NFC Notes: Cardinals, 49ers, Rams, Seahawks

     

Cardinals

Usually players make the biggest jump in improvement between their first and second seasons as they get the benefit of a full professional offseason to hone their craft. That was a little different this year with no OTAs, but Cardinals HC Kliff Kingsbury says that didn’t stop QB Kyler Murray from developing this offseason.

“Obviously we would’ve liked to have him on the grass for some offseason training,” Kingsbury said via SI.com’s Alex Weiner. “But, staying in touch with him over the last few months, he has been working his tail off. It has been all football, all the time whether he’s working out or throwing or studying film.”

The Cardinals are a trendy breakout pick in 2020 and a big reason is Murray, who won offensive rookie of the year after being taken No. 1 overall last year. Kingsbury still sees Murray improving despite not having a normal offseason. 

“I feel like he is still going to take some huge strides,” Kingsbury said. “You think you saw a lot of that progression towards the end of the season and speaking with him, his confidence level, his understanding of our system is night and day from where it was last year. We are really fired up to get him out there and try to take that next step this season.”

  • Multi-dimensional Cardinals first-round LB Isaiah Simmons says he’s been focusing exclusively on inside linebacker so far. (Kyle Odegard)

49ers

  • The Athletic’s Matt Barrows points out 49ers RB Jerick McKinnon, WR Trent Taylor and 2019 third-round WR Jalen Hurd are not on the active/PUP list to start training camp. 
  • All three missed the entire 2019 season with injuries but have apparently recovered enough to pass a physical and be ready to practice in some capacity.

Rams

  • Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic believes that rookie RB Cam Akers will finish the season with more touches than running backs Darrell Henderson and Malcolm Brown.
  • Rodrigue mentions Tremayne Anchrum and Cohl Cabral as being two offensive linemen who are likely to end up on the practice squad, considering that they could use some development and are both intriguing options for the Rams going forward.
  • Rodrigue notes that as LB Leonard Floyd tries to revive his career, rookie LB Terrell Lewis may be the one who shows the most promise if he is able to stay healthy.
  • One player to keep an eye on this season, according to Rodrigue, is undrafted rookie LB Christian Rozeboom
  • Undrafted rookie S JuJu Hughes is another player that Rodrigue says would not be a surprise to make the roster.
  • Rodrigue offers a hot take saying that K Lirim Hajrullahu will edge out K Sam Sloman for the kicking competition and that Sloman will be stashed on the Rams practice squad.

Seahawks

  • Per the Athletic’s Mike Sando, Seahawks QB Russell Wilson joined Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes as the only unanimous Tier 1 quarterbacks and one offensive coordinator thought Seattle’s offense held Wilson back: “If Wilson was playing in Kansas City, people would be calling him the best quarterback in the NFL, and if Mahomes was in Seattle, they would be saying, ‘God, this guy is really good, but you wish they would give him a chance early in games.’” 
  • After the trade for S Jamal Adams, the Athletic’s Jay Glazer writes he wouldn’t be surprised if the Seahawks weren’t done making splashy moves. 
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