NFC West Notes: 49ers, Cardinals, Seahawks

     

49ers

49ers S Jimmie Ward believes their team is “still loaded” defensively despite trading DL DeForest Buckner to the Colts. 

I feel like DeFo is a tough loss,” Ward said, via Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports. “He’s a big part of that defense last year. I feel like Kyle and John did a great job in the draft by drafting Buck’s replacement. Nobody is like Buck. We have to see how this pans out. But, at the same time, I feel like we’re still loaded on the defensive front. I feel like we’ll be just fine, but it’s just a bunch of talking right now. You’ll see Game 1.”

Ward added that 49ers’ new DBs coach Tony Oden plans to get him “more involved” in their defensive scheme. 

I like some of his techniques and just some of the stuff that we’ve been talking about, how I can get more involved instead of just sitting back there in the post or just covering a guy man-to-man,” Ward said. “They’re actually going to get me more involved in the defense.”

Cardinals

Cardinals HC Kliff Kingsbury was intrigued by many of the wide receiver prospects in the draft this year, yet Arizona addressed other positions with their six selections.

“We liked a lot of the receivers in the draft,” Kingsbury said, via AZCardinals.com “But we also like the guys we took last year.”

Kingsbury and the Cardinals still believe in last year’s crop of rookies which includes receivers Andy Isabella, Hakeem Butler, and KeeSean Johnson. There is also the fact that DeAndre Hopkins, Christian Kirk, and Larry Fitzgerald will likely receive a majority of the targets next season.

Regarding Butler, Kingsbury mentioned that he still offers an intriguing skill set, despite a disappointing first year. 

“Tons of ability,” Kingsbury said. “He’s healthy. He’s been working hard this offseason. He knows what we expect of him, and what we think he can be. I’m really excited when we can finally get him back on the field.”

Seahawks

Last offseason, new Seahawks WR Phillip Dorsett had the opportunity to peruse his options after the Patriots let him test unrestricted free agency. Dorsett looked at the Seahawks but ended up re-signing in New England on a one-year deal. That taught him a valuable lesson Dorsett says he carried into his free agency experience this year. 

“I could have went a lot of different places but I just felt like this was the right fit,” Dorsett said via Pro Football Talk’s Curtis Crabtree. “I felt like it was one year – not too late because I could have come last year and I chose to stay in New England, but I didn’t want to make that mistake again.”

  • Brady Henderson of ESPN notes that the Seahawks could still add a veteran running back behind Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny. He also thinks the team could use a veteran defensive tackle and a pass rusher.
  • Henderson mentions that all the Seahawks took on in with CB Quinton Dunbar‘s contract was his $3.25M salary and $250K in roster bonuses, which means none of his $3.5M is guaranteed and there would be no dead money if he’s cut.
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