Around the NFC West: Seahawks owner ill

November, 17, 2009
11/17/09
9:30
AM ET
Brier Dudley of the Seattle Times says Seahawks owner and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Dudley: "The cancer follows a tough bout with heart disease that sidelined Allen, 56, earlier this year and led to a heart valve replacement. Details were largely secret until he confided in an Oregonian sports columnist who had seen Allen accompanied by a doctor to Blazers games." Wrote Allen's sister, Jody: "He received the diagnosis early this month and has begun chemotherapy. Doctors say he has diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, a relatively common form of lymphoma. This is tough news for Paul and the family. But for those who know Paul's story, you know he beat Hodgkin's a little more than 25 years ago and he is optimistic he can beat this, too."

Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times details the war of words between Seahawks coach Jim Mora and Cardinals defensive tackle Darnell Dockett after Fox cameras caught Dockett pushing his elbow into Seattle quarterback Matt Hasselbeck's throat following a play. It's good to see a head coach defend his players. The Cardinals' Ken Whisenhunt did so last season after Hasselbeck accused Arizona's Adrian Wilson of an illegal hit. Mora is taking the verbal sparring a little far, in my view, when he suggests the Seahawks should do the same thing to Kurt Warner if officials are going to allow it. Mora: "If it's illegal, then it would be called. If it's legal, then we should be doing it, if it's legal. I would never advocate us doing anything that's illegal, nor would I advocate us doing anything that would harm -- intentionally harm -- another player. But if that's legal, if the league is not going to call that, then we should be doing it because it has an effect on the quarterback when he can't breathe." Stay classy, NFC West.

Eric D. Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune says Seattle running back Julius Jones probably will not play against the Vikings in Week 11 after suffering a bruised lung and possible cracked rib during the Seahawks' 31-20 defeat at Arizona.

Bob McManaman of the Arizona Republic looks at the challenge facing Arizona's run defense as the team prepares to face Steven Jackson, Chris Johnson, Adrian Peterson and Frank Gore over the next four games. Whisenhunt: "Well, it's going to be a challenge. But what I like about our team is they usually respond pretty well to a challenge. Those guys we've got coming up are very, very good, so our guys know it will be a challenge."

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic says the Cardinals' Wilson was not to blame for the blown coverage allowing Seattle's John Carlson to score a touchdown. Cornerback Bryant McFadden was the one responsible.

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com says the Rams' Jackson generally has not fared well against the Cardinals. Urban: "The Cardinals historically have found a way to handle Jackson, who is next up. Jackson is having a Pro Bowl season for the last-place Rams, but in the eight games he has played against the Cards during his career, Jackson has yet to notch a 100-yard performance. He has averaged just 55.3 yards rushing in those eight games."

Revenge of the Birds' Andrew602 looks at Beanie Wells' expanded role in the Cardinals' offense: "Wells averaged 24.8 rushing yards per game with 0 touchdowns. In the last four games, Wells is averaging 67.75 rushing yards, and has scored 3 touchdowns. The Cardinals do appear to be using Wells more and ... they're giving him more carries once the lead has been established."

Bill Coats of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says Keenan Burton is the third Rams receiver to land on injured reserve, joining Laurent Robinson and Brooks Foster. Coach Steve Spagnuolo plans to continue keeping four receivers active on game days. Coats: "Spagnuolo indicated that a decision on replacing Burton on the roster will be made in the next day or so. It’s also possible, he said, that Ruvell Martin will finally get a chance to suit up Sunday, when the Cardinals visit the Edward Jones Dome. Martin, signed Sept. 16 as a free agent, has recovered from a hamstring injury but hasn’t been able to crack the four-man wideout corps on game day."

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Rams, fresh off a date with the unbeaten Saints, will not face an undefeated team in Week 11, although the Cardinals are 4-0 on the road. Wide receiver Brandon Gibson: "I feel that this team's only going to get better. We showed that we are capable of playing with one of the better teams. We've just got to always play at a high level."

Jeff Gordon of stltoday.com welcomes the forward pass to St. Louis.

Steve Korte of the Belleville News-Democrat says the Rams are not embracing moral victories.

Turf Show Times' VanRam wonders if the Rams should have done more to upgrade depth behind Jackson at running back.

Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat says the 49ers are in good position to claim a wild-card playoff berth. Maiocco: "One of the teams in front of the 49ers is this week's opponent, the Green Bay Packers. This might be a good time for the 49ers to put an end to their six-game losing streak in Green Bay. The last time the 49ers won at Lambeau Field was 1990. Later in the season, the 49ers face one of the other teams currently ahead of them in the wild-card hunt, the Philadelphia Eagles." I think a loss to the Packers would severely damage the 49ers' chances.

Also from Maiocco: Smith is the favorite to start for the 49ers at quarterback next season.

More from Maiocco: The careers of Smith and Aaron Rodgers intersect Sunday.

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee looks at the 49ers' offseason in case of an uncapped year. Barrows on Aubrayo Franklin: "No 49er has received better press this season than Franklin. And it's great timing for the unrestricted free agent. Some observers might be suspicious of a player who starts playing his best in his contract year. The truth is that Franklin has been playing well since the midpoint of last season. The nose tackle wants to test his worth on the open market, and a run stopper like him will have many, many suitors. But in an uncapped year, teams have more ability to retain players. The 49ers will have the use of both a franchise tag and a transition tag, both of which allow them to keep a player for another year as long as they pay him the average of the top players at his position."

Daniel Brown of the San Jose Mercury News points out that the 49ers rank 27th in total offense heading into the Monday night game. Brown: "Consider that the top five offensive clubs in the terms of yards gained -- the Saints, Patriots, Cowboys, Colts and Steelers -- are a combined 34-6. The five teams behind the 49ers in yardage -- the Buccaneers, Bills, Chiefs, Browns and Raiders -- are a combined 8-32."

Howard Mintz of the San Jose Mercury News updates the 49ers' drive to build a new stadium in Santa Clara.

John Crumpacker of the San Francisco Chronicle says 49ers defensive end Justin Smith gives Franklin high marks.

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