<
>

Around the NFC West: Vobora could sue

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Brian Stull of 101ESPN St. Louis says David Vobora could sue the manufacturer of a supplement containing the banned ingredient behind the linebacker's four-game suspension. Stull: "In fact, the NFLPA had appealed the initial result of the test -- and the source states Vobora had properly called the 'hot line' for players to check supplements and the product was cleared as not having any banned substance in its listed contents. A different source close to the situation shares there will likely be legal action taken on Vobora's behalf against the manufacturer -- as toxicology testing revealed the supplement did contain the banned substance, despite it not being included on the product label."

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says during a chat that he thought the Rams would blitz more under coach Steve Spagnuolo. Thomas: "The most surprising thing to me so far, is the lack of blitzing. I realize there haven't always been ideal situations. The Rams haven't played with the lead much at all -- they've led for only 12 1/2 minutes (out of a possible 180!!) in the three games this season. They haven't had the opposition in a ton of predictable throwing situations -- third and long, etc. Still, I expected a more aggressive approach." Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers sometimes proved dangerous when the Rams blitzed. Will Witherspoon got immediate pressure on Rodgers midway through the first quarter. Rodgers recognized the situation and threw immediately to Donald Driver for a first down at the St. Louis 26. A few plays like that can serve as a strong deterrent.

Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat says a potential uncapped year could give Patrick Willis and Vernon Davis incentive to bide their time before seeking long-term contract extensions. Davis' improvement stands as one of the 49ers' most important developments of the season, should he continue to improve.

Also from Maiocco: Frank Gore's injury gives the 49ers reason to lean more heavily on quarterback Shaun Hill. Coach Mike Singletary did acknowledge that Hill "took a step" with his latest performance. I still think the 49ers will remain resolute in their commitment to the run.

Tom FitzGerald of the San Francisco Chronicle checks in with 49ers defensive lineman Ray McDonald, whose father played receiver at Florida in the mid-1980s. That revelation makes me feel ancient.

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee says the 49ers have no immediate plans to sign Kory Sheets from the practice squad, even with Gore sidelined. The thought of trusting a rookie in pass protection probably does not appeal.

Howard Mintz of the San Jose Mercury News updates the 49ers' efforts to secure funding for a new stadium in Santa Clara. Research for an environmental impact study is complete.

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic offers reasons for Cardinals fans to have optimism -- and pessimism -- about the team following a 1-2 start. Somers: "The Cardinals haven't shown yet that they learned much from last season's playoff run. Through the first few weeks, players alluded to poor practices as part of the reason for losing the opener. Defensively, the Cardinals' attention to detail seems to come and go like the wind."

Also from Somers: Rookie Beanie Wells did not play much Sunday night because he isn't yet ready to handle all the duties associated with playing in the three- and four-receiver offense.

Mike Jurecki of XTRA910 says Wells needs to spend the bye week learning his assignments. Jurecki: "Hopefully Beanie Wells will use the bye week and some down time to get up to speed on learning his assignments on pass protection, otherwise it’s going to be tough for the coaching staff to trust him on game day. All the time he missed in Flagstaff is hurting him now."

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com says the team could be interested in re-signing Monty Beisel, released by the Chiefs.

Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times says the Seahawks need to target T.J. Houshmandzadeh more frequently in the passing game. Tight end John Carlson was also open several times against the Bears without getting the ball. There's a reason NFL teams prefer their quarterbacks to be taller than Seneca Wallace. Sometimes it seems as though Wallace doesn't see the field as well as a taller quarterback might. His accuracy suffered when he tried to throw over pressure up the middle.

Clare Farnsworth of seahawks.com says the team signed running back Louis Rankin to its practice squad, releasing running back Devin Moore and linebacker William Thomas.

John Morgan of Field Gulls says the Seahawks are a better team this season even though they have the same record through three games as in 2008. I agree. The current coaching staff has done a very good job preparing backups to perform at decent levels. David Hawthorne was dramatically better and more decisive against the Bears than he was against the 49ers, one reason the run defense didn't allow huge gains. The offensive line has weathered injuries much more effectively than when starters were sidelined in past seasons.