You can tell it's June. Know why? Because the signing of a backup tackle dominates the conversation, the football conversation at least, even at the expense of Pacman's decision to drop his now infamous nickname.
- Barry Sims has a much better shot at regular playing time with the 49ers than the Rams. Sims could beat out the constantly injured Jonas Jennings for the RT job in SF, and gives the 49ers a legit backup at the tackle position, where they had very little. Niners Nation has more.
- Another way to look at the Sims deal... with the Raiders signing OT Kwame Harris, the two Bay Area teams acquired the other's unwanted OT.
- The NFC West features some of the game's top linebackers, according to this report, two of the top five call the NFC West home, SF's Patrick Willis and Seatlle's Lofa Tatupu. They rank Will Witherspoon 19th, just below Shawne Merriman. Despite the questionable ranking, they make a good point about some expanded possibilities for WW. With Leonard Little back and Chris Long drafted, sacks may be harder to come by for WW, but working in coverage, he should pick up at least a couple of INTs. Still, Haslett's going to use the 3-4 and Little's not an everydown guy anymore, so WW should still pick up a few sacks.
- DE Victor Adeyanju has been working hard this offseason. The run stopping specialist, according to the Sporting News, beefed up his strength and made his bullrush more effective.
- Experts seem to agree, the Rams are a good bet for .500, and a real good pick for more than 6.5 wins.
- Mike Holmgren's a lame duck this year, does that effect how the team will perform? The Rams made a smart move in brining in high profile Al Saunders for thier OC and making numerous other coaching staff changes as well as a front office switch with Billy Devaney. Together, those moves helped to shore up Linehan's status with the team, from being a total lame duck, no idle threat to the team's performance given his "conversations" with the key players on the offense during the season. However, he's still coaching for his job this season, and the players know that. It's a factor, but not nearly the distraction it could be.
- The impact of pass rushers (and a good sign for the Rams) from the Football Outsiders crew.