Monday, May 14, 2012
Around the NFC West: Three-man QB race
By Mike Sando
Russell Wilson served notice over the weekend that he'll factor into the Seattle Seahawks' quarterback competition right away.
That was easily the No. 1 development from NFC West rookie camps.
"He showed us enough," coach Pete Carroll told reporters Sunday. "He's in the competition. That is going to tax us, as we know, and it was already going to be taxing with two. But he’s showed us enough that we need to see where he fits in with these guys."
Matt Flynn and Tarvaris Jackson are the other candidates to start. The contract Flynn signed makes him the early favorite. Wilson, as a third-round draft choice this year, was going to factor into the equation. While there was very little chance Carroll was going to rule out anyone as a candidate so early in the process, Wilson did show enough during the rookie camp to justify inclusion. Carroll wasn't blowing smoke, in other words.
Wilson demonstrated during this camp an ability to throw open receivers by anticipating with his passes. That was not a strength for Jackson, the starter last season. Jackson was more apt to see a receiver open and then use his strong arm to rifle the ball to the target. Wilson also appears to have a strong arm (Carroll used the word "terrific" to describe it).
Some coaches prefer a quick resolution to a quarterback competition. I would expect Carroll to keep alive this one well into the summer.
"It's going to take us a long time to do this," he said. "It's going to be frustrating for you guys. You’re going tokeep asking and wanting to know and I’m just going to be more patient than you can imagine as we go through this process and we’ll just figure it out when we do."
Clare Farnsworth of seahawks.com offers highlights from the Seahawks' three-day camp.
Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune says the Seahawks' 2011 injury problems on the offensive line could put them in position to have greater depth this season. Line coach Tom Cable: "We know we have a group, top to bottom, where your eighth or ninth guy can go in and win for you. So our depth got taken to a new level."
Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic offers notes on some of the players participating in Cardinals rookie camp on a tryout basis. Former Rams receiver Keenan Burton was one of them. Somers: "The Cardinals' positional needs, as well as a player's talent, will factor into the decisions to sign any of the tryout players. The Cardinals, for instance, might need an extra running back in organized-team activities because starter Beanie Wells is coming off a postseason arthroscopic knee surgery, and backup Ryan Williams isn't expected to participate much as he rehabilitates from a torn patellar tendon. So that helps the chances for tryout running backs such as Javarris James and Keola Antolin, a rookie from Arizona."
Also from Somers: Cornerback Jamell Fleming made an immediate positive impression on Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray Horton. Horton: "I don't remember (Fleming) making a mental mistake, which was great. We're going to start throwing more things at him, but he has the demeanor of an NFL guy. He reminds me of Patrick (Peterson). He came in and said, 'OK, this is what I am. I'm a pro football player.'"
Darren Urban of azcardinals.com looks at the Cardinals' approach to developmental quarterback Ryan Lindley. Coach Ken Whisenhunt: "After a couple of years ago, I hope we’ve learned you can never have enough at that position."
Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says Rams rookie linebacker Sammy Brown, signed as a free agent, is hoping to prove critics wrong after going undrafted. Questions about the consistency of Brown's effort hurt his stock. Brown on watching the draft: "When it got to the sixth and seventh round, I just said, 'Man, I don't even want to watch it no more.' I was mad. I see other people going. I see them picking punters, kickers. Am I that sorry? What have I got to do?"
Bryan Burwell of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch offers his take on the Rams' willingness to take chances on some players. Burwell: "If this plan works, the reward will be so much greater than the risk. Better yet, if it turns out these high-risk, high-reward guys can really play -- and if the plan of Jeff Fisher and Les Snead plan keeps most of them on the right path -- no one in St. Louis will care about anything else. The coach and the GM are smart enough and bold enough to know that."
Barry Bolton of cougfan.com says former Washington State head coach Paul Wulff has joined the San Francisco 49ers as an offensive assistant. Noted: Wulff competed against Jim Harbaugh and several 49ers assistants in the Pac-10 Conference. Wulff and 49ers assistant Michael Christianson both worked under Mike Kramer at Big Sky programs. Kramer worked on Wulff's staff in 2010.
Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee updates scouting changes involving the 49ers. Barrows: "The 49ers parted ways with Todd Brunner, their Northeast Area scout who had been with the team for 12 years, and he promptly was hired by his former boss, Scot McCloughan, with the Seahawks. Brunner handled most of the area scouting on the east coast and was the point man on recent picks like Anthony Davis and Cam Johnson."
Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle examines why Cameron Johnson fell to the seventh round, where the 49ers selected him, after analysts suggested the outside linebacker would be chosen much earlier.
Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com offers thoughts on the 49ers' receiver situation and rookie A.J. Jenkins in particular. Conditioning was a concern initially. Maiocco: "But in the afternoon, Jenkins rebounded nicely and put together a pretty solid showing."