NFL Nation: Dave Checketts

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says Blues chairman Dave Checketts is a contender to help keep the Rams in St. Louis. Wrote Checketts in an e-mail to the Post-Dispatch: "We have the ability to get this done and we have communicated this to the Rams. We approached this with the Rams months ago and have since that time put together a partnership of both concerned St. Louisans and outside capital. Last week, we communicated to Chip Rosenbloom in no uncertain terms, that he now has a clear St. Louis buyer. We are that buyer. We have reason to believe the NFL would approve our group as we have carefully explored their ownership requirements."

Earlier from Miklasz: Minority Rams owner Stan Kroenke offers the best hope for the team remaining in St. Louis. Miklasz: "He has the right of first refusal and can match any offer made to [Chip] Rosenbloom for that 60 percent [stake owned by Rosenbloom and sister Lucia Rodriguez]." Miklasz says the St. Louis community has five or six years to prevent a move. What happens if an outsider purchases the team with clear intent to relocate? Staying becomes untenable at that point, no?

Jeff Gordon of stltoday.com says keeping the Rams could depend on whether the St. Louis economy can recover.

VanRam of Turf Show Times asks whether the Rams' potential sale could become a distraction for players and coaches. Absolutely it could.

Taylor Price of 49ers.com checks in with new 49ers cornerback Dre Bly. Competition between Bly and Tarell Brown for the starting job will apparently be waged on friendly terms. Brown: "It's a wonderful feeling having a veteran come out here. He's a Pro Bowl-caliber player and it's great to have the opportunity to learn from him and watch him work."

Kevin Lynch of Niner Insider takes issue with the 49ers' decision to let Isaac Bruce wear No. 80 during practice. Lynch: "Bruce said last year he wears it because it makes him feel comfortable and because he can spot himself more readily on film. Lame excuses both, and it's bad form the 49ers allow Bruce to wear Rice's number anywhere but in the privacy of Bruce's own home. What about tradition, about legacy, about preserving a uniform number for the best receiver to ever play the game?" On the other hand, Rice didn't have much trouble borrowing Steve Largent's No. 80 during his lone season with the Seahawks.

John Crumpacker of the San Francisco Chronicle quotes Bly as expressing supreme confidence in his abilities. Bly: "It's always been easy for me. I'm not trying to be arrogant. I've been consistently making plays. I haven't lost much quickness. I ain't no 4.3 guy [in the 40-yard dash], but I have football speed. My instincts make up for it. Everything is converted to football speed, and I have football speed."

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee says Bly worked with the starters in practice Monday, but so did Brown. Nate Clements wasn't feeling well.

Daniel Brown of the San Jose Mercury News updates Ronnie Lott's charitable interests.

Also from Brown: Bly listed among his career highlights the time in 1999 when Bruce first spoke to him. They were teammates with the Rams. Bruce made Bly wait two months.

David Fucillo of Niners Nation sizes up the 49ers' situation in the return game. Not much clarity at this point.

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic says the Cardinals were relieved when Larry Fitzgerald avoided injury during an awkward practice fall. This might be a good time to stop writing about how the Cardinals avoided key injuries last season and how such things tend to even out. It doesn't take a Cardinals fan to appreciate what Fitzgerald brings to the game. Also, only Anquan Boldin, Darnell Dockett and Bertrand Berry have stayed away from practice.

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com says the Cardinals aren't yet sure what position Boldin will take in negotiations now that Tom Condon has taken over as the receiver's agent.

Eric D. Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune says Seahawks fullback Owen Schmitt is appearing in an acclaimed documentary about a small-town football agent and three prospects. Did Leonard Weaver have that kind of range?

Also from Williams: Answers to a few Seahawks-related questions and a picture of his 110-pound black Russian terrier. 

