Chat with Mike Sando
Sando joined ESPN.com in 2007 after nine seasons covering the Seattle Seahawks for the Tacoma (Wash.) News Tribune. He previously covered Washington State University football and basketball for the Spokane (Wash.) Spokesman-Review. Mike grew up in Northern California before attending Whitworth College, graduating in 1992 with a B.A. in political studies. He lives in the Seattle-Tacoma area with his wife and their two sons.
Send your questions for Mike now and join him in The Show on Thursday at noon ET!
Mike, Would you agree that if Donald Brown is still available when the Seahawks pick in the second round they should take him? I sense the Hawks will take an OT at #4, but Ruskell mentioned he did want a playmaker from this draft and our RBs are more quantity vs quality at the moment imo. Thanks buddy!
Mike Sando (12:02 PM)
I'll agree with you in theory. I think a second-round running back would make sense for the Seahawks. I haven't watched the college prospects enough to vouch for them personally.
Am I wrong ??? but I think the Niners should trade Down,Draft Larry English or Clay Matthews in the later part of the 1st round,Which will allow them to do more damage in the later rounds. They can land Phil Loadholt in the 2nd make him their RT for the future.Does that make sense to you mike ??????
Mike Sando (12:04 PM)
I don't necessarily like the theory given where the 49ers are drafting. It's not like they are sitting there at five. Ten is a good spot to be if you see little difference between the top 10 or 12 prospects. I think the 49ers need an impact player. Moving back too far might diminish the odds of finding one.
Is the owners meeting all business or are most of the people there relaxed?
Mike Sando (12:06 PM)
It's definitely a more relaxed atmosphere and a terrific chance to strengthen relationships with sources. Reporters spend a fair amount of time speaking with sources on background, gathering information that often provides perspective more than immediate scoops.
Lee (Carlisle, Pa) [via mobile]
Hey Mike love your blog! With Mike Singletary as the head coach of the 49ers and the intensity, physicality, and the energy he brings. The re-signings of Allen Rossum and Takeo Spikes. The offseason additions of DB Jimmy Williams, WR Maurice Price, WR Brandon Jones, FB Morran Norris, QB Damon Huard, DL Demetric Evans, S Lewis Baker, LB Mark Washington, and some key position needs addressed through the draft. Do you see us being able to go to the next level and maybe the playoffs? Or is it not enough! Thanks
Mike Sando (12:08 PM)
The NFC West gives the 49ers a decent chance to reach the playoffs. The only QB you mentioned was Damon Huard, however, and that position will again be a key variable for San Francisco. I like Singletary's show-me attitude. It's the right attitude for the 49ers to take. They've gotten ahead of themselves in past seasons.
Your one of those big question long answer so it looks like you did a lot of work guys aren't you?
Mike Sando (12:08 PM)
nick (new york)
are u gonna be at radio city music hall, april 25?
Mike Sando (12:10 PM)
I will not. I prefer to watch drafts from a team headquarters. And because I live in Seattle, the Seahawks' HQ are convenient. They have the fourth pick this year, so that makes it a decent place to be as well.
Mike, Addicted to your chats, hope ya don't mind all the questions. :) Did you see Leonard Weaver's recent comments that the Seahawk's lockerroom was somewhat divided last year with guys playing for Holmgren and others playing for Mora. Does such an admission surprise you for a veteran team like the Seahawks?
Mike Sando (12:12 PM)
I learned a long time ago that what one player thinks doesn't always reflect what other players think. Leonard Weaver's perspective isn't one I would take to the bank. The league viewed him differently than he viewed himself during free agency. It's likely Weaver viewed the locker room differently than others viewed it. I thought the coaching situation became a bigger challenge once the team struggled, but it was not the reason the team struggled.
If the 49ers could find an "impact player" at one position in this year's draft, what position do you think would have the greatest impact on improving them this year?
Mike Sando (12:13 PM)
Pass rusher would be No. 1, but tackle would be close behind. I think the 49ers would be in great shape if they could find a tackle good enough to supplant Joe Staley on the left side. Under that scenario, Staley would move to right tackle and the 49ers would have their bookends for years to come.
