INDIANAPOLIS -- Among the lasting visuals from this Friday morning at the NFL scouting combine: West Coasters perched on their nightstands at 4 a.m. PT, eagerly awaiting coin-toss results for 2012 draft order.
I loved hearing from some of them via Twitter while the minutes counted down before Kansas City prevailed over Seattle for the 11th overall choice. The Seahawks will pick 12th, which some fans found appropriate in light of the 12th Man.
The difference between picking 11th or 12th should be relatively small, but it's a big deal to the teams and some of the die-hards. NFL officials tossed a special coin to break the draft-order tie. It was a fun way to begin the morning.
Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli arrived first. He ribbed his Seattle counterpart, John Schneider, by looking at his watch when Schneider arrived a few minutes before the scheduled 7:30 a.m. ET toss.
The ceremony took place behind closed doors. The parties dispersed after a few minutes and had little to say.
Also in the NFC West ...
Darren Urban of azcardinals.com sizes up the Cardinals' quarterback situation with Kevin Kolb and John Skelton competing. Urban: "I think John has earned the ability to be given consideration for the position, just because of what he did, his record and the way he played. But I also think we’ve got a lot invested in Kevin as well for that position. There is nothing wrong with competition. I think it makes both players, all players, better. If we can get somebody to beat Larry Fitzgerald out that guy will be a pretty good football player. There will be competition, absolutely."
Bob Young of the Arizona Republic recaps a wild week of reality television for Cardinals safety Adrian Wilson. Strange stuff. No idea what to make of it.
Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times updates the Seahawks' contract negotiations with various free agents. O'Neil: "Each NFL team has only one franchise tag, and the Seahawks could have two priority free agents in [Red] Bryant and [Marshawn] Lynch, which would seem to leave the Seahawks vulnerable to losing one. There's still time left, though, as the deadline for applying the franchise tag is March 5, and free agency doesn't begin until March 13."
Also from O'Neil: the Seahawks' quarterback outlook heading into the draft.
Clare Farnsworth of seahawks.com offers notes on free agency, the draft and injuries for Seattle. Farnsworth: "Tarvaris Jackson did not need surgery to repair the pectoral he tore during the Week 5 upset of the Super Bowl champion New York Giants, which John Schneider said surprised him. But he said that wide receiver Sidney Rice has had surgery on each of his shoulders -- one to repair the labrum he damaged during training camp and tried to play with, as well as an injury to the other that Rice had played with since entering the league in 2007 with the Minnesota Vikings."
Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com offers a transcript from Jim Harbaugh's media session Thursday. Harbaugh on the unsigned Alex Smith: "Yeah, Alex is our guy. That's well-documented. He had a tremendous season. Definitely as a coach, you worry about a lot of things. And when the quarterback's not signed and is a free agent, that leads to some lost sleep. But I'm excited to be back at work, very excited to be here and see what kind of improvement we can make from year 1 to year 2, and I hope all our guys feel the exact same way."
Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee asks whether the 49ers' can maintain their chemistry this offseason amid potential changes.
Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle says 49ers general manager Trent Baalke remained in character after signing a contract extension.
Also from Branch: a look at the competition for veteran long-snapper Brian Jennings.
Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Browns could be a trading partner with the Rams for the No. 2 overall pick. Browns coach Pat Shurmur, formerly of the Rams' staff: "Yeah, we're willing. With two first-round picks we have flexibility. We can just stand pat and take two really fine players, guys that we would hope to be starters for us. (But) having two first-round picks, you have flexibility if you want to do something."
Also from Thomas: USC's Matt Kalil could be a fit for the Rams. Thomas: "He certainly will be a player the Rams study with the No. 2 overall pick in the draft. True, in Jeff Fisher's 16 full seasons as head coach at Tennessee, the Titans never selected an offensive tackle in the first round. Then again, the Titans had an anchor at left tackle for 13 seasons in Brad Hopkins, including Fisher's first 11 seasons as head coach. It's not as if the Rams have gone nuts selecting offensive linemen in the first round, either. In 17 seasons in St. Louis, the Rams have had 20 first-round picks and used just three of them on offensive tackles. Orlando Pace, taken first overall in 1997, made seven Pro Bowls, was voted to the NFL's all-decade team for the 2000s, and is a potential Hall of Famer."