Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Around the NFC West: Where's urgency?
By Mike Sando
Seattle Seahawks owner Paul Allen rarely makes himself available to discuss the NFL, his team or much of anything.
Allen was unexpectedly available following the Seahawks' controversial victory over Green Bay on Monday night. He even discussed the NFL's ongoing lockouts of game officials.
Art Thiel of Sportspress Northwest caught up with Allen following Seattle's 14-12 victory. Allen on the officiating stalemate: "It's an unfortunate situation we have to work through. I know the league is working hard in negotiations. I know it will get resolved. These things always do. I think we’d all prefer it would be sooner than later. But we have to let the people negotiating at the league level do their work." Noted: One wouldn't expect much urgency from Allen following an outcome such as this one. I'm a little surprised the league and team owners haven't tried to discredit the regular officials by leaking information that could put the officials in a bad light. For example, they could paint the officials as wanting it both ways by seeking to continue their pensions without being willing to become full-time employees. Perhaps the league feels confident the officials will capitulate, or unconcerned about continuing on the current course. Recent events would seem to put pressure on the NFL to find a resolution.
Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times breaks down what happened from start to finish during the final play from the Seahawks' game against Green Bay. O'Neil: "Did (M.D.) Jennings establish possession of the ball before (Golden) Tate? If so, simultaneous possession does not apply. But establishing possession requires more than catching the ball with both hands. It requires the player to catch it, establish position inbounds and maintain control of the ball throughout contact with the ground."
Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune weaves into his officiating column a few Seahawks-related notes. Boling: "While the Packers made effective adjustments at halftime, the Seahawks went depressingly one-dimensional in the second half. And they also relapsed into the undisciplined play that was such a problem last season, with any number of inexcusable procedure penalties. (I mean, will somebody check Russell Okung’s hearing? It’s obvious the man can no longer hear the snap count.)"
Chris Brown of Grantland.com takes a detailed look at Larry Fitzgerald's 37-yard scoring reception against the Eagles in Week 3. Nnamdi Asomugha was left alone in coverage after safety Kurt Coleman bit on a run fake. Smith: "While bursting upfield and keeping his shoulders ahead of Asomugha's to maintain his inside position, he also leans into the defender, pushing them both back toward the sideline. He does this for two reasons. First, it creates more space between Asomugha and the opposite safety, which leaves Kevin Kolb with a place to fit the ball. Second, it sets up Fitzgerald's move to get open. The old coaching adage is that to 'be covered early is to be open late,' and by pushing Asomugha to the outside, Fitzgerald is able to set up his own burst to the end zone."
Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic notes that many of the players Arizona has paid the greatest sums are producing at a high level for the team. Coach Ken Whisenhunt on the recently re-signed Daryl Washington: "I tell you what, signing him to an extension is looking better and better every week."
Darren Urban of azcardinals.com suspects Cardinals fullback Anthony Sherman, an important role player responsible for forcing a fumble on special teams Sunday, could have an injury. Urban: "Apparently something happened, because the Cardinals added fullback Korey Hall to the roster. Reserve guard Rich Ohrnberger played a snap at fullback at the end of Sunday’s win, so it makes sense something is up with Sherman. I'm sure it will be addressed Wednesday. Hall spent four years with the Packers and last season with the Saints before the Saints cut him at the end of camp this season. Hall not only played with guard Daryn Colledge in Green Bay, but also at Boise State."
Bill Barnwell of Grantland.com leads his Week 3 review with a look at the 49ers' defeat at Minnesota. He also explains why he remains skeptical regarding Arizona. Barnwell: "If you want to know why the Cardinals have been 10-2 over the last 12 games, there is a simple explanation: They've won virtually all their close games. Ten of those 12 games have been decided by a touchdown or less, and Arizona has won nine of them. They've basically been the Baltimore Orioles of football over the past 12 games. If you want to count on that happening over the next 12 games, be my guest."
Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch offers thoughts on James Laurinaitis, among other subjects, during a recent Rams chat. Thomas: "Is he playing as well overall as he has in the past? Probably not. Is playing at the lighter weight making him less stout at the point of attack? Maybe. Did he look bad on the Cutler scramble? Sure. But again, he is not THE problem. He is not A problem. I saw him make several tackles at or near the line of scrimmage against Chicago. Apparently you missed those. He's had more coverage responsibilities in this defense, deeper drops in the Cover 2 scheme. So at times he's more off the line of scrimmage than he's been in the past."
Paul Petruska of Rams Herd says the Rams lost to the Bears even though they seemed to accomplish many worthwhile objectives during the game. The offensive line was simply overmatched. Petruska: "To emphasize how bad the line was, let’s look at Sam Bradford’s performance in the first half. The second half is its own story. In the first half, Bradford dropped back 19 times. He scrambled twice and was sacked three times. Two of the sacks were a result of quick pressure due to the Bears’ defender man-handling our offensive lineman. The other sack was caused by our own offensive lineman tripping Bradford. Thus, the sacks were not on Bradford."
Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee checks out the 49ers' presence at the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He also made some finds during a special tour. Barrows: "On one of the shelves is a folded up piece of green carpet. Oh, that's the section of turf from Three Rivers Stadium on which Franco Harris made the Immaculate Reception. What's the significance of the dark green tote bag hanging just a few feet away? That? That's the bag that Pat Tillman used on road trips while with the Cardinals. On it is a tag with his name and his address, New Almaden, Ca. If that doesn't squeeze your heart and send a rush of blood to your head, you need to go to the doctor toute suite."
Also from Barrows: thoughts on the 49ers facing the Darrelle Revis-less Jets. Randy Moss has nice things to say about Revis, who once called Moss a "slouch" and said this about him: "In the second half, you could tell he was kind of like putting his foot on the brake. But everybody knows that's Randy -- sometimes he plays 100 percent, sometimes he doesn't."