NFC West: Keilen Dykes

NFC West injury picture favors Arizona

November, 3, 2010
11/03/10
9:18
AM ET
Injury trends are following a familiar pattern in the NFC West.

Whether by luck or superior training or whatever the reason might be, the Arizona Cardinals continue to suffer fewer season-ending injuries than other NFC West teams.

Arizona finished the 2008 season with three players on IR. The number was four last season. The team has a division-low two players on IR heading into Week 9 this season. That's nine players in two-plus seasons.

The Seattle Seahawks have eight already this season, including three offensive linemen. The number is seven for the St. Louis Rams, including three wide receivers.

Seattle placed defensive end Red Bryant and left guard Ben Hamilton, both starters, on IR this week.

The first chart shows NFC West IR counts after the 2008 and 2009 seasons, and heading into Week 9 this season. The 2008 totals reflect numbers heading into the divisional playoffs following that season. The 2009 totals reflect numbers when the regular season ended. Teams sometimes remove players from IR through injury settlements and other means.

The second chart breaks down 2010 IR counts by position heading into Week 9.


The third chart takes a team-by-team, player-by-player look at NFC West IR lists heading into Week 9. Asterisks identify projected, potential or actual starters.

NFC West roided-out rosters: Updated

September, 18, 2010
9/18/10
4:54
PM ET
The latest comprehensive NFC West rosters are updated and, as usual, complete with 26 columns of information on any player associated with the teams over the past few seasons.

Download here.

Column Z features information for players who finished the 2009 season on NFC West teams' 53-man rosters, or on injured reserve. That information allowed me to filter for players new to NFC West teams since last season. I was then able to produce the following chart, which shows college conference affiliation for those newcomers.

Seattle, led by former USC coach Pete Carroll, was indeed heavy on players from the West, notably the Pac-10. The Seahawks have 14 total players from the Pac-10 (the NFL average is 5.7). That includes six players added since last season.

The totals in the chart do not count NFC West newcomers currently on injured reserve. Those players are: Keilen Dykes (Big East), Nehemiah Broughton (Southern) and Chris Johnson (Missouri Valley) of the Arizona Cardinals; Anthony Heygood (Big Ten), Jameson Konz (MAC) and Isaiah Stanback (Pac-10) of the Seahawks; and Chris Hovan (ACC) and Josh Hull (Big Ten) of the St. Louis Rams.

Information reflects current college conference affiliations.

Cardinals bring back Dykes

February, 23, 2010
2/23/10
1:06
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The Cardinals have re-signed defensive lineman Keilen Dykes to help fill out their numbers heading into offseason minicamps.

Dykes, undrafted in 2008, has spent time on the Cardinals' practice squad.

Five reasons to like Cards' chances

December, 28, 2009
12/28/09
10:53
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Five reasons the Cardinals could make another Super Bowl run:

1. NFC window is open. No matchup in the conference should scare the Cardinals unless they have to visit the Eagles. New Orleans appears shaken. Arizona has already beaten the Vikings. Think Kurt Warner is worried about playing an indoor game against either of those two teams? He would probably rather play those teams on the road than the 49ers at home.

2. The road is their friend. Arizona posted a 6-2 record in road games this season. That included 6-1 with Warner in the lineup and 3-0 in early games. Those are signs of a team that can rise to challenges.

3. Their ground game is improved. The Cardinals are averaging 124 yards rushing per game in their last eight games, up from 62 yards per game over the same stretch last season (and 64.9 yards per game over the first seven games this season).

4. Arizona is more efficient. The Cardinals have scored touchdowns on 69.8 percent of possessions in the red zone, best in the league and up from 58.5 percent last season. Their defense is allowing touchdowns on 45.2 percent of their opponents possessions in the red zone, ninth-best in the league and down from 63.6 percent last season.

5. The Cardinals are relatively healthy. Left tackle Mike Gandy is the only Cardinals starter on injured reserve. The IR list also features safety Matt Ware, outside linebacker Cody Brown, defensive tackle Keilen Dykes and running back Justin Green. The drop from Gandy to backup Jeremy Bridges isn't as large as the gap between some left tackles and their backups.

What else belongs on a list such as this one? And what liabilities might hold back this team?

Rams, Cardinals make roster moves

November, 3, 2009
11/03/09
2:51
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Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

The Rams have cut receiver Tim Carter again even though Danny Amendola suffered a concussion against the Lions.

