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NFC West Whispers

Niners' Baas relishes challenge of new position

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By PFW staff

We've been hearing the following whispers from around the NFC West:

• It appears Niners OL David Baas is enjoying starting at center in place of Eric Heitmann, who will probably be sidelined through September after breaking his leg in training camp. "He looks much more natural at center than guard," said one daily team observer of Baas, the Niners' starting left guard last season. "He might have the highest Wonderlic (test score) on the team and is very cerebral, and he really likes the mental challenge of playing center."

• We're told the Cardinals felt they had no choice but to part ways with OLB Cody Brown, the team's second-round pick in 2009. "They just kept waiting and waiting, but he never flashed anything in games or practices," one team insider said of Brown, who sat out his rookie season with a fractured wrist. "Plus, his personality rubbed a lot of people in the organization the wrong way, and he never meshed from a chemistry standpoint."

• Our Rams sources tell us head coach Steve Spagnuolo really regretted releasing third-year WR Keenan Burton, who was let to go to make room for newly acquired WR Mark Clayton. "He was one of Spagnuolo's guys," one team insider said of Burton. " 'Spags' was always lavishing Burton with praise and really loved his character. But Burton just had knee problems all the time."

• We hear seventh-round rookie DE Dexter Davis was one of the Seahawks' more pleasant surprises this offseason. "His versatility as a rush end or strong-side linebacker is a plus," said one observer of Davis. "And he's shown obvious pass-rush ability."


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