NFL Notes: Draft, Buccaneers, Cardinals

Draft

  • Charles Robinson mentions that a number of NFL personnel evaluators singled out Alvin Kamara as the player to watch during the draft process last year. The player evaluators teams are keeping an eye on this year, according to Robinson, is Georgia RB Sony Michel.
  • Oklahoma State QB Mason Rudolph said he plans to meet with the Bills at the Senior Bowl this week. (Vic Carucci)
  • South Dakota State TE Dallas Goedert said he had a formal interview with the Saints on Monday morning. (Josh Katzenstein)
  • Utah DE Kylie Fitts had a formal interview with the Saints at the Senior Bowl with team executives Mickey Loomis and Jeff Ireland. (Josh Katzenstein)
  • Oklahoma State WR James Washington had an early meeting with the Cowboys and thinks he would complement Dez Bryant well if they were both playing for Dallas next season. (Drew Davison)

Buccaneers

Buccaneers GM Jason Licht explained his decision to retain the team’s coaching staff, despite a disappointing 2017 and their reported interest in hiring Jon Gruden.

I would say this — even before I arrived here, I had heard that there had been changes made after two years. We hired Dirk, we believed in Dirk, I really believed in Dirk, and we believe that continuity is important,” Licht told Jenna Laine of ESPN. “I don’t want the 2016 season to get lost, where we showed a lot of gains and we went on a run there and were knocking on the door there at the very end — I don’t want that to get lost after one year where a lot of things didn’t go right.”

“I said before that I don’t believe that you forget how to coach,” Licht added. “And let’s remember that a year ago, we were being lauded for keeping Mike Smith, who has been a head coach and has also been a very successful coordinator in this league and was the defensive coordinator of a defense that had one of the more historic turnarounds in 2016. Sometimes the worst decision is to move on.

Cardinals

  • New Cardinals HC Steve Wilks admitted that the “elephant in the room” is that they don’t have a quarterback in place, but he said they’ve already discussed their plan to address the position. (Darren Urban)
  • Cardinals GM Steve Keim added: “The better quarterback we add, the better coach he will be.” (Darren Urban)
  • Wilks would like to have his coaching staff in place before the Super Bowl and he is currently conducting interviews. (Darren Urban)
  • As for potential changes to the defense, Wilks said: “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.” (Darren Urban)
  • Wilks said he had a conversation with veteran WR Larry Fitzgerald, but he did not indicate whether he will return for the 2018 season. (Darren Urban)
  • Sources tell Josina Anderson that several Cardinals’ coaches have been told that they are being relieved of their duties now that the team has hired Wilks as their new head coach.
  • Jason La Canfora reports that Darrell Bevell completed his interview with the Cardinals and remains in mix for their offensive coordinator position. However, other teams including the Vikings are interested in him.