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Daryl from Alberta, Canada, writes: I'm curious about your take on Antonio Pittman. With Steven Jackson back, the Rams RB depth is pretty well set, but Pittman has shown flashes of being productive and has a couple nice runs as the starter on Saturday. What's his role going to be and what do you make of his future?
Mike Sando: Jackson is going to get the significant carries if healthy. Pittman carried 38 times in 11 games last season. He did look better against the Ravens on Saturday night. Moving into the season, Brian Leonard will also gets some of the leftover carries.
The feeling on Pittman coming out of college was that he could have used another year of seasoning. Instead, Pittman came out early, fell to the fourth round and didn't earn a roster spot with the Saints.
Pittman has a chance to develop into something more than just a forgotten backup, although that's his role as long as Jackson is a dominant runner.
Will from Boston writes: How much work can the Rams realistically expect Steven Jackson, O.J. Atogwe and Orlando Pace to handle in week one? Seems like they may need to platoon each of them for a game or so.
Mike Sando: I think the goal will be to play those guys as normal. Atogwe might be more of a question mark because he's missed so much time. The other guys should be ready. I would expect Jackson to play extensively as long as he's effective.
Pete from parts unknown writes: Mike, Quick question, I'm a huge Oregon Ducks fan and the story about Cameron Colvin and everything he has gone through makes me an even bigger fan. Is he going to make the 49ers' roster, or anybody's roster? Thanks.
Mike Sando: The 49ers have been impressed by Colvin at times, but they probably won't have a roster spot for him. Arnaz Battle, Isaac Bruce, Bryant Johnson, Josh Morgan and Jason Hill make the team. I'm not sure anyone on the roster has done enough to convince the 49ers to keep six at the position. Ashley Lelie could be a factor if the 49ers do keep that many.
Mike Sando: I'm not sure Wallace was expecting to be thrown into the game that late. He was outstanding against the Vikings earlier in preseason.
The Seattle receivers are mostly unproven. I do think Logan Payne will stick around in the NFL one way or another. He plays tough despite the rib injury. That 1-2 punch he took last night did not look good, but Payne popped up. He appears capable of giving the Seahawks some of the things Bobby Engram gives them.
Mike Sando: I don't see how Forsett's performance against the Chargers would help him. Rookies trying to earn roster spots shouldn't fumble the ball or fair-catch punts inside the 10.
Mike Sando: I do think these are two of the deeper teams in the league. San Diego might have the deepest team. The Seahawks have made strides with their depth in recent seasons. I had that exact thought when the score was 10-10 in the third quarter. These are two good teams.
The pass-interference call appeared somewhat less bogus upon review, based on where Kevin Hobbs placed his right hand shortly before the ball arrived. Hobbs wrapped his right hand around the receiver's right shoulder as the ball was arriving. As Ron Jaworski said, the call was a little ticky-tack.
Mike Sando: Mora has no real choice in the matter. He's under contract to the Seahawks as head coach beginning in 2009. All things being equal, I think he would take the Seahawks job first. My feeling is that the UW job might be there for him later if he wants it.
Mike Sando: Matt? I'm guessing you've also run this question past the Matts (Barrows and Maiocco) on the 49ers beat.
I see the 49ers winning more than three games almost no matter who plays quarterback. I would not give Smith the advantage you bestowed, at least under the current scenario. Smith probably needed to work with the starters all offseason, but Mike Nolan wasn't going to put his faith in one player that way. Had the 49ers committed to Smith, yes, I think he might give them a better chance right now. That's tough to say at the moment.
As for head coaches resigning vs. getting fired, remember that money is a factor. A fired coach gets paid.
The QB situation heading into a new season following a shakeup would depend on the new staff. However, it's unlikely Smith would return in 2009 under his current contract.
Mike Sando: Thanks for the geographic heads up on DeKalb, Ill., as opposed to DeKalb, Ga. To clarify, I didn't project the 49ers as a quick division favorite pending certain variables. I see Seattle at the top, followed by Arizona. I could justify putting the 49ers ahead of the Rams for that third spot, but those teams could swing either way.
Mike Sando: Thanks for checking back, Mark. Much appreciated.
The early feeling was that Branch would indeed be ready for the opener. I'll stick with that until further notice.
Mike Holmgren has sounded uncertain, but I've heard nothing about a setback. Holmgren always talks about wanting to get a player back on the field for practice the week before the game. My understanding remains the same, that Branch will probably be ready for the opener. There is no "inside" info on how Branch might feel upon returning to practice. The Seahawks aren't sure how the knee will respond at that time.
Mike Sando: Didn't you see Bolt celebrating that early touchdown grab for Seattle last night? That was Nate Burleson with the Bolt-like celebration. Two words for anyone projecting Bolt as an NFL player: Renaldo Nehemiah.