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Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Around the NFC West: Questions of the day

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat answers 10 questions regarding the 49ers heading into the upcoming season. Why didn't the 49ers acquire more pass-rush help? Maiocco: "The 49ers are confident outside linebacker Manny Lawson will provide a significant upgrade over Roderick Green and Tully Banta-Cain. Although the 49ers selected Lawson in the first round of the 2006 draft because of the pass-rush skills he demonstrated at North Carolina State, he has never been used in that capacity in the NFL."

Maiocco audio: He talks 49ers with KNBR.

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee asks and answers five 49ers-related questions heading into camp. Barrows: "[Offensive coordinator Jimmy] Raye will try to figure out the type of plays at which [Vernon] Davis excels and then work them into the offense."

Gary Plummer of 49ers.com revisits Patrick Willis' interception return for a touchdown at Seattle last season, one of the most impressive plays you'll see from an NFL linebacker.

David Fucillo of Niners Nation asks which center was the best in team history. I'm sure lots of people remember Forrest Blue.

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic says the Cardinals have made progress toward a contract agreement with second-round choice Cody Brown.

Also from Somers: Five questions facing the Cardinals heading into camp. Can they generate sufficient pass rush?

Somers audio: He talks Cardinals with footballguys.com.

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com raises Somers another five questions, noting that tight end is "easily the most wide-open" position on the team.

Eric D. Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune runs the Seahawks' practice schedule for training camp.

John Morgan of Field Gulls revisits Matt Hasselbeck's 2008 season. He thinks the Seahawks have armed Hasselbeck with the best group of receivers the quarterback has enjoyed. That is undoubtedly true when counting tight end John Carlson among the group.

Bill Coats of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch quotes Rams executive Kevin Demoff as saying he expects the team's top two draft choices signed in time for training camp.

VanRam of Turf Show Times considers best- and worst-case scenarios for the Rams' receivers. His conclusion: "I think the cries of doom for the Rams' receivers are a little overblown. However, the injury concerns are too prevalent with this group to assume the team won't deal with it at some point during the year. I think as long as the Rams have [Donnie] Avery and some combination of [Ronald] Curry/[Keenan] Burton and another decent option at #3, they'll be alright. Alright, mostly because Steven Jackson and Randy McMichael figure heavily into the passing game, and if the receivers turn out to be no better than concerns for opposing defenses [as opposed to a serious threat] the offense will be able to compete."