Around the NFC West: Challenging Leinart

May, 29, 2009
5/29/09
8:25
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic checks in with Brian St. Pierre, who hopes to unseat Matt Leinart as the Cardinals' No. 2 quarterback. Arizona signed St. Pierre to a one-year deal worth $1 million, including $200,000 in bonuses. Somers: "St. Pierre assumes he's been running with the third team in voluntary practices because a bad back forced him to miss minicamp earlier this month. St. Pierre has never risen above third on the depth chart in his NFL career, which has included stints in Pittsburgh and Baltimore. He turns 30 in November and has played in only one game, throwing one pass [incomplete]. He's eager for a chance to prove himself."

Also from Somers: Gabe Watson underwent another knee surgery after playing and practicing through pain last season.

More from Somers: Thoughts on Anquan Boldin's situation and observations from organized team activities. Lance Long keeps making impressive catches.

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com says Watson feels "100 times better" than he did last season, according to Watson.

David Fucillo of Niners Nation examines the 49ers' situation at quarterback in terms of which players will earn roster spots. He wonders if he is overvaluing Davis by assuming the fifth-round rookie will earn a spot on the 53-man roster. History says: "The assumption that fifth-round quarterback Nate Davis will earn a spot on the 53-man roster appears sound. NFL teams drafted 19 quarterbacks in the fifth round from the 2000 through 2008 drafts. Eighteen earned opening-day spots on 53-man rosters as rookies. The Steelers' Omar Jacobs was an exception in 2006, the year Ben Roethlisberger opened on the bench following a motorcycle accident."

John Morgan of Field Gulls revisits John Carlson's rookie season with the Seahawks, declaring Carlson one of the 10 best tight ends in the NFL. Carlson's potential was obvious as early as this time last offseason. Mike Holmgren couldn't wait to get him on the field. Carlson might get fewer opportunities as a receiver this season given that Seattle should have better options at wide receiver. That's why we shouldn't measure Carlson strictly by the numbers.

Bill Coats of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says linebackers David Vobora and Chris Chamberlain split first-team reps in practice this week. Larry Grant and Quinton Culberson are also candidates. Coats: "Chamberlain, 23, has been working with the second unit on the weak side. His value mainly is on special teams, where he led the team with 19 tackles last year. He saw action on defense in eight games, adding two tackles."

Tim Klutsarits of examiner.com cites a radio interview in which former Saints running back Deuce McAllister expressed interest in signing with the Rams as a backup. McAllister wants to serve as a backup behind a workhorse back. He played with new Rams fullback Mike Karney in New Orleans. His agent even lives in St. Louis. "It definitely sounds like a pretty good fit," McAllister said. The Rams have been going with younger players in most cases. Klutsarits touches on pros and cons associated with McAllister, who continues to recover from his latest knee injury.

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