NFL roster cuts: AFC | NFC

Around the NFC West: Bring the noise

September, 12, 2008
9/12/08
9:51
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee describes 49ers offensive coordinator Mike Martz as borderline giddy over J.T. O'Sullivan's performance in the season opener. O'Sullivan had three turnovers, but Martz blamed receiver Arnaz Battle for running the wrong route on O'Sullivan's lone interception. Left tackle Joe Staley was responsible for allowing a fumble-forcing sack. Martz has much invested in O'Sullivan after bringing him to San Francisco from Detroit.

Tom FitzGerald of the San Francisco Chronicle says Martz welcomes crowd noise as "what the league is all about" -- and he'll encounter plenty at Qwest Field on Sunday. I do not think Staley, making his second NFL start at left tackle, will welcome the crowd noise when Julian Peterson is lining up wide on third down. That is a tough combination.

Also from FitzGerald: 49ers linebacker Tully Banta-Cain was "devastated" to be named inactive for the opening game. Banta-Cain: "I thought I did enough in the preseason to get on the field."

Dan Brown of 49ers Hot Read says Martz enters each game committed to getting "X" number of touches for running back Frank Gore. No other player on the roster figures into the game plan in that way, Martz said.

Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat also gets into the Gore factor. Martz: "Isaac [Bruce] and Vernon [Davis] and all the other guys, they're all good players and they'll have their opportunities. But [Gore is] the only guy that you go into a game and say, 'You know what? This guys needs to touch the ball 'X' amount of times.' " Martz wouldn't say how many touches Gore needs to get each game.

Scott Johnson of the Everett Herald says rookie receiver Michael Bumpus hopes to jump from the practice squad to the 53-man roster for the Seahawks' next game. The chances seem pretty good.

Frank Hughes of the Tacoma News Tribune watched Seattle cornerback Marcus Trufant leave practice with a hand injury. Trufant was wearing a light brace on his hand and wrist after practice.

Clare Farnsworth of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer says Julius Jones can't hide his excitement heading into his first home game and first start with the Seahawks. Jones has a chance to prove himself worthy of the role while Maurice Morris recovers from a knee injury.

Steve Korte of the Belleville News-Democrat says Rams cornerback Tye Hill doesn't know how much the Rams will use him in Week 2. The Rams benched Hill during the opening-day loss at Philadelphia. Defensive coordinator Jim Haslett: "We thought Tye was struggling at that point, and when he got beat on the inside route, he was supposed to be playing inside leverage. ... We just put in Fakhir [Brown] and slid Ron [Bartell] over to the other side. He struggled a little bit (Sunday) like everybody on defense. It was not just Tye."

Also from Korte: Rams running back Steven Jackson is eager to put the first game behind him. Offensive coordinator Al Saunders said the team probably abandoned the run a bit early after falling behind 14-0.

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says Dane Looker and Keenan Burton are among the Rams' receivers looking for more playing time after Drew Bennett's injury. Also, Adam Goldberg probably starts at left guard for the injured Jacob Bell.

Ben Volin of the Palm Beach Post quotes Cardinals receiver Anquan Boldin as saying he won't become a distraction to the team despite contract issues.

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com says Cardinals safety Adrian Wilson is wearing a No. 2 jersey in practice to remind himself that he must play better to be No. 1. Wilson wears No. 24 during games.

Also from Urban: a look at players playing for new contracts, including Karlos Dansby.

And this: Pursuit is the key word for Arizona on defense.

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic examines strong ties between the Dolphins' and Cardinals' coaching staffs heading into their game Sunday.

Mike Heller of the East Valley Tribune says Cardinals running back Tim Hightower has improved significantly since his dropping numerous passes during his initial workouts with the team. Hightower still has work to do. Heller: "It's the smaller stuff that has the affable Hightower still finding his way in the NFL. In preseason games against New Orleans and Oakland, he missed a blocking assignment, which led to sacks. A similar play happened against the 49ers, when Hightower didn't help his tight end on a defensive end, and [Kurt] Warner was sacked."

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