The latest NFC West chat kicked off with a question about Seattle Seahawks quarterback Charlie Whitehurst. We hit on some familiar tensions between fans of the Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers. One participant suggested the St. Louis Rams' defense could surprise in 2010. Transcript here. Highlights below:
Chris (Phoenix): Hey Sando! How about some talk about the reigning two-time NFC West champs! Did you see Darnell Dockett's tweets from Tuesday night? "To all my cardinal and dockett Fans I'm gonna post a link that I want u all to read and just try to understand!" Then he followed that up with this: "Nothermind ill just share it with yall at a respectable time. Just know I never wanted things to get this Far!! Ttyl! And much love!" He's been silent ever since. Now, the glass-half-empty pessimistic "same old Cardinals" fan in me worries that this is contract related and will be detrimental to the team, but the Whisenhunt-era and Dockett fan in me tells me that he has put way too much work in this offseason for this to be an issue. Is this a non issue? What's your take?
Mike Sando: Dockett discussed his feelings about his contract with me at the Pro Bowl. My sense is that he has a point of no return in his mind -- in other words, there's a point where he wants a deal from the Cardinals or he'll set his mind to playing out this deal and leaving when he can. I don't know when that point would be. It's an emotional issue for Dockett and he gets worked up about it sometimes. Then he probably has time to cool down and reevaluate. We know he's going to work hard and play hard for the Cardinals. That is his identity and he's not changing on that front, in my view. I'm sure he'll discuss the contract and his expectations at some point.
Matt Ruesler (St. Louis): By what week would you expect Sam Bradford to be starting for the Rams? And also do you think there is a chance that he doesn't play this year to let the young receiving corp and offensive line develop?
Mike Sando: Bradford will definitely play this season. I could see him getting some limited work as a backup early in the season, then taking over the starting job sometime during the season depending upon how things are going. They need to see him play as a rookie. I also think it's wise to bring him along at a reasonable pace. No need to throw him out there against Arizona in Week 1, most likely.
Mike B. (Myrtle Beach, SC): Mike, I am curious to see who you would take if you were the GM during a draft between Michael Crabtree or Dez Bryant if they both came out in the same class. Who do you think has the better talent? Last year, everyone talked about how Crabtree is a can't miss prospect (seems like that is true) and this year the same for Dez. Just wondering what experts think. Thanks, love your blog/posts!
Mike Sando: Thanks. Seeing Crabtree for half a season gives us an advantage in making that call. I'd say Crabtree is more of a sure bet. He would probably be the choice, but I would be worried about Bryant being even better -- based a little bit on the unknown.
So-Cal 'Hawks (Seahawks4life): I've been waiting (like all of us 12th men) for TOO LONG for the Seahawks to find an O line that works well together and has the talent to be great again. Do you feel they have made enough steps forward to be that kind of line in 2010?
Mike Sando: There's no reason to expect greatness from the Seahawks' offensive line this season. You should expect improvement. The Seahawks have to like their situation at tackle a great deal more now that Russell Okung is at left tackle and Sean Locklear can play where he's more comfortable. The question I have about the line is whether Alex Gibbs, a grinder who can burn out in a place, will still be with the team three or four years from now.
Thanks again for keeping the chat rolling. They're always fun for me.