NFC West: Eddie Kennison

Rams make it official: Pace will not play

October, 19, 2008

Posted by's Mike Sando

The Rams listed left tackle Orlando Pace among their inactive players against Dallas, as expected. Adam Goldberg gets the start.

Also inactive for the Rams: cornerback Tye Hill, running back Antonio Pittman, guard Roy Schuening, receiver Drew Bennett, receiver Eddie Kennison and receiver Dane Looker.

Expect young receivers Donnie Avery and Keenan Burton to play extensively. Avery was already starting. Burton becomes the third receiver ahead of Dante Hall, most likely.

Posted by's Mike Sando

Clare Farnsworth of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer checks in with Seahawks defensive backs coach Jim Mora, who says the team will figure out how to defend big plays. Seattle is on pace to allow 68 pass plays of at least 20 yards, up from 47 last season. The Packers' Greg Jennings visits Qwest Field in Week 6. Jennings leads the NFL in receptions of at least 20 yards. He has 11, four more than any other player.

Also from Farnsworth: Coach Mike Holmgren doesn't want to hear any excuses.

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune says Koren Robinson and Josh Wilson could see more playing time for Seattle this week. Robinson has yet to play in a game this season.

Also from Williams: Highlights from Holmgren's mid-week news conference. Holmgren weighed in on the hit that injured Matt Hasselbeck's knee. 

Frank Hughes of the Tacoma News Tribune quotes Holmgren as saying Jim Zorn's departure isn't the reason behind Hasselbeck's poor stats this season. Holmgren points to injuries at receiver and warns against making judgments too soon.

Also from Hughes: Receiver Courtney Taylor could have signed with Denver's practice squad.

Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times quotes Holmgren as saying Wilson will get more work at right cornerback starting this week.

Darren Urban of says Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is going through growing pains as a rookie. Of course, Rodgers-Cromartie isn't the only cornerback to struggle against the Bills' Lee Evans.

Also from Urban: J.J. Arrington isn't sure if he'll keep getting snaps in the offense, but he's happy to become relevant again.

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic says Rodgers-Cromartie is learning that speed can't cover for every mistake in the NFL.

Bob Young of the Arizona Republic offers a primer for beating the Cowboys. He recommends inviting Carrie Underwood and Jessica Simpson to sing the national anthem.

Scott Bordow of the East Valley Tribune wonders how NFL scouts whiffed on Kurt Warner and Tony Romo, star quarterbacks who entered the NFL as free agents.

Mike Tulumello of the East Valley Tribune says the Cardinals' short-passing game might represent their new identity on offense. The team has scored 76 points in its last six quarters.

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Rams are collecting veteran castoffs, notably Ricky Manning and Jason Craft.  Thomas also suggests why Fakhir Brown has yet to re-sign with the team. The collective bargaining agreement could allow Brown to collect two salaries this season, but only if he misses one game check.

Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says St. Louis Blues CEO Dave Checketts might have interest in purchasing the Rams.

Bill Coats of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch updates Dane Looker's condition.

Also from Coats: Eddie Kennison doesn't mind being cut and re-signed in quick order.

More from Coats: The Rams have made a few changes under Jim Haslett, picking up the pace of practices, but most things remain unchanged.

Ann Killion of the San Jose Mercury News isn't the first person to accuse 49ers coach Mike Nolan of running a "vanilla" defense.

John Crumpacker of the San Francisco Chronicle writes about how the 49ers drafted Kentwan Balmer and Chilo Rachal when they could have had DeSean Jackson instead. They'll have to defend Jackson when the Eagles visit Candlestick Park.

Also from Crumpacker: The 49ers' Michael Lewis gets a shot at his former team.

Dan Brown of 49ers Hot Read says the Eagles' Jackson remains motivated to succeed against the teams that didn't draft him.

Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat provides highlights from Nolan's mid-week news conference, including the coach's belief that other players would help the 49ers more quickly than Jackson would have helped the team.

Also from Maiocco: Answers to readers' questions. He's not hearing anything on the trade front.

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee notes that the Eagles chose Jackson with the -- get this -- 49th overall choice in the draft.

Also from Barrows: Jerry Rice mentored Jackson before the draft. The Eagles were impressed by the former Cal receiver's knowledge of the West Coast offense.

Posted by's Mike Sando

Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat looks at the 49ers' high draft choices on defense. We're going to stick with this theme across the division today. I've prepared a look at the last 10 defensive players each team has drafted in the first three rounds.

Mark Emmons of the San Jose Mercury News checks in with former 49ers player Ben Lynch, who is leading efforts to better understand and avoid concussions.

Darren Urban of says Steve Breaston refused to run onto the field for introductions in honor of the fallen teammate he replaced, Anquan Boldin. Also, the Cardinals hold sole possession of first place in the division later than they have since the 1988 team opened with a 4-2 record.

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic explores connections between the Cardinals' coaching staff and the Cowboys, who visit University of Phoenix Stadium on Sunday.

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch takes Rams-related questions from readers. He thinks Dante Hall is "on a very short leash."

Also from Thomas: The Rams cut Eddie Kennison, then re-signed him almost immediately.

More from Thomas: Rams defensive end Leonard Little has high hopes now that he's healthy.

Frank Hughes of the Tacoma News Tribune describes Jordan Kent, recently signed from the practice squad, as the Seahawks' best deep threat at receiver.

Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times looks at what remains of the Seattle passing game. It's not a pretty picture.

Clare Farnsworth of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer says the Seattle defense faces a long list of talented running backs.

Seahawks, Rams shuffle receivers

October, 7, 2008

Posted by's Mike Sando

The Rams got younger at receiver by releasing Eddie Kennison. The Seahawks dumped one young receiver for another, releasing Courtney Taylor and signing Jordan Kent from the practice squad. Meanwhile, former Seahawks running back Justin Forsett hit the market when the Colts released him after three games.

