Around the NFC West: 49ers' tackle situation

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat says Marvel Smith's expected retirement leaves the 49ers' offensive line worse off than it was when last season ended. Maiocco: "It is believed that the 49ers are holding out hope Smith will reconsider his decision and still be able to fill a role as a backup at both offensive tackle positions." The 49ers should be OK if Adam Snyder plays a full season. They would be in trouble if Barry Sims opened the regular season as a starter. With Sims starting Saturday night, the 49ers might need Vernon Davis to help protect.

Daniel Brown of the San Jose Mercury News says 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis grew up a Cowboys fan in a big way.

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic says the first half was an "embarrassment" for the Cardinals against Green Bay. Coach Ken Whisenhunt: "Guys came in here and didn't really care about the game. Green Bay came in here on a mission, and that was to prove they were a good football team. They said publicly they thought this would be a good mark for them, because they thought we were a good football team, but we weren't a very good football team tonight."

Also from Somers: Beanie Wells' performance provided a rare bright spot for the Cardinals.

More from Somers: While Whisenhunt was close to seething, the Packers felt great about their performance. Somers: "After getting four sacks last week, the starting defense failed to get to Packers QB Aaron Rodgers. He had too much time to throw, completing 14 of 19 for 258 yards and three touchdowns. In one half."

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com says Whisenhunt was "extremely disappointed" in his team's performance. Urban: "The Cards' starting defense, which hadn't allowed a point, was run over in the first half, allowing a stunning 357 yards."

Eric D. Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune offers keys for the Seahawks heading into their game against the Chiefs. A little more from the running game would help.

Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times profiles Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley. Said Monte Kiffin: "I knew he was going to be a coordinator, and someday a head coach. With some people, you can just feel it. He's outstanding."

Clare Farnsworth of Seahawks.com says the team expects its zone-blocking scheme to hit stride after six or seven games. Offensive cooridnator Greg Knapp: "It's the same transition I went through in Atlanta and the same transition I went through in Oakland. It's not going to happen as fast and as much as it was talked about. It will take -- I don't know -- five, six, seven games into the season before the guys finally get comfortable with it."

Greg Johns of seattlepi.com sizes up Michael Bennett's chances for earning a roster spot on the Seahawks' defensive line.

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says Kyle Boller's gritty play has earned respect from Rams teammates. The quarterback bounced up quickly following a crushing hit against the Bengals, then assured teammates the team was about to score. He was right. Guard Richie Incognito: "Oh, he's a tough kid. He popped right up. He got right back in the huddle and he kept going. It didn't even faze him. I would've taken a second to shake that bad boy off; he took it right on the chin."

Also from Thomas: a look at which players might earn spots on the Rams' 53-man roster. He places defensive tackle Hollis Thomas on the bubble.

Bill Coats of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says Jason Smith is taking small steps toward the Rams' starting lineup. Smith: "I never look at my draft status or what (outside) people think. I feel that I'm progressing at a steady pace."