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Know Your Enemy: Around the NFC West

Here's a glimpse around the NFC West. If you're a hardcore fan, you'll know the ins and outs of your opponents as well - or you should strive to anyway. Not only that, but there's a good nucleus of writers in the SBN NFC West that put together some good research and analysis. Take a look.

St Louis Rams

Will the Rams regress in 2011? - Turf Show Times: "I glanced at the fan confidence poll the other day (that zig zag line on your left) and notice that despite the lockout, the offseason and a draft that still has some scratching their heads, fans are feeling pretty good about the St. Louis Rams right now. And how could you not? They have a talented young QB united with an offensive coordinator known for getting production out of his teams. On the other side of the ball, a strong pass rush added a premier defensive end in the first round of the draft. A group of tireless, humble, dedicated group of football minds lead the team both on the field and in the front office. Springtime for the Rams!" 

Why the Rams Drafted a Million Pass Catchers - Turf Show Times: "We all thought it as the draft continued. Most of us were happy with Quinn as a first round pick (I disagreed, but more on that later). I wasn't upset, but saw an opportunity to trade down. Another article, another day. Anyways, here's the deal after the jump. The recent talks that vanram reported concerning Clayton and the Rams got me to thinking. Why the hell are we so interested in this guy?"

Free agent notes: Barry Cofield fully recovered from shoulder surgery - Turf Show Times: "Giants DT and likely unrestricted free agent Barry Cofield told the NY Post that his shoulder is fully recovered from January surgery. More importantly, Cofield again acknowledges that his days with the Giants are over, significant only because he has a preference to return to New York. He may get a small does of the Giants, if the St. Louis Rams make a run at him in free agency and reunite with with Steve Spagnuolo."

2010 St. Louis Rams recap: Week 1 v. Arizona (1st half) - Turf Show Times: "So I'm going to try to run through these as quickly as possible to get through the season before The Great Flood of Free Agents hits, and all other efforts die a swift death.  It won't happen, but hopefully we'll get all 16 games in at some point."

4 UDFAs the Rams should target - Turf Show Times: "Today I wanted to look at four guys I want the St. Louis Rams to target in UDFA.  This will be the most important thing for the Rams to do, along with every other team, as soon as the lockout is over.  I'm hoping these guys have continued to keep working out, both mentally and physically.  This will be the toughest year for UDFAs."

San Francisco 49ers

49ers Minicamp: Colin Kaepernick Heading Into Training Camp - Niners Nation: "One of the stories to come out of yesterday's first day of the "Camp Alex" 49ers minicamp was word that a Colin Kaepernick pass knocked wide receiver Lance Long backwards as he was not expecting that kind of power behind the throw. It's an amusing tale and if Kaepernick develops into the 49ers long-term starter, I bet this will be part of the tale of Colin told to future generations. However, for the purposes of the here and now, it's simply good to see him get out on the practice field and run a few plays out of the new playbook."

The NFL Salary Cap: My, How Far We've Come - Niners Nation: "We take a look at the 49ers current situation with regards to Aubrayo Franklin and how it compares to the Ricky Watters contract situation in 1995."

2011 Free Agency Primer: The Fullback Position And Our San Francisco 49ers - Niners Nation: "It is one of the most unheralded positions in all of professional sports. Players put their health and future on the line going neck and neck against opposing defenders. It is a position that requires a lot of humility and sense of team; it is the fullback position." 

49ers Blitzing Defense: Questions In The Scheme Or Talent? - Niners Nation: "ESPN's Mike Sando has returned from his recent vacation and he put together a rundown of how each NFC West team performed when they sent different numbers of blitzers. Specifically, he looked at four or fewer rushers and five or more rushers. The rundown of stats provided some interesting numbers that raise a variety of questions."

NN NFL Tournament of Badness: Seahawks Alternates and New Referee Rule - Niners Nation: "(5) Seahawks Alternates Wearing these uniforms should be considered a war crime. They are just awful, and most Seahawks fans will neglect to defend them. They are an abomination and an affront to VISION everywhere. I spit on these uniforms. I bite my thumb at them. I have nothing more to say."

2011 NFC West Schedules: And Down The Stretch They Come! - Niners Nation: "While we sit twiddling our thumbs waiting for the NFL Lockout to come to an end, I thought it would be at least mildly entertaining to take a look at 2011 schedules around the NFC West. More importantly, I wanted to pull up the final four games for each member of the NFC West. While it's possible somebody might run away with the division, odds would seem to be fairly high that the division will come down to the wire. Throw in the fact that the NFL will have all divisional matchups during the final week of the season and it could prove to be a wildly entertaining final Sunday."

Arizona Cardinals

NFL Lockout: Arizona Cardinals Players Planning Minicamp - Revenge of the Birds: "News has come out from Kent Somers that our beloved Arizona Cardinals players are trying to put together a player "minicamp" that would be something similar to the OTA's (Organized Team Activities) that were skipped this year due to the lockout. Where it would be held is up in the air, but hit the jump to find out who is working on putting this together and what player would be more than likely opposed to attending."

NFL Top 100 Players Of 2011: Larry Fitzgerald, No. 14 - Revenge of the Birds: "In the offseason of nothing, NFL Network has presented the player-voted list of the top 100 players in the NFL. Previously, one Arizona Cardinals player was featured -- Adrian Wilson, who was ranked 89th by his player peers. In the penultimate episode of the series, receiver Larry Fitzgerald was featured as they presented players 20-11 in the countdown. Larry was ranked 14th and his video feature was presented by former coach Todd Haley, now the head coach for the Kansas City Chiefs."

NFL Rumors: So Marc Bulger Wants To Start Now? - Revenge of the Birds: "In the offseason of quarterback speculation, name after name has been connected to the Arizona Cardinals. In fact, the same names keep coming up and disappearing. Marc Bulger is one of these names and has been on-again, off-again in rumors. Now, it appears that he is perhaps on-again with the possibility of being Arizona's 2011 starting quarterback."

NFL Rumors: Kevin Kolb For Daryl Washington? - Revenge of the Birds: "As if there weren't enough speculation going around about Kevin Kolb and potentially being the next starting quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals, now there another that just seemed to come out of nowhere. First the rumors involved draft picks. Then it was a pick and a player. Now it is a player. Recently it was Kolb for Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Now, the latest name thrown out there as a possibility to go to the Philadelphia Eagles to acquire the oft-mentioned quarterback is second-year linebacker Daryl Washington."