NFL Nation: Carol Fitzgerald
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat says the 49ers' alleged tiff with Matthew Stafford stemming from a psychological exam is the "most overblown non-story" of the 2009 draft. Stafford has a visit to the 49ers scheduled for Monday.
Also from Maiocco: The 49ers' pick at No. 10 might not start in 2009.
Gil Brandt of NFL.com was the one who reported Stafford's plans to visit the 49ers.
Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee sees Florida State's Everette Brown as a "one-trick pony" who might not interest the 49ers.
Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News says 49ers coach Mike Singletary won't shy away from problem players in the draft. Kawakami: "Despite Singletary's blue-collar attitude, team-first passion and deep religious faith (or maybe in conjunction with all three), Singletary believes he can coach anybody. I think we can use the Vernon Davis example to make the point clear."
Deena Andrews of Blockshopper.com says former Rams coach Scott Linehan has listed his St. Louis-area home for sale, seeking $2.3 million. Linehan, who cited family reasons for declining the 49ers' offer to become offensive coordinator, subsequently took a job with the Lions.
Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says former Missouri coach Bob Stull didn't produce many victories at the school, but his staffs did produce ascending coaches, including new Rams defensive coordinator Ken Flajole. Thomas: "Flajole becomes the fourth member of Stull's Mizzou staff [1989-93] currently working in the NFL as a coordinator, joining Marty Mornhinweg [Philadelphia], Dirk Koetter [Jacksonville] and Dave Toub [Chicago]. Mornhinweg and Koetter are offensive coordinators; Toub is special teams coordinator with the Bears."
Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic says the Minnesota Timberwolves donated $2,500 to the Carol Fitzgerald Memorial Fund, established in the name of Larry Fitzgerald's late mother. The fund benefits urban education, the African American AIDS Task Force and the Circle of Love.
Revenge of the Birds' Andrew602 ranks the Cardinals' running backs last in the NFC West. The Rams, 49ers and Seahawks go 1-2-3 in his ranking. Andrew602: "[Tim] Hightower showed flashes of being that franchise back the Cardinals have been waiting for last year. Then at times, he failed to average over 3 yards per carry. He's a quick and tough back that could be a full time starter, but he needs to develop his game more, and stop dancing around in the back field." The scouts I know do not see Hightower as a starter.
Justin Harper of the Oklahoman says former Seahawks linebacker Brian Bosworth administered CPR to a fallen man, according to an eyewitness.
Eric D. Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune says 2008 first-round draft choice Lawrence Jackson is motivated to improve upon his rookie season. Jackson: "For me, I'm done with last year. I watched the film -- I still watch it and I go over it -- but last year was last year. The disappointment I felt is gone. That was year one. I take what happened, good and bad, into preparation for year two and move forward, and that's kind of my plan for things."
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
Darren Urban of azcardinals.com describes Larry Fitzgerald as "totally recharged" following his adventure through Africa and the Middle East. Fitzgerald: "Best trip ever. I am totally recharged. It feels so good to get back in here. I'm so happy to see a good turnout and getting ready to get it again. I was itching to get back in the gym. It's home away from home." Fitzgerald has lots more planned for his offseason, starting with a trip to Minnesota for the annual golf tournament honoring his late mother, Carol.
Revenge of the Birds' Hawkwind says Karlos Dansby's unsettled contract situation could affect the Cardinals' draft plans. I think the team needed to address linebacker anyway. The need certainly grows if getting a deal with Dansby isn't likely.
Dave Mahler of Seattle's KJR radio checks in with Seahawks left tackle Walter Jones. This link goes directly to an audio file. Jones sounds relaxed and upbeat in discussing the change from Mike Holmgren to Jim Mora. Jones says he feels good, still loves competition and feels invigorated learning a new offense. Jones on the Cardinals: "They are a team that won the conference, they won the division, so they are the team to beat. That is your motivation."
Greg Johns of seattlepi.com found a grateful prospective Seahawk in former Western Washington linebacker Shane Simmons. Simmons has worked construction and as a personal trainer since the Raiders released him after the 2008 preseason. Simmons is participating in the Seahawks' minicamp on a tryout basis.
Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune says Jim Mora appears comfortable in his new role as the Seahawks' head coach in the post-Mike Holmgren era. Boling: "Here's a difference that's fair to mention, although probably meaningless: Mora has a whistle. Holmgren let others blow the whistle. Draw your own conclusions."
Eric D. Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune checks in with Jones and Seahawks offensive line coach Mike Solari. Solari says the Seahawks installed zone concepts last season in anticipation of using them in 2009. The team did not use them in 2008.
Michael Steffes of Seahawk Addicts isn't buying talk that the Seahawks are seriously considering Matthew Stafford with the fourth overall choice. Steffes: "[Matt] Stafford maybe, but choosing Mark Sanchez would be counter to everything this team has done since 2005. Hopefully there is enough hype that someone wants to move up, but I wouldn't count on it."
Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times says Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck expressed frustration over how his injury situation was handled last season. Hasselbeck put it this way: "Knowing that there's a high likelihood that I'm not going to play and not necessarily being able to come out and say."
Also from O'Neil: Seahawks long-snapper Tyler Schmitt says he's 100 percent after undergoing back surgery last season.
Don Ruiz of the Tacoma News Tribune says Holmgren watched practice at the University of Washington. Holmgren and new Huskies coach Steve Sarkisian have strong ties to USC.
Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times says Holmgren watched practice Wednesday at the University of Washington. Holmgren's son-in-law coordinates recruiting for the Huskies. Sarkisian: "It's an honor and hopefully our kids recognized that and hopefully he can continue to come out. It's fun. ... Hopefully we play a little better as a team the next time he comes out."
Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat leans on draft analyst Rob Rang in assessing which running backs the 49ers might consider in the draft. Iowa's Shonn Greene is one candidate. Rang also thinks Chris Wells could go in the top 10. Rang: "I have a hard time thinking they would do that because I think they have too much respect for what Frank Gore brings. They don't want to [upset him]. But Beanie Wells is a spectacular talent. He's a Larry Johnson -- almost an Adrian Peterson -- kind of talent. But he needs to be coddled, and Mike Singletary's strength probably is not in coddling players."
Also from Maiocco: The 49ers are sprucing up their facilities while expanding square footage from 45,000 to 54,000.
Florida Danny of Niners Nation unveils a roughly 4,500-word dissertation on the 49ers' draft history since 1994. Lots of information in here. I checked some of it against my own information and it matched up. For example, the 49ers have indeed drafted 20 players from Pac-10 schools and 19 from SEC schools since 1994, more than they have drafted from other conferences.
Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee says Norfolk State cornerback Don Carey is visiting the 49ers and Seahawks, among other teams. Purdue running back Kory Sheets is also visiting the 49ers.
VanRam of Turf Show Times wonders how the Rams can upgrade at receiver, noting that Football Outsiders has suggested Eagles restricted free agent Hank Baskett. VanRam: "That seems unlikely until you consider that the Eagles are interested in some big names like [Chad] Ocho Cinco and earlier talk about being a player for Anquan Boldin. If that happens, they might be willing to let Baskett walk since they also have Kevin Curtis, DeSean Jackson and Reggie Brown on the roster, unless they see his productivity from last season as a sign of things to come."
Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says holding training camp away from their facility wasn
't practical for the Rams this year, in part because changes to the coaching staff and front office left little time to formulate plans.