NFL Nation: Orien Harris
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Rams have no interest in former Giants receiver Plaxico Burress. Miklasz: "When new head coach Steve Spagnuolo was hired, he stressed the four pillars of his leadership, the four pillars that would rebuild the franchise: (1) Faith; (2) Character; (3) Core Values; (4) Team. Does that sound like Plaxico Burress to you?" Burress could be facing jail time.
Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says bouncing between nose tackle and three-technique tackle hasn't helped first-round choice Adam Carriker. Thomas: "Carriker's first two seasons were slightly disappointing, but in his defense he was bouncing around [from] NT to UT. He's more suited for UT, or 3-technique, it seems, and if he's left there, he might come around pretty quickly. [Clifton] Ryan has been pretty solid in the middle. The rest of the rotation is pretty much up in the air at this point. Rookie Darell Scott probably will be in there, and Orien Harris, too. As for [Claude] Wroten, I expect the Rams to release him as soon as he's reinstated. Of course, I could be wrong about that. But he doesn't seem to fit the Spags profile."
Bill Coats of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says Spagnuolo is stressing penalty reduction. Also: "Larry Grant worked with the first unit at strongside LB on Tuesday. That spot is open following the release of veteran Pisa Tinoisamoa. With second-round draftee James Laurinaitis still with the No. 2 unit, Chris Draft was at MLB with the ones."
Mike Swift of the San Jose Mercury News says the 49ers have reached agreement with Santa Clara on financing for a new stadium. Mayor Patricia Mahan: "I believe we have negotiated as far as we can, and we are ready to bring it to the public." The public could get a look at the deal next week.
Ray Ratto of the San Francisco Chronicle sizes up the 49ers' stadium efforts this way:"In this corner, there is Jed York, born to the purple and working on behalf of mom and dad to get the Santa Clara deal moving. In the other, there is Carmen Policy, Eddie DeBartolo's old wing man, working on behalf of Lennar, the folks who are trying to make the 49ers a new home at Hunters Point if the Santa Clara thing collapses. And in the middle -- leaning toward Jed -- is Eddie, who is about to be inducted into the 49ers' Hall of Fame, largely on Jed's initiative. We're sure the development is entirely coincidental and meritorious."
Gwen Knapp of the San Francisco Chronicle says the 49ers' other receivers seem to be embracing first-round choice Michael Crabtree, viewing him more as a threat to opponents than to their own playing time. If veteran Isaac Bruce is concerned, it's not showing. He has skipped the voluntary workouts to this point.
John Crumpacker of the San Francisco Chronicle says 49ers players keep getting hurt during organized team activities (OTAs). Crumpacker: "The early diagnosis on [Walt] Harris was a sprained knee, with further evaluation to come. The 49ers are not deep at cornerback. Behind Harris on the depth chart is Tarell Brown and after him, there's Shawntae Spencer, who is coming off a 2008 knee injury that cost him 14 games."
Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat says the best-case scenario for Alex Smith and the 49ers would be for Shaun Hill to open the 2009 season as the starter. I think that depends on how the quarterbacks look during the offseason, specifically during the exhibition games. Is there a chance Smith wins the job and plays well for 16 games? Also, just to be clear, the 49ers also have no interest in Burress.
Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee says the 49ers' depth at receiver is being tested with Bruce away, Crabtree rehabilitating a foot injury and Jason Hill suffering a sprained ankle in practice.
Bob McManaman of the Arizona Republic says new Cardinals running back Jason Wright is embracing the opportunity in Arizona. Wright: "It's an offense that puts players in the best position to win. It's an attacking offense, aggressive and it's not reactive. I love that about this offense. It's forward moving and it's very efficient. In fact, I was amazed during our first minicamp at how many completions there were and how few dropped balls and mental errors I saw. That's really rare. But they've got something really crisp going on."
Also from McManaman: Karlos Dansby expresses confidence in the Cardinals' ability to reach a long-term agreement with him.
Carrie Watters of the Arizona Republic details Arizona's failed bid to land the 2013 Super Bowl. New Orleans was more than a sentimental favorite.
Darren Urban of azcardinals.com says Kurt Warner, Larry Fitzgerald, Adrian Wilson, Sean Morey, Kenny Iwebema, Bertrand Berry and Chike Okeafor did not attend OTAs Monday. Urban expects them to show up later.
Revenge of the Birds' Hawkwind sizes up Cardinals sixth-round choice Will Davis. Hawkwind: "It wouldn't be surprising at all, given the current depth at OLB, for Davis to spend the season on the practice squad. He has zero experience in space [and] his transition to OLB will be more difficult than second round pick Cody Brown. When you add in that he also needs to get stronger and possibly drop some weight, a year on the practice squad seems to make sense. If he does find his way onto the roster, it'll likely be because he's made a name for himself on special teams."
Gregg Bell of the Associated Press says Bryan Pittman's agent confirmed the long-snapper's contract agreement with the Seahawks.
