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Thursday, October 7, 2010
Around the NFC West: Moss, Lynch, Rams

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Rams were wise to pass on Randy Moss and Marshawn Lynch. Miklasz: "This isn't Fantasy League Football. In real football, personality and character matter. A willingness to accept a role is important. Devaney still must come up with that No. 1 receiver and No. 2 running back. But it's more important to find the right fit, rather than be seduced by big names in an effort to appease Fantasy League fans." Just as the Seahawks' decision to release T.J. Houshmandzadeh helped the Rams land Mark Clayton, the Lynch acquisition in Seattle made available a running back the Rams could seemingly use. No word yet on where Julius Jones might land, however. Moss would have been a bad fit in St. Louis for reasons similar to the ones that led to his departure from New England. Giving up draft choices for Lynch wouldn't have made much sense, either, given that the Rams' need is for a backup runner, not a starter.

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch said the Rams value Fred Robbins for his on-field contributions and his elder-statesman status. Chris Long: "Fred is a great personality first off for this defense and for this locker room. He's another great veteran that you can learn a lot from. But he's still playing at a really high level. It's pretty unbelievable the way he's playing -- and the way James (Hall) is playing. They're playing like they're my age, 25 years old. Man, they're out there disrupting things, getting after the quarterback, stopping the run."

Bill Coats of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch checks in with Rams practice-squad player Danario Alexander.

Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com says the 49ers might have an easier time using Brian Westbrook now that Delanie Waker is sidelined by injury. It's tough finding a role for a backup running back when the starter, Frank Gore, is so good. Teams spend all offseason practicing core personnel groupings. They generally do not put two halfbacks on the field at the same time because the second halfback proves less valuable than a wide receiver, tight end or fullback in most cases. Coach Mike Singletary: "The plan we had when we got him here was make sure as we go forward and find out what he can and cannot do and letting it develop. As time goes on, I think you'll see that."

Eric Branch of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat says the 49ers' Taylor Mays is validating the team's decision to move him into the starting lineup.

Also from Branch: a long list of 49ers-related notes, including this one: "After four games, Brian Westbrook has three touches and has been paid about $375,000 -- or $125,000 per touch. Westbrook's lack of use seems puzzling. Is he simply, like so many 31-year-old running backs, finished? Have the Niners not been able to find a role for him? Is he not up to speed on the playbook?"

David White of the San Francisco Chronicle says Singletary's refusal to shake Mike Smith's hand following a loss to Smith's Falcons marks the second incident in as many years involving Singletary and the Falcons. Last season, Singletary got into a shouting match with a Falcons player.

Also from White: Ted Ginn Jr.'s return restores some speed to the 49ers' offense.

John Boyle of the Everett Herald says Marshawn Lynch is seeking a fresh start on multiple levels, including with his new head coach, Pete Carroll. Lynch said he couldn't stand Carroll when Lynch was at California and Carroll was at USC. Lynch: "He was one of the only coaches you’d see running up and down the field like he was playing in the game. Running up, jumping, high-fiving his players. They’re over there dogging us, and you’re just sitting there watching them have all this fun, like, 'Man, what is he doing? Run me to that sideline so I can hit him one time.' But man, I just always thought he was a fun guy, somebody that likes to have fun and win, which is something he’s had a career of doing -- winning. I could probably get used to it a little better now that I’m on the same side."

Rod Mar of seahawks.com offers photos from the team's game at St. Louis.

Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times looks at which 2011 draft choices the Seahawks hold after trading for Lynch. I had also forgotten about the seventh-rounder Seattle sent to Philadelphia for Stacy Andrews. The team used a 2012 pick in the Tyler Polumbus deal.

Jerry Brewer of the Seattle Times says Matt Hasselbeck remains the best option at quarterback for the Seahawks. Receiver Mike Williams: "Matt's a good dude. He's a leader. He's done that in this league. Just like it's my job to catch passes, it's my job to protect the team. People can say whatever they want, but they're wrong. You can be an armchair quarterback or an armchair coordinator, but our play isn't all Matt's fault. It's about all of us. We're still working to get this thing right."

Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune says the Seahawks could do much worse than Lynch when looking for a power back. Boling: "This was a big move, an aggressive move, one that shows that the front office continues its own relentless approach. They, too, are in Beast Mode. And this is a franchise that needs it."

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic says Beanie Wells and Ken Whisenhunt have discussed Well's role since the running back complained about playing time. Wells: "I did tell him I didn't mean it in a disrespectful way. If you read the headlines, it came off like Beanie is really angry about a certain situation. I'm angry about not being out there contributing. I love being an Arizona Cardinal. Coach understood where I was coming from. No doghouse at all."

Also from Somers: New starting quarterback Max Hall does not look the part. Center Lyle Sendlelin: "He's a little, fiery competitive guy. I'm sure no one ever gave him a chance but he's got great command out there. He's real assertive and very confident."

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com says Hall is the starter, but he's still a rookie -- and that meant carrying receiver Larry Fitzgerald's pads after practice.