Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Around the NFC West: Winslow's impact
By Mike Sando
Kellen Winslow set season highs in 2010 with seven receptions for 98 yards and two touchdowns during a 38-15 victory over the Seattle Seahawks.
Winslow caught 10 passes for 83 yards against the other NFC West teams that season.
What, exactly, are the Seahawks getting in Winslow, acquired Monday night from Tampa Bay for a conditional draft choice in 2013?
Brock Huard of 710ESPN Seattle expects Winslow to become the H-back in Tom Cable's offense, allowing Zach Miller to focus on his duties as an in-line tight end. Huard: "Tom Cable has talked about the eight- and even nine-man box counts opposing defenses threw at the Hawks a year ago. Putting two tight ends like Miller and Winslow on the field will force the defense's hand. Play base defense and Winslow is a mismatch; play nickel defense and expect Beast Mode to run off of Miller and set up the play-action pass." Noted: Winslow's bad knee is also worth our consideration here. The knee has kept Winslow off the practice field. Seattle will have to manage the injury throughout training camp and the regular season. Winslow has managed to produce anyway. He has missed no games over the past three seasons.
Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic outlines five areas to watch for the Cardinals over the next month. Somers on the quarterbacks: "There is competition between Kevin Kolb and John Skelton for the starting job. Rich Bartel and rookie Ryan Lindley could be competing for a roster spot. Position meetings can sometimes be like an old one-room schoolhouse. One student, say a 10-year veteran, is ready for calculus. Another, say a rookie, is learning multiplication tables. That's not the case with this group. The Cardinals four quarterbacks aren't exactly at the same level, but it's close. There is no 10-year veteran in the room who has been there, done that."
Stu Durando of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch explains why the Rams had little trouble landing undrafted free-agent safety Matt Daniels. For one, the Rams had only three safeties on their roster at the time. Daniels: "That was the reason I came here. It's the biggest opportunity to actually make a roster and make an impact. It wasn't about money or getting a big signing bonus or going to the team that's predicted to win the Super Bowl. The reason you come here is the opportunity to play and help a team win and go to a Super Bowl."
Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee takes a closer look at the 49ers' receiving targets from last season. Barrows: "Everyone's percentage, aside from Vernon Davis', went down as the season progressed, perhaps because of the weather or the caliber of opponent or both. Davis also was the only pass catcher who had any success in the playoffs. He caught 10 of the 15 passes that went his way (for 292 yards and four touchdowns). The rest of the group combined to catch 10 of the 33 passes that went their way against the Saints and Giants. Michael Crabtree caught five of 16 passes thrown in his direction; Williams caught two of the 10 passes on which he was targeted."
Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News offers a look at the 49ers' locker-room layout.