St. Louis Rams: Anthony Davis

In what is becoming a sort of offseason tradition, St. Louis Rams defensive end Chris Long is again stoking the flames of the Rams-49ers rivalry by responding to a tweet coming from the San Francisco area.

C. Long
Last year, it was the words of safety Craig Dahl, a former teammate of Long's, that drew a response from the defensive end and cornerback Cortland Finnegan. On Thursday, it was a tweet from San Francisco offensive tackle Anthony Davis.

Under the Twitter handle @AnthonyDavis76, Davis, who plays on the right side and whose primary responsibility is to deal with Long twice a year, began the exchange by tweeting Tuesday that "My rookie year Chris beat me every way you can beat a man. Ask him wassup now tho...…" with a link to an Instagram photo of him blocking Long.

When a fan asked Davis why he didn't make the statement with Long's Twitter handle -- @JOEL9ONE -- attached, Davis responded simply "he already know."

Long apparently didn't already know and opted to respond by lobbing some barbs back in Davis' direction after a disclaimer of "I don't usually talk ill of an opponent on here unless I'm provoked directly... But some guys are just attention starved. U got it boss."

From there, things spiraled into a war of words, some of which aren't appropriate for our family-friendly Rams blog. Here's a sample of some of the exchange.



Of course, the entire exchange, including the ensuing conversations with fans looking to get involved can be found on Twitter.

While the Rams and Niners rivalry doesn't quite meet the level of Niners-Seahawks, the fact that Long and Davis actually battle on every snap should only add more intrigue to games that have consistently been among the most physical in the league the past two years.

#NFLRank: A full NFC West accounting

August, 31, 2013
Fifteen San Francisco 49ers and 13 Seattle Seahawks helped the NFC West account for a disproportionate number of players listed in the #NFLRank project from ESPN.

Sixty-three voters helped rank 100 top players on each side of the ball. NFC West teams accounted for 20 players on defense and 16 on offense. The 36-player total works out to 18 percent representation for the NFC West, above the 12.5 percent expectation for any division.

The chart shows where NFC West players ranked on each list. I shaded offensive players in gray to better distinguish the rankings.

The 49ers' Patrick Willis and the Arizona Cardinals' Larry Fitzgerald have long been perceived as the best players in the division. They've got additional competition, but those two ranked higher than anyone else in the NFC West.

There were sure to be oversights in a project of this scope. Defensive end Calais Campbell of the Cardinals stands out to me as the most glaring one. I might have placed him between Patrick Peterson and Chris Long in defensive rankings as they stood for this project.

Three Seahawks cornerbacks earned spots on the list even though one of them, Antoine Winfield, reportedly could be released by the team Saturday in the reduction to 53 players Saturday.

A quick look at ranked players by team:

San Francisco 49ers: Patrick Willis (3), Aldon Smith (10), Justin Smith (11), Vernon Davis (18), NaVorro Bowman (18), Joe Staley (25), Mike Iupati (32), Frank Gore (37), Colin Kaepernick (42), Ahmad Brooks (56), Anthony Davis (60), Donte Whitner (64), Michael Crabtree (78), Anquan Boldin (83) and Jonathan Goodwin (92).

Seattle Seahawks: Richard Sherman (8), Earl Thomas (17), Percy Harvin (26), Marshawn Lynch (27), Brandon Browner (46), Russell Wilson (47), Russell Okung (49), Kam Chancellor (49), Max Unger (57), Bobby Wagner (67), Winfield (70), Cliff Avril (74) and Chris Clemons (85).

St. Louis Rams: Long (40), James Laurinaitis (57), Jake Long (61), Cortland Finnegan (63).

Arizona Cardinals: Larry Fitzgerald (7), Patrick Peterson (19), Daryl Washington (59) and Darnell Dockett (79).