Mailbag: Which Seattle WR is odd man out?

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Michael from Los Angeles writes: Hey Sando, I was wondering if you could look into, or what your take is on something. The Hawks are now talking about the high number of roster spots being used on WRs. If they were to cut ties with Keary Colbert now, would this still owe Denver the 5th rounder? I believe it was conditional based on playing time. Do you think the value of a fifth round pick would make it worth doing this? Koren Robinson seems like a likely choice, but wouldn't the team take a bit of a PR hit after all the fanfare about bringing him back? It seems a bit early to give up on Taylor to me. Who do you think is the odd man out?

Mike Sando: I do believe the Colbert pick was a conditional pick. The Seahawks like him. He's not going anywhere. Billy McMullen has also earned a place in the rotation for now.

Michael Bumpus' return ability gives him the edge, most likely, over Courtney Taylor, who looks like the probable odd man out if and when Seattle trims the ranks at the receiver position.

I think Koren Robinson sticks around in the hope that he can give them a limited number of high-quality snaps. He'll have to get on the field and stay healthy, of course.

Mburro from Myles, La., writes: Any chance we see Shaun Alexander get a call from Pittsburgh sometime soon? Don't know how long FWP is out, it seems like he'd be happy to play for a contender and in a run focused offense... He might have to block from time to time though.
Mike Sando: Alexander wouldn't seem to be a good fit for such a traditionally hard-nosed offense. Did you notice how Alexander's hometown team, the Bengals, signed Cedric Benson? The market for Alexander appears soft.

Cory from Portland, Ore., writes: Next year when Jim Mora becomes the head coach for the Seahawks, is it now more likely that Tom Rathman and Greg Knapp will join him because of the shakeup in Oakland? I am concerned that Gil Haskell (Offensive Coordinator) will be the odd man out and the Seahawks will implement a whole new offense. Is this likely or do they try to stick with what has been working?
Mike Sando: My understanding was that Rathman and Knapp could have gotten out of their contracts after this season. I think the Seahawks would be making a mistake if they pushed out Haskell. Seems to me the team needs some sort of carryover on the offensive staff, for the benefit of Matt Hasselbeck. I don't think they would scrap the entire offense, but it's a little early to say for sure.

Brian from parts unknown writes: Whoever thinks that Eric Smith intentionlly meant to hit bolden with his helmet. You can not stop energy and adrenaline. The player was hit from behind which pushed him into Smith. Any idiot can see that.
Mike Sando: Yeah, I don't think most people were upset about the intent. A reckless driver doesn't always mean to sideswipe another vehicle, but he's still at fault. That would be the proper analogy.

Guest 49er from the Bay Area writes: Greetings, Mike. If the 49ers lose their next games, you think Nolan's job is on the chopping block? I don't feel we're a bad team, I just feel Nolan is not the answer to the 49ers. I know I come off as an angry fan, but as a 49ers fan, I'm just tired of 'playing an obvious team, we'll lose to the obvious IE NFC East as a whole, Orleans, and now maybe AFC East as a whole! Which is it with the 49ers to you: Bad management or bad personnel and how can this be fixed on the 49ers? IF you say coaching, who should be our coach? Thank you.
Mike Sando: I don't think two more losses would necessarily precipitate a move. I might be more inclined to think along those lines if the team dipped to 2-6 at the midpoint, particularly if J.T. O'Sullivan isn't looking like the answer.

It's easy to find faults with all levels of the 49ers' operations, from ownership on down. As much as anything, bad luck with the offensive coordinator situation has stunted the growth of the team under Nolan. Mike McCarthy or Norv Turner might have prevented the mismanagement of Alex Smith, but neither stuck around long enough.

John from Seattle writes: I love your blog Mike. keep it up!!!
Mike Sando: Hey, thanks. I love your comment.

Kyle from St. Louis writes: Mike, I need your thoughts on something. I fully and truly believe that Tye Hill is not just the worst cornerback in the NFL, but also the single-worst player in all of football. I mean, QB's are completing 90% of their passes against him (18-of-20), which is unheard of. Imagine if 90% of your column were typos? I wonder if you think he's as horrid as I do. At the least, he's the worst CB in the NFC West, right?
Mike Sando: It's bad when you watch a football game and feel sympathy for a player. I couldn't help it re-watching the Rams-Bills game earlier today. Buffalo went at Hill on the first play of the game for a big gain. I don't know Hill personally, but it just didn't look very fun being him at that time.

