NFC Notes: Cardinals, 49ers, Rams, Seahawks

     

Cardinals

Cardinals CB Patrick Peterson had an impressive streak going into last season. The former fifth-overall pick had made the Pro Bowl every year for seven years straight, but a six-game suspension to open the season derailed Peterson’s 2019.

“When he first came back, he wasn’t right,” Cardinals DC Vance Joseph said via NFL Media’s Jim Trotter. “When you miss six weeks of fastballs and you come back and you’re seeing instant fastballs, it was tough on him. The last month of the season, I was so proud of him, because he became so self-aware of where he was as a player — and that’s hard for the great ones to do, to say, ‘You know what, I’m not playing good. Help me, coach. Help me with my football IQ. Help me with my stance. Help me with my fundamentals.’ That last month of the season, he was the best corner in football. It wasn’t even close. That dude played so good.”

Going into 2020, the veteran corner is locked in and determined to get back to his former standard. 

“Pat has always been a fun, playful, loving guy, but you can see there’s a different look in his eyes,” Cardinals GM Steve Keim said. “It’s more about being laser-focused right now. There’s a mentality that, I’m going to fix this. I’m going to change the perception that I didn’t play well and that maybe I’ve lost it. I think he’s destined to have a great year just because of that motivation.”

49ers

  • Matt Barrows of The Athletic says not to assume the Raheem Mostert will be the 49ers’ starting running back, considering that HC Kyle Shanahan and RBs coach Bobby Turner like starting Tevin Coleman because he’s “bigger and more physical.”
  • Barrows expects Coleman to continue starting with the coaching staff going with whoever has the hot hand that day.
  • Barrows can see RB Jerick McKinnon operating as the team’s third-down back and possibly line up as a slot or outside receiver in certain formations. 
  • Barrows could see 49ers’ first-round WR Brandon Aiyuk becoming Jimmy Garoppolo‘s top target “outside-the-hashes.” He notes that Aiyuk’s “size, very good speed, and extremely long arms” make him a prime receiver on deeper passes and sideline routes. 

Rams

Rams’ third-round RB Cam Akers said he is approaching this offseason like a veteran player. 

I don’t approach each day like a newer guy,” said Akers, via Gary Klein of the LA Times. “I approach each day to try to get that feel of a vet, to try to learn and establish myself in the offense. So, that’s my approach every day, try to learn and get better. Hopefully, by the time September 13th rolls around, I’ll have everything rolling.”

Akers added Falcons and former Rams RB Todd Gurley told him to focus on pass protection prior to getting released. 

“Work hard and pass protect,” said Akers. 

  • Andrew Marchand of the New York Post reports ESPN talked to Rams HC Sean McVay about a job as a broadcaster in their Monday Night Football booth. 
  • ESPN let it be known that whenever McVay wants to leave coaching, he has a job in the booth at ESPN if he wants it. 

Seahawks

Seahawks WR John Ursua was shocked after he tested negative for COVID-19 just one day removed from testing positive.

“I’ve been hearing a lot about how there are a lot of false positives out there so I was just kind of crossing my fingers, hoping that everything would be OK,” Ursua said, via Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times. “It’s just been a crazy experience to just see that I tested positive one day and then the very next day I tested negative.”

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