Clare Farnsworth of Seahawks.com says vice president Joe Biden, speaking at Wake Forest's commencement, pointed to Seahawks linebacker Aaron Curry as reason for optimism. Biden: "As a student of history, it's the history behind me and the people in front of me that give me such a degree of optimism. ... It's about Aaron Curry, a scrawny freshman linebacker recruited by only two schools, who worked his rear off, became a Top 5 pick, and is walking off this stage into an opposing NFL backfield. Aaron, I heard you wanted to go to law school -- you were considering going to graduate school. I also heard that your fellow draftees have taken up a collection encouraging you to go. So I'm sure there's a scholarship there if you want it."
John Morgan of Field Gulls outlines 10 keys for the Seahawks on defense. Darryl Tapp's emergence tops the list.
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
Jim Moore of seattlepi.com says Seahawks second-round choice Max Unger was once a "gangly ninth-grader who had never played football." Why hadn't Unger played to that point? Moore: "Unger wanted to play, but his local Pop Warner league wouldn't let him because he was too big and would've crushed kids his age -- his dad said he was 5-10 and 200 pounds in the 6th grade." Unger's line coach at Oregon compared him to Gary Zimmerman. I like Unger's chances of earning a starting job.
Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times says the Seahawks have not signed any of the nine players who participated in post-draft camps on a tryout basis. Those players helped the Seahwaks conduct practices while others rehabilitated injuries.
Also from O'Neil: Linemen Rob Sims and Chris Spencer face pivotal seasons in 2009.
Eric D. Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune says T.J. Duckett hopes his role in the Seahawks' offense grows as much as the running back's beard. Teammates are calling him Kimbo Slice and the comparison holds up from what I've seen at post-draft practices.
Also from Williams: Matt Hasselbeck is getting comfortable.
John Morgan of Field Gulls heaps praise upon Seahawks president Tim Ruskell for striking a "sweetheart deal" with linebacker Leroy Hill. No doubt, this deal came out in the Seahawks' favor. Instead of paying $8.3 million to Hill for one season or much more on a lucrative long-term deal, Seattle could pay as little as $13 million over two seasons before escaping the deal without negative salary-cap ramifications.
Michael Steffes of Seahawk Addicts likes what he sees from John Clayton, who graded the Seahawks' offseason as the best in the league.Jason LaCanfora of the Washington Post checks in with former Seahwaks coach Mike Holmgren, who says the Redskins should be patient with quarterback Jason Campbell. Holmgren was in Washington as Zorn's guest to see off his wife and daughter to Africa, where they plan to continue mission work. Anything Holmgren says publicly about the Redskins' quarterback situation on the matter would dovetail with Zorn's wishes.
David Fucillo of Niners Nation sizes up the 49ers' defensive line, placing Ray McDonald on the bubble for a roster spot. Justin Smith is very good. Aubrayo Franklin finished strong last season. As for the rest of the line? We need to see more. Fucillo: "I'd imagine the one that will draw the most contention is Ray McDonald. I'm pretty sure he'll make the 53-man, but his reconstructive knee surgery moves him temporarily to the bubble watch. One thing that does have me curious is the potential roster battle between McDonald and Ricky Jean-Francois."
Darren Urban of azcardinals.com says the Cardinals will release players before training camp. The team is carrying 84 players, counting unsigned draft choices. Teams can carry no more than 80 signed players at this point in the offseason.
Revenge of the Birds' Hawkwind quotes Mike Lombardi on the Anquan Boldin and Darnell Dockett situations. Lombardi: "I have covered the Boldin trade situation and his contract at length and the fact is clear, the market will not satisfy him or the Cards. As for Dockett, he is very well thought of in the NFL, but he is not going anywhere. They cannot afford to trade him for several reasons."
Kathleen Nelson of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Rams gained depth on their defensive line in the Brian Leonard trade. We'll see if Orien Harris earns a roster spot. Leonard might be the winner in this deal after landing in Cincinnati. Agent Mike McCartney: "This is a great trade for Brian. I give the Rams credit for putting him in a great situation ... where he can be a running back." Also, the Rams released tackle David Oswald.
Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas
NEW ORLEANS -- The Saints, who already were thin at defensive tackle, now are really thin.
Antwan Lake will not return to the game after suffering a groin injury in the first half. Hollis Thomas is out for at least several more weeks with a triceps injury. That leaves Brian Young as the only backup behind starters Kendrick Clancy and Sedrick Ellis. Bet the Saints are regretting cutting Orien Harris, who had a nice training camp and wound up landing with the Bengals.
Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas
There's one common theme to this morning's roundup. A lot of rookies and young players will get a chance to step into bigger roles in this week's preseason games.
It looks like rookie running back Jonathan Stewart will work with the first team in Saturday's preseason game against Washington. DeAngelo Williams started the first two games as Stewart dealt with a toe injury. But the Panthers didn't use their top pick on Stewart to have him sit on the bench.
The Falcons may give rookie linebacker Curtis Lofton a start when they play their third preseason game. That makes sense because the Falcons also are starting quarterback Matt Ryan. They can put their offense and defense into the hands of rookies at the same time.
Rookie Jeremy Zuttah is expected to start at right guard with Davin Joseph out with a broken foot. Veteran Dan Buenning also can play this spot, but the Bucs prefer to keep him as the top backup for all the interior positions. Zuttah, who also can play center, had an outstanding training camp.
With Hollis Thomas out with an injury, Orien Harris looks like he'll factor into the team's plans at defensive tackle.