Carter has struggled. The Rams expect recently acquired receiver Brandon Gibson to give them more. Carter was a stopgap signing.

Cornerback Danny Gorrer, signed from the Saints' practice squad, fills Carter's spot on the Rams' 53-man roster. He is an undrafted rookie.

The Cardinals, meanwhile, placed practice-squad defensive tackle Keilen Dykes on injured reserve. They signed former Vikings defensive tackle Antoine Holmes to fill Dykes' spot on the practice squad.

Roster shuffling in the NFC West

October, 12, 2009
10/12/09
7:07
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Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando


NFC West personnel people were busy Monday. Here's what they were up to:

Arizona: The Cardinals released defensive tackle Keilen Dykes. They asked for and received a roster exemption for tight end Ben Patrick. The exemption expires Oct. 19. I would expect the Cardinals to activate Patrick for their Week 6 game at Seattle. They'll want to check out his conditioning level to be sure. NFL rules banned Patrick from team-related activities during his four-game suspension.

San Francisco: The 49ers released return specialist Allen Rossum and submitted a waiver claim for Seahawks defensive tackle Michael Bennett. The NFL awarded Bennett to the Bucs, who had waiver priority based on an inferior record. The 49ers activated receiver Michael Crabtree to make sure the team had 53 players on its roster. Failing to keep 53 players on the roster would have forced the team to release Dominique Zeigler from its practice squad.

St. Louis: The Rams planned to re-sign receiver Tim Carter after placing defensive tackle Gary Gibson on injured reserve. Carter and former Seahawks receiver Jordan Kent had tryouts Monday. The Rams signed linebacker K.C. Asiodu and defensive tackle Chris Bradwell to their practice squad. To make room, they released defensive tackle Adrian Gandy and cornerback Lamar Myles.

Seattle: The Seahawks lost Bennett to the Bucs. The team did not immediately make a roster move.


Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando


GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Bryant McFadden's ankle injury will not keep him from playing for the Cardinals against the Texans.

Arizona downgraded McFadden to questionable Saturday, but McFadden is active for the game. The Cardinals need him against the Texans' passing attack.

Inactive for Arizona: Reggie Walker, Herman Johnson, Jeremy Bridges, Early Doucet, Dominique Byrd, Kenny Iwebema and Keilen Dykes. Brian St. Pierre is the third quarterback.

Catching up with the Cardinals' cut list

September, 10, 2009
9/10/09
10:44
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando


Cardinals Player Released on Cutdown Pos. Current Team Capacity
Aaron Francisco
DB Colts Active Roster
Onrea Jones WR Redskins Practice Squad
Trevor Canfield OL Cardinals Practice Squad
Keilen Dykes
DL Cardinals Practice Squad
Alex Field
DL Cardinals Practice Squad
Ed Gant
WR Cardinals Practice Squad
Wilrey Fontenot
DB Cardinals Injured reserve
Chase Bullock LB -- --
Tim Castille RB -- --
Jameel Dowling
DB -- --
David Holloway
LB -- --
Reagan Maui'a
RB -- --
Carlton Medder
OL -- --
Tyler Palko
QB -- --
Leonard Pope
TE -- --
Steve Sanders
WR -- --
Pago Togafau
LB -- --
Chris Vincent
RB -- --
Melvin Fowler
OL -- --
Victor Hobson
LB -- --
Rodney Leisle
DL x x
Oliver Ross
OL x x
The tough decisions teams face in reducing their rosters to 53 players sometimes aren't so tough.

I've gone through the initial NFC West cut lists -- those players released at the 53-man deadline -- to see which ones have returned to their teams or caught on elsewhere.

The chart shows results for Arizona.

Veteran safety Aaron Francisco signed with the Colts. Receiver Onrea Jones signed with the Redskins' practice squad. Arizona re-signed four players to its practice squad.

Four others -- Wilrey Fontenot, Chris Vincent, Carlton Medder and Pago Togafau -- were injured when the Cardinals released them. All but Fontenot have reached injury settlements, leaving the roster. Fontenot remains on injured reserve. Update: Fontenot has also reached an injury settlement.

Some veterans on the list might have an easier time finding work after Week 1. Rules require teams to guarantee salaries to some veterans who are active for Week 1 and then released.

