NFC West Notes: Cardinals, Rams, Seahawks



A little known fact about Cardinals HC Kliff Kingsbury is he actually got his start in coaching unofficially with the Patriots. He was drafted in the sixth round by New England in 2003 and spent his entire rookie year on injured reserve. Patriots HC Bill Belichick enlisted Kingsbury as an unofficial quality control coach helping the team gameplan for the next week’s opponent on offense. Kingsbury said “it was like getting a Ph.D. in football.”

“It was my first time really behind the curtain of game-planning, to the extent and level of preparation that the Patriots did it,” Kingsbury said via Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer. “To be able to see that as a young player and at a young age was incredible. I didn’t realize what all went into it, and especially at that place. There was no stone unturned. And I got to see that first-hand.”

  • Kingsbury says the team will start dialing back CB Patrick Peterson‘s reps to prepare others for Peterson’s six-game suspension to start the season. (Darren Urban)
  • Candidates to start during Peterson’s suspension include Tramaine Brock and second-round rookie Byron Murphy.
  • Kingsbury mentioned G Justin Pugh could be ready to play by Week 3 of the preseason against the Vikings. (Urban)


The Rams don’t have many concerns about HC Sean McVay, signing him to a big extension through 2023 after he guided the team to the Super Bowl in his second season. If there are any concerns, it would be that the 33-year-old coach could burn himself out. However, McVay spent a good chunk of this offseason in Europe recharging and getting engaged. Now he’s ready for another run at the championship. 

“I’m excited about this season,” McVay said via Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer. “I think this is as fresh as I’ve felt. It was good to have that break after the offseason, even though it goes a little longer when you’re playing into the Super Bowl, and the offseason was shorter. It was really the first time I was able to decompress and then truly get so excited about getting back with these guys. You’ve got an enthusiasm and an excitement—you’re ready to go.”

  • The Athletic’s Vincent Bonsignore writes that Rams C Brian Allen and G Joe Noteboom both sitting out the preseason opener was a vote of confidence by McVay: “We felt good about the work that they got this week and really talking to them. Where’s their mindset? Those guys are always going to be players that want to compete but I think they felt like they’re in a good place.”
  • McVay adds second-round S Taylor Rapp is standing out despite the plethora of responsibilities they’re putting on his plate: “We’re seeing the guy we loved so much watching tape at Washington and he’s really starting to play where he’s not thinking, he’s just reacting, and that’s what makes him a special player.”
  • So far, Rams RB Todd Gurley has had a pleasantly uneventful training camp, per McVay: “Todd is feeling really good….He’s continuing to really show a lot of the things that make him such an elite player and I think he’s feeling really good. It’s been a smart plan with Todd…and we’re are going to continue to follow that.” (Adam Schefter)


Seahawks RB Chris Carson has cemented himself as the lead committee back in Seattle after coming in as a seventh-round pick. The team has continued to search for a pass-catching back to round out their backfield, but Seahawks HC Pete Carroll says Carson, who has 27 career catches, can fill that role. 

“Chris may have the best hands on the team,” Carroll said on SiriusXM NFL Radio via Pro Football Talk. “He’s got a great catching range and really comfortable catching the ball in all different kinds of positions. He’ll catch the ball more this year, for sure. That’s something we want to expand his role, which he’s capable of doing. We’ll play him more on third downs because he is such a capable guy.”

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