Chat with Mike Sando
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, we'll have ESPN.com NFC West blogger Mike Sando stopping by to talk about the latest NFL happenings.
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 now and join Sando on Thursday at 1 p.m. ET!
I am hearing the Packers were at Dez Bryant's pro day. Any indication of interest in the draft.... or just common place visit?
Mike Sando (1:01 PM)
This is not an NFC West question, I realize, but you hit a subject that was on my mind already this morning when I was -- do not ask why -- looking at all the players Ted Thompson's teams had drafted over the years. There were 28 wide receivers, but only one in the first round (Koren Robinson). That doesn't answer your question. I don't have an answer. Ted Thompson doesn't show his cards.
Mike, I'm curious why the 49ers aren't showing any interest in Jared Gaither? Sounds like a second rounder is the asking price and he'd free them up to take Iupati with the 17th pick and use the 13th to take the best player available.
Mike Sando (1:03 PM)
Something is wrong with Gaither if the Ravens are willing to part with him this early in his career. Buyer beware on that one.
Andrew (Maple Grove Mn)
Does Frank Gore saying he doesn't like the idea of running back by comittee mean C.J. Spiller is not gonnna be drafted by the 49ers? Frank doesn't speak out much so they have to respect what he says or not?
Mike Sando (1:04 PM)
Frank Gore is not the general manager. The team has an obligation to draft the best players, not make sure Gore is happy with the draft. Gore's thinking will not be a factor.
The Rams should not answer Dan Snyder's calls. I do NOT see a trade happening, so all this conjecture is just that. Rams are in desperate need of new face of the franchise and a quality QB. There is NO WAY you do not grab him, especially after passing on Matt Ryan and Mark Sanchez for good/mediocre players in Chris Long and Jason Smith.
Mike Sando (1:06 PM)
I wouldn't expect a trade involving the first and fourth overall choices. It's still fun to discuss and analyze the options.
Scott (Sioux Falls, So Dak)
Mike - I'm sure you're asked this a lot, but please enlighten me on this. Why on earth aren't the 49ers making an active play for Donovan McNabb? They need a QB and Smith and Carr just aren't the answer. Thanks - love your blogs and chats!
Mike Sando (1:11 PM)
Great question. I think adding Donovan McNabb would breathe live into the 49ers' locker room and send the team on its way to a likely division title. People from other NFL teams have said the same thing. Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. discussed the matter on the blog, and he also thought it made sense. Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News made an interesting point when he said the 49ers weren't really in position to make such a major move (following front-office changes). Basically, I think the team appears committed to letting Alex Smith prove, once and for all, whether he's the guy.
Jason Dowdy (Stroud, OK)
Would Idaho guard Iupati fit Alex Gibbs zone scheme, and if so, could Seattle take him at 14?
Mike Sando (1:12 PM)
Mike Iupati would not fit the typical profile. He's about 40-50 pounds heavier than the typical Alex Gibbs zone blocking guard.
If the Niners draft Mike Iupatui, is there another o-lineman that you could identify as a possibility in the 2nd-3rd round that they may want?
Mike Sando (1:14 PM)
It would be unlikely for the 49ers to take multiple offensive linemen that early in the same draft. They are probably viewing new line coach Mike Solari as an upgrade. Their line played better late in the season. I think they could use a tackle early in the draft.
If the Niners dont get safety help in the draft, would they consider Darren Sharper or O.J. Atogwe? Also, if they get a tackle with their first pick, would they consider moving back so a team like Dallas could take Dez Bryant? These extra picks could help add depth especially since this is a deep draft.
Mike Sando (1:21 PM)
Atogwe is intriguing for the 49ers given his relationship with Mike Singletary (Atogwe has dated Singletary's daughter). I'm assuming Singletary knows Atogwe well and thinks highly of him. This just in: Rob Sims is signing his RFA tender with the Seahawks, according to ESPN's John Clayton. Doesn't mean a trade is imminent, but it makes it easier to trade him. Back to your question. Sure, I would move back from 17 for additional picks under the right circumstances.
Mike, why has there been zero talk about the Cards and Mt. Cody? I know many think he is a two-down player, but for those two downs, him, Darnell Dockett and Calais Campbell is a pretty formidable line. He would free the LBs up a bit and would also free up Adrian wilson around the line of scrimmage. The biggest concern with him is his weight, and while it's not guarantee, if anyone is going to keep his weight in check its John Lott.
