Friday, September 25, 2009
Around the NFC West: Walter Jones' legend
By Mike Sando
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times looks into the legend of Walter Jones. The Seattle tackle could return from two knee surgeries Sunday. O'Neil: "So many superlatives have been draped across his 6-foot-5 frame that it's hard to realize just how truly remarkable his journey has been. He has gone from super-sized talent hidden away at a small boarding school to a lineman Mike Holmgren called the best offensive player he has ever coached. Not Brett Favre, Joe Montana nor Steve Young, but Walter Jones. And with that assertion, Holmgren joined a chorus that stretches back to the coaches at Holmes Community College."
Eric D. Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune says the Seahawks face a challenge when Jay Cutler visits Qwest Field.
Also from Williams: Veteran safety Lawyer Milloy could get more playing time with the Seahawks. Williams: "Part of that may be out of necessity. With Josh Wilson suffering a high-ankle sprain against San Francisco and likely out for a month, the Seahawks are down to three healthy cornerbacks. That means starting safety Jordan Babineaux could be needed to fill in at corner in passing situations, with Milloy subbing for Babineaux at safety."
John Morgan of Field Gulls looks into Greg Knapp's play-calling and doesn't like the bootleg.
Greg Johns of seattlepi.com says the Seahawks are counting on cornerback Kelly Jennings after losing Marcus Trufant and Wilson to injuries.
Taylor Price of 49ers.com says Adrian Peterson isn't the only Vikings player for the 49ers to worry about Sunday.
John Crumpacker of the San Francisco Chronicle says the Vikings have about 630 pounds of Williamses waiting for Frank Gore. Center Eric Heitmann: "I've played against them a few times over the years. They are very stout run defenders. Pat is very hard to move, and he has a good first step. You can't fall asleep on Pat ever. Kevin is one of the better defensive tackles in the NFL. Has the whole package -- physical, strong, quick, has a good pass rush. They're definitely a group we're going to have to be at our best in order to be successful."
Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat offers a podcast featuring 49ers quarterback Shaun Hill, who doesn't read blogs and didn't know Maiocco had been producing one for several years. Thanks, Shaun!
Also from Maiocco: Peterson has something to prove against the 49ers.
Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee checks in with 49ers offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye for thoughts on Favre. The two were together with the Jets, but it wasn't a natural pairing.
Daniel Brown of the San Jose Mercury News says Hill isn't gunning for the Vikings even though he spent four seasons with them as a third-stringer. His career there consisted of two kneel-down plays. Hill: "I did good. I got credit for two rushes and minus-2 yards."
David Fucillo of Niners Nation wonders why Hill's numbers dip noticeably in third quarters.
Bill Coats of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch explores the Rams' offensive decline since the Greatest Show on Turf days. Coats: "In a way, the deck is stacked against the regrouping Rams. They're trying to scratch out a productive attack under a first-time head coach whose background is entirely in defense, a first-time coordinator who brought in a new offense, and with an overhauled roster that is young and inexperienced in some key areas. Heading into Sunday's home-opener against Green Bay, the Rams rank last in the 32-team NFL in scoring and 31st in total offense."
Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Rams' defense is coming up short on third down. That's what happens when a team doesn't rush the passer effectively.
Also from Thomas: The Rams are relatively healthy except for rookie first-round choice Jason Smith.
More from Thomas: The Rams' home opener is sold out, presumably thanks to Packers fans.
Steve Korte of the Belleville News-Democrat says Steven Jackson wants more touches after averaging 18.5 through two games. Korte: "Jackson averaged 27 touches in 2006 when he rushed for 1,528 yards and caught 90 passes for 806 yards."
Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic says the Cardinals are very pleased with second-year defensive end Calais Campbell. Somers: "Campbell has started only two games, but he has given strong indications that he one day could be better than Smith. And that day could come soon. Campbell, though, doesn't see it like that. He looks at his statistics and kicks himself that he has only a half-sack. He thinks of all the times the quarterback slipped from his hands."
Also from Somers: Cardinals rookie Beanie Wells is carrying a football almost everywhere he goes. The running back must donate $200 to charity every time he drops it. Teammates are encouraged to knock it loose.
Dan Bickley of the Arizona Republic says the Cardinals know what they're up against when Peyton Manning visits Sunday.