NFL Nation: Samie Parker

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck is completing 48.5 percent of his passes with a 60.1 rating, but the Seahawks aren't worried about him at all. They know his struggles stem from what might qualify as unprecedented turnover at the receiver position over the first three games.

The bye week allows Seattle to address the situation in ways that go beyond the stopgap solutions of previous weeks. Bobby Engram, who caught 94 passes last season, should be back from a shoulder injury in Week 5. Deion Branch, sidelined by a knee injury suffered during the playoffs last season, also might make his 2008 debut.

Those options beat anything more Seattle might do to address the passing game. The Seahawks are past the point of hitting the panic button at receiver. Save for Billy McMullen's surprisingly strong performances, that button was about as effective as Samie Parker's four-day tenure as a receiving option with the team.

Hasselbeck might face another tough week when Seattle visits the Giants in Week 5. Seattle won't fix its passing game right away. We should expect improvement, however, as the season progresses and key players return to health.

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch wonders if the Rams are really as bad as they looked in the opener. Fan reaction has been resoundingly negative.

Also from Thomas: a look at Rams linebacker Will Witherspoon's matchup with Giants running back Brandon Jacobs.

More from Thomas: breaking down the game. He gives the Giants the edge in three of four categories. He offers an "even" verdict when the Rams' pass offense is working against the Giants' pass defense.

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee explains why the 49ers go with veterans in their secondary. It's a Mike Nolan thing.

Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat says the 49ers have struggled against the noise at Qwest Field. Officials have flagged the 49ers for six false starts in the team's last two games at the stadium.

Dan Brown of the San Jose Mercury News says the Seahawks' opponents have averaged a league-high 2.83 false-start penalties per game at Qwest Field since 2005.

Also from Maiocco: Seattle wins this game if the Seahawks can force two turnovers.

Chrissy Mauck of 49ers.com quotes offensive coordinator Mike Martz on what Rocky Bernard means to the Seahawks' defense. Martz: "He does change them dramatically up front with his presence."

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic says the Cardinals are looking for a "milestone" victory -- in Week 2. Oddsmakers favor Arizona by nearly a touchdown over the Dolphins, even though the Cardinals haven't been 2-0 since 1991.

Mike Tulumello of the East Valley Tribune checks in with Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald has 333 receptions, more than twice what Jerry Rice had at the same age.

Clare Farnsworth of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer breaks down keys to the 49ers-Seahawks game. He's wondering whether the Seahawks' pass catchers can improve upon their six-drop performance last week.

Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times provides a couple of thoughts on the Seahawks' decision to release receiver Samie Parker instead of a kicker. He suggests Parker might not have been able to absorb the offensive system well enough to make a difference before Deion Branch and/or Bobby Engram return.

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune says the Seahawks expect backup quarterback Seneca Wallace to work at receiver in Week 2. I indicated Wednesday that the free-agent signings of Samie Parker and Billy McMullen suggested Wallace might not move to receiver. Well, Wallace is going to help at receiver, if only for the short term. The team still views Wallace as a quarterback -- Wallace is even wearing the red non-contact jersey reserved for QBs -- but the versatile backup passer will certainly get reps at receiver in the short term.

Clare Farnsworth of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer says the Seahawks are scrambling to find injury replacements for fallen starters on offense.

Greg Johns of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer checks in with new Seahawks punter Jon Ryan, who draws inspiration from his late father.

Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune says Mike Holmgren wasn't kidding when he warned players that jobs aren't safe in the NFL. Holmgren: "It's really hard on the players. But you're competing ... it's not civil service."

Matt Maiocco of Instant 49ers assesses what went wrong with Alex Smith in San Francisco. There is plenty of blame to go around.

Also from Maiocco: Smith's big game against Seattle in 2006 did not foreshadow long-term success.

And this: Notes on new 49ers quarterback Jamie Martin and outgoing Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren.

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee revisits another of Smith's performances at Seattle, this one underscoring how "bizarre and dysfunctional" things had become.

Also from Barrows: Martin and 49ers offensive coordinator Mike Martz were together in 1993.

Dan Brown of the San Jose Mercury News says 49ers coach Mike Nolan was "short on details and sentiment" in announcing Smith's placement on injured reserve.

Ann Killion of the San Jose Mercury News blames the 49ers for mishandling Smith as the team placed its former No. 1 draft choice on IR. Killion: "It's a sad ending to a pathetic story that pretty much sums up the 49ers' ineptitude under coach Mike Nolan."

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic compares the Cardinals' pass rushers to baseball relief pitchers. Both are important for closing out games.

Mike Tulumello of the East Valley Tribune looks at the Cardinals' improved depth on defense. He leads with a note on Calais Campbell.

Also from Tulumello: Arizona looks for its first 2-0 start since 1991.

Steve Korte of the Belleville News-Democrat says the future is now for the Rams' young receivers. Veteran starter Drew Bennett is on crutches after breaking a bone in his foot.

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch checks in with Rams quarterback Marc Bulger, who is looking to move past a 38-3 defeat in the opener.

Bill Coats of Around the Horns says Rams rookie receiver Donnie Avery had to watch another rookie, the Eagles' DeSean Jackson, shine during the opener while Avery rested an injury. Also, Chris Long is playing at left defensive end while Leonard Little recovers from a hamstring injury. James Hall is at right end.

Panthers: Cutdown analysis

August, 30, 2008
8/30/08
8:57
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

Biggest surprise: Can't really say there was any shock at Carolina's moves. But I think it's fair to say the release of defensive end Stanley McClover was a big disappointment to the team. McClover had plenty of chances last year and in training camp. McClover had potential but never was able to get anything out of that and the Panthers decided to keep undrafted rookie Hilee Taylor. They could still look to add another defensive end.

No-brainer: A day ago, cornerback and return man Ricardo Colclough probably would have been on the roster. But Colclough was charged with driving while impaired early this morning and that probably prompted his release. The Panthers might put up with some issues from important players, but not from Colclough.

What's next: With Steve Smith suspended for the first two games, the Panthers still let veteran receivers Samie Parker and Travis Taylor go. They did keep undrafted rookie Dominique Thompson but it's likely they'll scour the list of newly-available receivers.

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