Rich from Queen Creek, Ariz., writes: The person to blame for the hit [on Anquan Boldin] is Coach Whisenhunt. Why the hell did they run that kind of a play with the game CLEARLY out of reach? It shows how much more important stats were at that time, or Coach W's anger over the Jets going for 2. It was Boldin who paid the price for a lapse in judgment. And to make matters much worse, he runs a play after the injury. No class from a guy who has shown a lot of class as a player and coach. He should also have received a fine just on principle.
Mike Sando: On the flip side, the Jets player violated a rule, incurring a $50,000 fine and suspension. I can't fault the coach for failing to foresee such a blatant violation of the rules. I do think Whisenhunt should learn from this situation. He's not a veteran head coach at this point. I think he'll file away this experience and probably become a better coach in the long run. Kurt Warner took a beating in that game, too. A similar shot on Warner could have severely altered the Cardinals' season.

Mike from Seattle writes: Sando, Have NFL players been watching international soccer lately because Sunday night football and Monday night football I have seen approximately 8 dives by players after a ticky-tack shove, all attempting to get a personal foul on the opposing team. If this progresses, do you think NFL refs might need yellow cards along with the yellow rags?
Mike Sando: I would love to see yellow cards and red cards issued. Good idea. Not going to happen, though.

Jason from Los Angeles writes: Will Rams stay in St Louis or back to Los Angeles I follow RAMS since the 70's and known as LA RAMS IN WHICH THEY SHOULD STILL BE IN LA hopefully team will rally under interim coach
Mike Sando: I think the Rams will stay in St. Louis for the foreseeable future. My understanding is that the lease binds them there for years to come.

Scott from Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, writes: I know you can't comment on the NFL's refs or the decisions to hand out fines, but I was wondering how the hit against Boldin resulted in a fine because the player led with his helmet, and the hit against Logan Payne resulted in nothing. What's the difference between the two and how does the league determine "leading with the helmet?"
Mike Sando: I can comment on officiating as much as I'd like. The rules against commenting apply only to league and team employees, thankfully. First, the Boldin hit was helmet on helmet. That's a huge no-no. The hit on Payne during the 49ers-Seahawks game in Week 2 didn't meet that standard. As I recall, it wasn't a case of the helmet impacting the knee. I remember watching that play a few times and thinking it was just an unfortunate situation.

Pete from Richmond writes: Do you think Haslett can do enough with the interim job this season to pad out his résumé and land a good job with another team next year?
Mike Sando: Yes. I think Haslett has enough connections and enough of a resume to land a good job next season if he is not with the Rams at that point.

Eugene from parts unknown writes: Being a Rams fan for the past 30+ years has never been easy. The team has gone from one of the more successful franchises in the 1970's barring a championship win ie. 1979 loss, to the biggest loser in the 1990's prior to 1999 season and the 1980's in between were bleak after the move to Anaheim. But Linehan was the typical situation with the franchise not spending money for quality coaches(his resume was not impressive at Minnesota or Miami), and why didn't Haslet go as well (they needed someone for the remainder of the season with some head coaching experience that wouldn't cost?) His defense has been horrible 3 years running: meager pass rush, can't stop the run, and give up the big play constantly!
Since the loss of Lovie Smith the defense has been pathetic. If an average Joe can see the problems with the Team why can't Management make the necessary changes, or is John Shaw part of the problem? The team made little if any changes this year or past 3. So to no surprise the recipe for disaster is still in place, bad O line, Inept D and secondary. Bulger has not played well in past couple of years and O line and lack of confidence is part of that equation with constant pressure and sacks but his accuracy has been questionable not to mention clock managment. Overall they are a disaster and the whole franchise needs rebuilding, hopefully for the worthy players and fans alike a real rebuild will occur this end of year. They are going to have to spend some money on a real coach among the laundry list of things needed. SS

Mike Sando: I thought the defense improved in 2007 despite all the offensive problems. I thought the improvement might continue this season. The level of play on defense has fallen short of any reasonable expectations.

