Around the NFC West: Rams bench Hill

September, 20, 2008
9/20/08
10:28
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Rams have benched cornerback Tye Hill. Hill and Fakhir Brown were the starting corners heading into the season. Hill has struggled. Ron Bartell became a starter when Brown rested a shoulder injury. Brown is back this week. Bartell will remain in the lineup. Hill is the odd man out, but he could play plenty because Seattle uses three-receiver personnel groupings regularly.

Steve Korte of the Belleville News-Democrat checks in with Rams receiver Torry Holt on a range of subjects, from the receiver's spectacular 45-yard touchdown catch to the offensive line's inability to protect Marc Bulger so far.

Also from Korte: Second-year Rams fullback Brian Leonard started seven games last season, but he is having a hard time getting on the field.

Tom FitzGerald of the San Francisco Chronicle says Takeo Spikes is becoming more comfortable in the 49ers' defense. Spikes signed with the 49ers after visiting Detroit. He gets a close-up look at the Lions this week.

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee says 49ers receiver Isaac Bruce pays attention to the little things, particularly when it comes to keeping his 35-year-old body in playing shape. Younger receivers are paying attention.

Also from Barrows: Fox announcer Brian Baldinger was one of the few people to predict J.T. O'Sullivan would win the starting job at quarterback for the 49ers. Baldinger based his prediction on experience watching O'Sullivan in NFL Europe.

Matt Maiocco of Instant 49ers answers reader questions after providing an update from 49ers practice. The team remains concerned about Shawntae Spencer's injured knee.

Paul Woody of the Richmond Times-Dispatch assesses Tim Hightower's impact as a rookie running back for the Cardinals. Woody: "Hightower graduated from the University of Richmond with a degree in religion and politics. He also played a little football there. When Hightower finished at UR, he had the school record for rushing yards (3,712) and touchdowns (39)."

Tom Kowalski of mlive.com says the Lions must limit the 49ers' big plays in Week 3.

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic says the Cardinals aren't getting ahead of themselves after two victories. They're happy with Kurt Warner's solid play, but it's only two games, coach Ken Whisenhunt points out.

Frank Hughes of the Tacoma News Tribune says Keary Colbert and Billy McMullen are the likely starting receivers for Seattle in Week 3.

Clare Farnsworth of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer says the Seahawks' secondary remains embarrassed about its most recent performance while vowing to play better against the Rams.

Jose Romero of the Seattle Times says the Seahawks are still waiting for Courtney Taylor to produce as a receiver. Taylor has impressed in practice over the last year or so, but he has struggled in games. Also, Sean Locklear participated fully in practice. The incumbent right tackle could be available Sunday. Ray Willis has played well enough for Seattle to take its time with Locklear's injury.

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