Chris (Mason City, IL)
Hey Mike, love the blog. Big Rams fan here. OT is pretty much a lock w/ the number 2 pick, but w/ the rest of their draft picks which side of the ball are they gonna focus on? And, what do you project their 2009-10 record to be? Thanx.
Mike Sando (12:15 PM)
Thanks. So many needs for this team! The Rams have to strengthen the middle of the defense. As Jim Thomas pointed out, James Butler is the only defensive starter they've added this offseason. He will help shore up the secondary, but Chris Draft is the starting middle linebacker right now. The Rams need to get some size at DT to help Adam Carriker. They need linebacker help. And they also need more firepower at receiver. They don't have enough picks to address their needs.
What needs does Arizona need to focus on to go to a true 3-4. They need more LBs correct? Do they draft 2 linebackers with their picks to cover possible lack of depth?
Mike Sando (12:17 PM)
Yeah, I think they need to unleash some younger outside linebackers. They could be OK at nose tackle if Gabe Watson takes another step in his recovery from that knee issue, but if they could upgrade that position, their 3-4 plans would come together even more.
nick (new york)
have you heard from holmgren lately? do u know what he is doing? im happy with the new direction, it feels like their is more continuity from the FO down but it is bitter sweet.
Mike Sando (12:19 PM)
I was talking about Mike Holmgren with one of his NFL friends at the league meeting. We were wondering if he would come back to the NFL at all. I think Holmgren is going to love the retired life. He will not miss the combine or the league meetings or the minicamps. I could see him coming back in some sort of executive role, but probably not as a coach. That's just my feel right now.
Brian (Seattle, Wa)
Mike, You said you didn't think the Hawks would take an OT in the first round because he would just sit behind Walter Jones and it would not be the best use of a high draft pick, so why would they take Stafford isn't that basically the same thing? They would both be sitting behind someone learning the position.
Mike Sando (12:22 PM)
The more I think about what Seattle will do in the draft, the less sure I am. I was sitting with Jim Mora yesterday while another reporter tried to pin him down on which direction the Seahawks would go in the draft. It was a futile effort. I don't think Mora knew at this point. To answer your question, I think QB is the one position where you feel better about letting a guy sit for a year or two. You go into it knowing a franchise QB can change everything for you longer term. That said, I would still prefer a top-five pick to get some playing time right away. And in Seattle's case, drafting Stafford would pretty much put Matt Hasselbeck on the clock. Not sure how Hasselbeck would respond. He has always been at his best when comfortable. Would that move unsettle him?
"Safety" questions: 1.If the injury to Tom Brady (Patriots) instead happens to Damon Huard (Chiefs), is the new "lunging" rule in effect? 2. If Goodell is so "concerned" with play safety, why is he pushing for more games? I think adding more games is nothing but a money grab by the NFL, adds nothing substantive for anyone else.
Mike Sando (12:24 PM)
"No" on the first part. Brady's injury was a catalyst in a way an injury to Huard would not have been. Goodell specifically said he hasn't jumped onboard any plan to extend the regular season because he does have some concerns that need to be addressed. Adding more regular-season games would be about money, and I don't think that is necessarily wrong. The league should try to make more money while balancing safety concerns. In the end, the league will need some cooperation from the NFLPA to make such a plan work.
Gordon - Portland
Sando, any idea what the hawks will do now that Weaver is gone? They gonna go after that Griffith guy? Stay with Owen Schmitt as their option? Thanks.
Mike Sando (12:27 PM)
I think they have some interest in Justin Griffith, but they probably want to make sure he's healthy.
gabe oklahoma city. [via mobile]
With chance of stafford falling from 1, do u think the 49ers would be willing to move up to chiefs spot to steal him from the seahawks?
Mike Sando (12:28 PM)
No. That would surprise me a great deal. I think the 49ers value their picks too much to do that, and it's not like Stafford is a consensus No. 1 pick.
I thought the plan was to reduce the pre-season and add regulation, in which case, the total number of games would not change, just the number of ones that count.
Mike Sando (12:29 PM)
Right. But the demands on players' bodies would increase. Starters do not play as much during the preseason. Starters would be playing a lot more if they converted two preseason games into real games. And that would raise concerns about injuries.
Mike, With V Davis turning out to be a bust. Would San Fran consider converting him to a different position. Where he can use his athletic ability? Thanks.