Mike Sando (1:28 PM)
Mel Kiper brought up Terence Cody specifically with Arizona in mind. You can see the video on the NFC West blog. The Cardinals absolutely could use a nose tackle in this draft. Bryan Robinson has been pretty good in the role, but he's up there in years and has not re-signed at this point.
Aaron (San Diego)
Hi mike, I love hearing how everyone thinks that Donovan McNabb will be a huge upgrade in the QB spot, but here is why it doesn't work! He's 34 has a history of injuries, in the last few years they have just been getting worse, the 49ers have invested in Alex Smith, yet never given him the opportunity to grow into a system. You cant have input in a system if you don't know how it works, which has been one of his biggest knocks! Lastly, McNabb has never played in a different system, hasn't had to relearn anything in an offseason, and there is no telling that he would thrive in that situation. He has only had Andy Reid as his play caller, and if you think the offensive coordinators he's been through matter, they don't -- Andy calls all those plays. Care to disagree with that?
Mike Sando (1:34 PM)
I agree with just about everything. I have raised all those points in discussing the matter on the blog. However, I would not say outright that McNabb is too old. He's been more durable than Alex Smith by a wide margin. He is not 34 years old until November. I realize 33 and 34 are close, but if he were turning 35 this season, that would lend additional credence to your point of view. Let's at least agree on his age. Let's also note that quarterbacks have had success in that age range. Let's also agree that McNabb has started 44 of 48 regular-season games over the last three seasons, throwing 74 TD passes with 28 interceptions. Alex Smith has started 17 games over the same period, with 36 TDs and 32 interceptions. McNabb is better than Smith by every measure except untapped potential. Doesn't mean the 49ers should rush into a deal or make a deal lightly. The other points you raised are definitely worth considering.
In your research, how often does a first round pick justify their high costs? Is having two first rounds picks really an advantage when you factor in salary cap implications?
Mike Sando (1:35 PM)
That means little without a salary cap.
Mo (Washington, DC)
Seawawk's Hasselbeck has seemed done for the last two years. Isn't it time for them to fully move on yet?
Mike Sando (1:36 PM)
Move on to what? Does anyone think they should just hand it over to Charlie Whitehurst and take their chances? Matt Hasselbeck is the best option until Whitehurst proves otherwise. That is my view.
Jeff (Cedar Rapids, IA)
From the Rams perspective, doesn't a 1-2 draft of Bradford/Mt Cody (or whichever DT/DE falls out of the first round) make a lot more long term sense than Suh/Colt McCoy?
Mike Sando (1:38 PM)
It does to me. The team did sign Fred Robbins for needed size in the middle of the defense. Adam Carriker could be part of the rotation. Not necessary to take a defensive tackle at the top, although Ndamukong Suh would really help that defense, according to everyone I know who has watched him play extensively.
How long would Denver have to match or decline if a team signed Brandon Marshall?
Mike Sando (1:40 PM)
Seven days. April 15 is the deadline for signing an RFA to an offer sheet. Draft is April 22. The math adds up.
Everyone says that the Niners would be the favorites to win the division with McNabb...well, they're already the favorites. Alex Smith's stats weren't that far off of McNabbs last year, and who is willing to stand up and say that the Niners are just as talented a team?
Mike Sando (1:41 PM)
People are saying the 49ers would be even more of a favorite, then. They would be better.
tom page (bellevue,wa)
I have heard reports all over the board on Dez Bryant from he is the next Andre Johnson to he has bad character and work ethic, what are you hearing on Bryant? The Seahawks need a receiver, but they don't need a Koren Robinson type.
Mike Sando (1:46 PM)
There were maturity concerns with Robinson and there are maturity concerns with Bryant. Robinson had been suspended repeatedly in college. I think there are work-ethic questions with both.
Brandon (Portland, OR)
Quick question Mike. During last season I was questioned why the Seahawks didn't allow Mike Teel to get any reps in a regular season game. Can you please give me your two cents on Teel's future with the Seahawks and provide some insight as to why they didn't allow him to see any reps? The more video highlights I see and the more comments I hear from people that were around him at Rutgers the more I want to see him play during the season. I was hopefull that he would study behind Matt and in 2-3 years be ready to step right in once Matt is done. The recent acquisition of Charlie Whitehurst leads me to believe that maybe the front office is second guessing Teel and what they were expecting out of him.
