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Saturday, July 11, 2009
Around the NFC West: Rams' defensive line

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Nick Wagoner of stlouisrams.com goes long in the mailbag -- 3,608 words long -- while answering a variety of questions. Wagoner: "It would seem there is an opportunity for a defensive lineman to potentially squeeze his way on to the roster. Haven't seen enough of these guys to know who could emerge but if you figure the team keeps eight defensive linemen, you have Leonard Little, Chris Long, Victor Adeyanju, James Hall, Adam Carriker, Clifton Ryan and Darrell Scott seemingly in the best position to land on the roster. That would leave an opening for another end like [Ian] Campbell or possibly a tackle like Gary Gibson or Orien Harris. Regardless, Spagnuolo likes his players to be versatile so the guy that emerges there will likely need to be able to contribute inside and out as well as on special teams."

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee sizes up the 49ers' outside linebackers in two parts [second part here]. Barrows: "When you think of a 3-4 defense, the position that springs to mind is outside linebacker. Lawrence Taylor. Kevin Greene. DeMarcus Ware. These are the playmakers in the scheme. The 49ers went into the offseason wanting to add another pass rusher at the position but came out of it without adding any major names. In fact, you can make the argument that OLB -- the most critical component of a 3-4 defense -- is the 49ers' thinnest position heading into the season. They are relying heavily on two players, Parys Haralson and Manny Lawson, who have recently spent a season on injured reserve."

John Morgan of Field Gulls thinks the Seahawks should be stronger at defensive tackle after finding Brandon Mebane in the third round of the 2007 draft. Morgan: "The best-case scenario is somehow [Red] Bryant wins out over [Colin] Cole and Seattle starts Bryant at nose tackle and Mebane at under tackle. That gives Seattle two nose tackle types that can also rush the passer. [Cory] Redding and Cole could then form a good second unit. Or, should Seattle use situational substitutions, the team could be as beefy as Cole and Bryant in the middle and as fast and light as Redding and [Craig] Terrill."

Chris Sullivan of Seahawk Addicts links to Nate Burleson's video diary on NFL.com.

Also from Sullivan: a look at the Seahawks' offensive line.

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com thinks Anquan Boldin should be next in line for a new contract in Arizona if the team fails to reach an extension with Karlos Dansby. Urban: "I think there was a good chance something could have happened on that front had/if Dansby signed an extension, because his cap number could have been lowered from the hefty $9.7 million. Instead, the Cards have to carry that number. It hamstrings any further work right now. I could see Boldin and the team talking [assuming Q still wants to talk contract] during the season, depending how the roster and the cap shake out."