Mike Sando (12:30 PM)
I don't think so. Tight end would still be his best position, I think, although it would be fun (for us) to see a 295-pound Davis give tackle a shot.
Hi Mike, enjoy your work. Im not sure why people pay attention to mock drafts. These guys have no inside information as to what a team will do. They assume the Rams will draft for their biggest need, but anyone who pays attention to them know they have needs everywhere, and the new regime knows enough that it realizes this is NOT a 1 year fix. This leads me to think we will draft the BPA (Crabtree), or possibly a QB. Our OTs are no worse than our WRs, LBers, DTs, etc...Go Rams.
Mike Sando (12:31 PM)
Thanks. I don't enjoy analyzing the draft in advance for the reasons you stated. None of us really knows what is going to happen. Most of us have not watched hundreds of hours of video in analyzing the college players. And yet you hear people expressing definitive viewpoints about these players.
Brett (San Antonio, TX)
Where does Torry Holt land and how much of a factor can he be in 09?
Mike Sando (12:32 PM)
I thought the Titans made sense, but they probably would not pay a great deal. Holt is reportedly visiting Jacksonville. Might visiting the Jaguars get Tennessee to move? Not so sure.
Sorry for so many questions today. What is your take on the whole East coast teams should not have to travel to 2 West coast games a year? I?m not even a conspiracy theorist and this seems like Godell is in Krafts pocket. This change is happening in the same season that Seattle travelled to TB, Miami, Buffalo and NY. To me there seems like little difference in travel between NE going to Oak and Seattle going to TB. Except the west coast teams have to deal with waking up at 5AM their time for 10AM games. If Godell was even making an attempt to not show favoritism he would have reduced the amount of 10AM games for West coast teams. What does it mean that he does not care enough about the West to fake fairness?
Mike Sando (12:37 PM)
I have no problem limiting the number of West Coast trips for teams drawing the NFC West and AFC West in the scheduling rotation. I also think the Western teams are vastly outnumbered. There are only five of them. And that makes it harder to get traction for issues requiring league-wide votes. Jed York was probably right when he said Western teams need to band together. They also need to present compelling evidence explaining why those early starts put them at a disadvantage.
Hey Mike! Love the chats! If the season is lengthened, do you see roster sizes, player paychecks and cap figures to increase substantially or will they try to do it with the current roster size and established cap limit trends?
Mike Sando (12:38 PM)
Thanks. The NFLPA would presumably get some concessions that way. Players would definitely get more money. Preseason checks are not the same as regular-season checks.
Brett , Kent
Mike what's your gut telling you about the Hawks filling Peterson's position? You think they might be putting off making any moves in case they get Curry or not? Derrick Brooks, another Bucs alum on the horizon?
Mike Sando (12:40 PM)
I did some sniffing around on the Derrick Brooks front. The Seahawks obviously knew him from Tampa and loved him. At this point, they will almost certainly wait until after the draft before heading in that type of direction. Seattle has shown an ability to find starting linebackers in the second and third rounds. That might not be a bad place to look again.
Andy (Phoenix, AZ)
Mike, what do you think about Marvel Smith? The Niners are reportedly closing in on a deal. It seems to me that the Niners are trading one injury prone OT (Jennings) for another one. I would prefer that the team find a LT with the tenth pick and stop gambling with these injury risks. What are your thoughts?
Mike Sando (12:41 PM)
The difference would be in the contracts. Smith would sign a modest deal with the 49ers. Jennings signed a lucrative one. So the risk would be lower. And then the 49ers could still try to find one in the draft.
On a personal note, how hard do you think it is to become an player agent in the NFL?
Mike Sando (12:42 PM)
At one point, I know there were more certified agents than players. I think lots of people could take the steps necessary for certification. Landing clients would be much harder than becoming NFLPA certified.
Mike, if the 49ers go OL or rush LB in the first, where do you see them going in the 2nd? RB? Maybe grab Ramses Barden, as he looks like a T.O. type?
Mike Sando (12:43 PM)
Yes on the running back. I think that's a position they'll consider strongly.
Mike (29 palms, ca) [via mobile]
Hey Mike, great blog. What do you think about Tim Hightowers progression and if he could be starting running back matieral. Thanks.
