Around the NFC West: Inside 49ers' uniforms
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee takes a closer look at the 49ers' uniforms. Getting three stripes on the tiny sleeves was the biggest issue in the design process. Barrows: "The uniforms also are 20 percent lighter than last year's. That's partly because the shadowing on the numbers and nameplates has been eliminated and partly because the team has gone with a thinner material that stretches better. Even the numbers and stripes have give, which wasn't the case with previous incarnations." Tight end Delanie Walker says the new uniforms allow for freer movement.
Also from Barrows: A couple more uniform-related notes. The 49ers will not wear a throwback version this season.
Kevin Lynch of Niner Insider questions the 49ers' offseason priorities. Lynch: "What's with the obsession with drafting the 'best player available' anyway? Teams don't do that when they sign players in free agency or when they make trades, why should they do it in the draft? Look at it this way, eight tackles were chosen in the first round last year and four went this year. The 49ers didn't get any of them." The 49ers did get one of the last 13 tackles drafted, selecting Joe Staley with the 28th pick in the 2007 draft.
John Boyle of the Everett Herald says the Seahawks have shown faith in quarterback Matt Hasselbeck and the team's running backs this offseason. Hasselbeck said he wasn't overly concerned about Seattle adding a quarterback early in the draft. Hasselbeck: "I experienced kind of a high-low in 2001. I got traded and talked to the coaching staff and they said, 'Hey, we want you to come be our starting quarterback.' And then during training camp, they go and sign Trent Dilfer, who had just won a Super Bowl. I think I learned a lot through that experience and through other experiences like that."
VanRam of Turf Show Times thinks Chris Long has a chance to put together a Pro Bowl season for the Rams. He also gives Jason Brown, Donnie Avery and Ron Bartell a chance. VanRam on Long: "He did have 4 sacks last season, a good number for a rookie playing on a defense that wasn't exactly among the league's elite. If they can improve play up front, Long could really break through." Previously: NFC West players with Pro Bowls on their resumes.
Bob Young of the Arizona Republic ranks the Cardinals as the top sports franchise in the Phoenix area, followed by the Suns, Diamondbacks and Coyotes. Young: "Coach Ken Whisenhunt has proven to be a great hire, and the team supported him from Day 1 [or maybe 2] by allowing him to spend the money necessary to assemble a top-shelf staff. Hey, in this town the playoffs look good right now, and the Cardinals were within a whisker of hoisting the Vince Lombardi Trophy. Either that, or our alarm clock is about to go off."