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Around the NFC West: Jackson's leadership

11/4/2011

The St. Louis Rams' Steven Jackson ranks among the most powerful and inspiring team leaders in the NFL.

His leadership means a lot more when Jackson is healthy enough to back it up on the field. That has been the case recently.

Bryan Burwell of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch credits Jackson for the Rams' performance against New Orleans. Burwell: "What we witnessed on Sunday was a football team that was flat-out fed up with being an embarrassment. That was as fired up a Rams team as I have seen in a long time. And while the champion Cardinals' presence may have enhanced the mood in the stands, the mood of the players already was determined in the locker room by Jackson's impassioned pregame speech that many of his teammates said was as brilliant a motivation as they've ever heard."

Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News says Vernon Davis wants the ball more than he is getting it, but realizes it doesn't matter so much if the team is winning. Davis: "I hate it. It sucks. It sucks because I definitely want to get my hands on the ball so I can help my team win games. But if I don't, and we're winning, I'll take that."

Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com says another longtime 49ers contributor, Parys Haralson, is adjusting to a diminished role. As defensive coordinator Vic Fangio put it, Haralson is basically the starter in the base defense, while rookie Aldon Smith is the starter in sub packages.

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee says yet another 49ers mainstay, Patrick Willis, is fine with collecting fewer tackles while the 49ers keep winning. Willis is spending more time covering tight ends. Willis: "At the end of the day, I've done all that, whether it's leading the league or it's leading the team in tackles. To me, the most important thing is winning, and that's something I haven't been able to do."

Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle says the 49ers' streak of scoring a rushing touchdown without allowing one is the NFL's longest in 18 years.

Brock Huard of 710ESPN Seattle says the Seahawks need more from left guard Robert Gallery.

Clare Farnsworth of seahawks.com says no team in the NFL is starting more rookies than Seattle. Farnsworth: "The Seahawks are starting four rookies -- right tackle James Carpenter, right guard John Moffitt, strongside linebacker K.J. Wright and left cornerback Richard Sherman. That number climbs to five if you count slot receiver Doug Baldwin, which you should because he leads the team in receptions entering Sunday’s game against the Dallas Cowboys. The Cleveland Browns, who beat the Seahawks two weeks ago, also start five rookies. But the only other teams starting more than two are the Denver Broncos and Philadelphia Eagles, with three each."

Percy Allen of the Seattle Times says Tarvaris Jackson gives himself an "F" grade so far, mainly because the Seahwaks have a 2-5 record.

Christian Caple of seattlepi.com says the Bengals' A.J. Green has responded to harsh criticisms from Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman. Green: "I think I did some things that I don’t usually do; some slack route running. I feel coming off that bye week I didn’t have the proper release I needed to get off with their long corners. But they did a great job. I feel like they played their technique well. We didn’t adjust as well. I didn’t have the game that I wanted, but it will be like that. When you’re trying to make that step you’re going to go through bumps and being a rookie, I’m going to have to learn some more releases. I’ll just keep working at it."

Eric D. Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune reads between the lines on Pete Carroll's supportive comments regarding Jackson. Williams: "Even with Jackson, Charlie Whitehurst and Josh Portis on the team, expect the Seahawks to take another quarterback early in next year’s draft. That’s how Seattle personnel guru, general manager John Schneider, was schooled during his time in Green Bay -- make the quarterback position as competitive as possible."

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic looks at what makes Patrick Peterson such a threat on punt returns.

Also from Somers: Peterson had help during his 82-yard return against Baltimore. Noted: Blocking tends to improve when players know their teammate has a chance to break a long return every time. No one wants to be the guy whose slacking prevented a touchdown.

More from Somers: With Kevin Kolb missing practice again, it's looking like John Skelton will likely start at quarterback for Arizona against the Rams.

Bob McManaman of the Arizona Republic looks at how the Cardinals have kept alive their streak without local television blackouts.

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com says the team upgraded Beanie Wells' status on the injury report, reflecting the gains Wells was expected to make as the week progressed.