NFL Nation: Jimmy Williams
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
Percy Allen of the Seattle Times checks in with Matt Hasselbeck, Nate Burleson, Lofa Tatupu and other Seattle-area athletes for Mother's Day stories. Ah, the memories. Hasselbeck: "My mom and I were pretty similar. As a child, we probably went at it more because we're so alike. At my house, growing up, we got spanked. My dad, who was 6-feet-8, 255 and a big guy, you'd always want to get spanked by my dad because he was so big he wasn't sure how hard he should go. But my mom, she's little, she's like 5-5, she would just whack you. You'd never want to get spanked by my mom."
Clare Farnsworth of Seahawks.com provides an overview of the zone-blocking scheme Seattle coaches are emphasizing this offseason.
Mike Reiss of the Boston Globe says the Patriots could have some interest in former Rams linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa. The Rams presumably released Tinoisamoa to avoid paying his salary and because they wanted bigger linebackers. Tinoisamoa has played as light as 220 pounds, which would make him too small for a 3-4 scheme, but the Patriots did bring him in for a pre-draft visit in 2003.VanRam of Turf Show Times says the Rams would be in better position to release Tinoisamoa if they hadn't let Brandon Chillar leave in free agency last offseason. He wonders if Rocky Boiman might fit for the Rams as a strongside linebacker.
Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee takes a break from his Hawaiian "vacation" to feed his blog. What would a trip to Hawaii be without thoughts of Ahmad Brooks and Jimmy Williams? Barrows: "Both have off-the-chart talent, but have been hurt by off-the-field issues and lack of motivation. I'm wondering if the Mike Singletary magic will work on these guys. If it does, and Singletary can get Brooks and Williams to realize their potential, then the 49ers suddenly have excellent depth at OLB, where they are thin, and at strong safety where Michael Lewis isn't getting any younger. It also might embolden Singletary to take chances on other so-called high-risk players."
Ann Killion of the San Jose Mercury News checks in with the Singletary family. The coach and his wife, Kim, are celebrating 25 years of marriage this month. Killion: "Kim is the velvet to Mike's iron. She moderates the white-hot flame that he brings to every endeavor. She points out the bigger picture surrounding the object of his intense focus."
Bob McManaman of the Arizona Republic says 6-foot-7, 365-pound Cardinals rookie offensive lineman Herman "House" Johnson is working on his conditioning. McManaman: "Johnson topped out at 411 pounds when he reported to LSU as a freshman and last season, carried a playing weight between 385 and 390. ... He's dropped about 25 pounds since then, down to 365, and the Cardinals are encouraging him to trim down even further, to about 350 or 355."
Revenge of the Birds' mbn explores how the Cardinals' defensive players fit new coordinator Bill Davis' 3-4 plans: "It will be interesting to see what the Cardinals do with [Darnell Dockett] or if they will still run a hybrid scheme just to highlight Dockett's skills. [Calais] Campbell fits better than Dockett in the 3-4."
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
Previously: The draft and meaningful free-agent signings have passed. Trades remain possible, but less likely as training camps approach. Barring a surprise or two, what you see on NFC West rosters is pretty much what you're going to get for the 2009 season. Where are the Rams, 49ers, Seahawks and Cardinals most vulnerable?
Today: I've weaved my thoughts into the conversation and posted the results below. Thanks for participating. We'll begin with the defending NFC champion Cardinals, followed by the 49ers, Seahawks and Rams.
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
VanRam of Turf Show Times looks at what Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo might like in a middle linebacker. Jeremiah Trotter and Antonio Pierce played for him in the past. VanRam: "The commonality between Pierce and Trotter is the instinct and tackling/pursuit ability commonly desired in a 4-3 middle linebacker. Trotter's style of play got him to four Pro Bowls, but didn't do anything to prolong his career. Pierce's style of play doesn't get him noticed in a defense marked by high sack totals, but his work made those sacks possible by taking away the run."
Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat expects the 49ers' Jed York to take an aggressive approach to free agency in York's first offseason as team president. Maiocco: "He is going to want to create some excitement around the team before the draft, so perhaps we should expect the unexpected." I would like to know how the 49ers' favorable salary-cap situation compares to their cash situation given the tough economy and the resources spent pursuing a new stadium. Will the 49ers be as aggressive as they might like to be?
Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee lists free safety as the 49ers' top priority in free agency. He says Oshiomogho Atogwe, Jim Leonhard and James Sanders could interest the 49ers. The team could also give the recently added Jimmy Williams a look at the position. Dashon Goldson would be another consideration if he can stay healthy.
Scott Allen of Raising Zona thinks Karlos Dansby and other top players looking to stay with their teams should welcome the franchise player designation. Allen: "I get the fact that it would not allow that player to negotiate with other teams, but if he is serious about wanting to stay, then it shouldn't be a problem. He will be handsomely paid." Players tend to be more serious about getting paid than staying with the same team.
Shaun Dolence of 12th Man Rising revisits the Seahawks' 2005 draft class. Dolence: "Although this draft does verify some draft trends for Tim Ruskell (big schools, best available, high effort players, etc.), he does break on one tendency. Chris Spencer had declared early for the draft, and only started at center for one year at Mississippi. As we've seen in more recent drafts, Ruskell prefers players who've started, or at least contributed, throughout their collegiate careers. This was not the case for Spencer, who has yet to become the impact player the Seahawks envisioned when they selected him in the first round (insert Crabtree comparison here)."