Thursday, January 12, 2012
Chat wrap: 49ers not only team in division
By Mike Sando
NFC West life does exist outside the divisional playoff round. Our latest chat provided a platform to look beyond the San Francisco 49ers' matchup with the New Orleans Saints.
Kyle from New Jersey asks which coaching candidate could turn around the St. Louis Rams with the right personnel in place.
Mike Sando: Jeff Fisher and Steve Spagnuolo could. My point is that the personnel must improve for any coach to succeed there. Just about all we learned about the personnel in 2011 was negative. The Rams are close to starting over on their offensive line. They need more top-line talent at receiver. They need a young running back. They need outside linebackers and defensive tackles. They could use cornerbacks, too, now that Ron Bartell and Bradley Fletcher are coming off serious injuries.
Gino from Ohio asks about the Seattle Seahawks drafting a quarterback.
Mike Sando: In theory, they have to. In reality, they might do so only if they can get one early. They already have their short-term starter in Tarvaris Jackson. They already have a developmental quarterback they like in Josh Portis, unless their feeling on him have changed. With Jackson coming back as no worse than the No. 2, and with Portis in place, the Seahawks do not really have room for another backup quarterback. They need someone with the potential to start relatively quickly, and it's no sure thing they will find one drafting 11th or 12th overall.
Chris from Broadview Heights, Ohio asks whether the Cleveland Browns, with ex-Philadlephia executive Tom Heckert advising Mike Holmgren and Pat Shurmur, might send some of their draft bounty to Arizona for quarterback Kevin Kolb.
Mike Sando: That is a good "talker" but not something I expect to happen. Too many things would have to come about. Tom Heckert, Mike Holmgren and Pat Shurmur would have to like Kolb. Arizona would have to pay a $7 million bonus to Kolb in March just to have him on its roster heading into the draft. The Cardinals would have to feel good about drafting a quarterback early, something they have not done under coach Ken Whisenhunt.
49ertime from California asks about the Saints' ability to cover tight ends. He asks whether we should expect good things from Vernon Davis.
Mike Sando: I see opportunities for the 49ers in this area. Davis had some productive games late in the season. He needed time to grasp the offense and has turned a corner in that regard, according to Davis and offensive coordinator Greg Roman. That makes sense. Meanwhile, the Saints' Roman Harper is banged up and could not run with Davis, anyway. I do think this is an area for the 49ers to exploit.
Thanks again to those who contributed. Appreciated, as always. I'll be heading over to 49ers headquarters shortly to catch Jim Harbaugh's post-practice interview session. I'm sure he'll pass out full game plans to all.