Friday, November 6, 2009
Around the NFC West: Spags sleeps in office
By Mike Sando
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch sits down with Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo for an interview during the bye week. Spagnuolo keeps an inflatable bed in his office and stays overnight regularly. Spagnuolo: "Usually Monday and Tuesday. Every once in a while Wednesday, but I try not to do that because I like seeing my wife. I try every week to get home on Monday. Tuesday's a given that I'm sleeping here."
Also from Thomas: Steven Jackson has no issues with former Rams coach Scott Linehan.
Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch looks at highs and lows for the Rams through Week 8. He lists the following players as disappointments: Tim Carter (since released), Marc Bulger, Randy McMichael, Oshiomogho Atogwe, Ron Bartell, Donnie Avery and Chris Long. On the positive side, Danny Amendola has been a surprise.
Bryan Burwell of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the locals have finally come to appreciate Jackson. That's what happens when a player excels, plays hard and says the right things in public. Jackson: "I think (the public) has had a chance to get to know me and I have had a chance to get to know them. Some of the things I may say now might not take them aback as much as it would have in the past. I'm growing up too."
Brian Stull of 101ESPN St. Louis takes a position-by-position look at the Rams' offense. On the offensive line: "Perhaps the deepest area of this Rams team -- as evidenced by the team not missing a beat with both Jacob Bell and Richie Incognito out of the lineup against Detroit. Adam Goldberg, Mark Setterstrom, and John Greco are all more than capable of stepping in to more than one position and not allowing a drop off in performance. Jason Brown has lived up to the expectation of his free agent signing, both in his play and leadership. The fifteen first downs the Rams have run up the middle leads the team and is ninth best in the NFL."
Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic says the Cardinals have additional options at tight end now that Steven Spach is healthier. Somers: "Spach was rusty in practice this week, coach Ken Whisenhunt said, but improved Thursday and is healthy enough to be activated for Sunday's game against the Bears. Whisenhunt said he hasn't decided which tight ends will play against the Bears."
Also from Somers: Weather forecasts for Chicago could play in the Cardinals' favor.
More from Somers: Anquan Boldin continues to miss practice.
Darren Urban of azcardinals.com says the team is happy with fourth receiver Jerheme Urban. Whisenhunt: "It is hard when you’re not getting a tremendous amount of reps or when you have the other receivers we have on this team. It is easy to look at Jerheme after that weird play when it bounced up in the air and there was the interception. But he has done some good things for us. He brings us speed as far as stretching the field. I am pleased with the way Jerheme has worked for us."
Also from Urban: Darnell Dockett professes to having a different outlook this season.
Pete McElroy of azcardinals.com says the Cardinals' run defense is looking for redeption against Chicago.
Revenge of the Birds' andrew602 breaks down the Cardinals and Bears heading into their game Sunday.
Tom Kowalski of mlive.com says Lions linebacker Julian Peterson has been looking forward to his Week 9 date with his former teammates in Seattle.
Clare Farnsworth of seahawks.com quotes quarterback Matt Hasselbeck as saying he came back from injury ahead of schedule, delaying a full recovery.
Also from Farnsworth: David Hawthorne is making a strong impression at linebacker for Seattle. Lofa Tatupu: "Dave has taken that next step, and I think the only thing left for him is just experience. I’m not happy he’s getting it, because that means I’m on the shelf. But I’m very proud of the linebacker he has become. He's made the transition from just being a big hitter to being a linebacker."
Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times wonders what's in Hawthorne's future with the Seahawks.
Eric D. Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune says the Seahawks expect Marcus Trufant to start against the Lions. Defensive coordinator Gus Bradley: "He’s had a good week this week, and that’s what we thought. We’d give him 30 or 40 reps last week, give him a feel for the game. And the big thing is not his ability, it’s his wind. And being out there for seven, eight plays in a row and being able to perform at a high level."
Also from Williams: Hasselbeck took notice when the Seahawks made several roster moves early in the week. Hasselbeck: "Those of us who have been around, you know roster moves are going to happen after you start like we started. He (coach Jim Mora) had said it plain out, that we were going to make some changes, we’re going to do some evaluating, and they did it. His words weren’t hollow. They definitely did it. They backed it up." None of the moves was significant, however.
More from Williams: Peterson's former teammates will be happy to see him.
Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee says 49ers offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye does not envision making a transition to more of a spread offense. Raye: "We can mix that, which we have done and intend to do. But as a steady diet of that ... right now, I don't delight in that prospect. Going forward, if it manifests itself into something that will help us, we will gravitate toward that. But as of now, the answer to that question would be, no."
Also from Barrows: Mike Singletary has reached a critical point in his first full season as the 49ers' head coach.
Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press Democrat checks in with 49ers rookie Ricky Jean-Francois.
Also from Maiocco: Raye offers one reason the 49ers' passing attack remains in transition. Raye: "It's difficult because we're still, in certain things, trying to get No.15 (Michael Crabtree) to line up in the right place. There are more elements to it than just the physical body of the people we have. So there are a lot of things that go into that before we can say, ‘We're going to switch gears and go in another direction.' "