Around the NFC West: Rams reeling

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch describes the continuing fallout associated with Marc Bulger's benching. Coach Scott Linehan says Bulger hasn't said anything to him about not wanting to play for the embattled coach. Thomas: "Nearly two hours passed between the end of practice Friday and Linehan's remarks to the press. Depending on who you talked to, the delay was a result of Linehan either

  1. Meeting with president of football operations Jay Zygmunt;

  2. Getting treatment for a shoulder problem;

  3. Yelling at radio officials for Jackson's radio comments; or

  4. Some combination of the above."

Bill Coats of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says Bulger's refusal to speak with reporters is hurting himself and the team. I'm thinking the Rams have bigger worries in the short term. Longer term, there's no question Bulger will have a hard time reconciling with Linehan. I would also like to hear more about his relationship with offensive coordinator Al Saunders, the driving force behind the team's signing of new starter Trent Green.

Also from Coats: Bulger isn't the only one ducking questions at Rams Park.

More from Coats: He outlines changes to the Rams' defense. He also quotes Rams receiver Torry Holt as saying the team is confident and not "walking on eggshells" -- the phrase teammate Steven Jackson used to describe the team's state of mind.

Steve Korte of the Belleville News-Democrat says Holt apologized to Bulger for letting down the recently benched quarterback.

Mark Gaughan of the Buffalo News blames the Rams' poor drafting for their current troubles.

Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch credits the solid drafting of the Bills, whom the Rams play Sunday, for their current success.

(I'm going to have to look into this whole drafting thing.)

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee calls out the 49ers for failing to disclose staph infections and their likely origins. Keith Lewis and Josh Morgan both suffered from the infections. Coach Mike Nolan played dumb when asked about them.

Also from Barrows: The 49ers are focused on containing Reggie Bush.

Daniel Brown of the San Jose Mercury News explains what makes Drew Brees such a tough quarterback to defend. Brees leads the NFL in third-down passer rating (132.0).

Tom FitzGerald of the San Francisco Chronicle says 49ers pass rusher Roderick Green has played well enough to keep Tully Banta-Cain off the field on Sundays.

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com revisits the Cardinals' tendency to use defensive players on offense. Also, Bert Berry says he hopes to beat the four-week estimate for his return from a groin injury.

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic checks in with former Cardinals linebacker Calvin Pace, now a highly paid member of the Jets. Somers says the Jets paid a "stunning" amount of money to a player who had enjoyed only one good season.

Mike Tulumello of the East Valley Tribune says the Cardinals rested safety Adrian Wilson in practice over fears that cool weather might affect his sore hamstring.