Around the NFC West: 49ers' Gore unaffected

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Daniel Brown of the San Jose Mercury-News says Glen Coffee's strong running performances this summer will not necessarily affect Frank Gore's playing time. Brown: "[Coach Mike] Singletary, though impressed by the rookie, has no appetite for a running backs controversy. He said that Coffee is not necessarily earning a bigger share of the workload for 2009 and that the kid's role remains the same -- to give Gore a rest on occasion."

Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat says the 49ers learned little about their quarterback situation Saturday night. On the offensive line, Marvel Smith replaced Adam Snyder at right tackle after Snyder suffered ankle and knee injuries. Maiocco: "Snyder appeared to be walking without any problems after the game, but Singletary said he would undergo an MRI examination."

Also from Maiocco: A play-by-play account of the 49ers in the first half of their game against the Raiders. Micheal Spurlock served as the third receiver early in the game.

More from Maiocco: The 49ers' quarterback debate is a lot nastier than the relationship between Alex Smith and Shaun Hill.

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee says Smith played better than Hill against the Raiders, though his 4.2 passer rating wouldn't say so. Barrows on Smith: "He showed good energy and urgency early on, which hasn't always been the case with Smith. The truth is that he wasn't helped out by his receivers. Both Vernon Davis and Josh Morgan missed catchable balls, and Morgan's miscue led to an interception."

More from Barrows: A play-by-play account of the 49ers in the first half. Anyone seen team president Jed York?

David Fucillo of Niners Nation didn't see much pass rush from the 49ers, one of several points he makes in a position-by-position review of the team.

Scott Kegley of 49ers.com says running back Michael Robinson rushed for 83 yards against Oakland in the third quarter alone.

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic offers thoughts and observations following the Cardinals' game against the Chargers. Somers: "Five trips in the red zone. No touchdowns. Coach Ken Whisenhunt wasn't happy about it but he's not going to panic. But it would be nice if the first team scored a touchdown this preseason. The Cardinals have scored only one TD in the preseason, on a pass from Tyler Palko to Onrea Jones at Pittsburgh."

Also from Somers: "It was a rough night for the Cardinals quarterbacks. Starter Kurt Warner wasn't sharp and had a pass intercepted at the Chargers goal line. For the second consecutive game, [Brian] St. Pierre did nothing to threaten Matt Leinart's status as Warner's backup, completing 6 of 15 for 79 yards and no touchdowns."

Dan Bickley of the Arizona Republic says the Cardinals have become a hot commodity. Bickley: "This reborn franchise has done more than just join the party. These days, the Cardinals are the party."

Somers and Bob McManaman say the Cardinals' red zone offense has struggled.

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com says Arizona's first-team defense played very well against the Chargers. Calais Campbell: "We have the potential to be great. If we can just keep the team thing going, we will be fine."

Also from Urban: LaRod Stephens-Howling might have earned a roster spot, but all was not good for the Cardinals against San Diego. Whisenhunt pointed to mitigating factors when asked about St. Pierre's performance at quarterback.

Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times offers a few Seahawks notes from their game against the Broncos. Deon Butler made a strong impression early as a receiver, but not as a kickoff returner.
John Morgan of Field Gulls singles out the following Seattle players as "winners" Saturday night: Nick Reed, Michael Bennett, Butler, Justin Forsett, Will Herring, Baraka Atkins, David Hawthorne, C.J. Wallace, Brandon Coutu and Jordan Babineaux.

Eric D. Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune says the Seahawks' first-team defense struggled against the Broncos, getting pushed up and down the field. I had the same feeling, but the Broncos' overall rushing numbers were weak. Coach Jim Mora: "Our second unit came in and did a heck of a job. We just have to be more focused, we just have to play with more enthusiasm, more energy, we have to tackle better, we have to bring our feet when we tackle." I also suspect the Broncos' offense did a little more game-planning than usual in an attempt to get quarterback Kyle Orton on track following a three-interception showing last week.

Clare Farnsworth of seahawks.com says Matt Hasselbeck and T.J. Houshmandzadeh are starting to get in sync.

Bill Coats of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch profiles Rams left tackle Alex Barron. Says teammate Chris Long: "I got to see some great left tackles last year, and I really do feel like Alex is a rising star in the league at that spot. I feel like this is going to be a breakout year for him, where people start to realize this is a premier left tackle."

Bryan Burwell of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch looks at the unforgiving nature of NFL
preseasons. Said Rams middle linebacker James Laurinaitis: "In college, I made it a point of learning everyone's name and becoming familiar with all my teammates. I wanted to know where they were from, what their brothers or sisters names were, because in college, you started camp with 100 guys and you ended camp with 100 guys. But here, you look around and you realize that there will be a lot of empty lockers around here in a few weeks."

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says falling behind 14-0 right away wasn't what the Rams wanted as they attempted to win back a skeptical fan base.