NFC West: Grey Ruegamer
The Seahawks have released guard Grey Ruegamer and claimed guard Brian De La Puente from the Chiefs, but that might not be the biggest roster move of the day. In other words, the team hasn't announced an agreement with Edgerrin James or made room for him on its roster. Update: James' agent remains at Seahawks headquarters. He had left earlier in the day.
T.J. Duckett, the player seemingly most affected by a potential James signing, was not at practice. Reading between the lines, it's looking like the team is preparing for the possibility of adding James, but nothing is official.
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
The Seahawks have a few tough decisions to make before reducing their roster to 53 players in less than three weeks.
The final spot or two at receiver remain unsettled. I see at least 10 defensive linemen worth keeping, but perhaps no more than eight offensive linemen. The final spots at all three general positions on defense -- line, linebackers and secondary -- could spur debate.
The Seahawks aren't even certain which kicker will earn a roster spot, opening possible trade scenarios for teams with needs at the position.
The chart provides a framework for how many players the Seahawks might keep at each position heading into the regular-season opener against the Rams.
Here's a quick look at which Seahawks players I might keep on the cutdown to 53 players:
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch cites sources as saying Rams receiver Donnie Avery suffered a stress fracture in his left foot. He suggests stress fractures can be slow to heal. The Rams set the timetable at four to six weeks. Thomas: "The Rams worked out two free agents Sunday: defensive end Shaun Smith [most recently with Cleveland] and safety Anthony Scirrotto [most recently with Carolina]. But no wide receivers. That could change this week."
Bill Coats of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says injuries are slowly mounting for the Rams. Adam Carriker could miss two weeks after spraining an ankle. In other news, rookie James Laurinaitis is getting work with the starting defense for the first time.
Bryan Burwell of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch profiles Laurinaitis, who explains his neck -- or lack thereof -- as something beyond his control. Laurinaitis: "Yeah, yeah, I know. Believe it or not, I didn't do anything to get it like this. No special exercises. That's all genetics. When your dad is a pro wrestler and your mom is a power lifter, this is the kind of neck you get. I had no choice, really."
Steve Korte of the Belleville News-Democrat says Laurinaitis is catching on quickly.
Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic says the Cardinals like their mix of tight ends even though the position carries some uncertainty for the team. Coach Ken Whisenhunt: "It's great we have competition, and it's making those guys perform at a high level. We still have four [preseason] games to play and that's going to go a ways in determining how it does shake out."
Darren Urban of azcardinals.com says Cardinals safety Adrian Wilson would like to become the 10th player in NFL history with 20 sacks and 20 interceptions during a career. He needs two interceptions and 1.5 sacks to get there. I'd be surprised if he fell short while playing in a full season.
Also from Urban: thoughts after the first week of training camp. Avoiding injuries in the defensive front seven is key. Also, Tim Hightower has a clear edge on Beanie Wells after Wells suffered an ankle injury during his first practice.
Greg Johns of seattlepi.com quotes Seahawks offensive coordinator Greg Knapp as saying the competition at receiver is the best he has seen in 15 years of coaching.
John Morgan of Field Gulls offers his take on how the Seahawks might play defense this season after watching them in practice Sunday. Morgan: "Ends will drop into coverage. The Seahawks will use [John] Marshall-style stunts and zone blitzes. Josh Wilson will be an active player and Seattle will not be shy to go nickel. Tweener ends like [Darryl] Tapp and Nick Reed (should he make the squad) might rush from the second level. The secondary will play underneath the receiver and play for the ball. Tweener tackles like Cory Redding and Lawrence Jackson will slide inside. And defenders will get their hands up and attempt to tip the ball. Leroy Hill and Lawrence Jackson each got a piece of one and the resulting wounded duck could've fallen anywhere and to anyone."
Eric D. Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune also focuses on the Seahawks' competition at receiver. He also notes that center Chris Spencer could return from an ankle injury this week.
John Boyle of the Everett Herald recaps Seahawks practice Sunday and includes a list of players who did not practice. Lofa Tatupu received a day off. Boyle: "Here's the rest of the list of players who didn't practice today: LT Walter Jones (back), CB Marcus Trufant (back), G/C Grey Ruegamer (elbow), C Chris Spencer (ankle), LB D.D. Lewis (knee), and LB Will Herring (groin). Lewis didn't suffer a recent injury, but rather is getting some periodic time off in camp to rest his knee, which was scoped in the offseason."
Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat takes a player-by-player look at the 49ers on offense. Maiocco on Shaun Hill: "He has done nothing to lose the starting job. It's important in this offense that the quarterback be able to pose a threat down the field to keep the defense honest. After the first few days, there were some questions. But Hill seems to have focused on showing that aspect of his game. He connected on several deep passes Saturday. The first week of training camp was the best he's looked at this time of year. In my mind, he's still the front-runner to win the starting job Week 1, but a lot can happen in the first two exhibition games before Mike Singletary makes the call."
