NFL Nation: Ron Milus
Sure, the Chargers have bigger needs at other positions, including receiver and offensive line. But this is an overall thin roster and they need help at cornerback, as well. When a solid player becomes available, he should be pursued. Kudos to new general manager Tom Telesco to secure Marshall, who was cut earlier this week by Miami.
He signed a one-year deal. Terms were not immediately available, but I am sure they are not detrimental to the team.
Marshall is not a defense-changing player, but he will help. Marshall, 28, could end up starting opposite free-agent pickup Derek Cox. Shareece Wright is slated to start, but he doesn’t have the experience Marshall, who is known for being a strong leader, has. At the least, Marshall should be the nickel cornerback. This addition lengthens the Chargers’ talent and depth at the position.
Marshall’s signing in San Diego is fairly natural. He played for San Diego head coach Mike McCoy and secondary coach Ron Milus in Carolina and San Diego offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt in Arizona.
McCoy and Milus worked together in Denver. Milus’ contract was not extended a few days after Denver safety Rahim Moore inexplicably allowed Baltimore’s Jacoby Jones to get behind him on a 70-yard Ravens’ pass play that allowed Baltimore to tie Denver in the final seconds of regulation in the Ravens’ win Jan. 12.
The Broncos have maintained that Milus would likely not have been brought back anyway. McCoy didn’t keep San Diego defensive backs coach Ron Meeks.
In other AFC West news:
Peyton Manning asked his Pro Bowl teammates to give an honest effort Sunday to help save the game. Last season, many players noticeably gave a lacking effort in the game. Manning has long talked about the honor in being a Pro Bowler and the importance of playing in the game. His speech doesn’t shock me.
Former Raiders’ linebacker Rod Martin is part of a great ESPN.com piece on the Lost Heroes of the Super Bowl.
Denver also hired linebackers coach Richard Smith and linebacker coach Ron Milus. Both Smith and Milus were with John Fox in Carolina. Fox has now brought five of his Carolina coaches with him to Denver. The pair both coached in Denver under Mike Shanahan and Smith was a defensive coordinator in the NFL.
Allen, 38, is beginning his first stint as an NFL defensive coordinator. He is considered one of the bright young defensive minds in the league and in addition to Smith, Allen can also rely on Fox –- a defensive specialist -- as he grows into his new job. The Broncos hope Allen will bring stability to a unit that has had six different coordinators in six seasons. They were last in the NFL in 2010 in total defense and points allowed under coordinator Don Martindale.
Fox has previously said he was open to running either a 4-3 or a 3-4 defensive front scheme. Fox ran a 4-3 in Carolina and Allen has been coaching a 4-3. Denver has used a 3-4 defense for the past two seasons and team will likely add a lot of players on the defensive line and linebacker, so a switch to the 4-3 would matter much.
The key to the switch will be finding to effectively use Elvis Dumervil. Shanahan drafted Dumervil and the fifth-year linebacker flourished in a 3-4 defense in 2009. Dumervil, who was given a huge contract last summer, led the NFL with 17 sacks in 2009 but missed the entire 2010 season with a pectoral injury. He will probably be moved back to a rush end spot in the 4-3.
With Allen being hired, there are now two key coaching openings remaining in the AFC West. Kansas City needs an offensive coordinator and Oakland needs a defensive coordinator.
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
Clare Farnsworth of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer cites seven mock drafts to get a feel for what the Seahawks might do with the fourth overall draft choice. Four favor Michael Crabtree. Malcolm Smith, B.J. Raji and Jason Smith comprise the other choices.
Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times provides a transcript of Jim Mora's interview with KJR radio in Seattle. Mora on whether Bobby Engram wants to return: "I believe that he does. I believe that Bobby at some point would like to be part of this organization. Not as a player, but a part of this organization in some capacity. And he's indicated that to me so I think that that gives you some wiggle room."Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune also did some transcribing. Mora: "I think if Matt Hasselbeck is healthy for 16 weeks this team has a chance to do some special things because he's an outstanding player. And we'd love to see that happen. And right now all indications are that he's going to be fine."
Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic sizes up five key contract situations facing the Cardinals this offseason. He suggests the team might again use the franchise tag on Karlos Dansby.
Also from Somers: He confirms Jeff Rutledge's firing as quarterbacks coach.
Darren Urban of azcardinals.com explains why the Cardinals might want to revisit Antrel Rolle's contract sooner rather than later.