I do think the Rams will undergo a major overhaul this offseason. Only so much can change during the season. It's a whole lot easier to subtract than to add at this point. I would expect Chip Rosenbloom to make his mark after the season.

Scott from New York writes: Mike- Someone has to tell your readers that the Jets can't both be criticized for "running up the score" and playing too aggressively when the Cardinals refused to stop throwing at the end-zone even in the final seconds. Smith [was] fined, but I doubt it was intentional... a freak play.
Mike Sando: I hear you all the way around.

Ryan from Chandler, Ariz., writes: Mike, I am glad that Mike Martz has come in and improved our offense but the same things are going on that have gone on in Martz's other stops (Lions/Rams) the O-line just can't stop the pass rush. With that being said with the OC vacancy I thought the 49ers should've gone after Cam Cameron as the 49ers personnel resembles the Chargers more closely than personnel of most Mike Martz's teams. What are your thoughts on this. BTW Love the job you're doing here, keep it up. Thanks, Ryan
Mike Sando: Thanks, Ryan. Cam Cameron took a more attractive job with Baltimore. John Harbaugh could offer him more stability. The situation in San Francisco wasn't as attractive.

I did have people tell me the 49ers would start fast offensively as Martz out-schemed people, then fall off over time. We might be starting to see that happening. The 49ers do not have great pass-blocking personnel and Martz hasn't really gone to max-protections consistently.

Biffanorich from Pocatello, Idaho, writes: Are we going to see Matt Leinart play this year? Please tell me yes.
Mike Sando: I think there's a good chance Kurt Warner won't be available one of these weeks. He took a pounding against the Jets.

Juston from Tucson, Ariz., writes: First, I have to say, great job on the blog. I read it every day to keep up on what is going on in the division. I have heard from multiple sources that the Lions might try to move Roy Williams for a first round pick now that Matt Millen is out. I have also heard the Cowboys and a first round pick associated with this move multiple times. Based on that I have a few questions -- Is there any chance that the Seahawks might be able to squeeze in there, since their first round pick is bound to be higher than the Cowboys (unless the Hawks make it to the big game in February...)? Would having a #1 receiver like Roy Williams help or hurt the Seahawks at this point in the season? Did Martz run anything like the West Coast Offense in Detroit or would Roy spend most of the season trying to learn the Seahawks system?
Mike Sando: Thanks, Juston. I think history has shown receivers need time in Mike Holmgren's system before they become effective. Billy McMullen had been in very similar systems. As a result, he hit the ground running faster than some of the other guys they've had around. I don't think that type of move would pay off right away.

Dave from parts unknown writes: Do you think Haslett brings back Fakhir Brown? I think he should.
Mike Sando: Yeah, I think that would make sense. Haslett likes him.

Strangedayzz from Warsaw, Indiana, writes: hello mike im a fan of the blog and of the failing 49ers i read your last blog and agree with the NT pick [for the 49ers in the 2009 draft] but where does the organization go with a QB and mike nolan in my opinion nolan should have gotten the boot last year. thanks mike and keep up the good work
Mike Sando: Thanks. I think the 49ers probably need to draft another quarterback and try to bring him along slowly behind a veteran. It's an agonizing thought given what the team invested in Alex Smith.

Joe from Eugene, Ore., writes: Sando-- loving the blog, keep up the good work. Had a quick question after watching the Saints game: I've been a fan o
f Arnaz Battle for some time now. The guy may be a possession receiver, but it really looks like he can do a bit of everything, and he's got excellent hands. Does his big game against New Orleans indicate that he might become J.T. O'Sullivan's go-to guy? I'd like to see Bryant Johnson establish himself a little more just for the good of the team, but if Arnaz becomes the clear-cut #2, I wouldn't be unhappy. Thanks, and keep at it.
Mike Sando: Thanks, Joe. I would think Isaac Bruce would be the primary guy as long as he doesn't wear down too much. Battle dropped a ball on third-and-10, by the way. Looking at my play-by-play, I count 11 plays when O'Sullivan threw for Battle and eight times in which he targeted Bruce. You might be onto something. This team lacks a true No. 1 receiver, though.