John Crumpacker of the San Francisco Chronicle provides a timeline for the 49ers' practice Thursday.
Also from Crumpacker: a look at how 49ers players prepared for training camp. Crumpacker on Patrick Willis: "The team's star linebacker spent three weeks in Las Vegas doing mixed martial arts training at the gym owned by MMA star Randy Couture. He boxed, dabbled in jujitsu and sparred with trainers and fighters."
The 49ers' Web site poses 20 offbeat questions to guard Chilo Rachal. We find out he likes to sing "Billy Jean" in the shower.
Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee says Vernon Davis, Frank Gore and Ahmad Brooks are having good camps for the 49ers. Jason Hill, Bear Pascoe and Thomas Clayton haven't impressed him quite so much.
Daniel Brown of the San Jose Mercury News says the 49ers have high hopes for Davis -- still.
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Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat says new 49ers receiver Brandon Jones suffered a sprained shoulder during practice. Also, coach Mike Singletary says he "loves" Vernon Davis despite the tight end's occasional issues, which included taking swings at teammate Marques Harris during the morning practice.
Also from Maiocco: a list of the seven longest rookie contract disputes in 49ers history. Jimmy Webb's lasted 43 days in 1975. Also, Maiocco thinks the 49ers should keep four quarterbacks on their 53-man roster.
More from Maiocco: The 49ers could, in theory, trade rights to Michael Crabtree.
John Crumpacker of the San Francisco Chronicle updates the Crabtree situation before crediting receiver Dominique Zeigler with the 49ers' play of the day.Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee runs play-by-play results for quarterbacks Shaun Hill and Alex Smith.
Also from Barrows: Singletary made the entire team run sprints as punishment for Davis' fight.
More from Barrows: The 49ers yawned amid Crabtree-related reports.
Mark Emmons of the San Jose Mercury News says receiver Josh Morgan returned to practice after suffering a neck strain that appeared more serious at first.
Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic checks in with Cardinals quarterback Brian St. Pierre, who is getting more reps than usual as he challenges Matt Leinart for the No. 2 job.
Also from Somers: Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt points to undisciplined play and poor communication as problems for the team on defense last season.
More from Somers: Early Doucet (shoulder) and Beanie Wells (ankle) probably will not play against the Steelers in the exhibition opener.
Darren Urban of azcardinals.com says the physical Bryant McFadden and athletic Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie form a perfect pair of corners in the Arizona secondary.
Also from Urban: a story about Urban. Jerheme Urban.
Jim Moore of seattlepi.com looks into Seahawks offensive lineman Grey Ruegamer's employment background. Moore: "When he was at Arizona State, Ruegamer spent one summer on a farm where he castrated lambs with his teeth. That's right, he castrated lambs with his teeth. As the story goes, Ruegamer was helping a Basque family friend on her Nevada farm. This is how Basque ranchers castrate lambs -- according to Ruegamer, using your teeth instead of a knife quickens the healing process."
John Boyle of the Everett Herald says the Seahawks are trying to make a statement on defense.
Clare Farnsworth of Seahawks.com checks in with guard Rob Sims, who is healthy and having fun again -- while playing well -- at left guard.
Also from Farnsworth: a camp report for Thursday.
Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times quotes Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck as saying receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh "shows up" in the red zone and on third down.
Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Rams are gearing up for their scrimmage. Thomas: '[Coach Steve] Spagnuolo said the scrimmage will feature a lot of situational work. Not all of tonight's drills and 11-on-11 work will be live. But there will be some 'move-the-ball' situations that will look very much like game situations. Except, of course, that the quarterbacks can't get hit. And as usually is the case in these affairs, none of the special-teams sessions will feature full contact."
Bill Coats of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says second-year Rams defensive end Chris Long feels a "swagger" building among defensive teammates.
Steve Korte of the Belleville News-Democrat quotes Rams tight end Randy McMichael as saying the team is responding well to drills with live tackling.
Also from Korte: Rams defensive backs pick up loose balls in practice or face self-imposed fines.
Steve Wyche of NFL.com reports from Rams camp. Writes Wyche, a former Falcons beat reporter: "St. Louis might have found a complementary receiving option in third-year player Laurent Robinson, who was acquired in a low-profile trade with Atlanta over the summer. The 6-2, 200-pound Robinson is working in the top-three receiver rotation, playing wide and out of the slot. He is a deep threat but is also a solid catch-and-run player, which is ideal for St. Louis' West Coast system. He had a solid rookie season with the Falcons after being taken in the third round of the 2007 draft, but injury problems and a lack of physicality in the running game made him expendable in Atlanta."
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat says 49ers coach Mike Singletary knows about missing camp during a contract dispute. He did it as a player -- twice. Singletary also ruled out any chance of the 49ers signing Michael Vick.
49ers.com provides a transcript of the answers Singletary gave to reporters' questions.
Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee provides lots of 49ers notes before concluding that the third day of training camp should be pivotal in finding out which players are tough enough to handle Singletary's regimen. Good to know. I'll be there that day.
Taylor Price of 49ers.com checks in with players as they report for training camp. Facility upgrades mean changes to the locker room. Shaun Hill had some fun with it: "Frank Gore has one of the messiest lockers in the history of lockers. So, I'm a little bit excited that I'm no longer next to Frank. But I did move one locker closer to Alex [Smith] and he has the second-messiest locker in the locker room. It is a little bit of an upgrade ... but not much."
David Fucillo of Niners Nation breaks out the dictionary to determine whether 49ers rookie receiver Michael Crabtree is holding out. I think the term is misapplied to unsigned players. We assume both sides have made contract proposals. Either side could end the stalemate by agreeing to the other side's proposal. Does anyone accuse the team of holding out? Exactly. The term is a loaded one.
Bill Coats of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo decided to hold training camp at the team's facility with an eye toward the fans. Coats: "Spagnuolo 'had the option' for the location of the Rams' camp, GM Billy Devaney said Tuesday. 'And he said, 'You know what? We need to reconnect. I understand that part of the problem around here was not connecting with the fans. At least this year for sure, we've got to stay here.' And I know it kind of went against what he's used to doing. But he gave the fan part of it a lot of importance. And that was his call. If he'd have said, 'I want to go some place [out of town],' we'd have found some place."
Also from Coats: The Rams' situation at wide receiver is wide open. Hard to imagine they'll face Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce as opponents this season.
Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch checks in with Rams running backs coach Sylvester Croom. Thomas: "During Croom's four-year stint as offensive coordinator in Detroit (1997-2000), the Lions earned two playoff berths and had some of the league's most productive offenses with Barry Sanders at running back (until Sanders abruptly retired before the '99 season), and Herman Moore and Johnnie Morton at wide receiver."
Also from Thomas: Rams-related thoughts during his weekly chat. Thomas: "Even with the addition of [Ronald] Curry, I think the WR position remains the biggest question mark on the team. And I seriously wonder if the Rams are even close to having enough at the position to keep defenses honest. Yes, I realize that the return to health of TE Randy McMichael helps, and that Steven Jackson is a good pass-catching at RB. But has [Donnie] Avery shown you enough to convince you that he's a legit No. 1 wideout? Can [Keenan] Burton stay healthy enough to develop into a consistent pass-catcher? Will Curry and [Laurent] Robinson show up when it counts? There are a lot of questions about this group."
VanRam of Turf Show Times suggests best- and worst-case scenarios for the Rams' offensive line. Wait, I thought the worst-case scenario was last season. Or was it 2007?
Tim Klutsarits of examiner.com offers 10 tips for fans visiting Rams training camp. Klutsarits: "If you go to training camp and watch nothing else, I ask you to please watch the one-on-one pass blocking drills between the offensive and defensive lineman. That is by far the most interesting and intense work you will see during an NFL practice." Agreed.
Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic says the Cardinals received their NFC championship rings Tuesday. Meanwhile, negotiations with first-round choice Beanie Wells are expected to continue Wednesday.
Also from Somers: a look at the Cardinals' secondary. Somers: "The real competition will come for the backup jobs. Rashad Johnson, a third-round pick, is going to make the team. He was drafted out of Alabama because he excelled at playing the ball and creating turnovers. Aaron Francisco and Matt Ware return. Both are solid special teams players, especially Francisco. But Francisco is due to make $1.25 million in 2009, so that could be a factor if cap space becomes a concern. It would be hard to part with Francisco, however, because of his special teams prowess."
More from Somers: Ken Whisenhunt's mindset coming off a Super Bowl defeat.
Revenge of the Birds' Hawkwind projects locks and bubble players on the Cardinals' 53-man roster. Hard to believe Mike Gandy qualifies as a bubble player, but you never know.
Greg Johns of seattlepi.com offers a tentative Seahawks depth chart heading into training camp. Look for Max Unger to rise from his third-string listing.
Eric D. Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune suggests the Seahawks do not necessarily need a highly ranked running game to succeed. The Cardinals, though ranked 32nd in regular-season rushing yards, use
d the running game more effectively during their Super Bowl run.
Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck paid tribute to longtime Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Johnson with this message via Twitter: "Jim Johnson -- one of the best Def Coordinators of all time. Ask any QB."
Mike Parker of Seahawk Addicts says Kelly Jennings must prove he belongs in the Seahawks' secondary.Adam Caplan of scout.com says the Seahawks worked out veteran offensive linemen Cory Withrow and Grey Ruegamer.
John Morgan of Field Gulls assesses the injury situation on the Seahawks' offensive line. I'll have a few more thoughts injury-wise as the day progresses.
Also from Morgan: thoughts on what those offensive line workouts might mean. Might the Seahawks need insurance at center? They might if they weren't sure Unger would sign in time for camp, or if they thought an injury might sideline another player.