Tom FitzGerald of the San Francisco Chronicle casts the 49ers' recent roster moves as Mike Singletary's moves. FitzGerald on Keith Lewis: "Lewis, a Sacramento native who was a sixth-round pick by the 49ers out of Oregon in 2004, couldn't displace Mark Roman in the lineup the last two years even though Roman didn't have a single interception in that time."
Daniel Brown of the San Jose Mercury News says the 49ers have no comment on Jonas Jennings' likely release. A shoulder injury sidelined Jennings most of last season. Here's what general manager Scot McCloughan said in November: "Everybody's built different and some guys are more injury-prone than others, but there's no reason why he can't come back from this once rehab's over and play again. There's no reason, whatsoever."
David Fucillo of Niners Nation takes a look at how the 49ers' tight ends fared in 2008.
Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says Ron Milus, the Rams' secondary coach in 2008, will take a similar job with the Panthers. The Rams already hired the Panthers' linebackers coach, Ken Flajole, as defensive coordinator. The Panthers' former secondary coach, Tim Lewis, is also in the NFC West, with Seattle.
VanRam of Turf Show Times outlines five "improvements" fans won't see at a renovated Edward Jones Dome, including "Richie Incognito's 'I can't hear you' interactive scoreboard."
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic examines the Cardinals' handling of Matt Leinart since Ken Whisenhunt arrived as head coach. He describes Leinart's benching to start the season as a potentially pivotal moment while acknowledging Leinart still might become the starter at some point this season.
Also from Somers: Arizona expects to make few roster moves this week. The team is relatively healthy and deeper than it's been in the past.
Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee says the clock is ticking for 49ers coach Mike Nolan. A big-picture story about Nolan wouldn't be complete without a dig at former offensive coordinator Jim Hostler, who -- all together now -- wasn't ready for the job. Nolan: "This is not a 'Bash Jim' thing. But Jim was just not ready. And that was a poor decision on my part. ... Last year with the offense was really tough. It was tough on everybody. And I think I knew exactly what was needed. And I wanted to find that. And I think Mike [Martz] is what we needed." Other head coaches generally do not mention fired underlings by name.
Tom FitzGerald of the San Francisco Chronicle says the 49ers aren't asking their rookie draft choices to contribute in a big way immediately.
Daniel Brown of the San Jose Mercury News touches on Ahmad Brooks' troubled past. The 49ers signed Brooks after Cincinnati released the linebacker. Brown: "He was kicked off the Virginia football team before his senior season after frequent trouble with coach Al Groh, and he was accused of punching a woman in the face in northern Kentucky in April."
Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News sees a couple of Bay Area franchises playing for the short term: "I hate to mention that short-term fixes almost never produce sustained NFL success, but it's too late to change anything now. So, let's do a rundown of the protagonists."
Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says Rams defensive coordinator Jim Haslett hasn't decided which defensive player will wear the radio headset this season. Middle linebacker Will Witherspoon is the leading candidate. "But Haslett said he might also signal in plays by hand and have secondary coach Ron Milus use the coach-to-defense headset to talk to the secondary."
Also from Thomas: Trent Green has been around a long, long time. He was the Post-Dispatch All-Metro quarterback as a high school player ... in 1987.
Clare Farnsworth of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer assesses the impact of suspensions to Seattle defensive players Jordan Babineaux and Rocky Bernard. Second-year corner Josh Wilson and veteran defensive tackle Craig Terrill will have to step up. The Seahawks think Wilson can be an outstanding defender against slot receivers.
Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News says the Bills have turned their attention to the Seahawks, who visit in Week 1. The Bills remain without holdout left tackle Jason Peters. Their quarterback, Trent Edwards, remains slowed by injury.
Final San Diego 22 Buffalo 10 Final Dallas 34 St. Louis 31 Final Washington 34 Philadelphia 37 Final Houston 17 New York 30 Final Minnesota 9 New Orleans 20 Final Tennessee 7 Cincinnati 33 Final Baltimore 23 Cleveland 21 Final Green Bay 7 Detroit 19 Final Indianapolis 44 Jacksonville 17 Final Oakland 9 New England 16 Final San Francisco 14 Arizona 23 Final/OT Denver 20 Seattle 26 Final Kansas City 34 Miami 15 Final Pittsburgh 37 Carolina 19