Cal DL dwarfs Stanford players at Sr. Bowl

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Cal DL dwarfs Stanford players at Sr. Bowl

Jan. 26, 2011MAIOCCO ARCHIVE49ERS PAGE 49ERS VIDEOMatt MaioccoCSNBayArea.comMOBILE, Ala. -- Stanford dominated the Bay Area college football scene, but it was a player from Cal who turned heads at the Senior Bowl practices this week.RELATED: Pac-10 Standings
From the moment Cal defensive lineman Cameron Jordan stepped on stage to be weighed and measured, he was among the most talked-about players among NFL coaches, executives and scouts.While many of the top seniors in the nation disappointed onlookers Monday with smaller-than-advertised physiques during the official weigh-in, Jordan passed the eyeball test and firmly lived up to his listed measurements.
Listed his senior season at Cal as 6-foot-4, 283 pounds, Jordan was -- in fact -- 6-4 and one-eighth inches, 287 pounds.
"It's my real height," Jordan said. "And my hair is low, so I know that's my true height."At his size, Jordan is capable of playing defensive end in either a 4-3 or 3-4 scheme. Scouts talked about his power at the point of attack, as well as his ability to explode off the line of scrimmage as a pass-rusher.He is almost certain to be the first and only player from a Bay Area school to be chosen April 28, when the NFL conducts the first round of the draft.Jordan's father is Steve Jordan, a six-time Pro Bowl selection at tight end for the Minnesota Vikings during his 13-year career. His son never played tight end, preferring to hit rather than be hit, he said.Cameron Jordan certainly did a lot of hitting throughout his Cal career. He recorded 5.5 sacks and 12.5 tackles for a loss as a senior. During the week at the Senior Bowl, Jordan was regarded as one of the three best players, along with Texas A&M outside linebacker Von Miller and Baylor 337-pound nose tackle Phillip Taylor.The Senior Bowl will be played Saturday at 1 p.m. (PT), and televised on the NFL Network.
Stanford fullbacklinebacker Owen Marecic (6-0, 246) did not have to decide which side of the ball to play during the week of Senior Bowl practices. That decision was made for him."I was invited here as a fullback," Marecic said. "I don't have a preference. I'm very happy to be here in whatever I can do to help out the team and improve my football skills."Marecic is regarded as the top fullback in the draft class -- a distinction that is likely to see him drafted in the middle rounds. He is seen as a solid player who will be expected to be a core special-teams player from the outset of his NFL career.With his background in the West Coast system, Marecic is likely to hold special value for select teams. It would not be a surprise if the 49ers target him with a mid-round pick to join coach Jim Harbaugh in the NFL. Marecic said he would relish an opportunity to play again for his Stanford coach."He's very energetic and very intense, and in a way that inspires you to exceed your own expectations and your own abilities, in some cases," Marecic said of Harbaugh. "It made him a great coach and it's the reason the Stanford program really turned around and all the success we've had at that rested on his shoulders."That personality that makes him so unique and such a great coach can apply to any level." There is no denying the Stanford system was beneficial to prepare offensive players for the professional game. But nose tackle Sione Fua (6-1 34, 307) took advantage of the defensive scheme to get him ready for the next level, too.RELATED: 49ers hire Fangio as defensive coordinator
When longtime NFL assistant Vic Fangio installed the 3-4 defense at Stanford before last season, players such as Fua spent hours studying Baltimore Ravens game film. So the week of work with the Cincinnati Bengals' coaching staff at the Senior Bowl was a seamless transition."The big thing in going from coach Fangio's defense to here, the scheme we're running at the Senior Bowl is similar to what we did," Fua said. "Just the terminology is different. It's stuff I've run already but with different names and maybe little tweaks in the technique. It's easy for me to pick up. I know what I'm doing and I've done it before."Fangio spent one season at Stanford and moved with Harbaugh to the NFL earlier this month. Fangio was hired as the 49ers' new defensive coordinator. Fua played in a 4-3 scheme with Stanford before Fangio's arrival, so he is should be adept at whatever defense he is asked to play in the NFL."Two years ago, the defense was more of a read-and-react defense, and the linemen were asked to tie up blockers for the linebackers," Fua said. "Whereas, this year with coach Fangio, we were penetrating and try to get in the backfield, trying to knock those linemen back and close the running lanes."In speaking with scouts, Fua is projected as a fifth-round pick. He does a nice job of stuffing the run but has not shown much pass-rush capabilities. Niners running back Frank Gore, who sustained a hairline fracture of his right hip on Nov. 29, had a recent MRI that revealed the fracture has healed, according to a source at the Senior Bowl. Gore is ahead of schedule in his rehabilitation and should be cleared to begin running in two weeks. The injury did not require surgery. Agent Drew Rosenhaus said Gore is "feeling great."What's your take? Email Matt and let him know. He may use it in his Mailbag.

