NFC West: Chandler Williams
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
Thanks to those of you who dropped by the chat earlier today. I've been going through the mailbag, so let's get right to what's on your minds.
Juice from Colma, Calif., writes: Why isn't anybody making a play for Kurt Warner? He obviously wants another shot to start for at least two more years or at least compete for that spot. Not only can he mentor Smith, the learning curve w/ Martz system is minimal at best since his "salad days' with the greatest show on turf. The organization (49ERS) has invested time & monies in Smith if we get rid of him now it would set back the 49ers between 7 to 10 years to un-due selecting him the #1 overall pick. Heck, we have enough linebackers (which Arizona needs) to put together a trade package for Warner. This team needs a leader on offense to elevate to the next level. Your thoughts.
Mike Sando: I've got a different read. One, Warner might start for the Cardinals this season. They aren't going to donate him to a division rival. Two, the Cardinals like their depth at outside linebacker/defensive end after adding Travis LaBoy and Clark Haggans in free agency. Trades have to make sense for both sides. Getting rid of Warner makes no sense for the Cardinals. They still have to find out if they can win with Matt Leinart. An injury forced Leinart to miss much of last season. Warner filled in and put up big numbers. The Cardinals need Warner.
David from Manalapan, N.J., writes: Hey mike, a rams fan from NJ here. I haven't gotten a good look at the team yet this year because of where i live but based on the preseason games its going to be the same old story on defense. I know the overall depth on the team is poor which skews some of the preseason numbers. My question is: barring a bunch of injuries of course, do you think this team can finish any better than 7-9? A .500 season is a fair goal considering last year's 3-13 train wreck. Obviously, winning the division should always be the goal for every team but just based on what the box scores are telling me this team will be hard pressed to win 7 games this season. Any insight to how you think the rams will fare this season? thanks -Dave
Mike Sando: First, a confession. I went into last season looking to identify a potential playoff team coming off a nonplayoff season. I narrowed my choices to the Packers and Rams. I went with the Rams. Injuries blew up their roster beyond recognition.
The thought entering this offseason was that a healthy Rams team might have a chance to contend. Then Steven Jackson held out. Injuries depleted depth on both lines, at receiver, tight end and in the secondary.
I'm reassessing the Rams at this point. I do think the Rams have a chance to field a good pass-rushing defensive line. Depth in the back seven is a big concern. The Rams probably need one of their young receivers, Donnie Avery or Keenan Burton, to emerge this season. And of course they need that offensive line to avoid what happened in 2007.