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Saturday, May 9, 2009
Around the NFC West: Why Rams LB didn't fit


Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Rams didn't think Pisa Tinoisamoa had the size to fit their scheme, and the team wasn't going to pay him starter money if he didn't fit the defense. That makes sense in theory, but the Rams will also need players this season. Are they strong enough at linebacker to make this move if injuries sideline Chris Draft or one of the other starters? This move carries some risk.

VanRam of Turf Show Times wasn't surprised when the Rams released Tinoisamoa. We know this because he wrote about the possibility in February: "While talk of cutting or trading Torry Holt and Orlando Pace has dominated roster talk around Rams nation, Pisa's name has bubbled up here and there as a potential casualty of business. We know the Rams are in store for plenty of roster turnover, so don't be shocked if Tinoisamoa joins the long list of former Rams."

The 49ers' Web site provides an interview transcript featuring thoughts from free-agent running back Kory Sheets. Sheets: "I plan on breaking that myth about me being a perimeter guy or a third-down back. I want to show everybody that I can be an every down back." Also from Sheets: "Growing up I used to watch Barry Sanders all the time. My high school coach gave me a tape of his highlights and I used to watch that all the time. I used to watch it at least three times a week just to see how he ran the ball. I definitely patterned my game after him."

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com explains what Kurt Warner sees from new quarterbacks coach Chris Miller. Urban: "Warner believes Miller will help in the translation of game preparation to actual game-planning, noting that sometimes with coaches that haven't played quarterback, 'in their mind, [a play] works, but sometimes it doesn't necessarily work when you are seeing it as a quarterback on the field.'" Warner's former position coach, Jeff Rutledge, also played in the NFL. Miller also wants to help Matt Leinart improve his footwork.

Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times recalls an NFL.com report that said Ken Lucas discouraged the Lions from acquiring him. Had the Panthers sent Lucas to the Lions in February, Detroit would have inherited Lucas' $5.6 million salary. Instead, the Panthers released Lucas, whose one-year deal with Seattle features $2.3 million in base salary and no bonuses.

John Morgan of Field Gulls draws from previous reports on Max Unger in putting together a detailed scouting report on Seattle's second-round draft choice. Morgan: "Health and muscle development will determine Unger's upside and downside. If knee injuries occur or worsen, he could lose enough agility and enough power to no longer be athletic enough to play in the league. If he fills out and develops better sustained power, he has the kind mastery of technique and innate athleticism to be a special, even Pro Bowl caliber, center or guard."

Greg Johns of seattlepi.com sizes up the Seahawks' running backs. T.J. Duckett says the organization is showing great faith in the current runners. I do not think the Seahawks were against adding to the position early in the draft. They found what they considered to be better values at other positions.