NFC Notes: 49ers, Cardinals, Seahawks


49ers’ GM John Lynch commented on the trade that sent DT DeForest Buckner to the Colts, which eventually netted the team DT Javon Kinlaw via the draft.

“That was our toughest decision since we’ve been here,” Lynch said, via Eric Branch of The San Francisco Chronicle. “I’m sure we’ll be debated for a long time whether it was right or wrong.”

Kinlaw himself isn’t concerned about what people think of the trade and believes that one day he will be the better of the two players.

“I don’t care what anybody thinks about how I am right now or anything like that,” Kinlaw said. “I don’t care what they say. One day I will be (the best). That’s my take on that.”

  • The Athletic’s Matt Barrows writes that after an intense spike, the hype train for 49ers first-round QB Trey Lance has slowed down somewhat. Incumbent starter Jimmy Garoppolo has been better and strung some solid practices together, while Lance has not been quite as dazzling, though his arrow is still pointing up. 
  • Barrows adds 49ers third-round RB Trey Sermon has been the team’s most consistent rookie. He’s the No. 2 back right now and has shown the team surprising wiggle and effectiveness as a receiver. 
  • The 49ers would love if second-round G Aaron Banks seized the starting right guard job, per Barrows, but he’s still working on his consistency. 
  • Barrows says third-round CB Ambry Thomas has not stood out much, good or bad, while fifth-round CB Deommodore Lenoir has gotten a lot of one-on-one attention from DB coach Cory Undlin


Cardinals LB Isaiah Simmons said he and first-round LB Zaven Collins have bonded over the past few months.

“I felt like we clicked very early,” Simmons said, via “As a player you know players you are compatible with on the field. He and I are definitely compatible. Everything has been smooth sailing so far. (But) we’re both still learning, figuring out how we are going run the defense.”

Cardinals S Budda Baker said both Simmons and Collins have a long way to go to adapt to the NFL.

“It definitely a challenge sometimes to get those young bucks to listen, because they want to be so right all the time and don’t want to make mistakes,” Baker said. “It’s OK to make mistakes right now, you’re learning. Just make sure you don’t make the same mistake twice.”


Seahawks QB Russell Wilson has his eyes set on leading the best offensive unit in football in 2021, citing a new offensive approach that allows him to take more control of the offense, particularly in pre-snap adjustments, as well as the continued development and acquisition of offensive personnel.

I think we can be the number one offense in football,” Wilson said, via PFT. “I don’t see why not. We’re up for it, we’re ready, we were really good last year, had a lot of great things, but we can be even better. We’ve been watching the maturation of (WR) D.K. Metcalf and the continual growth of (WR) Tyler Lockett who has been one of the best receivers in football for the past several years. Then adding (TE) Gerald Everett, a true playmaker in the sense, and TE Will Dissly is feeling really confident right now. I’m really excited for his season, what he’s got in store. (TE) Colby Parkinson too as well, he’s had a really great training camp. You guys have seen him all over the field in practice and he’s doing a great job. Our running backs, obviously (RB) Chris Carson, what he can do. I believe he’s the best in the game, so I think for us we need to find different ways of getting him the football. I think the thing for us is executing all of the details, being aggressive, and that means every opportunity whether it’s the run or pass game. Having that aggressive mentality, every time we touch the ball, we’re scoring. I think that sense, that tempo, and that aggression going after the defense is really key.

Wilson highlighted the differences between the Seahawks offensive scheme under former OC Brian Schottenheimer and current OC Shane Waldron.

I’ve always been able to change the play for the most part,” he said. “Along my career, [former offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer] allowed me to call the plays and stuff like that at the line of scrimmage when we needed to. I think the emphasis of being able to do it all the time, all throughout the game is the key. I think it’s a little bit different in that sense. I have freedom for sure. The fun part is there’s so much we can do and so many reasonings and so many why’s to it. It’s been really exceptional. Really transferring that to making our plays and putting our guys in the best position to be successful.

He added that being on the same page with Waldron allows him to make changes at the LOS and taking what the defense gives him to create positive momentum for the offense.

I think what we’re really focused on is my literally being on the line and doing that and calling it when we need to,” Wilson said. “Just playing fast, that’s what we did the whole first drive if you’ve noticed. It was really at the line of scrimmage. I think the second drive too and later on as well. The thing for us is just, for me, to be able to use what I know, my smarts and understand what we’re trying to do and how we’re trying to get to it. Also, Shane and I being on the wavelength and being at the line of scrimmage and checking the play if we need to. Sometimes just trust the play and going with it as well. That really puts the defense on their heels.

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