- as a veteran signing a new contract -- couldn't practice. But Gilyard couldn't finish Tuesday, being helped off by head athletic trainer Reggie Scott near the end of practice."
Jeff Gordon of stltoday.com says the Rams count on Danny Amendola.
Nick Wagoner of stlouisrams.com says James Laurinaitis' chest injury is not serious. Wagoner: "He has a strained pectoral muscle but it’s not serious and he is listed as day to day. He did not practice on Wednesday but he’s expected to be just fine."
Also from Wagoner: Rookie Lance Kendricks is catching on.
Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com passes along highlights from Jim Harbaugh's post-practice interview session Wednesday. Harbaugh on re-signing Dashon Goldson: "We were really excited when Dashon decided to come back. We told him that we needed him. And he wanted to be here, and that adds a lot to our depth and experience, a guy who's been a starting safety in this league -- a physical mindset. It adds to the competition back there. Another guy who's game-tested, battle-tested."
Also from Maiocco: Rookie Colin Kaepernick will see extensive playing time against New Orleans in the 49ers' exhibition opener.
Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee says 49ers linebacker Larry Grant credits time spent with St. Louis for helping him learn the defense in San Francisco. Grant: "The best thing that could have happened to me leaving San Francisco as a rookie was going to the defensive scheme in St. Louis. It's one of the hardest systems in the league. Coming back here, it's not an easy system to learn, but I've adapted to digging deeper into defenses."
Also from Barrows: a look at how Harbaugh runs training camp.
Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle looks at Michigan connections between Harbaugh and Braylon Edwards. Edwards: "I know (Harbaugh's) mind-set, where he's come from and what has been embedded in him in college by his father, Bo Schembechler and the Michigan players and program. So, that was definitely a factor in why I came here. I saw the potential for change in this organization if people bought into the way he thinks and the way he coaches."