Around the NFC West: Kroenke's thoughts

Todd C. Frankel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch profiles Rams minority owner Stan Kroenke, who tells him: "Pro sports has to be financially responsible. And there's this idea out there that it really doesn't have to be, that you can throw money at it."

Also from Frankel: Kroenke's thoughts on various issues. The would-be full owner of the Rams guarantees the team will be good again. He also suggests the team has erred in the process used to pick players. Kroenke: "The Rams, we've had streaks where we were damn competitive for a long time. We were the best of the best. So what we have to do in the Rams is smooth that out a little. And I think with the Rams, I think with Chip [Rosenbloom, who is selling his majority stake in the team], I think we got off in how we were picking our players and that's what hurt."

Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch offers thoughts on how Kroenke, owner of the NBA and NHL teams in Denver, might run the Rams. Miklasz: "It's interesting to note the disparate management structures of each franchise. The Avalanche have a standard operation with a team president, GM, coach and the usual player personnel/scouting department. The Nuggets, however, have a complex structure, with four executives forming a veritable basketball committee."

Turf Show Times' VanRam explains why he likes the Rams' decision to trade Alex Barron for Bobby Carpenter. VanRam: "The Rams get the OLB they need, and though Bobby Carpenter hardly qualifies as a prospect anymore, he is young -- he'll be 27 this season -- and still has potential. Carpenter was the last first round pick of the Parcells Era in Dallas, a classic example of a prospect whose development was hurt by regime change. He should be better suited to a 4-3 defense, and, as I mentioned yesterday, the Rams coaching staff has a good track record for developing linebackers."

Clare Farnsworth of seahawks.com touches on several subjects during a run through the mailbag. Farnsworth on middle linebacker Lofa Tatupu, who missed most of last season after suffering a torn pectoral: "Tatupu’s recovery from the torn pectoral that forced him to miss the final 10 games last season has been very visible. At the first minicamp in April, the three-time Pro Bowl middle linebacker took part only in seven-on-seven and individual drills. At last week’s minicamp, Tatupu was full-go -- meaning he took part in full-team drills, as well as the seven-and-seven and individual segments. Tatupu, of course, played for (Pete) Carroll at USC. And Carroll recently explained the importance of having Tatupu on the field when asked about Aaron Curry’s performance during his rookie season.

David Dalati of FoxSportsHouston.com quotes free-agent guard Chester Pitts as saying Seattle remains the most likely destination for him. Pitts says his surgically repaired knee is about 85 percent healthy and he hopes to be ready for practices by late June. The Seahawks have less of a need after signing Ben Hamilton, but they have also stressed the importance of competition. If Pitts were healthy and affordable, why not bring him aboard and at least let him continue recovering from knee surgery as a backup?

Eric D. Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune takes a look at the Seahawks' struggles in the red zone last season.

John Morgan of Field Gulls explains why he likes the Seahawks' selection of injured cornerback Walter Thurmond.

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic expects the Cardinals to stick with their current quarterbacks for 2009. He also expects guard Deuce Lutui to sign his restricted free-agent tender by June 15. Somers: "He hasn't signed his qualifying offer and last I heard the team wasn't going to pull it off the table. That would make no sense. After June 15, the team can replace that $1.759 million tender with one that's worth about $600,000. Unless something is going on with Lutui that we don't know about, he's expected to sign the higher tender before the deadline."

David Ginsburg of The Associated Press checks in with former Cardinals receiver Anquan Boldin, who recently participated in his first camp with the Ravens.

John Wildermuth of the San Francisco Chronicle cites evidence suggesting the 49ers on their way to getting public approval for a new stadium in Santa Clara. Wildermuth: "It's going to be an uphill battle for the stadium opponents. A poll released late last month by the San Jose Mercury News and KGO-TV found that 52 percent of likely voters in Santa Clara supported the stadium plan while 36 percent intended to vote against the measure, and there has been little to suggest the numbers have moved much since then. The stadium also has the enthusiastic support of government, business and labor leaders in the community, including five of the seven council members, the trustees of the Santa Clara Unified School District, the president of the city's Chamber of Commerce and a variety of other officials."

Gwen Knapp of the San Francisco Chronicle shows how family helped shape 49ers rookie Mike Iupati. Also, Iupati said he once preferred professional wrestling to the NFL. Knapp: "In fact, that became his backup career plan. As he went through the University of Idaho, becoming an All-American and a finalist for the Outland Trophy, which recognizes the best college lineman, Iupati had every reason to believe that he would end up in the NFL. But if he didn't, his time in football had taught him something important: 'I'm very competitive, and I need to use my body and use all this energy.' "