Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Around the NFC West: Pay up, Rodgers
By Mike Sando
It's already going to be a great week for props in the NFC West with the St. Louis Rams handing out fake Jeff Fisher mustaches for the home opener Sunday.
All we need now is photographic evidence of Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers making good on his promise to wear an Alex Smith jersey following a home defeat to the San Francisco 49ers.
Of course, Bay Area fans have longed to see Rodgers in a 49ers uniform. The sight would be all the more enjoyable now that Smith is winning over a skeptical public.
Piet Levy of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says Rodgers might not have to make good on his promise right away. Levy: "It was part of a bet Rodgers made with R&B trio Boyz II Men to get the group to sing the national anthem at the game, according to TMZ. (Rodgers' friend and Boyz member Nathan Morris is a big 49ers fan.) Monday night, Morris told TMZ he was giving Rodgers a pass for not wearing 49ers QB Alex Smith's jersey right away ... for now."
Dan Brown of the San Jose Mercury News offers 49ers notes, including one about receiver Michael Crabtree. Coach Jim Harbaugh: "Michael Crabtree had some just terrific catches. He is just a great example for young receivers. His hands catching the football (are) as good as you'll ever see."
Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee says 49ers coaches deserve much credit for the victory at Green Bay.
Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com explains why Patrick Willis came off the field more than usual Sunday.
Nick Wagoner of stlouisrams.com has notes from Fisher's day-after-game news conference. Wagoner: "Fisher said there were communication breakdowns and guys jumping routes again late which led to some of the big plays that allowed the Lions to drive the field so quickly to wrap up the victory. He also pointed to some miscommunications on the final play that led to RB Kevin Smith’s touchdown."
Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has details on the clock error that hurt the Rams in their Week 1 defeat to the Lions.
Also from Thomas: a look at the Rams' manpower issues on the offensive line. Fisher: "Scott Wells has a fractured fifth metatarsal (bone) requiring surgery. We're going to take advantage of the new injured reserve rule where we're allowed to place a player on injured reserve and bring him back after six weeks, so timing-wise that's (good). It's unfortunate for us, but it is fortunate that we'll be able to clear a roster spot for him."
Dan O'Neill of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says Brandon Gibson's work paid off in the opener.
Darren Urban of azcardinals.com updates the quarterback situation in Arizona, where there has been no announcement on a Week 2 starter. Guard Daryn Colledge: "What the perception is outside and what the perception is inside the locker room are two totally different things. How we feel about John and Kevin is different than how the media might portray them or how fans might feel about them. We think they are both talented guys. But we also know what the fans and media are saying. To know what Kevin went through last year and all that, to see him put a great drive together and score a touchdown is an awesome moment for him but it was also a huge thing for us as a team."
Bob McManaman of the Arizona Republic checks in with Kolb on possibly becoming the starter again. Kolb: "The way my career is going, the way last year went, the way that it happened already, I'm not even worried about that. I'm just going to play and let this thing end up the way it's supposed to end up."
Brady Henderson of 710ESPN Seattle asks whether the Seahawks missed recently released tight end Kellen Winslow against the Cardinals. Dave Grosby and Bob Stelton discuss the matter.
Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune says rookie quarterback Russell Wilson needs some help from his offensive line. Coach Pete Carroll used the term "under siege" to describe Wilson against Arizona. Boling: "I’m not sure 'siege' is the appropriate military usage, because that implies Wilson was contained behind a protective wall. It is more accurate to say he was overrun by Cardinals defenders. He was sacked three times and took seven hits, and when he wasn’t sacked or physically abused, he was hurried, or his receivers were blanketed. And, at times, he misfired on his own. Four of the five linemen up front are veterans, joined by rookie right guard J.R. Sweezy. They should be better."
Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times asks and answers questions about the Seahawks. O'Neil: "Carroll conceded there was underside to the way he staged the quarterback competition in training camp. Namely, whoever ended up the starter, would not have the benefit of having worked predominantly with the first-unit offense throughout August. And when it came down to the final six plays of Sunday's game, Wilson couldn't quite connect with his receivers, and it was possible not to wonder if Seattle couldn't crack the goal line in part because the quarterback and receivers aren't as familiar with each other as they could be."
Clare Farnsworth of seahawks.com updates the condition of receiver Charly Martin, who remained in Arizona with a bruised lung.