NFC Notes: Cardinals, 49ers, Seahawks

     

Cardinals

Regarding Cardinals S Budda Baker‘s four-year extension, GM Steve Keim pointed out a play where Baker made an extra effort to make a goal-line tackle against the Steelers in Week 14. 

“That was an emphasis on what does a Cardinal look like,” Keim said, via Darren Urban of the team’s official site. “To me, that’s everything Budda Baker embodies. His passion, his love for the game, his speed, his explosiveness, and his desire.”

Cardinals HC Kliff Kingsbury called Baker a “great leader” and plays with a high motor. 

“He’s one of those guys with the unique ability to never stop moving his feet through contact,” Kingsbury said. “He’s fearless, and he’s a great leader. Our entire defense feeds off his energy and the way he approaches the game.”

Keim added that re-signing Baker was “at the top of our list” this offseason and it took time to get done due to the uncertainty surrounding 2021’s cap situation. 

“I think that’s why getting this extension done probably took so much time,” Keim said. “Just because of the uncertainty for 2021. That’s going to be something we’re going to have to work through in the future, knowing we have to operate at a certain number. But Budda was at the top of our list. We had to get him extended.”

49ers

Seahawks

Despite entering his 14th NFL season at the age of 35, new Seahawks TE Greg Olsen isn’t taking it easy. The veteran says he can’t afford to since he’s joining a new team for the first time in years. While he could afford to practice smarter instead of harder in Carolina, Olsen said he needs all the reps he can get to try and build a rapport with Seahawks QB Russell Wilson.

“Typically in training camp, especially as I’ve gotten older, we were always very selective with the plays,” Olsen said via Pro Football Talk’s Curtis Crabtree. “If it was a pass or a look I needed to get in the run game or pass protection, I was always in there to get it. But I didn’t take the extra stuff and here I find myself – when you’re trying to learn a new system – I took for granted all the little things that I just came to know in my time in Carolina. There’s things that the first time I do them here is the only time I’ve ever done them or it’s done a little bit differently than I had done in the past.

“So every rep whether it’s a walkthrough or a jog through practice or full speed team is so valuable and finding that balance between, you can’t take 80 plays every day, but you need all those reps. You need to see things. You need to mess things up. You need to hear Russ say ‘hey, I was thinking you were going to go flatter there.’ You can only gain the real intricacies of playing by playing. You can study the playbook all you want and you can ask as many questions, but until you’re out there out of the field doing it, that’s the only way is to mess it up, or do it right and cement and then learn from it.”

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