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The race West — NFC that is

Posted by Darren Urban on July 27, 2010 – 4:25 pm

This isn’t going to be the last time this topic comes up, certainly. But with training camp closing in, pondering the NFC West is never a bad talking point. Mike Sando over at ESPN.com (who will be in Flagstaff Aug. 1) pointed out during his various roles today that when people want to talk about the West, there probably should be consideration for the Seahawks in the mix with the Niners and Cardinals (No one is saying the Rams have any shot whatsoever, and in 2010, I think that’s fair for such a rebuilding franchise).

Here’s why it’s impossible to ignore the Seahawks — because they have a proven NFL quarterback. Can Matt Hasselbeck stay healthy all season? I’d bet no (and in the end, I don’t see the Seahawks, under a new staff and retooling, being able to keep up). Yet too many things can happen over an NFL season. If the 49ers and Cards are the ones shredded by injuries, the Seahawks can step right in. Who really knows? The Patriots started 0-2 in 2001 and lost their starting quarterback in the process, and all that happened was they ended up winning the Super Bowl and starting a dynasty.

If anyone really knew what was going to happen, they’d quit prognosticating and make a fortune in Vegas (not that I, an NFL employee, would advocate such things).

In the meantime, the Cards are going to have to figure out their own issues in camp. I don’t know if they will chase a veteran linebacker now that Keith Bulluck is gone, but they may — at this late date — prefer to check out their own guys for a week before moving in that direction. As for signings, the only player I think could miss any time in camp could be Dan Williams, and that’s not based on anything but my gut (and the recent past with No. 1 picks). He won’t miss significant time. Frankly, and maybe it’s because I’ve been covering this so long, but unless a guy misses the majority of camp, any rookie holdout rarely makes much of a difference (although it does provide a storyline to write about).

Speaking of which, I’d better start putting together my story budget for camp. I’ll post again tomorrow. As we go to camp though, if you have any interest in following early and often, sign up to Twitter and follow me at Cardschatter.


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Posted in Blog | 20 Comments »


20 Responses to “The race West — NFC that is”

  1. By cardattac on Jul 27, 2010 | Reply

    Oh man that would have been a nice pick up with Bulluck!!! The dude is a beast!!! Oh well…. Anywho….. Man You just cant count out the Seadogs. look at what the cards did the first year we got Whiz in here. 8-8. We had some really good games the year. If my memory doesn’t fail me which is unlikely… LOL Every game that year was a possible win for us. Some of those games were lost by no more then a field goal. You could see the influence of Michael B, Ken and Russ almost right away.

    The cool part though is that although some of the teams in our division have gottin better. I.e. the 49ers and we’ll see about Seachikens…??? We have become that much stronger as well. I know we have lost some guys but we have filled those holes with some really good players. Guys that want to be here and have worked with Ken and Russ before. Not to mention Kerry is back with his coach from the jets who had a huge part in his pro-bowl year.

    Anything is better then Rolle though. (In my opinion). when he got his hands on the ball it was something special to watch but… He didnt get the ball very often and he couldn’t tackle for CRAP!!! He is a better corner then free-safty. But I did like him on our team and I wish him the best in NY. With the group we have know though…. Top 5 D this year baby!!!

    GO CARDS!!!

  2. By AndyStandsUp on Jul 27, 2010 | Reply

    Should be a two horse race, however only one has a chance to be Triple Crown Winner.

  3. By Peter in Canada on Jul 27, 2010 | Reply

    I don’t think you can compare the Seahawks with the’01 Patriots because they plain lack the talent to compete with the Cards and niners. Both teams would need a hell of a lot of injuries to reach their level. I think the Cards are a better comparison with the Pats because they are a good team that have lost their starting Q.B. If leinart or Anderson can approach the Brady level of 2001 then then we are Super Bowl bound.

    Other than that I think the piece is spot on.

  4. By Scott H on Jul 27, 2010 | Reply

    I just don’t see how the Seahawks are going to be in this race. Hasselbeck’s best days are behind him. He’s proven, alright – proven that he can’t stay healthy long enough to save the Seahawks. They have a ton of RB’s but they don’t really have “one” in that they have no one who looks ready to carry the load. And their WR’s? The best they have is TJ Whosyermomma who looked last year like he was going over the hill. AND their O-line took some hits with off-season retirements. If the Seahawks are in this race for any reason, it will be remarkable. That said, it definitely comes down to the Cards and the Niners. While I’m not ready to “crown their ass” ( as Denny Green would say! ) as so many of the experts are, I do have more concern for the Niners than many Cards fans appear to have. I’m not sold on Alex Smith at all. He’s been hanging around for years…always seems to be the guy at the start of the season but then they end up turning to someone else. BUT they have a horse in Frank Gore, probably the best defense in the division ( although I’ll be happy to be wrong about that ), and Singletary has clearly changed the attitude of his players just as Wisenhunt has done for the Cardinals. Well, we’ve seen how much that has meant, haven’t we? I think it is having a similar effect if San Fran. Ultimately, this division may not have changed much at all in this respect – it may all come down to the guy playing QB for the Arizona Cardinals. For the last few years, as long as Kurt Warner was under center, the Cardinals were the team to beat. Period. And I honestly think that if Leinart plays well, the Cardinals will continue to be the team to beat. The NFC West will only be truly up for grabs if Leinart struggles and the Cardinals follow.

