Around the NFC West: Alex Smith's future

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Matt Maiocco of Instant 49ers answers questions about Alex Smith's present and future with the organization. Smith says he wouldn't mind playing in the same offense for a while.

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee says Smith could learn from J.T. O'Sullivan's approach.

Tom FitzGerald of the San Francisco Chronicle sees receiver Ashley Lelie and fullback Moran Norris as "on the bubble" heading toward the 53-man roster reduction date. I would be surprised if either veteran made the cut.

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic says he, too, expects the Cardinals to name Kurt Warner as their starting quarterback. But no team sources are saying the decision has been made. As Somers notes, it's only a matter of when, not if, Warner gets the call.

Scott Bodrow of the East Valley Tribune says the Cardinals have no choice but to name Warner their starting quarterback.

Mike Kahn of Seahawks.com quotes secondary coach Jim Mora on second-year cornerback Josh Wilson: "He's much more consistent as a football player in every phase of the game. This year Josh is much better out on the edge as a corner, his footwork is better and his technique out of his break is better. When we move him inside to the nickel position, he's very solid in there. He understands all the coverage now, the route concepts, and he knows where to fit on the run. This is how to become a complete player."

Brian McIntyre of Scout.com previews the Seahawks-Chargers game tonight, singling out a few position battles to watch. He wonders how Seattle's young receivers will fare against a Chargers secondary stocked with high draft choices.

Clare Farnsworth of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer looks at the Seahawks' young receivers through the eyes of Nate Burleson. Years ago, Burleson emerged somewhat unexpectedly in Minnesota.

Frank Hughes of the Tacoma News Tribune says Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck will watch the team's game in San Diego tonight from Seattle. Charlie Frye gets another chance to get comfortable in the offense.

Bill Coats of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Rams are pleased with Chris Long and fellow defensive lineman Adam Carriker. Carriker does a "great job" eating up blockers, freeing up linebackers to run sideline to sideline, coach Scott Linehan said.

Also from Coats: Rookie receivers Donnie Avery and Keenan Burton looked good Saturday night. Leonard Little remains on pace for a bounce-back season. The linebackers seem to be coming together. On the down side, cornerback Tye Hill suffered through a rough game.

Steve Korte of the Belleville News-Democrat says the Rams are pleased with their offensive line. Adam Goldberg started the most recent exhibition game at left tackle, allowing Orlando Pace to rest an apparently minor injury.

Also from Korte: a progress report on the Rams' Long, who has yet to turn effort into production.

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch wonders if Avery and Burton might become a formidable receiving tanden for the Rams. Both showed promise Saturday night.

Jose Romero of the Seattle Times sees the Seahawks carrying both kickers past the 75-man roster cutdown Tuesday. Neither Brandon Coutu nor Olindo Mare has won the job convincingly.