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Posts Tagged ‘NFC West’

Can Beanie Wells Get Healthy?

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That, friends, might be one of the last successful highlights of Chris “Beanie” Wells’ fledgling career if he can’t get his ankle under control. While he’s obviously a hard, effective runner — when he’s healthy — the problem is staying away from the training room. Hell, Wells was even victimized by his lack of durability against Texas, a game where Wells was getting whatever yards he wanted (16 carries for 106 yards), until, that is, he got a concussion. In fact, Wells was plagued by nagging injuries at Ohio State and it looks like the durability issues are following him to Arizona.

More on Beanie Wells’ durability after the jump >>

As Expected, St Louis Rams Fire Linehan

Haslett for Linehan

Welcome back to the NFL head coaching ranks, Jim Haslett. Be sure to put yourself in a position where Steve Spurrier won’t be able to make fun of you anymore.

Haslett replaces Scott Linehan as the St Louis Rams head coach after Linehan was relieved of duty earlier this morning. Linehan’s firing comes after the Rams gave their third consecutive horrendous showing since opening the season with the Philadelphia beatdown. Not only are the Rams 0-4, they’ve looked like one of the worst NFL teams ever in the process.

So long, Scott after the jump >>

NFL Preview – A Quick Look at the NFC West

We end this NFL Preview excursion with the less-than-appreciated NFC West. Now, I don’t expect the next Super Bowl winner to come out of this division, but there are still some teams that can determine who does.

Seattle Seahawks

Mike Holmgren

Outlook
They’ve been the best team in the NFC West for a few years now. Is this the year the Seahawks relinquish the division crown? Are the rest of the NFC West teams ready to step-up and knock Seattle off? Until I see it, I’m saying no. The Seahawks still have Matt Hasselbeck, a potent defense and the best home field advantage in the NFL. Of course, if they are going to do more than just win the West and lose in the first round of the playoffs, the Seahawks need their offense to step up around their Pro Bowl-level quarterback.

The running game is all new as Shaun Alexander left town after becoming more and more ineffective. Enter free agent Julius Jones and Maurice Morris, Alexander’s replacement last season. If these two are productive, the Seahawks could sneak up on a lot of opponents. The key is keeping Hasselbeck and the defense healthy.

10-6 and the NFC West championship.

Hottest Seahawks Cheerleader
Say hi to Sea Gal Natalie, one of many lookers on the Seahawks cheerleading team.

Natalie

More NFC West after the jump >>

ESPN Is Sticking With Kurt Warner

Matt Leinart

I’ll say this for ESPN, they do stand by their men, especially when it comes to Chris Mortensen. The other day, Mort issued a breaking report, stating the Arizona Cardinals named Kurt Warner as their starting quarterback after Matt Leinart had a horrible preseason outing against the Oakland Raiders.

Once news got out about Mort’s report, the Cardinals coaching staff, namely head coach Ken Whisenhunt, indicated Leinart is still his starting quarterback. Actually, he said no changes have been made while discussing his disappointment in Mort’s report.

That, however, has not stopped the Worldwide Leader from posting articles discussing how Kurt Warner’s patience in Arizona finally paid off. In fact, John Clayton’s article speaks as if the decision is already set in stone, obviously spurred on by Mortensen’s (premature?) report.

Whisenhunt gave Leinart every chance to win the job. Sure, he probably felt threatened when Warner earned first-team snaps every other day, but too bad. All he had to do was light up practice and do the same in games. He didn’t, and his skills have deteriorated inexplicably.

While that seems to be the consensus on Leinart’s performance thus far, it’s apparent Whisenhunt isn’t ready to give in to ESPN’s perspective, bringing up another point — if the heir apparent to the Arizona starting quarterback position is performing poorly, why wouldn’t you make the change to Kurt Warner?

Remember, Warner posted these numbers –3417 yards and 27 touchdowns — in relief of an injured Leinart last season.

The object of playing is to win the game, not to pamper a quarterback who doesn’t seem to grasp what it takes to be an NFL quarterback (it’s not as easy as it was at SC, aye Matt?). I understand Warner’s not getting any younger, but when he presents the Cardinals their best chance to win, making a change seems like the obvious choice.

I can understand Whisenhunt’s displeasure in ESPN’s methods, but keeping Leinart as the starter just to save face seems petulant and stubborn. I also understand Arizona wants to know what they have in Leinart and rightfully so. Any time you make such an investment, you need to know whether or not it was a wise one. But isn’t that what the NFL preseason is for?

I’m not sure keeping Leinart as the starter just to prove a point to ESPN is the best thing for Cardinals, especially when it’s becoming more and more evident Warner is the man for the job.