NFC West: Training Camp Roundup

Why is San Francisco not worried about Alex Smith's preseason struggles? When will Seahawks LB Leroy Hill return to action? How did Sam Bradford's debut grade out in St. Louis? Find out these answers and more inside.



  • Fourth-year player Dominique Zeigler has made several impressive catches in training camp thus far. But he's exhausted all of his practice-squad eligibility and knows he must make the active roster to stick around. "Those days are over," he said of landing on the practice squad.

  • Alex Smith had a sporadic week of training camp, but offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye said he's not worried.

    "How you look has no bearing on the outcome," he said. "If we win, he'll be the best-looking guy we've ever seen."

  • Coach Mike Singletary halted practice early Monday and noted afterward that his team hit "the wall."

    "It was that wall day, hump day," Singletary said. "And you've got to work your way through that wall. And we didn't handle that very well today."

  • The 49ers added a few linebackers last week, including former UCLA defensive end Bruce Davis, who will play outside linebacker in this defense.

    "I've learned a defense in a week before. It shouldn't be that hard," said Davis, who is on his fourth different team since being drafted in 2008.

    QUOTE TO NOTE: "I was telling someone just a little while ago that this has been one of the best weeks that we've had, and the reason why is because we have adversity. When you have to deal with adversity it allows you to focus." -- Mike Singletary, on week of training camp that saw two players, Kentwan Balmer and Glen Coffee, essentially leave the team.


  • Linebacker Scott McKillop passed through waivers and went on injured reserve. McKillop tore the ACL and patellar tendon in his left knee during the first week of training camp.

  • Linebacker Martail Burnett also was placed on injured reserve after spraining a knee ligament.

  • The team waived receiver Scott Long (hamstring) and signed receivers Kevin Jurovich and Bobby Guillory.

  • The team signed outside linebackers Brandon Long and Bruce Davis.

  • The 49ers waived return man LeRoy Vann. Coaches feel that veteran Ted Ginn and rookie Kyle Williams can handle punt returns this season.

  • The 49ers were granted a roster exemption for defensive end Kentwan Balmer.



  • Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll was a bundle of nerves in his first NFL game as a head coach in a decade. He walked around during warm-ups holding a football and greeting players as they walked onto the field. He had to be nudged back to the sidelines by officials a few times in his first game back in the NFL after a decade's absence.

    And Carroll paced the sidelines during the game on a surgically repaired left knee that was just operated on a few weeks ago. It was Carroll's first NFL game since Jan. 2, 2000, when he coached for New England.

    "It was great to be out there," Carroll said. "I learned a couple things tonight, but I won't tell you about them. But I learned a couple things tonight that I needed to know."

  • Linebacker Leroy Hill did not play in his team's first preseason game, instead watching from the sidelines. Hill suffered a sprained knee during a pile-up in practice this week and will be out a few weeks, according to Carroll.

    "It's going to be a bit," Carroll said. "It's going to be a few weeks probably before our guys will want him to go out full speed. We got to make sure and do this right, because there is a little something that happened there."

    Hill's injury is the latest setback for Clemson product, as he has endured a troubled offseason that has put the outside linebacker's future with the Seahawks in doubt.

    A five-year starter for Seattle, Hill received probation on a plea agreement for a marijuana charge in Georgia. The NFL suspended Hill for the Sept. 12 season opener.

    Hill also faces a trial this month in Issaquah, Wash., on a charge of domestic violence against his girlfriend.

    New linebackers coach Ken Norton Jr. has raved about the play of outside linebacker David Hawthorne. The third-year, non-drafted free agent was already getting plenty of time this summer and is ahead of Hill on the depth chart.

  • Rookie offensive tackle Russell Okung played solid in his first action as a pro. The Oklahoma State roduct reported to camp six days late, and was the final first-round pick to ink a deal with his respective team.

    But after only a week of practice, Okung played a little over a half and did not give up a sack. He did appear to suffer a back injury, but pleaded to get back into the game and was obliged by Carroll.

    The Seahawks head coach said he wanted to review the tape before evaluating Okung's performance.

  • Returning to NFL action for the first time in three seasons, wide receiver Mike Williams got into the end zone on his long hookup with Whitehurst, and overall felt comfortable in his Seahawks' debut.

