NFC West Monday Blitz
- Updated: August 12, 2013
With both Ryan Williams and Rashard Mendenhall out for Friday’s preseason opener against the Packers, the Cardinals had plenty of opportunities to put the bottom half of their depth chart to work. Stepfan Taylor and Alfonso Smith received almost all of the work at running back in the game. When the Arizona Cardinals drafted two running backs in the NFL Draft back in April, you knew it was a position the Cards were very concerned with improving. Then they went out and signed free agent Rashard Mendenhall plus they still have Ryan Williams, who is oft-injured. One of those draft picks, Stepfan Taylor, was impressive in his first game Friday night, rushing for 63 yards. We still keep hearing Palmer to Fitzgerald in our heads, and a healthy Mendenhall would sure help.
Colin Kaepernick has looked good in pre-season to date. The third-year quarterback demonstrated his big-time throwing arm and then used his quick feet and long running strides to create more time to record back-to-back touchdown throws in the red zone. It was the most accurate practice of Kaepernick’s camp and it continued to prove that San Francisco’s quarterback has built trust in his tight end, Vernon Davis.
Kaepernick connected with Davis on a 60-yard touchdown in the opening team period of practice. An hour later, the two hooked up on several more deep throws. If the 49ers are growing disappointed in the performance of wide receiver A.J. Jenkins offensive coordinator Greg Roman isn’t ready to admit it. Jenkins the 49ers first round pick in 2012 had a rough preseason debut on Thursday against the Denver Broncos. He caught only one pass and that resulted in a turnover when he fumbled.“I think A.J.’s out there competing hard” Roman said. “I think everybody has those plays. You’ve got to bounce back from them. You’ve got to get better. You’ve got to learn from them.” No NFL coach is going to admit such a thing this early in the game regarding important players.
In the Rams’ backfield competition, Daryl Richardson “looks to be the leader in the clubhouse as he and [Isaiah] Pead enter their second NFL seasons,” reports ESPN.com. Rookies Zac Stacy and Benny Cunningham and second-year back Terrance Ganaway “are also trying to work their way into the mix,” the report said. In today’s NFL it is extremely difficult to find a great coach. It can be even harder to find a coach that will defend his team. The Rams lucked out last season when they hired Jeff Fisher to take over, because Fisher is a coach that will do both. Working as the color analyst for Cleveland’s preseason television broadcast, former Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar did not hold back with his observations and opinions during Thursday night’s game against the Rams. Through the course of the broadcast, Kosar was regularly critical of the Rams, focusing much of his ire on the team’s wide receivers and backup quarterback Kellen Clemons. Bernie screwed the poohc, no doubt about it.
RENTON, Wash. — Pete Carroll may, on occasion, have a bad day. Only you would never know. It would never show. Carroll, 61, the Seahawks’ ever-young-at-heart head coach, and John Schneider, 42, the team’s young general manager, are perpetually up. It takes something fairly huge to stir the doldrums around here. So, with the team a few days from learning the fate of receiver Percy Harvin, the possibility of losing him for the year to a hip injury before the $67-million receiver ever lines up on the field for training camp much less the regular season, it was no surprise to still see all smiles at training camp today. After the Seahawks’ 31-10 exhibition win over San Diego on Thursday night, Seattle coach Pete Carroll briefly turned reporter. He walked to the locker of receiver Stephen Williams, whose two catches for 83 yards sparked Seattle’s second-half offensive onslaught, and asked him the same question local media and fans have been wondering as well — what the heck went wrong during Williams’ three years in Arizona, anyway? As if Seattle needs more ‘talent’ <sigh>. SF should take notice.