Around the NFC West: Rams' learning curve

March, 19, 2009
3/19/09
8:15
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch checks in with Marc Bulger as the Rams' quarterback learns a new offense. Bulger expects the offense to be more receiver friendly. That is probably true once the ball is snapped. I'll be curious to see how the receivers and everyone else handles learning the extensive verbiage associated with this system. The Seahawks are navigating away from some of those complexities, hoping shorter learning curves will help receivers become productive with less time in the offense.

John Crumpacker of the San Francisco Chronicle says the 49ers' interest in Steelers free-agent tackle Marvel Smith comes amid concerns about Smith's history of back injuries. Smith's agent says his client is healthy and eager to play near his Bay Area roots.

Mark Purdy of the San Jose Mercury News offers good-natured advice for 49ers coach Mike Singletary. He discourages any potential interest in Broncos quarterback Jay Cutler while suggesting Singletary model some Vernon Davis dreads to keep the players loose.

Daniel Brown of the San Jose Mercury News says former 49ers tight end Brent Jones is among those offering post-career advice to current NFL players at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Jones on retiring young: "Golf gets old after a year."

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com says re-signing Bertrand Berry helps the Cardinals on the field and in the locker room. Same for bringing back Clark Haggans. Urban: "Having guys like him, Haggans and Bryan Robinson still around is big for a guy like Darnell Dockett. I am interested to see how Dockett is going forward, knowing he still wants an upgraded contract and now that his best buddy Antonio Smith isn't around."

John Morgan of Field Gulls offers names for consideration on a round-by-round basis as the Seahawks approach the draft. His thoughts on Eugene Monroe: "Monroe makes too much sense for too many reasons to ignore. He's probably the best offensive tackle in the draft, though some prefer Jason Smith's potential. He's athletic, with great feet; a great fit in a classic zone-blocking scheme, and is an already polished, even dominant pass blocker. Sean Locklear stays left tackle. Ray Willis sticks at right guard. Walter Jones, if he can play, sticks at left tackle and Monroe develops under one of the all-time greats while playing left guard."

ESPN's John Clayton checks in with former Seahawks receiver Bobby Engram. Engram on joining the Chiefs: "This is a young team. I'm excited about working with Matt Cassel. He's calm and collected, and he makes crisp, sharp decisions on the field. This is a team that played well but struggled to win games late in the fourth quarter. You go in there and try to lead by example."

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