Mike Sando (12:44 PM)
Thanks. I think Hightower projects as part of the rotation. He has shown situational value (short yardage). And I think he's good enough to get some carries. But they would like to find another back to share the load. This new back would bring another running style.
Steven (Tampa, FL)
Hello Mike! Im beginning to think Stafford may slip to the Seahawks. The Lions may be content with the safe pick in Monroe or Jason Smith. Not only that but Offensive Coordinator Scott Linehan and Culpepper are familiar with each other so I can see Culpepper starting next year. I dont think Seattle can really pass on Stafford. If the Lions take Monroe/Smith, The Rams take one of the Tackles, Seattle may be forced to take Stafford. Thats just my thinking.
Mike Sando (12:45 PM)
I was speaking with a GM at the league meeting who said the same thing. He thought the Seahawks would have to consider the QB in that spot based on what value the QB might be able to provide longer term. I'm not convinced, but it's hard to tell how these players will pan out.
Jacob san diego california [via mobile]
The nfl is becoming a pansy league just like troy polamalu said some of the i can see reasonable cause the hits are more violent so protection for defenseless players but the wedge rule is stupid and the onside kicks rule is stupid so i think some of the rules are dumb! But my question is how many penalties and finds do you think will happen every game i say at least 5 to ten penalties and fines
Mike Sando (12:47 PM)
I expect less impact than you are projecting. We'll see some high-profile cases. The NFL is not going to become a pansy league. I've stood on sidelines during games and can tell you the violence and intensity are palpable.
Hey Mike how come nobody has brought out the fact that Monroe's former teammate and 1st round pick Brandon Albert was forced to play LG because Monroe was better as an underclassman. I think that speaks for itself seeing how much success ALbert had this year!
Mike Sando (12:50 PM)
I could see the Rams taking Eugene Monroe with that second pick. The thing I noticed about him at the comine was how skinny his lower legs were. He looked like a basketball player. That could be a good thing -- he can presumably move well -- but I don't necessarily see an Orlando Pace or Walter Jones in this draft.
Justin (Ashburn, VA)
Hey Mike. I know the Rams are in rebuilding mode and have a lot of holes to fill, but could you see them doing a Miami Dolphin type turnaround next season? How do you think they stack up against the rest of the NFC West?
Mike Sando (12:51 PM)
I could definitely see vast improvement in the record. The Rams have underachieved in a big way. I saw them as a 6- or 7-win team talent-wise that won only two. They could be a 5-win team talent-wise that wins seven or eight this year. They do need to protect the quarterback.
Hey Mike! Is Anquan Boldin staying a card before the draft? What is your gut feeling about this?
Mike Sando (12:54 PM)
The Cardinals will not be bullied or pressured into making decisions. They are making that clear with Edgerrin James. They have already made it clear with Boldin. Ken Whisenhunt pointed out Wednesday how Boldin and the Cardinals played well last season even though Boldin was not happy. I see no evidence suggesting the Cardinals will trade him. I would be tempted to consider it if I were them, but only if another team were willing to cough up a first-round draft choice and probably more.
Bobby (Toledo, OH)
What do the Seahawks think they have in Colin Cole? Starter?
Mike Sando (12:55 PM)
A big body inside. I do think they'll see him as a starter, particularly now that they are saying Cory Redding will move to end. Cole will be part of the rotation. I would think he'll start.
Chris (Tempe, AZ) [via mobile]
Do you think that the Cards need to look towards defense or try to stabilize the RB position with their first pick?
Mike Sando (12:58 PM)
The running back would make the more immediate impact. RB is the more pressing need, I think. The Cardinals will need to see how the draft plays out before deciding which position to target at 31. If there's a run on running backs, they might need to target that position earlier. Same with OLB.
Do you see Josh Morgan as having the tools to develop into a number one receiver for the 49ers (quarterback problems aside)?
Mike Sando (12:59 PM)
Not without the quarterback position stabilizing. I think that's a big part of hit. In other words, Randy Moss is a No. 1 receiver no matter the QB and offense. Morgan might have a chance to put up No. 1-type numbers in the right system. Steve Breaston did it last season and he is not a classic No. 1 by any means.
Mike Sando (1:02 PM)
Thanks for dropping by today. Hope to see you on the NFC West blog.