    "I was really excited," he said. "I was more excited to get back in the atmosphere and to play again. ... I'm usually more nervous when I'm thinking too much. Tonight I just kind of came out and wanted to play well and know my assignment.

    "We'll see how the film turns out."

    Along with his overall performance, Williams was pleased with the way the Seahawks finished the game.

    "You got to play and keep playing and keep believing and trusting what you do," he said. "They came out with a good drive but we showed reserve and bounced back. I think every group -- ones, twos, threes, everybody that played -- I think they did that part. I know it's only preseason but this new start that we're having here with this group that we're starting it off with got a win."

    QUOTE TO NOTE: "Well, I learned pretty quick that it's a man's game out there. The speed, it looked way faster than college because you're playing against the best and everybody's good. It was just a great experience for me getting my feet wet and getting put in certain situations, and reacting." -- Seahawks rookie safety Earl Thomas on his first game as a pro.


  • WR Mike Hass re-signed with the Seahawks. Seattle brought the Oregon State product back after Isaiah Stanback went down with a season-ending torn Achilles tendon.

  • WR Isaiah Stanback, after suffering a torn Achilles tendon, was released and is likely headed for the injured reserve list.

  • WR Marcus Maxwell, a six-year NFL veteran, was released and placed on injured reserve with a leg issue.

  • FB Ryan Powdrell, a USC product, suffered a leg injury and was waived/injured by the team.

  • LB Anthony Heygood suffered a torn Achilles tendon and was waived/injured by the team.

  • CB Chris Richards, the rookie free agent cornerback out of Stony Brook was released by the team.

  • WR Matt Simon, two days after he was signed, the Northern Illinois product was released to make room for running back Adrian Peterson.

  • RB Adrian Peterson, the veteran runner who last played for Chicago, was brought in to add depth at running back.

  • LB Tyjuan Hagler, the five-year veteran who last played for Indianapolis and adds depth at linebacker, should help the Seahawks in an area in which they have experienced several injuries.



  • Coach Steve Spagnuolo liked what he saw from quarterback Sam Bradford in how he handled himself during the game.

    Said Spagnuolo, "He made two really, really good decisions to dump the ball to the back. I know that's not the most glamorous play in football, but he made quick decisions. To me, that was one of the most positive things he did. He made really quick decisions. There were some center-quarterback exchange issues that he had to deal with, and he'll work on that, and a couple other communications in there that I think he'd like to do a little bit better job at. I did like how quick he was with his decision making on throwing the ball."

  • The Rams started the game against Minnesota without cornerbacks Ron Bartell, Bradley Fletcher and Justin King. Then, in the first half, Kevin Dockery (hip pointer) and Rookie Jerome Murphy (ankle) went out. That left Quincy Butler, seventh-round pick Marquis Johnson and undrafted free agent Antoine Thompson as the only healthy cornerbacks.

    That was "scary," coach Steve Spagnuolo said. "You didn't want to start putting other guys back in the game and then be kicking yourself in the butt. I tell you what, the guys that had to play ... Antoine stayed in there quite a bit. Quincy Butler played a lot for a guy that's been working with the first group here, so I appreciate their efforts. It gets scary. All of the sudden, think of it, you've got an 80-man roster right now, you go to 45 it gets challenging in the middle of a regular season game too. We got through it and hopefully the guys get better."

    The good news was that Bartell and Fletcher are expected to be able to play this week, but the status of Dockery and Murphy is uncertain.

    QUOTE TO NOTE: "For his first time out he did a pretty good job, mixed it up a little bit there with Jared Allen. He got beat a couple times inside on that particular pass-rush move up inside and he knows he's got to work on that, but he moves his feet well and he battled in there. Overall, OK for his first time out." -- Coach Steve Spagnuolo on the play of rookie LT Rodger Saffold in his preseason debut.


  • S Craig Dahl suffered a mild sprain of his right knee against Minnesota and is considered day-to-day.

  • CB Kevin Dockery suffered a right hip pointer against Minnesota and was very sore the day after the game. It is hoped he will be able to practice by mid-week.

  • LB Dominic Douglas suffered a right shoulder injury against Minnesota and is considered day-to-day.

  • WR Brandon McRae suffered a sprained ankle against Minnesota and could miss some significant time.

  • CB Jerome Murphy suffered a sprained ankle against Minnesota and could miss some significant time.

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