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Around the NFC West: Don't bank on Rams

Howard Balzer of 101ESPN St. Louis is not so quick to dismiss the idea that the Rams could move to Los Angeles, even though owner Stan Kroenke appears unlikely to sell the team. Balzer: "After all, Kroenke does have that home in Malibu and he has been a member of the NFL's Los Angeles stadium committee. Plus, we all know about that funky stadium lease that was orchestrated by former club president John Shaw just as the papers were being signed to bring the Rams to St. Louis in 1995. While it has often been said the Rams are guaranteed to be here for at least four seasons, the reality is that if the team and CVC can't agree on a plan for the stadium issue by the end of 2012 and Kroenke wanted to leave, buying out the final two years of the lease would be a slam dunk." Having Los Angeles as an option should help Kroenke secure a more favorable stadium situation in St. Louis. Balzer is right in saying Rams fans should take nothing for granted.

Bill Coats of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says Rams training camp could return to the team's facility near St. Louis. Coats: "Rams Park always was an option, but the club had considered Missouri Science & Technology in Rolla and Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. Time is growing short for the club to make a commitment to one of those schools, and without a labor agreement in place, the league schedule is up in the air. Training camp normally gets under way in late July. The Rams would be permitted this year to open camp a week early because they are scheduled to play the Chicago Bears in the annual Pro Football Hall of Fame Game on Aug. 7 in Canton, Ohio."

Nick Wagoner of stlouisrams.com profiles Rams rookie receiver Greg Salas. Wagoner: "Spent the majority of his time at Hawaii working out of the slot where he rarely faced press coverage. Has the hands and physical skills to be an impact pass catcher but will need to become a sharp route runner capable of beating press coverage to become a high level wideout in the NFL."

Tony Softli of 101ESPN St. Louis foresees no sophomore slump for the Rams' Sam Bradford.

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com offers a few Cardinals-related notes, linking to a story about former tight end Leonard Pope saving a child from drowning. The boy's mother was watching her child, who suddenly went under. Said the mother: "I started screaming. Leonard was inside, and he came out of nowhere and dove into the water without any hesitation, cell phone in his pocket and all. He saved my son’s life, and I am so thankful that he was there for me and my child."

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic thinks the Cardinals' team-oriented defense will still require strong play from its stars.

Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com offers thoughts on the 49ers' recent practices. Maiocco: "Remember the talk a week after the draft that rookie quarterback Colin Kaepernick was going to learn the 49ers' playbook from Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck? 'Yeah, that was blown way out of proportion,' Kaepernick said. The 49ers' playbook is different from the Stanford playbook. Kaepernick said there was never any talk of getting Luck to teach him the playbook. Luck doesn't even know the 49ers' playbook. If Kaepernick has any questions, he's asking Alex Smith."

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee says conditioning should not be a problem for 49ers first-round choice Aldon Smith. Barrows: "On Thursday, Justin Smith had the group running two-by-two races up the east arch of Spartan Stadium, a grueling routine that lasted 40 minutes. Today, they were back on the east side of the stadium, this time sprinting up the bleachers from the bottom row to the top. Outside linebacker Parys Haralson was leading those drills. For Aldon Smith, it was no sweat. (Actually, his t-shirt was drenched like everyone else's). Smith was consistently among the first few players to the top on each run. The Smith boys -- Aldon, Alex and Justin -- seemed to excel at this drill."

Daniel Brown of the San Jose Mercury News says former 49ers quarterback Joe Montana had to cancel a scheduled appearance before the Santa Clara City Council after requiring stitches following an ATV accident. Brown: "Montana was scheduled to discuss his plans for building a hotel, restaurants and sports bars near the proposed new 49ers stadium."

Eric Branch of the Santa Rosa Press Democrat says 49ers kicker Fabrizio Scaccia has hit another long field goal try, this one from 57 yards, while playing in the Arena League.

Clare Farnsworth of seahawks.com revisits Steve Largent's contributions to the team. Farnsworth: "While doing some research for something that is only partially Largent related, this new are-you-kidding-me nugget was uncovered: In 1979, when Largent scored nine touchdowns, he averaged 36.3 yards on those scoring plays; and in 1978, when he had eight TDs, the average per scoring play was 36.1. Largent also soared around the 30-yard average in 1980 (30.2 on six scoring catches); 1977 (28.3 on 10 scoring catches); and 1981 (27.1 on nine scoring catches)."