NFC West Notes: 49ers, Rams, Seahawks

     

49ers

  • NBC Sports’ Matt Maiocco lists 49ers WR Dante Pettis as the top player entering a make-or-break season in 2020. Pettis was penciled in as San Francisco’s No. 1 receiver entering last season but struggled mightily and didn’t catch a pass after Week 9. He’s on the roster bubble entering 2020. 
  • 49ers CB Ahkello Witherspoon is entering the final year of his rookie deal and is likely behind Emmanuel Moseley for the No. 2 corner job to start the season after losing the job in 2019. 
  • 49ers DL Solomon Thomas is also unlikely to be back in 2021, per Maiocco, as San Francisco declined his fifth-year option and even a strong season from the former No. 3 overall pick would likely price him out of their range. 
  • Maiocco mentions 49ers DE Dee Ford, LB Kwon Alexander and C Weston Richburg as players who must stay healthy and play well enough in 2020 to justify what will be massive cap hits in 2021. 
  • Maiocco points out 49ers CB Richard Sherman will be 32 as he enters the final year of his contract and his performance this year is crucial to extending his NFL career. 
  • 49ers LT Trent Williams is also entering a contract year and Maiocco says San Francisco faces some potentially interesting contract dynamics if the team wants to re-sign the soon-to-be-32-year-old. 
  • And while 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo‘s job is likely safe given the usual scarcity at the position, as the quarterback he faces a lot of pressure to rebound after not pulling through in the Super Bowl. 
  • 49ers OL Daniel Brunskill is learning all five positions, but he says he’s especially focusing on right guard where he has a chance to compete for a starting job against veteran Tom Compton and fifth-round rookie Colton McKivitz. (Matt Barrows)

Rams

Rams new offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell said isn’t sure who will be the team’s starting right tackle this year, but has confidence in both Rob Havenstein and Bobby Evans.

“As far as the tackles go, we’re incredibly lucky to have ‘Whit’ [Andrew Whitworth] over there on the left side. I know Jared [Goff] sleeps well at night knowing he’s got the big fella over there,” O’Connell said last week, via Ramswire.com. “But at the same time, that competition and those two guys over there at the right tackle spot, I personally just watching the tape and really studying those guys, I’ve got a ton of confidence in both of them. it’s going to be a great situation for us to have the depth there because the importance of both of those edges being firm and being something that we can have a lot of confidence in is huge.

Seahawks

Seahawks’ veteran OT Duane Brown said he is not considering his long-term future in the NFL and is focused on remaining healthy. 

I don’t think about it too much,” Brown said, via John Boyle of the team’s official site. “I tell myself I don’t want to put a number on when I want to walk away. I’m enjoying it. This year my goal is to stay a healthy as possible, be out there every Sunday. That’s all I’m really concerned with.”

Brown said he has been working on his mobility and flexibility this offseason instead of speed and strength. 

One thing I’ve worked on this offseason is mobility, just being more flexible. For a lot of my career, I’ve just focused on speed, strength, quickness, things like that. I’ve really been big on mobility this year, just being more flexible. Working on my hips more, more body maintenance, being more proactive about my body than in years past. I work very hard, I work out five days a week, so in doing that, the older you get, you have to match it with he same level of physical therapy work, body maintenance, so your muscles aren’t getting too tight or things like that. So that’s been a big point of emphasis for me.”

Brown said he is helping the younger additions on the Seahawks’ roster during their offseason program. 

“For the young guys who haven’t been a part of this team, I’m doing my best just to try to talk to them to tell them what to expect,” said Brown. “We’re going over our playbooks, any questions that anyone has, I’m answering for them. Whenever we’re up and going, we just have to try to shorten the learning curve as much as possible to get that continuity. Again, we have a lot of guys that were in the system last year, so it probably won’t be as drastic as it seems. But it still takes a little bit of time just to get that going, and OTAs and minicamp and things like that are essential. We’ll make it happen.”

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