Look for the Rams to sign receiver Derek Stanley from the practice squad. The team had signed Kennison because he knew the offense and had worked under offensive coordinator Al Saunders in Kansas City. Stanley is younger and figures to get a shot under new coach Jim Haslett.

Taylor struggled for the Seahawks when pushed into a prominent role this season. He also does not project as a return specialist, one reason Michael Bumpus has managed to stick around. Kent's promotion comes after the team found out Deion Branch could miss time with a heel injury.

Update: As kylejs101 noted in the comments, the Rams brought back Kennison after finding out Dane Looker might not be ready to play. Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has the story.

Rams become NFL's oldest team

September, 13, 2008
TeamAverage AgeNFL Rank
Saints28.04 2
Posted by's Mike Sando

A couple of recent roster moves have made the Rams the oldest team in the league heading into Week 2. The Saints rank second.

St. Louis added 35-year-old receiver Eddie Kennison this week. The Saints placed linebacker Mark Simoneau, 31, on injured reserve. They also parted with tight end Billy Miller, also 31.

I calculate age by averaging to-the-day player ages (as opposed to rounding down, which treats every 35-year-old the same, even if one turned 35 today and the other turns 36 tomorrow).

In most cases, older teams should be primed for short-term success. The Saints might fit that description. The Rams are coming off a 3-13 season and a 38-3 defeat in their 2008 opener.

Seattle ranks seventh at 27.51 years old on average after releasing Samie Parker in favor of Michael Bumpus. The 49ers are eighth at 27.48. The Cardinals are 12th at 27.3.

Green Bay remains the youngest team in the league at 26.06 years old, just younger than the Colts (26.13).

Posted by's Mike Sando

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says 35-year-old Eddie Kennison can still run a 40-yard dash in the 4.4-second range. Kennison, re-signed by the Rams, could play for them against the Giants in Week 2. The Rams drafted Kennison in 1996.

Also from Thomas: Torry Holt expects continued double coverage. The Eagles shut him down in the opener.

Steve Korte of the Belleville News-Democrat says Kennison's only 1,000-yard seasons came with Al Saunders calling the plays in 2004 and 2005.

Scott Bordow of the East Valley Tribune wonders if this is going to be the Cardinals' year, finally. He cites Seattle's issues at receiver and Matt Hasselbeck's back issues as potential reasons for the Seahawks' demise.

Clark Judge of says the Cardinals' opening-game victory was huge because Arizona won on the road. Even coach Ken Whisenhunt calls it a "very big deal" given how infrequently the Cardinals have won road openers.

David Fucillo of Niners Nation was impressed watching 49ers linebacker Paryls Haralson collect 2 1/2 sacks against the Cardinals. Was it a one-game deal, or a sign of things to come?

Tom FitzGerald of the San Francisco Chronicle says Alex Smith and the 49ers are still awaiting word on Smith's shoulder injury.

Matt Maiocco of Instant 49ers expects Smith to land on injured reserve today. He also expects the 49ers to sign veteran Jamie Martin.

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic touches on the balance the Cardinals are seeking between Kurt Warner the gunslinger and Kurt Warner the technician. Somers also wasn't surprised to see Whisenhunt go for it on fourth down.

Danny O'Neil and Jose Romero of the Seattle Times say Seahawks guard Rob Sims might have suffered a season-ending pectoral injury. Floyd Womack would start at right guard if Sims became unavailable. Womack's injury history would be a concern. Seattle already lost veteran backup Chris Gray to a career-ending injury.

Clare Farnsworth of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer revisits Mike Holmgren's comments about players having to earn their place on the 53-man roster every week. The comments rang true when Seattle made several roster moves.

Also from Farnsworth: A blurb on Sims likely landing on injured reserve.

Posted by's Mike Sando

Darren Urban of says the Cardinals are looking for their first 2-0 start since 1991. That is truly amazing.

Bob McManaman of the Arizona Republic says Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt isn't afraid to dial up trick plays. We saw that Sunday when he sent cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie on a deep pass route.

Also from McManaman: Arizona's 18-play drive in the fourth quarter was its longest in 12 years.

Bill Coats of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Rams are expected to work out free-agent receiver Eddie Kennison as they seek help following Drew Bennett's injury. Also, the Rams' season opener drew a poor TV rating in the St. Louis market.

Jeff Gordon of wonders if the Rams will respond to coach Scott Linehan after losing for the 14th time in 17 games.

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says Linehan entered this season determined to handle defeats more effectively. Now's his chance.

Steve Korte of the Belleville News-Democrat says the Rams' lack of enthusiasm in the opener stemmed from their inability to execute, according to Linehan.

Dave Boling of Seahawks Insider breaks down Mike Holmgren's day-after-game news conference. The Bills' fake field goal might have stretched the rulebook, but that was the least of the Seahawks' concerns following a horrendous opener.

Also from Boling: Nate Burleson was stunned to find out he'll miss the rest of the season. Meanwhile, Matt Hasselbeck is no longer receiving treatment for his back.

And this: "Embarrassing" is the word to describe Seattle's opening-week performance.

Clare Farnsworth of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer says Burleson's injury was of the non-contact variety. He simply planted on the leg.

Also from Farnsworth: A breakdown of the Seahawks' injury situation.

Greg Johns of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer says backup quarterback Seneca Wallace might need to play receiver for the Seahawks. If not now, when?

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee says the 49ers are considering their options at quarterback while backup Alex Smith awaits word on his shoulder.

Larry Weisman of USA Today assesses the lack of quality receivers in the NFL, something John Clayton touched upon in June.