Thursday, May 10, 2012
Around the NFC West: Raising the roof?
By Mike Sando
Lots going on with the St. Louis Rams.
First, thanks to @Gofastleft for pointing out a story suggesting the team has asked for a retractable roof as part of its proposed renovations to the Edward Jones Dome.
Charles Jaco of Fox2now.com says experts generally suggest a price tag between $200 million and $300 million for retrofitting a stadium with such a roof. Jaco: "The Rams lease at the dome says the team is free to leave St. Louis in January 2015 if the dome is not among the top facilities in the National Football League. The Rams rejected an offer from the Convention and Visitor’s Commission to spend $124 million to upgrade the dome, half from taxpayers, half from the team. And this is their counter-offer. If the CVC rejects this proposal, which is pretty likely, then both sides go to arbitration June 15." Noted: Details for the various proposals become public Monday.
Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch details changes in the Rams' scouting department. Thomas: "The process is well under way, with general manager Les Snead bringing two Atlanta Falcons scouts into directors' positions in the front office. Falcons pro scout Ran Carthon is joining the Rams as director of pro personnel; Falcons area scout Taylor Morton is coming to St. Louis as director of college scouting. The Rams didn't have anyone with the title of director of pro personnel last season, so technically, Carthon isn't replacing anyone. John Mancini, who has been the Rams' director of college scouting for the past two years, is being retained with the title of assistant director of college scouting."
Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com offers thoughts on Michael Crabtree's development through three seasons. Maiocco: "While fans expect 1,000-yard seasons from a player chosen with the No. 10 overall draft pick, the 49ers' offense is not one that features the outside receivers. Some view Crabtree as a bust. I am certainly not in that camp."
Kevin Lynch of the San Francisco Chronicle looks at how rookie LaMichael James could change the 49ers' offense. Lynch: "At Oregon, he played in a spread and most of his carries came from a shotgun quarterback. That could continue with the 49ers. With the additions of Randy Moss, Mario Manningham and rookie A.J. Jenkins the team is showing signs of opening up the offense. Going into the shotgun frequently, could put James on the field more often. But for that to be the case, James will have to prove he’s more of a Darren Sproles than a Dexter McCluster. The revelation of just whom James will be, will start this Friday at the team's rookie minicamp."
Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee looks at the sorry recent history of the No. 81 jersey in San Francisco, asking whether there's been a T.O. curse.
Darren Urban of azcardinals.com explains how receiver Larry Fitzgerald pushes teammates to work harder. Fitzgerald: "I'm just an extremely self-motivated person, that's all. Every day I am trying to run faster, jump higher, lift more. I have always been that way. Especially young guys like (Ryan Williams) … yesterday Patrick Peterson, we had a squat competition. I do it with (receivers) DeMarco Sampson, Jaymar (Johnson). I am into that. I love the competition, no matter if it is on the field, the basketball gym, the bowling alley, competition always makes the cream rise to the top. So I love to compete."
Clare Farnsworth of seahawks.com checks in with offensive line coach Tom Cable for thoughts on why the team drafted defensive lineman J.R. Sweezy with an eye toward converting Sweezy to offense. Cable: "It was his demeanor, first and foremost. His intelligence. His toughness. And how he played on defense."
Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times says Red Bryant is determined to fulfill expectations after signing a $35 million contract this offseason. Bryant: "A lot of guys get big contracts and they kind of go in the tank because you get comfortable. I feel like not so much to justify it, but I have bigger expectations than just a contract. You hear that all the time, but I definitely want to be a guy that when my playing days are over with and they think about the Seahawks, they think about big Red Bryant."
710ESPN Seattle passes along comments from Seahawks coach Pete Carroll regarding Russell Wilson's arm strength.