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Around the NFC West: Sizing up the Rams

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch offers details on Steve Spagnuolo's approach to fixing the Rams. Spagnuolo: "If you stay healthy, all things being equal, to me the difference in winning and losing would be the details. It's not a cliché. I'm not trying to make anything up; I just firmly believe that. Because you put two equal teams out there, it's going to be the team that's detailed, focused, doesn't make any mistakes, etc., etc., etc., that's going to win the game."

Also from Thomas: The Rams are committed to the run, no question.

More from Thomas: He predicts a 6-10 record and a Week 4 victory over the 49ers.

Still more from Thomas: breaking down the Rams' offense.

More yet from Thomas: breaking down the Rams' defense.

Bryan Burwell of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Rams have a new style under their new coach. Burwell: "The change in personality is going to be a stark transformation in style and substance from the one that characterized the rise and fall of this franchise. In the past, very few football wise guys ever associated toughness with the Rams. That didn't matter much during the height of the Greatest Show on Turf days when the Rams dazzled you with all that fast-twitch athleticism dashing up and down the field."

Steve Korte of the Belleville News-Democrat says Spagnuolo appears pleased with the Rams' progress to this point.

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic wonders how the Cardinals will respond after a poor showing against the Packers in the third exhibition game. Quarterback Kurt Warner: "You get to the point where there really needs to be a sense of urgency moving forward. Everyone has got to feel it, and everybody has to understand, and everybody has to take it upon themselves not to let it happen again."

Also from Somers: a look at the Cardinals' lesser-known receivers.

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com quotes Darnell Dockett as saying not everyone came to play for the Cardinals against Green Bay. Urban: "No one was immune to criticism Friday. Whisenhunt made sure to say the issues began with the coaching, but the problems permeated almost everywhere. Defensive coordinator Bill Davis wants to focus on accountability, but even the players weren't feeling good about that progress Friday night."

More from Urban: "Scary" is the word he uses to describe the effort on defense.

John Crumpacker of the San Francisco Chronicle says the 49ers' offense appears conservative -- very conservative -- under coach Mike Singletary and offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye. Crumpacker: "With time winding down in the fourth quarter, the 49ers faced 4th-and-1 at the Dallas 9-yard line. It has almost become standard protocol in these practice games for a coach to go for it in the late going to avoid the dreadful possibility of overtime. But no, Alex Romero booted a 24-yard field goal for the 49ers with 3:55 to play, creating a 13-13 tie."

Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat offers thoughts on how various players performed for the 49ers. Manny Lawson had a rough game. Bear Pascoe did not play much. Maiocco on Nate Davis: "Prior to this evening's game, I thought the 49ers could stash him on their practice squad. Now, I say there is absolutely no reason to take that chance. Sure, it was just an exhibition game against the Cowboys' backups, but the kid showed a lot. He looks smooth. He showed poise. He looks like a player. The 49ers drafted him in the fifth round because they want him. They must not take any chance of losing him."

Also from Maiocco: The 49ers' backups fared well.

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee probably won't be drafting a 49ers receiver in his fantasy league. Also, the 49ers had no sacks.

Also from Barrows: Shaun Hill hasn't developed a rapport with his receivers. Barrows: "The 49ers' first five plays either were runs or short tosses to the running backs. Hill didn't complete a pass to a wideout -- Arnaz Battle -- until 1:29 remained in the first half. The starting wide receivers were Isaac Bruce and Josh Morgan. Four passes were thrown in their direction; none connected."

Dan Brown of the San Jose Mercury News says the 49ers have much work to do. Brown: "Hill completed 9 of 19 passes for 79 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions. His first three drives ended in punts before he led the team to Joe Nedney's field goal near the end of the first half. Unlike last week, the running game didn't offer much help. Neither Frank Gore nor Glen Coffee registered a run longer than 7 yards before halftime."

David Fucillo of Niners Nation thinks there's no way the 49ers can risk subjecting Davis to waivers.

Greg Johns of seattlepi.com offers thoughts on the Seahawks' performance against the Chiefs. Johns: "Lawrence Jackson, where are you? Rookie Nick Reed was neutralized for the much of his time on the field, but landed his obligatory sack in the closing minutes and didn't hurt his ongoing campaign to land a roster spot."

Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times also offers Seahawks-rela
ted thoughts, noting that Kevin Hobbs appeared to give up a long completion to Ashley Lelie.

Eric D. Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune quotes Seahawks safety Deon Grant as saying the defense played well against Kansas City. Grant: "At the end of the day it's about how many points they put up. ... We bowed up when we needed to bow up, so I feel like we did a good job."

Also from Williams: The Seattle ground game showed signs of life.

Chris Sullivan of Seahawk Addicts liked what he saw from the team's offensive line.

John Morgan of Field Gulls points to winners and losers among Seattle players Saturday night. He liked Ray Willis in pass protection. Both tackles seemed to play pretty well, and the play calling also seemed to help them.

Clare Farnsworth of seahawks.com says the Seahawks' first-team units finished strong against the Chiefs. As for that battle between kickers Olindo Mare and Brandon Coutu? Stay tuned.