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando


The Cardinals announced four signings to their initial 2009 practice squad: guard Trevor Canfield, defensive tackle Keilen Dykes, defensive end Alex Field and receiver Ed Gant.

Rules governing practice-squad eligibility can be confusing. Players are eligible as long as they:
  • Have spent fewer than three seasons on a practice squad. As the collective bargaining agreement states, "A player shall be deemed to have served on a Practice Squad in a season if he has passed the club's physical and been a member of the club's Practice Squad for at least three regular season or postseason games during his first two Practice Squad seasons, and for at least one regular season or postseason game during his third Practice Squad season. (A bye week counts as a game provided that the player is not terminated until after the regular season or postseason weekend in question.)"
  • Have never spent nine or more games in one season on a 45-man game-day roster. Failure to understand this rule creates confusion. Seemingly experienced players sometimes retain eligibility.

The Rams added seventh-round choice Chris Ogbonnaya and 2008 Eagles third-round defensive end Bryan Smith to their practice squad, joining cornerback Cordelius Parks, tight end Eric Butler, linebacker Dominic Douglas, linebacker K.C. Asiodu, defensive end Ian Campbell and receiver Sean Walker.

The 49ers signed seven to their practice squad Sunday. They'll could add an eighth after releasing a player to make room on the 53-man roster for offensive tackle Tony Pashos.
Ex-Cardinals eligible for
practice squad
Pos.
Chase Bullock
LB
Trevor Canfield
OL
Jameel Dowling
DB
Keilen Dykes
DL
Alex Field
DE
Wilrey Fontenot*
DB
Ed Gant
WR
David Holloway
LB
Onrea Jones
WR
Carlton Medder*
OL
Tyler Palko
QB
Steve Sanders
WR
Pago Togafau*
LB
Chris Vincent
RB

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando


NFL teams can begin forming eight-man practice squads once released players clear waivers this afternoon.

I've put together a list of recently released Cardinals players with eligibility for the practice squad. Each was released on the reduction to 53 players. Wilrey Fontenot, Carlton Medder and Pago Togafau were injured when they were released. I've placed asterisks next to their names.

Quarterback Tyler Palko showed enough during preseason for consideration, although the Cardinals have not been inclined to carry a fourth quarterback during the regular season. Guard Trevor Canfield was a draft choice. Defensive end Keilen Dykes appeared to make a strong run early in camp. Receiver Onrea Jones showed promise at times.

Cardinals: Cutdown analysis

September, 4, 2009
9/04/09
6:18
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando


Biggest surprise: There weren'y any big ones. Undrafted rookie linebacker Reggie Walker did beat out veteran Victor Hobson. The team kept seven receivers for now, including Lance Long, after injuries affected Early Doucet, Anquan Boldin and (previously) Steve Breaston. I would not expect the Cardinals to keep seven receivers all season, a reminder that this is the team's initial 53-man roster, not the final one.

Arizona sought to upgrade its secondary through the draft and free agency. That spelled the end for veteran safety Aaron Francisco. I thought the team might keep veteran center Melvin Fowler as insurance. Rookie returner LaRod Stephens-Howling stuck around, costing fullback Tim Castille a chance to continue with the team. Tight end Leonard Pope's demise had been on the horizon for a while and it was a bad sign when he was playing deep into the second half of the fourth exhibition game.

No-brainers: The team also released quarterback Tyler Palko, receiver Steve Sanders, receiver Ed Gant, cornerback Wilrey Fontenot, running back Chris Vincent, cornerback Jameel Dowling, fullback Reagan Maui'a, guard Trevor Canfield guard Carlton Medder, defensive end Alex Field, defensive tackle Keilen Dykes, tackle Oliver Ross, receiver Onrea Jones, defensive tackle Rodney Leisle, linebacker Chase Bullock and linebacker David Holloway. Canfield, chosen in the seventh-round, was the only 2009 draft choice released.

What's next: The heirarchy at tight end will continue to shake out, with Dominique Byrd essentially getting an extended tryout while Ben Patrick serves a four-game suspension. The team still could use a backup center with some experience.

