Around the NFC West: Moss and Rams

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch expects Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo to speak with Vikings coach Brad Childress, his good friend, before deciding whether to place a waiver claim on Randy Moss. Thomas: "Spagnuolo has spent a year and a half trying to build team chemistry and develop a team personality that involves hard work and a 'team first' attitude. Those are two attributes generally not attributed to Moss, who has been deemed expendable by two clubs, New England and Minnesota, in the past month. Reports of Moss' tirade over the quality of food brought in for Vikings players on Friday by a caterer certainly don't cast Moss in a favorable light, either. But with three wide receivers already on the injured reserve list, and a fourth -- Danario Alexander -- currently out following knee surgery, the Rams might be desperate enough for help at the position to roll the dice on Moss."

Also from Thomas: a chat transcript in which Thomas says rookies Sam Bradford and Rodger Saffold are coming through for the Rams.

More from Thomas: a midseason report on the Rams. Thomas: "Coach Steve Spagnuolo has done an excellent job when it comes to motivating this team and getting it prepared for games. He is relentless in his approach while able to maintain something of a personal touch with the players. They are buying in, and it shows on game day. Spagnuolo's game management and clock management still need work, but he's learning."

Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com says the 49ers are hoping Troy Smith can become more than a one-game phenomenon. Maiocco: "What became clear during (coach Mike) Singletary's press conference is that he was not seeing the kind of leadership from Alex Smith that he desires."

Also from Maiocco: The 49ers placed veteran center Eric Heitmann on injured reserve. Heitmann's agent: "He saw a specialist who told him he's not going to need surgery and he'll be ready to play some time after this season. By no means is this a career-ending injury. He'll be ready in the offseason."

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee says the 49ers will not be submitting a waiver claim for Moss. Barrows: "The 49ers also are not believed to be interested in another high-profile player on the waiver wire, linebacker Shawne Merriman, who was released by the Chargers Tuesday. The 49ers already have four outside linebackers on the roster and claimed a fifth, rookie Thaddeus Gibson, on Monday. Singletary on Tuesday lauded starter Manny Lawson, who had his best game of the season Sunday against the Broncos, an outing that included three big hits on Denver quarterback Kyle Orton and a critical forced fumble late in the game."

Daniel Brown of the San Jose Mercury News expects Troy Smith to get another start.

Clare Farnsworth of seahawks.com says the Giants committed 24 penalties over their last two games at Qwest Field.

Also from Farnsworth: Chester Pitts' return from knee surgery comes just as the Seahawks need him.

Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times isn't expecting the Seahawks to claim Randy Moss or Shawne Merriman off waivers. Also, getting Michael Robinson and Kelly Jennings back from injuries meant the team no longer needed Quinton Ganther or Nate Ness on its 53-man roster.

John Morgan of Field Gulls thinks the Seahawks' run defense will not necessarily suffer without Red Bryant. Morgan: "Frank Okam seems like the obvious replacement. He is huge and long-limbed, but plays upright for a tackle and loses leverage. So, Red Bryant. He's not as quick as Bryant, but I'm not sure we'll see that difference."

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com says Beanie Wells knows he needs to run lower, particularly when finishing runs. Coach Ken Whisenhunt: "I think every running back misses some runs. I think as Beanie gets more carries -- he hasn’t had a tremendous amount of carries -- he’ll be all right."

Also from Urban: Steve Breaston's value.

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic says the Cardinals' combination at running back isn't living up to expectations. Somers: "There are other factors in Wells' lack of production. Whisenhunt has been criticized for not making a stronger commitment to the ground game. There have been breakdowns in blocking, both by linemen as well as tight ends and receivers. And with the Cardinals' problems at quarterback, defenses are concentrating on stopping the run. But opportunities also come when teams crowd the line of scrimmage with defenders."

Bob McManaman of the Arizona Republic checks in with Cardinals guard Alan Faneca, who has this to say about being diagnosed with epilepsy at age 15: "It was a surprise, but I was very bullheaded about it and very determined to not let it stop me from being who I was before. I put my head down and attacked it aggressively as far as education and learning what I could and couldn't do - and kind of pushing the limits on doing what people were cautioning me about doing. Football was not even one of those. My doctor was so quick in saying I could play football, I had to double-check and make sure he knew what football was."