John Morgan of Field Gulls revisits Lofa Tatupu's difficult 2008 season. Morgan: "This is the Tatupu scouts warned us about and it's likely the Tatupu we'll see again if his wheels get busted out. He lost enough quickness that he could no longer cut downhill and towards the ball carrier. Attempting tackles from the side or rear, Tatupu failed to wrap and was cut away from or dropped. It led to a lot of missed tackles, a lot of broken tackles and some tackles where that extra few yards gained turned a stop into a good gain." No question, Tatupu needs better health in 2009. He also played through a thumb injury that required surgery.

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Clare Farnsworth of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer checks in with Seahawks defensive backs coach Jim Mora, who says the team will figure out how to defend big plays. Seattle is on pace to allow 68 pass plays of at least 20 yards, up from 47 last season. The Packers' Greg Jennings visits Qwest Field in Week 6. Jennings leads the NFL in receptions of at least 20 yards. He has 11, four more than any other player.

Also from Farnsworth: Coach Mike Holmgren doesn't want to hear any excuses.

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune says Koren Robinson and Josh Wilson could see more playing time for Seattle this week. Robinson has yet to play in a game this season.

Also from Williams: Highlights from Holmgren's mid-week news conference. Holmgren weighed in on the hit that injured Matt Hasselbeck's knee. 

Frank Hughes of the Tacoma News Tribune quotes Holmgren as saying Jim Zorn's departure isn't the reason behind Hasselbeck's poor stats this season. Holmgren points to injuries at receiver and warns against making judgments too soon.

Also from Hughes: Receiver Courtney Taylor could have signed with Denver's practice squad.

Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times quotes Holmgren as saying Wilson will get more work at right cornerback starting this week.

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com says Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is going through growing pains as a rookie. Of course, Rodgers-Cromartie isn't the only cornerback to struggle against the Bills' Lee Evans.

Also from Urban: J.J. Arrington isn't sure if he'll keep getting snaps in the offense, but he's happy to become relevant again.

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic says Rodgers-Cromartie is learning that speed can't cover for every mistake in the NFL.

Bob Young of the Arizona Republic offers a primer for beating the Cowboys. He recommends inviting Carrie Underwood and Jessica Simpson to sing the national anthem.

Scott Bordow of the East Valley Tribune wonders how NFL scouts whiffed on Kurt Warner and Tony Romo, star quarterbacks who entered the NFL as free agents.

Mike Tulumello of the East Valley Tribune says the Cardinals' short-passing game might represent their new identity on offense. The team has scored 76 points in its last six quarters.

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Rams are collecting veteran castoffs, notably Ricky Manning and Jason Craft.  Thomas also suggests why Fakhir Brown has yet to re-sign with the team. The collective bargaining agreement could allow Brown to collect two salaries this season, but only if he misses one game check.

Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says St. Louis Blues CEO Dave Checketts might have interest in purchasing the Rams.

Bill Coats of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch updates Dane Looker's condition.

Also from Coats: Eddie Kennison doesn't mind being cut and re-signed in quick order.

More from Coats: The Rams have made a few changes under Jim Haslett, picking up the pace of practices, but most things remain unchanged.

Ann Killion of the San Jose Mercury News isn't the first person to accuse 49ers coach Mike Nolan of running a "vanilla" defense.

John Crumpacker of the San Francisco Chronicle writes about how the 49ers drafted Kentwan Balmer and Chilo Rachal when they could have had DeSean Jackson instead. They'll have to defend Jackson when the Eagles visit Candlestick Park.

Also from Crumpacker: The 49ers' Michael Lewis gets a shot at his former team.

Dan Brown of 49ers Hot Read says the Eagles' Jackson remains motivated to succeed against the teams that didn't draft him.

Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat provides highlights from Nolan's mid-week news conference, including the coach's belief that other players would help the 49ers more quickly than Jackson would have helped the team.

Also from Maiocco: Answers to readers' questions. He's not hearing anything on the trade front.

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee notes that the Eagles chose Jackson with the -- get this -- 49th overall choice in the draft.

Also from Barrows: Jerry Rice mentored Jackson before the draft. The Eagles were impressed by the former Cal receiver's knowledge of the West Coast offense.

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