Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Around the NFC West: About Rams' future
By Mike Sando
The St. Louis Rams' owner, Stan Kroenke, has served the league on its Los Angeles Stadium Working Group.
The Rams' top executive, Kevin Demoff, grew up in Los Angeles. So did their top candidate to become head coach, Jeff Fisher. The team itself spent nearly 50 years in Southern California before moving to St. Louis for the 1995 season.
Can anyone fault the locals for wondering whether or not Kroenke might move the team West once the Rams' stadium lease likely voids following the 2014 season? The league wants another team in the L.A. market, after all.
Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch seeks to calm the masses without guaranteeing the Rams will remain put for the long term. Miklasz: "The Rams aren't acting like a franchise that is planning to cut and run. They've been aggressive and dedicated in expanding and deepening their community-wide roots; Rams-related charitable activities and reach-out efforts to fans have have increased. Perfect? Heck, no. But the franchise is much more in touch with the STL community and fans. Another example: with Kroenke's go-ahead, Demoff has taken whatever measures necessary to ensure that home games wouldn't be blacked out locally. And in some instances it meant that Kroenke bought up tickets to keep a home game on free TV." Noted: Fisher reportedly would resist a franchise move based on what he experienced when the Houston Oilers moved to Tennessee and became the Titans, but the organization is bigger than any one person below the ownership level.
Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch updates the Rams' search for a coach and general manager. Denver's Dennis Allen and Philadelphia's Ryan Grigson are both 39 years old.
Nick Wagoner of stlouisrams.com quotes Demoff on various coaching-search matters. Demoff: "I think it’s probably fair to say that if he were excited about coming here, we'd be excited to have him. Obviously, there are a lot of things to work through on both sides. You never know how these things are going to turn out, but he's obviously an impressive coach with an impressive résumé and we are excited about what we've heard so far." Noted: The Rams are acting like a team that feels good about its chances. Failing to land Fisher at this point would stand as a bitter disappointment. Does the team have a viable alternative?
Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee says the 49ers have no immediate plans to place Delanie Walker on their injured reserve list. They hope Walker could return if the team advanced in the playoffs. Noted: The Super Bowl is still nearly four weeks away. If the 49ers do not need the roster spot, there's no advantage in placing Walker on injured reserve. Keeping him on the 53-man roster also shows respect for a player the team has valued greatly.
Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com checks in with 49ers cornerback Carlos Rogers for thoughts on Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams. Rogers played for Williams in Washington. Rogers: "We can rush with our front four and get pressure on the guy, so we don't have to blitz a lot. Their front four is -- they're good -- but that's his (Williams') mentality. Your quarterback is going to get that ball out of your hands and they're going to make him throw it quick. If not, they're going to try to hurt him, take him out of the game."
Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic has this to say about the Cardinals' decision to fire quarterbacks coach Chris Miller: "The easy way to fill the job is to hire Todd Haley as a coordinator. Haley has coached quarterbacks before, too. The Cardinals also could shift Mike Miller, the current offensive coordinator, to quarterbacks coach and/or possibly passing game coordinator. But it sounds as if Miller was going to be let go independent of Haley's potential hiring. The Cardinals would like to speak in depth with Haley about returning to the run the offense, but that hasn't happened yet."
Darren Urban of azcardinals.com passes along a comment from coach Ken Whisenhunt regarding Miller's dismissal. Whisenhunt: "In the analysis of where we are and the progress that’s been made, we felt a change at that position was what we needed."
Clare Farnsworth of seahawks.com looks at the team's slow start and strong finish in the running game. Farnsworth: "It was just before they were preparing to play the Dallas Cowboys and Baltimore Ravens in back-to-back games that Tom Cable put it on the line and his backs. Against a Cowboys run defense that ranked fourth in the league, allowing an average of 93.9 rushing yards, Marshawn Lynch and the Seahawks had 135 and 162, respectively. The following week, against a Ravens defense that ranked third in the league against the run, allowing an average of 86.8 rushing yards, Lynch and the Seahawks went for 109 and 119."
Brady Henderson of 710ESPN Seattle shares thoughts from Joe Theismann on how the Seahawks should proceed with the 11th or 12th choice in the 2012 draft. Theismann: "I think you make a huge mistake when you go and roll the dice and go after an inexperienced rookie quarterback who's going to have to grow. Don't expect an Andy Dalton-type performance next year." Noted: Seahawks coach Pete Carroll recently said he's changed his philosophy on young quarterbacks. He thinks more of them can succeed right away. Carroll hasn't been afraid to play youngsters, but neither has he drafted a quarterback since coming to Seattle.