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Monday, February 23, 2009
Around the NFC West: Rams want Little back

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Rams have informed veteran pass rusher Leonard Little of their plans to keep him for 2009. But just as there are no "final" rosters heading into a season, the Rams' commitment to any player is subject to change before September.

3k of Turf Show Times expects the Rams to draft an offensive tackle second overall if they part with Orlando Pace. Makes sense to me.

Nick Wagoner of stlouisrams.com says he wouldn't fault the Rams for drafting Missouri receiver Jeremy Maclin. Wagoner: "I don't think there's anything wrong with taking him at No. 2 if you believe he's the best player in the draft. One scout said he thought Maclin might be the best offensive player in the draft. If that's the direction you want to go, he would make a lot of sense. The Rams definitely like Maclin and his hometown ties would probably sell a few tickets and some jerseys, don't you think?"

Also from Wagoner: He calls Aaron Curry the best player in the draft, but he wishes he knew how well Curry might fare playing middle linebacker. Wagoner: "I don't think the Rams are even remotely close to making a decision on who the No. 2 pick would be and I would feel comfortable saying that Curry is still well within the conversation."

Niners general manager Scot McCloughan ranks the medical evaluations and interviews as the most valuable aspects of the scouting combine.

Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat says 49ers offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye faxed portions of the playbook to quarterbacks Shaun Hill and Alex Smith. The quarterbacks are scheduled to meet for "classroom work" beginning March 16. Raye said he likes the 49ers' tight ends. Raye also described the 49ers' blocking schemes: "We use all phases of football. Eventually, it becomes man (blocking). But we have an inside-zone scheme and an outside-zone scheme, and a pull-and-kick, either weak or strong."

Clare Farnsworth of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer sizes up eight players at six positions in assessing likely targets for the Seahawks with the fourth overall choice. He says the Seahawks wouldn't be reaching for need if they selected Bryan Orakpo.

Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times tucks an interesting note on Seahawks linebacker Lofa Tatupu inside a broader story about the combine. The Seahawks traded up in the second round to select Tatupu even after a 4.84-second time in the 40-yard dash. Team president Tim Ruskell: "He didn't run a good 40 and he wasn't 6-3, so why did we like him? Well, we do [measure] other things, and they did verify." O'Neil: "They looked at his acceleration in the first 10 and 20 yards of the dash, which are also recorded. And they checked his shuttle run and three-cone drill, which help measure lateral quickness and ability to maintain speed while changing direction."

John Morgan of Field Gulls says the Seahawks' interest in cornerback Darius Butler was obvious after the team met with him twice at the combine. Morgan: "Coming off a disappointing senior season that ended with a sprained knee, Butler could slide into the early third. It was his first season without a interception after recording 10 his first three seasons."

Rob Staton of Seahawk Addicts noticed Seattle offensive coordinator Greg Knapp intently watching the quarterbacks at the combine. I noticed this as well. It didn't seem unusual, but Knapp has reason to pay attention. The Seahawks figure to draft a quarterback.

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic says the Cardinals and quarterback Kurt Warner appear to be "creeping" toward an agreement even though "a significant gap" remains between proposals.

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com says he thinks Matt Leinart would be OK sitting out one more season while Warner starts. Sitting out two more seasons would be harder to take.