Sunday, July 31, 2011
Five notes of note from the NFC West
By Mike Sando
Five notes before heading out to the Seattle Seahawks' lone practice Sunday:
- Center Chris Spencer's contract agreement with the Chicago Bears puts him in a familiar position: new guy with huge leadership shoes to fill. Spencer has giant feet even by NFL standards -- I cannot recall the exact shoe size -- but he's not a natural leader the way Robbie Tobeck or Olin Kreutz were for their teams. Spencer stepped into Tobeck's spot at center for Seattle following the team's best seasons under Mike Holmgren. He's taking over for the Bears after the team failed to reach agreement with Kreutz. Spencer, a first-round pick for Seattle in 2005, can be a good player. He just won't fill the leadership void.
- Kreutz remains an option for the San Francisco 49ers after the team lost David Baas to the New York Giants. Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee says the 49ers are the leading candidate to sign Kruetz. Adding Kreutz to the 49ers would upgrade the position while providing strong leadership for young players such as guard Mike Iupati. I like the idea under the circumstances.
- From Jim Thomas: First-round pick Robert Quinn is practicing with the St. Louis Rams. Former Rams receiver Isaac Bruce plans to work with the team's wide receivers. These should be welcome developments for Rams fans. The Rams' current leadership has taken some heat for cutting ties with or failing to embrace some aspects of the team's history. Take note, critics: Enlisting Bruce runs counter to perception.
- There was no place like home for Arizona native Todd Heap. The Cardinals agreed to terms with the veteran tight end even while the New York Jets were reportedly courting him heavily, with coach Rex Ryan even picking up Heap at the airport in person. Ryan and Heap were together for years in Baltimore. Arizona has scored a few victories in free agency. Finishing 5-11 last season appears to have given them a greater sense of urgency.
- The Seahawks are going young throughout much of their roster. They could still consider adding a more experienced kicker, depending on how Brandon Coutu and Wes Byrun fare. The team plans to meet with veteran Jeff Reed, who spent part of last season with San Francisco, in the next day or so. Reed does not have a contract agreement with the team.
OK, that's it for now. The Seahawks are practicing in pads at the moment. It's off to San Francisco 49ers camp Monday morning.