NFC Notes: 49ers, Cardinals, Rams


49ers QB coach Rich Scangarello praised third-overall pick QB Trey Lance‘s work ethic, while noting that he, like every other quarterback on the roster, will need to continue to improve his mechanics to become successful in the NFL.

I would just say fundamentally they all are working every day,” Scangarello said, via Jennifer Lee Chan of NBC Sports.It is always a work in progress for where you get, and where you top out at, and your abilities as a natural thrower in this league. I don’t know that you ever stop working at it.” 

Scangarello served as the offensive quality control coach for the Falcons in 2015, where he assisted QB Matt Ryan in adjusting his mechanics that helped usher in a career resurgence.

Matt Ryan’s biggest breakthrough was 2016 when he made a fundamental change to his footwork for our offense,” Scangarello said. “Had a huge impact on his game which you may or may not know. That was late in his career so you never stop evolving. You have to work your craft.” 

Scangarello praised the rookie’s work ethic while complementing the quarterback’s natural ability on the field.

For a young individual to come in here, he’s handled it really well,” Scangarello said. “It’s the most difficult position in all of sports to play. It requires a lot mentally and physically and so far he’s approached it as a professional. He has had the right attitude and he’s just trying to be the best version of himself every day.


Cardinals HC Kliff Kingsbury believes his team is on the verge of taking the next step. His solution to the team moving forward is the little things, something that has been glossed over in the past.

I think we let too many little things slide at practice — Saying we’ll get right in the game,” he told SI’s Albert Breer. “It was that type mentality, and we didn’t get it right in the game. That’s something we made a big emphasis on this offseason, this training camp, Hey we’re going to get it right in practice. If we see something we’re gonna call it out and we’re going to redo it and the players have embraced it so far.” 

Kingsbury is noticing a change in culture within the organization, as coaches aren’t letting the mental errors slide during walkthroughs.

You just see (the impact) in our young guys. Rookie-wise, these guys, we haven’t had one guy late to anything through the offseason, through training camp. They’ve just been dialed in. It’s as dialed in as a class that I’ve seen. I think a lot of it has to do with being able to see those veterans and how it’s supposed to be done.

Cardinals DL J.J. Watt is pleased with his team’s attention to detail and the team’s drive to do the little things right, something that has helped him propel his career to this point.

 “In terms of attention to detail and trying to focus on every single aspect of the game, whether it’s film study, whether it’s practice, whether it’s hand placement, foot placement, things like that, those are obviously things that are going to improve your game,” Watt said. “I think that we’ve got a lot of guys here who are extremely talented and hungry to learn as well, which has been great, that’s been one of the best parts so far from my time here is seeing how eager these guys are to learn and ask questions and get extra work. I’ve really enjoyed that.


Rams’ WR Cooper Kupp is excited to see how quickly QB Matthew Stafford is grasping the Rams’ offense.

“The thing he’s grasping onto quickly is what the goal of the scheme is and being able to accelerate that,” Kupp told Jeremy Fowler of ESPN. “He’s doing stuff where, I know where this is supposed to go, I know my options based on this coverage, so I’m moving guys so it’s not just a bang-bang play. He’s getting guys open, creating space before the ball comes out. His ability to move players underneath and create separation is pretty special.”

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