Practice-squad report: Cardinals

August, 21, 2009
8/21/09
12:33
PM ET
Cardinals eligible for
practice squad
Pos. Perceived Status
Michael Adams
DB
Bubble
Jameel Dowling
DB
Likely cut
Wilrey Fontenot
DB
Likely cut
Rashad Johnson
DB
Keeper
Greg Toler
DB
Keeper
Alex Field
DL
Likely cut
Keilen Dykes
DL
Bubble
Cody Brown
LB
Keeper
Chase Bullock
LB
Likely cut
Will Davis
LB
Bubble
Ali Highsmith
LB
Bubble
Pago Togafau
LB
Bubble
Reggie Walker
LB
Likely cut
Trevor Canfield
OL
Likely cut
Ben Claxton
OL
Likely cut
Herman Johnson
OL
Keeper
Carlton Medder
OL
Likely cut
Brandon Keith
OL
Keeper
Brandon Pearce
OL
Likely cut
Elliot Vallejo
OL
Bubble
Tyler Palko
QB
Likely cut
Brian St. Pierre
QB
Keeper
LaRod Stephens-Howling
RB
Bubble
Chris Vincent
RB
Likely cut
Beanie Wells
RB
Keeper
Early Doucet
WR
Keeper
Ed Gant
WR
Likely cut
Michael Ray Garvin
WR
Bubble
Onrea Jones
WR
Likely cut
Lance Long
WR
Bubble
Steve Sanders
WR
Likely cut

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt's recent comments about LaRod Stephens-Howling highlight a subject likely to shape the team's plans for its practice squad.

What to do with a talented player who doesn't fit neatly into a general position, in this case, running back?

Stephens-Howling would be a prime candidate for the practice squad if the Cardinals did not initially make room for him on their 53-man roster. Specialist Michael Ray Garvin also could be a factor depending on how he recovers from knee surgery.

Quarterback Tyler Palko made an impression during the Cardinals' exhibition opener, but the team generally does not keep a quarterback on its practice squad. The need for an additional arm seems diminished with new quarterbacks coach Chris Miller sometimes throwing during practice.

Defensive end Keilen Dykes was making a strong push for a roster spot before suffering an injury. His status seems a bit less settled.

Receivers Onrea Jones and Lance Long could also be strong candidates for the practice squad if they do not land spots on the 53-man roster.

The chart shows all 31 current Cardinals players with eligibility, arranged by position.

NFL teams must reduce rosters from 80 to 75 players Sept. 1. They must reduce to 53 players Sept. 5. They can begin forming eight-man practice squads Sept. 6 at noon ET.

As the NFL puts it:

After 12 noon, New York ti
me, clubs may establish a practice squad of eight players by signing free agents who do not have an accrued season of free-agency credit or who were on the 45-player active list for less than nine regular-season games during their only accrued season(s). A player cannot participate on the practice squad for more than three seasons.

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

The Cardinals have gotten dramatically younger at running back this offseason. Edgerrin James and Terrelle Smith are gone, leaving Tim Hightower and Dan Kreider as the only current Cardinals running backs with starting experience.

The team kept three halfbacks and two fullbacks on its Week 1 roster last season. Nine other teams also kept more than one fullback for the opener.

Hightower, Chris Wells, Jason Wright, Kreider and Tim Castille entered camp as the likely choices for those spots, should the team keep five. LaRod Stephens-Howling would have to significantly liven up the return game to earn a spot, most likely.


Arizona Cardinals Week 1 Roster Counts since 2003 QB RB WR TE OL DL LB DB ST
Fewest 2
4 5 2 8 5 6 7 2
Most 4 7 7 4 10 9 8 10 3
Average 3.0 5.3 6.0 3.2 8.8 7.7 7.0 8.8 2.8
Currently on roster
4
8 10 5 15 10 11 14 3

The chart provides a framework for how many players the Cardinals might keep at each position heading into the regular-season opener against the 49ers.

Here's a quick look at which Cardinals players I might keep on the cutdown to 53 players:

(Read full post)

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says Rams running back Steven Jackson is adjusting to a physical camp. Thomas: "Chris Chamberlain diagnosed the screen play quickly from his weakside linebacker spot, knifed through traffic and dropped the ballcarrier with a brutal shot around knee level. It was one hellacious hit. It just so happened that the ballcarrier was Steven Jackson. ... In those first moments after contact, it looked as if coach Steve Spagnuolo stopped breathing."

Steve Korte of the Belleville News-Democrat checks in with Rams safety and franchise player Oshiomogho Atogwe. Atogwe: "I believe leaders lead by example first. That means being a professional in what you are doing, knowing your job and doing your job. And from there, other guys will raise their level of play to do exactly what you are doing."

