<
>

Around the NFC West: Faith in Leinart

7/20/2010

Lee Jenkins of Sports Illustrated checks in with Cardinals quarterback Matt Leinart, who says he's never been this excited about an upcoming season. Jenkins: "In a league desperate for quality quarterbacks, Leinart is a rarity -- a pedigreed passer who couldn't get the necessary snaps. Although he is often regarded as a first-round bust, the statistics tell a different story. As a rookie, he threw for more than 210 yards per game. He has completed more than 57 percent of his career passes. In his only start last season, he was 21 of 31 for 220 yards and no interceptions at Tennessee. He has not been Kurt Warner, by any means, but he has not been Ryan Leaf, either. This season will do much to reveal who Leinart ultimately becomes." Yep, and we shouldn't automatically assume he'll flop. As Jenkins heard defensive end Calais Campbell say to Leinart, "I'm hearing a lot of good things."

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com provides photos from coach Ken Whisenhunt's recent appearance at the annual golf tournament at Lake Tahoe.

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has this to say about the contract negotiations between Rams executive Kevin Demoff and Tom Condon, the agent for first-round pick Sam Bradford: "There's no reason to believe that Bradford won't be in training camp on time, give or take a day or two. Condon does not have a history of holding out clients, and Demoff's track record in signing players has been good so far during his brief tenure in St. Louis. ... The larger question is can Bradford show enough during training camp and preseason play to be the Rams' opening day starter Sept. 12 against visiting Arizona? Coach Steve Spagnuolo was on the conservative side last season when it came to starting rookies."

Jeff Kolpak of the Fargo-Moorhead Forum has this to say bout Rams safety Craig Dahl: "The former North Dakota State safety started eight games a year ago and finished fifth on the team in tackles with 65. He added two quarterback sacks and also showed his versatility playing three different positions: strong safety, free safety and nickel back -- a spot that also had linebacker responsibilities to it."

KSDK.com says the Rams are closer to choosing a mascot name.

Brady Henderson of mynorthwest.com provides an audio link to Pete Carroll's recent interview with 710ESPN Seattle. Carroll on Terrell Owens: "That's not the right guy for us at this time. I like him and all that but we're going to continue to work with the guys we got and (go) in a different direction than that."

Clare Farnsworth of seahawks.com links to Carroll's recent interview with NPR. I was about to say it seems as though Carroll has granted interviews to everyone but NPR.

Also from Farnsworth: Curt Warner isn't the only former Seahawk heading into the College Football Hall of Fame. Grant Wistrom, Gordon Hudson and Gino Torretta also played for the team.

More from Farnsworth: a profile on Seahawks assistant coach Art Valero, who appreciates Steve Spagnuolo's decision to let him join a division rival. Valero: "I thank him from the bottom of my heart, because I know it had to be tough on him to let me go to a divisional opponent." Valero had joined Scott Linehan's staff in St. Louis only four games before the Rams fired Linehan.

John Morgan of Field Gulls is pulling for Ben Obomanu to earn a roster spot with Seattle "because he is a solid athlete, tough and has worked hard to stick around so long."

Kevin Lynch of Niner Insider says 49ers rookie Taylor Mays isn't yet ready to challenge Michael Lewis for the starting job at strong safety. Lynch: "Lewis contributes to the team's deserved reputation as a run-halting unit with his skills as an in-the-box player. But it begs another question: Is that what's needed in a league increasingly dominated by the pass? Lewis's speed and coverage skills are underrated, but he's still considered much more of a run player."