NFL Nation: Phil Trautwein

The Rams have managed to take a 3-0 halftime lead over the 49ers even though St. Louis is within an injury or two from calling Jackie Slater out of retirement to finish the game.

Last I saw, the Rams had Phil Trautwein at right tackle and John Greco at right guard. No matter how prepared the Rams were for this season, they probably never envisioned it coming to this. Adam Goldberg was at left guard. Center Jason Brown and left tackle Alex Barron are the only starters lining up in their projected places.

The Rams' offense is naturally struggling.

The 49ers don't really have an excuse for their problems on that side of the ball. They're' trying to go into the offseason feeling good about Alex Smith as their starting quarterback. Smith has completed 5 of 10 passes for 23 yards so far.

Rams: Cutdown analysis

September, 5, 2009
9/05/09
3:57
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando


Biggest surprise: The Rams cut former special-teams captain Todd Johnson, a safety, and they also flushed out two veteran receivers they hoped would contribute, Ronald Curry and Tim Carter. Keeping rookie quarterback Keith Null over the more experienced Brock Berlin made sense because the Rams' top two quarterbacks, Marc Bulger and Kyle Boller, have lots of seasoning. The biggest roster surprise came when the team traded 2006 first-round cornerback Tye Hill to the Falcons. Free-agent addition Quincy Butler stuck on the 53-man roster after a strong training camp and preseason. He looked better than Hill, frankly, and the Rams' new leadership wasn't afraid to part with symbols of past failures. Placing defensive tackle Adam Carriker on injured reserve cleared another spot.

No-brainers: The Rams also released linebacker K.C. Asiodu, defensive tackle Antwon Burton, tight end Eric Butler, defensive end Ian Campbell, linebacker Dominic Douglas, tackle Renardo Foster, fullback Jerome Johnson, center Tim Mattran, running back Chris Ogbonnaya, cornerback Cord Parks, running back Antonio Pittman, safety Mark Rubin, guard Roy Schuening, tackle Phil Trautwein and receiver Sean Walker.

What's next: The Rams still need to make one move by the 6 p.m. ET deadline for complying with the 53-man limit. With only four running backs on the roster, counting fullback Mike Karney, the team probably needs to seek help at the position. Backup Samkon Gado suffered injured ribs in the final exhibition game. The Rams lack quality depth and they are starting over. As a result, the team could pursue players released from other teams.

Update: The Rams placed defensive lineman Eric Moore on injured reserve to comply with the 53-man limit.

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic says Anquan Boldin reported late to training camp after doubling back to pick up two teammates' whose vehicle had broken down. Does the collective bargaining agreement allow him to submit for mileage reimbursement?

Also from Somers: All Cardinals players made their weight targets, including Alan Branch. Tight end Stephen Spach has been cleared to practice once a day following ACL surgery.

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com says the mood was light as players reported for camp, with coach Ken Whisenhunt and quarterback Kurt Warner exchanging friendly banter in front of reporters.

Revenge of the Birds' Hawkwind singles out Chike Okeafor, Lyle Sendlein and Gabe Watson as Cardinals players entering pivotal seasons.

Chris Sullivan of Seahawk Addicts expects Josh Wilson to compete hard for the starting job at right cornerback even though Ken Lucas is the heavy favorite to emerge in the No. 1 role.

Clare Farnsworth of Seahawks.com examines changes to training camp as the team holds its first one at its new facility.

Nick Wagoner of stlouisrams.com checks in with second-round Rams linebacker James Laurinaitis, who was happy to sign in time for training camp. Laurinaitis: "You don't want anyone to think of you as that guy holding out. You don't want that label on you and I am just glad it's all over with. A lot of guys do mean it when they say they want to be in camp on time. You are missing a lot of football, a lot of good teaching if you hold out."

Also from Wagoner: audio from his conversation with Bernie Miklasz of 101ESPN St. Louis. Wagoner points to Daniel Fells, Roger Allen, Phil Trautwein and Larry Grant as lesser-known players who could make an impact in training camp.

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch expects the Rams to reach agreement with first-round choice Jason Smith in the near future. That would probably help the Seahawke define the market for Aaron Curry. Smith and Curry were the only non-quarterbacks drafted among the top four overall choices.

VanRam of Turf Show Times points to Mike Karney's addition as an important offseason move by the Rams. Might Karney help in the red zone?

Patrick Hooper of 49ers.com passes along Demetric Evans' thoughts on playing in Greg Manusky's defense. Evans: "[Manusky] told me that the 3-4 they run is not the typical 3-4, where you are just holding blocks. They allow the d-linemen to get up the field and make plays."

John Crumpacker of the San Francisco Chronicle offers Mike Singletary's reflections on missing training camp when Singletary was a player. Singletary: "I'm a guy of principle. I was prepared to sit out for the whole duration. It worked out."

Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat details the 49ers' roster moves and says the team expects to sign a defensive lineman while Michael Crabtree's absence leaves open a roster spot.

Bob Padecky of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat assesses Alex Smith's chances to right his career. Smith says he's throwing the ball effortlessly, a big change from his injury-plagued past.

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee says 49ers rookie Ricky Jean-Francois is suffering from a stomach ailment. The note allowed Barrows to work in a rare reference to Pannel Egboh.

Daniel Brown of the San Jose Mercury News poses five questions facing the 49ers this summer. Can the 49ers field a top-10 defense? I think they can with some help from the offense.

Andrew Davidson of Niners Nation assesses the fantasy prospects of 49ers players. Davidson: "Let me begin by saying do not draft Shaun Hill if you are playing in a standard league. ... A player like Shaun Hill won't serve a lot of fantasy purpose, mainly because there are 32 starting QBs in the NFL, and you'll be fighting for one of the top 12. It is safe to say Shaun Hill is not a top 12 quarterback in fantasy football (or the NFL)." Will Hill start?

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