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NFC West Roundup: Complicated Schemes, Popping Noises and Defending The Run

This week marks the first week of 2011 NFL football. Throughout the next four weeks we are stuck with preseason games, which is a bit of a drag. While these games are not overly competitive, they can still help the coaches and the fans evaluate their teams.

The NFC West will square off against teams from all around the league, allowing them to get some valuable practice time and chemistry between the players. While they play, Ken Whisenhunt and the coaching staff may be able to pick up on a few tendencies for each of the divisional foes. As they say, know thy enemy.

Here is your NFC West Roundup. 

San Francisco 49ers:

Three things revisited: 49ers-Saints - NFC West Blog - ESPN

The 49ers and the Saints played their first preseason game last night. Here are some notes about some of the 49ers' rookies and gameplay.


49ers' Edwards, Crabtree WR combo on hold

Braylon Edwards and Michael Crabtree have not stepped into a huddle together as teammates and may not do so for a month. But when the wait is over, Edwards said the offense will feature two similar threats. Crabtree is expected back for the season opener on September 11 against the Seahawks.


49ers' Jim Harbaugh not worried about winning opener

The 49ers are expected to present opponents with a complicated offense this season. Head coach Jim Harbaugh plans on installing a West Coast Offense, so seeing if Alex Smith can successfully run that will be a huge 49er story-line this season.


Chat wrap: Four new questions answered - NFC West Blog - ESPN

Mike Sando answered four questions in his chat, including one about how Frank Gore looked during training camp. Gore had a hip injury that had him shelved for a while last season, so San Francisco fans still want assurance that he will be able to carry their team once Alex Smith inevitably fails.


Seattle Seahawks:

 Three things revisited: Seahawks-Chargers - NFC West Blog - ESPN

Mike Sando from ESPN takes a look at three things he noticed from the Seahawks-Chargers game that was played on Thursday. After watching the first half of that game myself, I would venture to say the Seahawks could have their fair share of struggles this season. Their quarterback situation is not ideal and could become a carousel like the Cardinals had last season.


Seahawks Blog | Pete Carroll says Russell Okung felt 'something kind of pop' | Seattle Times Newspaper

Russell Okung may be looking at some time missed after re-injuring the same left ankle that gave him problems during his rookie campaign in 2010. During the game against the Chargers, Okung claims he felt something 'pop' in his ankle. This is bad news for Seattle, as he is easily their best offensive lineman. Blog | Game at a glance: Seahawks at Chargers "

This article over at the Seahawks website takes a look at the plays/players of the game from Thursday. Obviously, the Seahawks have a lot of work to do if they want to end up in the playoffs again.


The Brewery | On Tap: A candid Matt Hasselbeck interview | Seattle Times Newspaper
Matt Hasselbeck gives some of his thoughts about leaving the city he called home for the past decade.


St. Louis Rams:

 Linebacker David Vobora knows highs, lows - NFC West Blog - ESPN

David Vobora has had one roller coaster of a career with the St. Louis Rams. Even though he was just released, don't think that he can't come back to the team at some point.


Kendricks takes reps with Rams first unit

The Rams' new tight end, Lance Kendricks, is already being featured as a key cog in St. Louis' offense.


Rams Make Moves With Eye Toward Run Defense

The Rams added several different pieces in the off-season. Many of the guys brought in to help were paid exclusively for their ability to stop the run. Whether it's a defensive tackle or a linebacker, St. Louis needed help stopping the opponent's ground game, so they went out and got guys that could help fix the issue. DMarco Farr - How Will Josh McDaniels Deploy Steven Jackson?

Steven Jackson is still going to be a big part of the new offense that Josh McDaniels will be employing in Missouri. However, with new runners in Cadillac Williams and Jerious Norwood coming in and quarterback Sam Bradford developing, expect Jackson to he his carries reduced.


Also of note, the Rams kickoff their preseason tonight when they face the Indianapolis Colts. The game starts at 5 P.M. local time and 8 EST.