Mike Sando (1:49 PM)
The scouting report on Teel coming out of college was that he lacked mobility. The Seahawks held up Charlie Whitehurst's mobility as one of the reasons they thought he fit their offense. Until the Seahawks say otherwise, I question whether Teel fits what they want at the position. I'd expect Seattle to draft a third-team QB, most likely.
matty nice (WA)
Mike, can the Niners grab an OL and DB help in the first round?
Mike Sando (1:52 PM)
Yeah, that seems plausible. They could use help at both positions. One of the better cornerbacks should certainly be available. It's unclear how many offensive tackles might be gone, and whether the 49rs would value a right tackle enough to draft him that early.
Are my comments going thru? You've shunned me in all of your chats
Mike Sando (1:53 PM)
Lots of ways to ask questions. Add me as a friend on Facebook, then post to my wall. I don't see all the questions as they come through here, but I enjoy the interaction.
What do you think about Singletary skipping out on OTA's to pal around with Baalke?
Mike Sando (1:55 PM)
It's unusual for a head coach to be one place while his players are practicing. That said, organized team activities aren't a huge deal. The draft is a huge deal. I don't have a problem with it under the circumstances. The more Singletary and Trent Baalke can understand one another, the better the 49ers can prepare for the draft.
How do you think Alex Brown could fit in with the Cards? He was just released from the Bears.
Mike Sando (1:58 PM)
I don't see the fit. Brown was considered a little undersized by 4-3 defensive end standards. That would make him too small to play end in a 3-4 defense. And I wouldn't think he would be a candidate to become an outside linebacker at this stage.
Steve (Las Vegas)
Mike, your insight is always fantastic, and the chats are great. Ken Whisenhunt has shown a reluctance to play rookies early in his years with the Cardinals, but there is a gaping hole in Karlos Dansby's old inside lindebacker spot that I assume they will address early in the draft. If an ILB like Sean Weatherspoon is picked, do you think he would start on day one, or would Paris Lenon and the recently re-signed Monty Beisel be the frontrunners to start the season no matter what?
Mike Sando (2:00 PM)
Thanks. I think Paris Lenon could project as an inside stopgap player in Karlos Dansby's old spot. My understanding was that Larry Foote would have projected more to Gerald Hayes' spot. That said, I think you're right in saying the Cardinals could use linebacker help. Any rookie would have to be the best option to start, most likely. Whisenhunt is big on players earning their jobs.
Jesse Banning (Hayden, Idaho)
What do you think the chances are the Seahawks make a play for Brandon Marshall or Dez Bryant. The Seahawks have not had a true number one in years.
Mike Sando (2:03 PM)
The Seahawks have tried to have No. 1 receivers, from Joey Galloway to Koren Robinson. But you're right. They really haven't had that guy. Seattle appears to be playing a waiting game on Marshall. I think that could still happen, possibly around or during the draft. I'd like that option better than using a first-round pick for a player who has not had multiple 100-catch seasons. Receivers seem to be so hit-or-miss. Marshall is a hit from a production standpoint. And if the price is lower than a first-round pick, good for Seattle. What if the Seahawks traded back from No. 14, gaining a pick late in the first round, plus another second-rounder. Then Seattle could send that late first-round choice to Denver for Marshall before picking twice in the second round. That's just me thinking out loud. Lots of possibilities.
It's official, Alex Brown released by the Bears. Will the Seahawks bring him in?
Mike Sando (2:06 PM)
General manager John Schneider will know Brown well from his days in the NFC North. I haven't asked him about Brown and could not say to what degree Seattle would be interested. But signing a veteran player at least as insurance would make some sense. Brown has shown he can get five or six sacks a year.
I agree with Aaron. It seems to me that the 49ers have finally got some consistency after years of struggling. It seems like they (49ers) have entered OTA's with more fire and desire about the upcoming season. Wouldn't a QB switch sink them back to the basement of the NFC west?
Mike Sando (2:07 PM)
Depends on the type of QB switch. A switch to a really horrible QB would sink them, sure. But Donovan McNabb is not a really horrible QB.
Mike Sando (2:10 PM)
Thanks for dropping by the NFC West chat this week.