  5. By Nick Pepe on Jul 27, 2010 | Reply

    I like that fact that the Cards are considered by many to be second fiddle to the 49ers (5 prime time games, come on man!!!). I like the fact that our key losses (Boldin, Warner, Rolle et all) are so highlighted and our additions not even getting a breath of credit! Key additions: blank???? come on man! Let the play speak for itself. The Cards will come out with the proper attitude, a chip on their shoulder. I trust Whiz and Dockett and Wilson and Fitz and Tim and Beanie and yes, even Matt to come out with something to prove. We have as good of nucleus as any team in the NFL. Let it play out.
    Darren, still looking for how to get the north east Cards fans grouped. You said you would look into how to get a link or hook-up for us in the NE part of the US. Would appreciate any suggestions.
    Hit it straight and not too often,
    Nick

  6. By cardattac on Jul 27, 2010 | Reply

    Yeah I was just watchin NFL network and the Niners are 9th in there top ten teams and Alex Smith is 18th or better in there fantasy picks. No Matt and no Cards!! I cant believe the niners are considered to be so much better then us. If they base it Warner leaving ok…… But Alex Smith??? C’mon man.

    Ah well its all good. The Cards usually play better in these situations. We will take’em by storm again man!!!

    GO CARDS!!!

  7. By Beauchamp on Jul 27, 2010 | Reply

    Darren two things, one do you think you could do an article on the players drafted and retained by the NFC west teams since whiz came to town? Or atleast do we have the least amount of turnover? I know we don’t have chris harrington, buster davis, but St Louis doesn’t have adam carriker and he was a 1st rounder! Secondly I was wondering what your take on who the best lbs in the nfc west are. I know Patrick willis is great but spikes brings that group down simply because Seattle having HIll, lofa, and Aaron Curry is incredible 3. I think this year we need to give the NFC west some respect. Rams should do slightly better, but Seattle, our beloved AZ and San Fran should all have winning records outside of the division and this could be a battle for the crown this year. DO WE FINALLY SHOW THE WORLD THE NFC WEST IS GOOD THIS YEAR!?

  8. By g on Jul 28, 2010 | Reply

    the cards will win the nfc west an go into the play offs you heard it here 1st!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! but i think well have the former browns qb leading the way

  9. By Ben on Jul 28, 2010 | Reply

    Darren,

    I really REALLY do not want to sign up for twitter, but I do not want to miss out on any training camp news. Here are my stupid questions:

    1.) Will all the twitter stuff be posted here as well?
    2.) If I sign up for twitter, can I ONLY get your info? Or will I be swamped with other crap?
    3.) What kind of updates do you plan on doing during camp?

    Sorry if you have already covered this…

  10. By card62 on Jul 28, 2010 | Reply

    2 horse race in 2010 Cards and 49ers.
    I think we threepeat in 2010 and the 49ers will push us to make us a better team. I like the moves the 49ers have been making the past couple of years and they continue to get better.Fortunately for us they can not fix their QB position. I feel better about having Matt Leinart going into 2010 than I would having Alex Smith at QB. I think our 2 games this year will be must see and not decided until the 4th quarter. Go Cards!!!

  11. By darrenurban on Jul 28, 2010 | Reply

    Ben —

    1) Much of the Twitter stuff will be here, yes. Some won’t. And it’ll probably be up quicker on Twitter if that matters to you.
    2) Yes, you can follow just one person.
    3) Twitter helps with immediacy, whether it is someone getting hurt at practice, making a great play, or saying something big in a practice. But again, it’ll be on the site too.

    Don’t sign up if you are opposed to it. I’m not trying to have people go against their core beliefs. ;)

  12. By Ben on Jul 28, 2010 | Reply

    Thank Darren,

    Not so much a core belief, just dont want my phone buzzing all day at work. If I can just sign up to your feed then maybe it is worth it. You just got one more follower, talk about job security :-)

  13. By darrenurban on Jul 28, 2010 | Reply

    Ben —

    With Twitter, you don’t have to have it sent to your phone. You can see it on an Internet page, if you prefer.

  14. By SOLSON on Jul 28, 2010 | Reply

    Darren
    Do we have a shot at Trotter? Would he be a positive addition?

  15. By darrenurban on Jul 28, 2010 | Reply

    Solson —

    I’m not sure how much Trotter has left. It’s fun to talk fantasy football with real life rosters, but I don’t even know if Trotter at this point is an upgrade.

  16. By Jeff Gollin on Jul 29, 2010 | Reply

    Call it “an addiction to good-science” (or something like that) but the way I see it:

    Any team who puts 11 athletic humans on the field at any given time has the chance to win its division (Sometimes the ball bounces funny).

    RIght now, every team is 0 & 0 and has a shot. After Week One, some teams will be 1 & 0 and others will be 0 & 1. It is what it is.

    And so it goes.

  17. By PRIVATE JOKER on Jul 29, 2010 | Reply

    I would have agree with “g” about the QB situation. Leinart is an INT waiting to happen and had plenty of chances to prove his worth when Warner needed some rest. Derek Andersen, combined with excellent wide outs and a QB’s coach in Whiz, will finish the season behind center and lead the Cards to at least a wild card spot. Breaston will also have a career year and step in easily for Q, who will do well in Baltimore but won’t be back in the playoffs anytime soon.

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