NFC West Notes: Cardinals, 49ers, Rams, Seahawks

     

49ers

49ers HC Kyle Shanahan has been a big believer in WR Dante Pettis, trading up to take him in the second round last year and publicly maintaining faith this season in the young wideout’s talents as he’s struggled to meet the breakout expectations placed on him before the year began. However, after Pettis failed to catch any of his three targets, including two drops, in Monday night’s overtime loss to the Seahawks, Shanahan appeared to lose patience. 

“He’s had a number of opportunities,” Shanahan said via the Athletic’s Matt Barrows. “And I’m one of the guys who believe in him the most. That’s why he’s here. He’s had his opportunities. The more he doesn’t take advantage of his opportunities, the less opportunities he gets….”

“We’ll see how this week goes,” Shanahan added. “Dante has the ability. But we’re waiting for him to pick it up and have the consistency and take advantage of some of these opportunities he’s gotten.”

  • The Athletic’s Matt Barrows puts TE George Kittle‘s chances of returning this week at only 10 percent, however, he thinks if Kittle can start on-field work next week, he has a chance to play after hyper-extending his knee last Thursday. 
  • The 49ers will be in attendance at free-agent QB Colin Kaepernick‘s workout on Saturday. (Matt Maiocco)
  • 49ers WR Emmanuel Sanders participated in walkthroughs Thursday, which was an encouraging sign for his availability Sunday. (Barrows)

Cardinals

Cardinals WR Christian Kirk said it is strange being a leading receiver given he is younger than most of his teammates. However, Kirk has the benefit of this being his second year in the NFL instead of his first. 

It’s weird,” Kirk said, via Darren Urban of the team’s official site. “You play the little big brother role, just because in football years, I am a year ahead of them. I just kind of use everything I learned last year – especially with how last year went – and prep them for things.”

Cardinals HC Kliff Kingsbury believes their receiving corps is building chemistry with the offense. 

There’s definitely a chemistry that gets developed over time and trust,” Kingsbury said. “You’re starting to see more of that as the season’s gone on. As those guys are getting more reps with the younger players, it’s definitely increased. That’s why we drafted some young wideouts, to grow together and be around Fitz and see how it’s supposed to be done.”

Cardinals’ second-round WR Andy Isabella feels he is “finally” getting action in the offense. 

They’re finally getting me in there a little and letting me run some routes and it’s fun,” Isabella said.

Rams

Last season, the Bears were one of the first teams to crack the blueprint for stopping the Rams’ high-powered offense. This year, the Rams have seen a lot of the same 6-1 front the Bears, this week’s opponent, and eventually the Patriots used to shut down Los Angeles. But Rams QB Jared Goff said the scheme isn’t the biggest reason they’ve taken a step back on offense as they’ve dealt with injuries, particularly on the offensive line, and just general inconsistency. 

“I wouldn’t say what they did has shown up a lot,” Goff said via Pro Football Talk. “It’s something that teams have tried and we’ve beat it at times and we haven’t at times. It’s definitely part of a scheme that people have played not only to us, but across the league. Nothing too crazy, pretty simple. We’ll be ready if they do it again.”

  • Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman writes that two AFC scouts say Rams HC Sean McVay is struggling to adjust now that other teams have figured out his scheme: “He’s an excellent coach but he’s massively struggling right now. No coach in the NFL is struggling right now as much as he is.”
  • Another added Goff is playing “scared” since he’s being hit so much more than the year before. 

Seahawks

Seahawks HC Pete Carroll said their offense must improve on preventing fumbles after committing five against the 49ers in Week 10, which brings their total this season to 18 and 11 lost. 

“We won’t have a chance if this keeps going on,” Carroll said, via Brady Henderson of ESPN. “You can’t win like that. We’re so fortunate. Think how fortunate we are to win that game, that tight of a game, and kick the ball all over the field. Terrible.”

  • Carroll says Seahawks TE Jacob Hollister‘s Week 10 performance wasn’t a fluke and he expects Hollister to be a “tremendous asset” for Seattle. (Curtis Crabtree)

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