Seth Rubinroit of the Daily Trojan checks in with former Cardinals quarterback Matt Leinart, who says his NFL career has been a "roller coaster" to this point. Leinart seemed to have fallen off the map since signing with the Texans as their third quarterback. His contract ran through the 2010 season. Leinart: "Houston helped me get my confidence back, being around great coaches and a great team. It has jumpstarted me this offseason. ... I am not going to give up. I am not going to say it has been unfair, but I am just hoping for the opportunity to come. ... You can either give in to all of the criticism, or you can use it as fuel and motivation. I know what I can do. I am just waiting for the opportunity to go show it. ... I have had a lot of learning experiences and ups and downs, but I know that I have grown as a player and as a person, on and off the football field. I am totally ready to take advantage of the next opportunity I get."
Clare Farnsworth of seahawks.com looks back at the team's inaugural season. Jim Zorn: "We only won two games that first year, but you would have thought we almost went to the playoffs. That’s how enthusiastic not only we were, but the fans were. Everybody was excited."
Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times lays out draft expectations for the Seahawks during his latest chat. O'Neil: "Well, if Seahawks are on the clock at No. 25 and Mark Ingram is still there, the Seahawks would have to look long and hard at that one, and it would be tough to justify passing up a young back with that power and that talent just because you have Marshawn Lynch signed for another year. Remember back in 2006 when a quarterback went tumbling down the draft order, and Green Bay -- with John Schneider in that front office -- didn't have a pronounced need at quarterback. But they took Aaron Rodgers. I think the evidence points to the fact that say all you want about drafting to fit the team, but if you've got a player who is seen as a significant value at an important position, they're going to draft him." O'Neil thinks Seattle is most likely to select a defensive end.
Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune thinks the Seahawks should address their defensive line in the first round. Williams: "I would take Corey Liuget if he is on the board at No. 25 if I was Seattle. He will be an impact player, and with all the injuries they had along the defensive line last year, with Brandon Mebane, Red Bryant and Colin Cole missing a combineed 19 games, I think he makes some sense. Both Pete Carroll and John Schneider said getting more physical up front on both sides of the ball is the team's top priority."
John Clayton tells 710ESPN Seattle he thinks there's a good chance Matt Hasselbeck will not re-sign with the Seahawks. Clayton: "I'm not optimistic now. I'm starting to think that it may not happen. It seems like they did put a good effort in, but they didn't come to the right number. And now it's put the Seahawks in a position where I think what'll happen is, if free agency would start -- and we all don't know when -- I think they'll let him test the market. And that could be dangerous because he could go someplace else. But at this stage I'd say the odds are now slipping away that Matt's going to be here (in Seattle)."
Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch previews visits the Rams have set up with draft prospects. Thomas: "Heading the list of scheduled visitors is Alabama wide receiver Julio Jones, but several other potential Rams selections at No. 14 overall are scheduled to visit Rams Park today and Wednesday. Among them are Missouri defensive end Aldon Smith, Illinois defensive tackle Corey Liuget, North Carolina defensive end Robert Quinn and California defensive end Cameron Jordan. At least four scheduled visitors are running backs, a sign that the Rams may mean business this year in finding a bona fide backup to Steven Jackson."
Nick Wagoner of stlouisrams.com looks at receiver options for the Rams in the draft. Wagoner: "Should A.J. Green or Julio Jones somehow fall into the Rams’ range, though, they would both almost certainly draw serious consideration for the pick. More likely, should the Rams opt to land a pass catcher; it will have to come after the first round barring a trade down in the first round. There are some intriguing options after Green and Jones. Boise State’s Titus Young, Maryland’s Torrey Smith, Kentucky’ Randall Cobb and Indiana’s Tandon Doss figure to land somewhere in the second round or early in the third."
Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com revisits Gary Plummer's dismissal as the 49ers' radio color commentator. Maiocco: "Plummer certainly did not sugarcoat what he witnessed. There were two separate episodes last season in which Plummer's words on the broadcasts angered many in the organization. In games against Seattle and Philadelphia, Plummer stated flatly that receiver Michael Crabtree and guard Chilo Rachal should be benched. The organization, which controls the broadcasts on flagship station KNBR, does not deny there was friction over those isolated occurrences. But the man in charge of the move is adamant Plummer was not fired because he criticized the team. He says Plummer was given freedom to criticize as he saw fit."
Also from Maiocco: a look at how fans envision the first seven picks of the draft unfolding.
Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee says ex-49ers quarterback Gio Carmazzi decline to participate in an ESPN piece looking at the six quarterbacks drafted ahead of Tom Brady in 2000. Barrows: "The second quarterback taken that year was Hofstra's Gio Carmazzi, who was selected by the 49ers in the third round. The 49ers were so jazzed about Carmazzi that one of the offensive coaches at the time -- I will spare him the embarrassment and not identify him -- stood up on a table during a draft meeting and passionately extolled Carmazzi's virtues. He was the 49ers' quarterback of the future, the heir to Joe Montana and Steve Young. Carmazzi, as any decade-long suffering 49ers fan knows too well, never threw a regular-season pass for the 49ers. (And if you saw his preseason passes, you know why). The Boston Herald, which had a sneak preview of the 50-minute feature, writes that 'Carmozzi (sic) is now a yoga-obsessed farmer who has five goats. He was the only one who did not agree to an interview.' "
Also from Barrows: Two running backs are scheduled to visit the 49ers.
Kevin Lynch of Niner Insider says Cam Newton's ability to lead comebacks at Auburn reminds him of Joe Montana's comeback efforts at Notre Dame.