NFC West OTA report.
[caption id="attachment_26061" align="aligncenter" width="400"]
The OTA Report is a new series breaking down some of the key battles, performances and injuries that have occurred during organised team activities.
Previous OTA Reports: NFC East
, AFC North
Now, for the NFC West.
San Francisco 49ers
: We know that Michael Crabtree's position is up for grabs as covered earlier
. But just as important is the starting slot at cornerback alongside veteran Carlos Rogers.
There are a three contenders for the number two job, including the high-profile Nnamdi Asomugha, trusty veteran Tarell Brown and the promising third-year prospect Chris Culliver.
Tarell Brown was the previous holder of the spot, but in his 7th season it may be time to hand the job over. Just four days separate the age of Rogers and Asomugha, as they will both turn 32 next month, and Culliver may benefit from this, as he is by far the youngest.
Culliver has been impressing in camps, and is in prime position to move into a starting role across from Carlos Rogers. Still, Asomugha is a proven veteran, if he returns to form it's hard to imagine him not winning the job.
This is an interesting situation for Seattle. Their defensive tackle depth is solid, and the top spots heading into training camp are occupied by Brandon Mebane, Tony McDaniels, Aussie rookie Jesse Williams and fellow rookie Jordan Hill.
The Seahawks require two defensive tackles in their system, which opens an opportunity for the Aussie to take and hold his role.
However, the Seahawks have loaded themselves at defensive end, with Red Bryant, Bruce Irvin and Chris Clemons from last season. Plus they added free agents Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett. You would think that having around $26 million tied up in five players filling two slots on the field is irrational. The 'Hawks may be looking to utilize three defensive ends and just one defensive tackle.
Mebane will lock up the top spot at DT, OTAs and the rest of the offseason is absolutely imperative for Jesse Williams, he could potentially earn a semi-starting job as a run stopper, and good luck to him!
St. Louis Rams
The Rams lost long-time starter Steven Jackson via free agency after allowing him to opt out of the final year of his contract. This leaves the position completely open for any of the four youngsters on the roster.
Second year players Daryl Richardson, Isaiah Pead and Terrance Ganaway will all compete for the job, alongside fifth round rookie Zac Stacy out of Vanderbilt.
Ganaway will likely be cut or end up fourth on the depth chart. While Pead is suspended for week one due to substance abuse he should become a major part of the offence after being drafted last year in the second round.
Daryl Richardson has shown flashes of excellence playing behind Jackson last season, exceeding expectations after being drafted with the second last selection in 2012.
Pead and Richardson should emerge out of camp as the starters, splitting carries. Look for Zac Stacy to make a good push for reps though.
Ah, a classic case of veteran vs rookie, experience vs youth. Two offseason additions will battle for the spot, and Yeremiah Bell should win the job over the honey badger, Tyrann Mathieu. (Mathieu was traditionally a corner back, however the Cardinals will reportedly first use him as a free safety.)
That said, Bell's age may disadvantage him. The veteran is 35 years old entering this season and if injury doesn't occur his body will likely wear toward the end of 2013, when that happens Matthieu's time on the field should increase.
If Matthieu can stay out of trouble, he could become a major part of the Cardinals' secondary, largely thanks to his instincts and athletic ability.
Team News and Injuries:
St Louis Rams
RB Isaiah Pead was suspended for week one for substance abuse, he will still be able to fully participate in all offseason activities.
CB Trumaine Johnson pleaded guilty to reduced charges of reckless driving and refusing a breath test and received a 90-day suspended jail sentence. Charges were dropped, however he will have to pay $800 in fines, make a $2,500 donation to the DUI Task Force and enroll in an alcohol assessment class.
Undrafted free agent WR C.J Akins has been placed in injured reserve due to an Achilles injury.
San Francisco 49ers
RB Frank Gore was forced to sit out of practice during the week with an undisclosed issue, coach Harbaugh stated that it wasn't serious and needed a bit of a rest. Gore is 30 this season, and with the amount of running back talent behind him, this could be his final year with the 49ers.
Number one receiver Michael Crabtree tore his Achilles tendon and is going to miss a considerable amount of time, opening the door for the young receiving corps behind him, including 2012 first round pick A.J Jenkins.
The Niners also inked safety Ross Ventone and hired Eric Mangini as an offensive consultant.
Marshawn Lynch has been a no-show at Seattle OTAs but there's no reason to worry just yet.
The team continues to emphasize versatility throughout its defensive front seven, making it tougher to project exactly where certain players will line up on game day.
That versatility can also be found on offence, with WR Percy Harvin reportedly taking some carries as a runner, much like how he was used in Minnesota.
Promising TE Anthony McCoy's Achilles tear caused a mix up at the position, fifth round pick Luke Wilson will need to step up and contribute right off the bat. Rookie CB Chandler Fenner is also on the injured reserves list for an undisclosed injury.
Rookie WR Ryan Swope didn't participate in OTA's for concussion-related reasons.
2012 first round pick WR Michael Floyd has been running with the first team and has been extremely impressive. Rookie WR Javone Lawson has been placed on injured receive for an undisclosed injury.
Head coach Bruce Arians has been impressed with the revamped offence, including quarterback new QB Carson Palmer.
The offensive line has undergone plenty of change this offseason, with rookie Jonathan Cooper starting at left guard and veteran Daryn Colledge has moved to the right side.
That's the NFC West, keep an eye out for more OTA recaps throughout the week!