Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Around the NFC West: Kolb, Skelton work
By Mike Sando
The San Francisco 49ers' Alex Smith has company among NFC West quarterbacks seeking to improve their mechanics this season.
Kevin Kolb and John Skelton of the Arizona Cardinals have a new position coach and, unlike last offseason, ample time to work on the finer points. This is one area where Kolb should take a step forward. Learning a new offense and getting acclimated to new teammates were the priority during a lockout-shortened 2011 offseason.
Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic has the details, including a note from quarterbacks coach John McNulty regarding bad habits each player developed. Somers: "Last year Skelton had a tendency to not move his feet when he had to go to a second option. Sometimes the pass got there, sometimes it didn't, McNulty said. In the same situations, Kolb would just start moving, rather than adjust his feet to throw to a secondary target."
Also from Somers: The Cardinals would miss tight end Jeff King, who is recovering from a quadriceps injury. Somers: "King's contract remains unaffected because it is a football related injury. He is due to make $1.95 million in salary this season. Losing King for any amount of time would be a blow. He started 10 games last season and had 27 receptions, fourth on the team and the most of any tight end. With King out, the tight ends in these practices are Todd Heap, Rob Housler, Jim Dray, Steve Skelton and Martell Webb."
More from Somers: The start of training camp July 24 is the target date for Beanie Wells' return from knee surgery.
Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com says Frank Gore has good reason for attending the 49ers' offseason conditioning program. Maiocco: "Gore said he took six weeks after the season to let his body rest. As part of the contract extension he signed last summer, Gore receives a $400,000 annual bonus for taking part in the 49ers' offseason program. He reported to the Bay Area to join his teammates three weeks ago."
Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee provides a transcript from Kyle Williams' interview session. Williams on the impact Randy Moss has had on him: "Oh, a huge impact. He's a vet and he's a savvy vet and he's a first-ballot Hall of Famer once he gets done playing. So if you can't learn something from a guy like that, then you're not paying attention. So just the way he goes about his business, the way he works and the way he takes care of himself every day -- it's something that you can't help but learn from."
710ESPN Seattle offers commentary from Bucs beat reporter Roy Cummings regarding Kellen Winslow, acquired Monday by Seattle. Cummings: "He's got -- for whatever reason and I'm not sure why -- he's got this image out in the public of being a trouble-maker or not being a conformist or anything like that."
Clare Farnsworth of seahawks.com offers notes from the team's practice Tuesday, including this one: "Another new wrinkle in the defense could be veteran Marcus Trufant sliding inside as the nickelback. A first-round draft choice in 2003, he has started 123 games and was voted to the Pro Bowl in 2007. But when a back problem forced Trufant to sit out the final 12 games last season, Sherman stepped in and played well enough to remain the starter on the left side."
Stu Durando of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Rams' new offensive playbook features a larger role for the fullback. Brit Miller: "It's great. Last year there wasn't really anything in there for us that stood out where we could get downhill and block people and do the things we like, things we're good at. This playbook is full of it. I've had familiarity with this system in the past, so coming in I can jump right into everything." Noted: There's a tendency to think players get better from one generation to the next. I question whether that's true at fullback. The college game no longer produces many players at the position. Miller played linebacker in college. The 49ers' Bruce Miller converted from defensive end. Seattle's Michael Robinson played quarterback and tailback in college, among other positions.