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NFC Whispers

Faneca undecided about playing in 2011

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By PFW staff

Following are whispers we've been hearing from around the NFC:

• It appears Cardinals veteran OLG Alan Faneca is in no rush at all to decide whether or not he wants to continue playing. "We have talked about it a couple of times," Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt said at the NFL Combine in late February. "Obviously, there is no pressure to make a decision right now. Hopefully he'll get a chance to step away from the season and want to come back and play, but I'm not going to push the issue. That's going to happen in time, but I'm not concerned right now."

• If the Cardinals' season were to start tomorrow, the best guess from our sources in the desert is that the depth chart at quarterback would read as follows: John Skelton, Rich Bartell and Max Hall. After mostly struggling when given the chance to start, word is the best hope for Hall will be a spot on the practice squad.

• We hear Rams scout Luke Driscoll, who was arrested for public intoxication and public nudity in Indianapolis during the NFL Combine, is not in any danger of losing his job. "I don't think he's in any real trouble with the organization," one team insider told PFW. "He's actually very passionate about his job and is not known as a guy who likes to carouse, or anything like that."

• For what it's worth, Rams WR Danario Alexander, who has undergone no less than five surgical procedures on his knee, recently told team sources that his knee feels 100 percent better right now than it did at the end of the season.

• As far as the Seahawks' offensive line is concerned, team insiders tell us the only current players assured of starting are Russell Okung at left tackle and Max Unger at either center or right guard. Unger, who sat out last season with a toe injury, was initially drafted to be a center, but he ended up playing well at guard as a rookie in 2009. "They have some options with him," said one team source of Unger. "A lot depends on what (new assistant head coach/offensive line) Tom Cable thinks about (free agent C Chris) Spencer."

• Look for Nick McDonald, who was inactive his entire rookie season with the Packers, to get a legitimate shot at the starting OLG spot next season. GM Ted Thompson said at the NFL Combine that he thought both McDonald and 2010 fifth-round OL Marshall Newhouse, who also failed to get on the field this past season, could make big jumps in 2011. "We certainly hope so," Thompson said. "With offensive linemen, we very much like to have young people on our team, but they have to be prepared to play, just like a lot of guys on our team this year. But certainly, we think we have some capability, as most teams do, of developing offensive linemen. Sometimes it's a smaller school, sometimes guys that maybe got a late start in college, that sort of thing."

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