NFC Notes: Cardinals, Rams, Seahawks

     

Cardinals

New Cardinals’ veteran OT Kelvin Beachum said he is excited to be reunited with OL coach Sean Kugler and RBs coach James Saxon in Arizona.  

“It was a situation and a circumstance where I know a number of people in the organization,” Beachum said, via Mason Kearn of Sports Illustrated. “The offensive line coach, Sean Kugler, was my offensive line coach when I got drafted in Pittsburgh. The running backs coach, (James) Saxon, was the running backs coach that was there my last two years in Pittsburgh. (Right tackle) Marcus Gilbert is another player from the Steelers that I played with when I was there in my four years in Pittsburgh, so I knew it had a number of people I knew in the organization. I usually train out here during the offseason, I’ve been doing so the last seven offseasons. And it just seemed like just a natural fit. Again, considering everything that’s going on with COVID, the uncertainty with the NFL season, exposure to my family, being around my family. Just considering, again, all the circumstances that are surrounding the NFL season right now, it just sounded and it felt much like the best fit for me and my family at this point in time.”

When asked about working with Cardinals’ second-year QB Kyler Murray, Beachum said communication is an important factor for younger quarterbacks and compared his recent experience with Jets QB Sam Darnold

“When you’re working with a young quarterback, I think the premier medium that you just have to have is communication,” Beachum said. “You have to be able to communicate to that young quarterback and just be able to talk through situations, talk through circumstances. And I had Sam the last couple of years and was able to build that rapport and build that line of communication as the left tackle. And now coming here and being with Kyler, I’m just excited to continue [helping] him into a young career. (I) know that he’s one of the superstars of the National Football League and know that he’s going to be around for a long time, so excited to be a part of this offensive line and excited to serve. As an offensive lineman, our whole job is to protect and serve. I’m excited to protect him, I’m excited to work with the other linemen that I have across the line, (left tackle) D.J. Humphries and (left guard) Justin Pugh, who I actually work out with out here in the offseason. So, excited to get to work.”

Rams

Lindsey Thiry of ESPN writes that the Rams defensive line has improved following the signing of DT A’Shawn Robinson and the surprise return of DT Michael Brockers after his deal with the Ravens fell through.

Rams star DE Aaron Donald is among those on the team who are excited about Brockers’ return.  

“He’s a huge part of our defense,” said Donald, who also mentioned that Brockers’ contributions go beyond his stats.

“We feel really good with the interior depth,” Rams HC Sean McVay said of the signings of Robinson and Brockers.

Thiry does note that while the defensive line has improved, the linebackers group has only gotten worse. This is due to the loss of Dante Fowler and others in free agency. Fowler was replaced when the team signed LB Leonard Floyd, who had just 18.5 sacks in four seasons with the Bears.

“I gave [the Bears] all I had,” said Floyd on joining the Rams. “It’s time to move on and with L.A. and the Rams I see myself doing very, very good.”

The Rams will also be without veteran LB Clay Matthews, who has gone unsigned this offseason, meaning that LB Samson Ebukam will once again get the chance to prove that he is a starting-caliber linebacker.

The team also drafted LB Terrell Lewis from Alabama, who struggled to stay healthy during his college career but has the physical traits to be a dominant pass rusher in the NFL.

After losing LB Cory Littleton to the Raiders in free agency, the team will have to move forward with young linebackers Kenny Young and Micah Kiser manning the inside, and hope that they benefitted from a year learning the system.

“[It’s] a very inexperienced group,” Rams GM Les Snead said about the linebacker group. “Internally we have, let’s call it, a solid to good to high hopes for this group and we got to do our best to develop them.”

Seahawks

  • ESPN ranked the Seahawks No. 8 in their power rankings for the next three years, as the combination of QB Russell Wilson and HC Pete Carroll should keep them in contention as long as they’re together. 
  • However, it’s unclear where Seattle’s pass rush is going to come from in 2020. 
  • Long-term, the Seahawks will need to continue to invest resources into the offensive line to help protect Wilson. 
  • John Clayton reports the Seahawks had been keeping in touch with WR Antonio Brown and Wilson had been pushing the team to sign him. However, Brown announced his retirement for the third time. 
  • Clayton says the Seahawks will make a run at WR Josh Gordon if he’s cleared from suspension, which could happen in the next couple of weeks. 
  • Seahawks CB Quinton Dunbar was cleared by the court to fly to Seattle for the start of training camp as he awaits trial for armed robbery charges. 
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