Thursday, January 26, 2012
Chat wrap: Caught up on wide receivers
By Mike Sando
Every team in the NFC West had issues at wide receiver during the 2011 season.
Arizona's Andre Roberts produced intermittently as a full-time starter.
St. Louis lost Danny Amendola in the season opener, suffered additional injuries and then acquired Brandon Lloyd.
Seattle's Sidney Rice had injury problems and wound up on injured reserve, while Mike Williams got lost in the shuffle.
The San Francisco 49ers lost Josh Morgan early and Ted Ginn Jr. late, impacting their prospects in the NFC Championship Game. The 49ers' receiver issues continue to weigh heavily on fans' minds. That was clear during the latest NFC West chat, available in full here and excerpted below:
Jason from New York thinks the 49ers were a big-play receiver away from reaching the Super Bowl. He asks whether the team would go after a receiver such as DeSean Jackson or Vincent Jackson.
Marques Colston and Dwayne Bowe are among those headlining a strong crop of potential free-agent wide receivers this year. Teams have struggled to recoup value for high-priced veteran receiver acquisitions. Perhaps this year will offer some success stories.
Mike Sando: I do not see the 49ers upsetting order in their locker room by overpaying for a marquee wide receiver who, by definition, would be leaving the team that knew him the best. While it is tempting to say a team is one player away from the Super Bowl, the reality is that each season is different. Josh Morgan's injury wound up hurting quite a bit. Next season, the team could be weaker in another area, also due to injury. There is no question the 49ers need another receiver. I just think they'll go about it with some restraint, not with an over-the-top signing. Acquiring Ted Ginn Jr. was one of the first moves Trent Baalke made as acting general manager. That was a mid-level, non-flashy move.
Josh from Illinois asked about Patrick Peterson's chances for becoming a Darrelle Revis-type corner for Arizona.
Mike Sando: Patrick Peterson is well on his way to becoming an elite corner. I don't know about becoming another Darrelle Revis, but he should become a Pro Bowl-caliber cornerback in the next two seasons, based on what we've seen so far. He stepped in as a starter after having no meaningful offseason. There were some growing pains, but he played with confidence, he played aggressively and he improved. He's so dynamic with the ball in his hands. Seems like he needs to get more interceptions.
Will from Tallahassee asks whether Brandon Lloyd should re-sign with the Rams or follow Josh McDaniels to New England.
Mike Sando: Brandon Lloyd should definitely try to follow Josh McDaniels to New England. He would then be in a system that is optimum for him, with Tom Brady as the quarterback. That is more appealing than anything awaiting Lloyd in St. Louis. And I do think it's not clear whether Lloyd can return the same value in another system. There is reasonable doubt on that front. Put him in the Patriots' offense and he could make a tremendous impact.
Austin from Seattle thinks the Seahawks might be better off solidifying their offensive line by drafting a guard instead of following Mel Kiper's projected selection of a defensive end.
Mike Sando: I would rather have a defensive end. Breno Giacomini played well enough to project as the starting right tackle. The team could bring back James Carpenter from that injury, let him have some extra time on the PUP list, then consider easing him into the lineup at guard based on need. Perhaps he would be ready to replace Robert Gallery at that point, depending on Gallery's health. Longer term, a left side with Carpenter and Russell Okung could be nasty. And then Carpenter could kick to right tackle in a pinch if needed.