<
>

Around the NFC West: Sizing up the 49ers

6/19/2009

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat provides a comprehensive overview of the 49ers heading toward training camp. He thinks Damon Huard is more likely than Nate Davis to earn a spot on the 53-man roster initially. He thinks Vernon Davis will fare better this season. He calls Jason Hill's durability a key variable in determining whether Hill will earn a roster spot [dovetailing with what I've said about injuries often helping to make decisions at that position]. Maiocco: "The success of the 49ers will be determined, mostly, by the performances of their offensive coordinator, quarterback and pass rush. And, frankly, there are big questions about each of those spots."

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee provides a projected depth chart for the 49ers. Can Brandon Jones push his way up the depth chart at receiver? Barrows has him as a third-stringer.

VanRam of Turf Show Times says Oshiomogho Atogwe needs a new long-term deal to avoid becoming a restricted free agent -- again -- if the NFL and its players fail to extend the collective bargaining agreement. VanRam: "If he and the team don't come to terms on a long term deal this year, he'll be forced to go through restricted free agency again next season, where he'd earn less money even at the highest offer than he would this season under the franchise tag. This season, the highest tender for RFAs paid the player $2.79 million; Atogwe would get $6.3 million as a franchised safety."

Clare Farnsworth of Seahawks.com previews the team's defensive line heading into training camp. Coach Jim Mora: "We knew when we installed this defense that we wanted to have a definitive nose tackle [Colin Cole, backed up by Red Bryant] and a definitive three-technique [Brandon Mebane]."

Also from Farnsworth: glowing reviews for second-year Seahawks tight end John Carlson. Mora: "John looks like he's going to be pretty special. He's a worker. He's created a really good-looking body for himself. He's strong. He's physical. He's got soft hands. He's smart. He's conscientious. He's serious about being a great player." Carlson does look stronger physically.

John Morgan of Field Gulls thinks the Seahawks should give linebacker Will Herring a few more chances in pass coverage.

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com provides photos from promotional shoots featuring Reggie Wells, Larry Fitzgerald and Bryant McFadden.

Lynda Waddington of the Iowa Independent says Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner helped raise $500,000 to help build homes in Cedar Rapids. Waddington: "The couple remained in Cedar Rapids after the initial rally to physically help with the building of walls and raising of roof trusses."