Also from Korte: thoughts on Jackson's close call, plus an update on how Jackson is digesting the offense. Jackson: "It's really a lot of hard work on me at nighttime, to make sure I know the different formations, because I can be the 'X' receiver at any time, as well as a running back."

Bill Coats of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Rams have generally avoided injuries despite a physical start to camp under Spagnuolo.

Also from Coats: Spagnuolo might be a sharp guy, and he is, but he won't be writing a column about emerging technology or social networking trends anytime soon.

VanRam of Turf Show Times looks at best- and worst-case scenarios for the Rams' cornerbacks.

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic checks in with new Cardinals backup center Melvin Fowler, whose parents live "about 12 minutes" from University of Phoenix Stadium. Sounds like Fowler was biding his time and hoping for this chance. He said he had other offers. Also, Somers thinks Dominique Byrd has a chance to earn a roster spot after a strong first week, while Matt Leinart is showing more zip on his passes.

Also from Somers: Cornerback Bryant McFadden was back at Cardinals practice after resting an ankle injury.

More from Somers: Keilen Dykes' absence from the practice field and surrounding area could signify a more serious injury, which would hurt the Cardinals.

Still more from Somers: Kurt Warner is trusting his offensive line to handle its assignments, progress from past seasons. The starting line might play less during the exhibition season.

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com takes a look at Darnell Dockett's contributions to Twitter, which are sometimes not appropriate for all ages. Dockett: "I love it to death. I speak my mind."

Also from Urban: The Cardinals' defense emerged with bragging rights following an under-the-lights practice in Flagstaff.

Revenge of the Birds' Hawkwind says second-year Cardinals running back Tim Hightower is noticeably quicker after dropping weight.

Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times passes along additional details about Seattle cornerback Marcus Trufant's back injury. Coach Jim Mora: "He came out of a break, reached for a ball, got in an awkward position when he reached for the ball and it kind of locked up on him. Just one of those things."

Also from O'Neil: Seahawks receiver Deion Branch rested his surgically repaired knee Thursday night. The knee was sore. A bad sign? Not necessarily. But it's obviously not a good one.

More from O'Neil: Seahawks guard Ray Willis tends to be the one involved in fights and scraps at practice. Willis doesn't smile when O'Neil asks him about this.

Ryan Divish of the Tacoma News Tribune says the Seahawks are counting on Julius Jones to carry most of the load at running back. Mora on the ground game: "In the zone scheme, there's an element of patience and then burst, and it looks like all of them are starting to get the feel for being patient and then putting their foot in the ground and one cut and go. It's a work in progress. It takes a while. They have to learn how to work with their offensive line, with the tight ends, when to make the cut, the timing. But it appears that they're getting a feel for it."

Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune says Seahawks offensive lineman Max Unger passes the "eyeball test" and could project as a Robbie Tobeck type in terms or athleticism. Boling: "Tobeck was a little smaller than the 6-foot-5, 309-pound Unger. But Tobeck had far better athleticism than he was given credit for, and although he was glib and a noted prankster, you could always tell that, inside, he had the competitive ferocity of a bull terrier."

John Crumpacker of the San Francisco Chronicle says 49ers coach Mike Singletary has no plans to reduce contact in practices after several players suffered injuries. Crumpacker: "Having several starters out means some players are getting more reps than they normally would. Tony Wragge stepped in for Baas at left guard and Ahmad Brooks is getting time at Haralson's outside linebacker spot on the weak side."

Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat updates the Micheal Crabtree situati
on by saying there's nothing to update. On the quarterback front, he's still going with Shaun Hill as the favorite.

Also from Maiocco: Alex Smith is pushing Hill for the starting job. Maiocco: "Smith is healthy and throwing the ball impressively on intermediate and deeper pass routes. Hill's forte is pinpoint passes on the underneath throws."

More from Maiocco: Smith's best is better than Hill's best, but exhibition games will be critical in determining which quarterback prevails.

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee says offensive lineman Joe Toledo is having a strong camp. Toledo is eligible for the practice squad.

Also from Barrows: Singletary was actually pleased with a practice. That must represent progress.

More from Barrows: The 49ers have been pushed around in the past, but they probably will not cave to Crabtree's demands, which Barrows considers excessive.