Cam Newton benched to start game vs Seahawks for breaking dress code

Cam Newton benched to start game vs Seahawks for breaking dress code

SEATTLE — A missing necktie led to Carolina quarterback Cam Newton getting benched for one series on Sunday night.

Ron Rivera didn't expect it to last just one play.

Carolina's miserable night was capped by a 40-7 loss to Seattle following the most awkward of starts. With Newton being punished for not having a necktie for the team flight to Seattle, the Panthers' starting QB watched backup Derek Anderson throw an interception on the first play of the game.

The turnover only led to a field goal for Seattle, but it was the start of an otherwise forgettable performance by the Panthers that provided another blow to the dwindling playoff hopes of the reigning NFC champions.

Newton missed just one play, but was also just 14-of-32 passing for 182 yards and one touchdown. After pulling within 10-7 in the second quarter, Carolina let Seattle score the final 30 points.

Seahawks lose Thomas, but run all over Panthers in Seattle

Seahawks lose Thomas, but run all over Panthers in Seattle

BOX SCORE

SEATTLE -- Thomas Rawls ran for 103 yards and two touchdowns in the first half, Tyler Lockett took a reverse 75 yards for a score to open the second half and the Seattle Seahawks routed the Carolina Panthers 40-7 on Sunday night.

Another prime-time game in Seattle was clouded with odd story lines right from the outset when Carolina quarterback Cam Newton was benched for the first play, only to watch backup Derek Anderson throw an interception . It was the start of miserable night for Carolina (4-8) and a laugher that moved Seattle (8-3-1) one step closer to the NFC West title.

Rawls and the run game set the tone for Seattle, gashing the second-best run defense in the NFL for 240 yards. Carolina entered the week giving up less than 80 yards per game on the ground.

Rawls finished with 106 yards on 15 carries, quiet in the second half after briefly being checked for a concussion. He was just the second 100-yard rusher for a run game that has lagged most of the season. Rawls' 8-yard run gave Seattle an early 10-0 lead and his 45-yard sprint early in the second quarter pushed it to 17-7.

Russell Wilson was 26 of 36 for 277 yards and a 1-yard scoring pass to Jimmy Graham in the fourth quarter. The Seahawks rolled up a season-high 534 yards and kept a three-game lead over Arizona in the division with four remaining.

Seattle safety Earl Thomas broke a bone in his lower left leg during a first-half collision with teammate Kam Chancellor while trying to intercept Newton's pass. Thomas hobbled off the field putting no weight on the leg and X-rays revealed a "cracked tibia," coach Pete Carroll told Seattle's radio broadcast.

On the play after Thomas' injury, Newton hit Ted Ginn Jr. on a 55-yard touchdown pass to pull the Panthers to 10-7. It would be the only highlight for Carolina.

Rawls immediately answered, darting through the Carolina defense for the 45-yard touchdown run and a 17-7 lead. Steven Hauschka added two more field goals before halftime and Lockett raced 75 yards on a reverse on the first play of the second half. In less than 10 minutes of game time, Seattle extended the lead to 30-7.

Newton's benching was for a dress code violation, according to the NBC broadcast and the single play he missed could not have gone worse. Anderson rolled out to throw a pass to Mike Tolbert. It bounced off Tolbert's hands and into the arms of Mike Morgan, a disastrous result for that only added to questions about coach Ron Rivera's intention with the punishment.

Newton finished 14 of 32 for 182 yards.

LOPSIDED RESULT

It was seventh meeting in the past five years between the Seahawks and Panthers, playoffs included. It was the first time of the seven the game was decided by more than 14 points. Five of the previous six were decided by seven points or less. The biggest win during the stretch was Seattle's 31-17 win in the 2014 playoffs.

BATTERED PANTHERS

Carolina's injury list grew again.

The Panthers were already without starters Kurt Coleman and Luke Kuechly (concussions), and defensive end Mario Addison (foot) on defense, and right tackle Daryl Williams (ankle) on offense. Carolina then lost cornerback Daryl Worley and linebacker David Mayo to concussions against the Seahawks.

THOMAS TWEETS

One of the most emotional players on Seattle's roster, Thomas hinted at retirement in a tweet sent just before halftime.

"This game has been so good to me no regrets. A lot is running through my mind including retirement thanks for all the prayers," Thomas tweeted from the Seattle locker room.

Thomas missed the first game of his career last week at Tampa Bay due to a hamstring injury.

UP NEXT

Panthers: Carolina returns home and hosts San Diego.

Seahawks: Seattle travels to Green Bay.