Friday, January 27, 2012
Around the NFC West: Rams' clock ticks
By Mike Sando
The Rams moved to St. Louis for the 1995 season. Their future beyond 2014 is coming into focus as local authorities draft plans to possibly upgrade the Edward Jones Dome.
Bryan Burwell of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch notes that the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission is scheduled to make a proposal Wednesday of next week. Burwell quotes Webster University sports economist and Forbes columnist Patrick Rishe on the approach owner Stan Kroenke has taken: "All these things are creating doubt and a little fear. From a pure business perspective, I'd say this is good business for him to play his cards the way he's playing his cards. I'd say 'job well done.' Someone asked me the other day if he had a moral obligation to St. Louis football fans. I said absolutely not. His moral obligation is to do what is best for the best financial return of the owners. And if I was him, I can't say I wouldn't be doing the same things he's doing."
Ray Ratto of CSNBayArea.com says Kroenke's bid for the Los Angeles Dodgers, if successful, could foreshadow a Rams move to Los Angeles in accordance with cross-ownership rules, instantly rekindling an in-state rivalry for the 49ers. Ratto: "The NFL prohibits owners of a team in one city from owning a team in another city in another league. For instance, and as an example with momentary historical validity, Jed York could not run the 49ers and the Pittsburgh Penguins." Noted: Cross-ownership rules can be a bit confusing. In this case, Kroenke could own the Dodgers without moving the Rams because there is no NFL team in Los Angeles. Cross-ownership rules would prevent Kroenke from owning a non-NFL team in a market that already has the NFL. This explains how Seattle's Paul Allen owns the Seahawks and the Portland Trail Blazers. There is no NFL team in Portland.
Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com sizes up quarterback options for the 49ers. Peyton Manning's name is mentioned.
Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle looks at the 49ers' situation at wide receiver.
Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Rams have a scaled-down presence at the Senior Bowl because their coaching staff and personnel department remain in flux, and there is no general manager. Thomas: "The GM interview process resumes this weekend when Arizona director of player personnel Steve Keim visits the Rams. The interview may not take place Saturday as originally reported; it may be Sunday. New York Jets vice president of college scouting Joey Clinkscales; Miami director of player personnel Brian Gaine; and Indianapolis director of player personnel Tom Telesco could be interviewed next week."
Clare Farnsworth of seahawks.com says Earl Thomas' selection to the Pro Bowl as an NFC starter was especially gratifying because Thomas picked off only two passes this past season. Thomas: "A lot of people just look at stats, stats, stats, and they really don’t look at the big picture of what a player is doing. So it just feels good to get recognized for doing some of the dirty work. I’m just excited to be here, and hopefully I can keep coming back."
Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times calls Peyton Manning-to-Seattle a long shot.
Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic says Greg Shiano's hiring as head coach in Tampa Bay could affect the Cardinals' staff. Somers: "Cardinals receivers coach John McNulty coached under Schiano at Rutgers from 2004-2008, and the two are friends. McNulty started at Rutgers as receivers coach and eventually became offensive coordinator. Schiano is expected to try and hire McNulty in Tampa Bay. The Cardinals can prevent that from happening because McNulty is under contract. The Cardinals can deny permission for him to interview, even for a coordinator's position."
Darren Urban of azcardinals.com compares Arizona's defensive stats from the first half of the season to the second. The Cardinals ranked among the NFL's top three in third-down defense, red zone defense, touchdowns allowed, sacks and yards per pass attempt from Weeks 9-17. Urban: "Over the final nine games, 64 percent of the drives by Cards’ opponents (76 of 118) were five plays or less and 59 percent (70) covered 25 yards or less. Of the 12 touchdowns the Cards allowed, four came on drives that began on the Cards’ side of the 50-yard line."