Dan Brown of the San Jose Mercury News says during a chat he's a "big admirer" of second-year 49ers receiver Josh Morgan, who has so far faced no threat from Crabtree for supremacy among young receivers.

Also from Brown: Rookie linebacker Scott McKillop enjoys steady feedback from Singletary and the coaches during practice.

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat singles out three players who could make the difference between 6-10 and 10-6 for the 49ers: Manny Lawson, Dashon Goldson and Marvel Smith. Maiocco: "You will notice that I did not include Shaun Hill or Alex Smith on the list of the team's most important players. The 49ers do need production from the passing game, to be sure. But I think the best chance of getting production from the passing game is by receiving strong play from right tackle."

Mike Lombardi of National Football Post sizes up Mike Singletary as part of a series on first-year head coaches. Lombardi: "Game management is the downfall of most first-year NFL coaches. It is not as easy as knowing when to punt or kick a field goal. It starts on Tuesday night before the game as you lay out the items your team needs to do to win the game. Since Singletary does not call plays, he must be excellent in this area. If he makes mistakes here, he'll lose the confidence of the team." Hat tip: Seahawk Addicts.

Kevin Lynch of the San Francisco Chronicle makes a case for lighter offensive linemen, noting that teams with less weight up front have often enjoyed great success. I track weights for starting offensive lines. Here were the five heaviest lines at the end of last season: Eagles, Bills, Saints, Ravens and Cowboys. The five lightest: Broncos, Titans, Colts, Patriots, Raiders. These were based on listed weights.

NFL reporter Howard Balzer questions via Twitter whether there's anything particularly tough about the Rams' camp schedule. Balzer: "Is Rams camp schedule really as tough as some are saying? No. Huge majority of afternoon practices are one hour or one hour, 15 minutes." I noticed that as well, but one man -- coach Steve Spagnuolo -- has said he expects a tough camp, independent of the format.

VanRam of Turf Show Times says the Rams' selection of fifth-round corner Bradley Fletcher reflects a desire to promote a physical approach in the secondary.

Bill Coats of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Rams have agreed to terms with seventh-round choice Chris Ogbonnaya. 

KFFL.com offers a fantasy report on Rams receiver Keenan Burton. KFFL: "The second-year wideout has reasonable speed and is in competition to be the No. 2 receiver with newcomer Laurent Robinson. Burton is a physical receiver despite being of average stature, and he could be made into a possession receiver for the Rams."

David Dorsey of the Fort Myers News-Press checks in with former Cardinals running back Edgerrin James at a charity event in Florida. James: "There are not 32 backs out there who are better than me. I want to continue to play. I can play at a high level. I'm not saying where I want to go. It will all take care of itself."

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic says the Cardinals' special teams have much room for improvement heading into the 2009 season. Who will return kicks? Beanie Wells and Steve Breaston figure to get a look.

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com ventures to the fringes of the Cardinals' roster in assessing receiver Lance Long and defensive lineman Keilen Dykes. Urban: "Former OC Todd Haley, who loved Long, is coaching a Kansas City team that needs talent at receiver. Long's college coach, Sylvester Croom, is on the Rams' staff -- another team that is hurting for wideouts. Those teams could be willing to scoop Long up if the Cards don't keep him with the 53."

Also from Urban: four players who could break out for Arizona this season. Calais Campbell, Bryant McFadden, Jason Wright and Gabe Watson made the list. I wonder if Early Doucet might have a chance if circumstances warranted. Also, at what point might line coach Russ Grimm develop a young lineman into starting material?

John Morgan of Field Gulls reviews the injury situation at defensive end for the Seahawks. Will Patrick Kerney be ready for the start of training camp? Easing back into practice seems like the right way to go. Meanwhile, Lawrence Jackson mentioned having suffered a foot injury in the 2008 opener. That injury is not expected to be a factor.

Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution says Seahawks kicker Brandon Coutu has been working with kicking legend Morten Andersen this offseason. Andersen: "Kickoffs are the thing right now for him. We're trying to get more power through the kickoff, better hang time and better distance. His ball-striking on his field goals is exceptional, but in order to be a complete NFL kicker you have to both of those skill-sets. The field-goal skill-set I'm pretty confident with, and I'm adding some of the mental specific things, putting him in tough situations. If you want to play at the highest level on Sunday afternoon, you have to practice at the highest level."

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