Around the NFC West: Close watch on WRs

July, 31, 2012
7/31/12
7:46
AM ET
NFC West wide receivers stood out for various reasons as training camps continued Monday.

Some of the San Francisco 49ers' wideouts stood out in a literal sense, meaning they stood off to the side with injuries while their teammates practiced. Two young receivers in St. Louis performed well enough to earn acclaim. And with the Seattle Seahawks looking to identify a starter opposite Sidney Rice, a second-year pro with two career catches and a 52.5-yard average continued to make his mark.

Details below ...

Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com says the 49ers practiced without Michael Crabtree, Mario Manningham and Joe Hastings. Crabtree and Hastings were seen suffering injuries. Manningham's status wasn't immediately known. Maiocco: "Randy Moss made two nice catches during team drills. He made a lunging catch near the sideline against cornerback Carlos Rogers, managing to get both feet inbounds before tumbling to the ground. He also went up to catch a pass from Alex Smith late in the workout."

Taylor Price of 49ers.com says defensive lineman Demarcus Dobbs made a couple impressive catches while moonlighting as a tight end. Noted: The 49ers' coaching staff continually tries out players at additional positions. We've seen it at fullback during the regular season. Left tackle Joe Staley's reception last season was a highlight.

Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News says the 49ers' Patrick Willis seems to be at the top of his game. Tight end Vernon Davis: "To me, he's one of the best coverage guys, as far as a linebacker, I've ever seen. He works on it each and every day."

Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle counts the ways 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh has defended his players.

Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times says receiver Ricardo Lockette, who caught two passes for 105 yards late last season, has impressed the Seahawks to this point in camp. O'Neil: "Lockette continued what has been a very strong start to training camp, as he made a diving, juggling catch in the end zone on a long throw from Matt Flynn, and that was after he beat Brandon Browner on a deep ball thrown by Russell Wilson."

Also from O'Neil: Brandon Browner's route to the NFL.

Clare Farnsworth of seahawks.com says the team's quarterbacks have improved since camp opened. Farnsworth on Matt Flynn: "Flynn and second-year receiver Ricardo Lockette hooked up on a pair of long touchdown passes. Flynn made it a hat trick when he displayed nice touch on a TD pass to wide receiver Golden Tate, who had gotten behind Pro Bowl cornerback Brandon Browner. Flynn also displayed his deceptive arm strength on a pass that to Charly Martin. Flynn appears to be the most polished at executing the play-action passes that are so important in coordinator Darrell Bevell’s offense."

Also from Farnsworth: Former Seahawks linebacker Dave Wyman reflects on Cortez Kennedy. Wyman: "If you ask football people and people that have been looking at film -- especially during that era -- they would wonder why wasn’t Tez in the Hall of Fame before this. I knew eventually people would come around. Sometimes, and it’s too bad, but you have to be there to see it. He was just an amazing player."

Bob McManaman of the Arizona Republic says veteran tackle Jeremy Bridges has been helping his potential replacement, Bobby Massie, in training camp. Massie: "That's not what I expected coming in, but he's proven me wrong. I thought for sure he'd be the other way, but he's a cool dude. He's been helping me with my technique, showing me some tricks, and he's been way cool to me."

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com says quarterback Kevin Kolb was healthy enough to sign autographs following practice. Urban: "Practice was almost over this afternoon when quarterback Kevin Kolb handed the ball off to William Powell in a two-minute drill and then ended up on the ground. Turned out he took a knee to his right thigh."

Also from Urban: Beanie Wells could resume practicing as early as next week.

More from Urban: Levi Brown improved last season. Urban: "Brown said it was technique improvements -- for example, hand placement and making sure to keep his head over his knees -- that helped his progress last season. They are details that can slide when a player gets tired."

The Associated Press says the Cardinals would like to re-sign linebacker Daryl Washington, according to general manager Rod Graves.

Brian Burwell of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch checks in with Rams quarterback Sam Bradford, who anticipates significant improvement this seasons. Bradford: "Obviously, I've said from the beginning that I put more pressure on myself than anyone on the outside could ever put on me. I expect myself to play at an extremely high level. Sometimes I'm not sure that the level that I expect myself to play at is realistic, but that's always what I'm shooting for. That's what I'm out here right now trying to accomplish."

Dan O'Neill of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says Rams rookie Michael Brockers has gone from facing high school players to professionals in a three-year period.

Nick Wagoner of stlouisrams.com sees good things from receiver Greg Salas. Wagoner: "Salas continues to look good out there and is making a seamless transition to the outside after spending most of his rookie season in the slot. Salas told me that he played on the outside quite a bit at Hawaii but was a little rusty early on. He said it’s just a matter of sharpening his technique and getting back up to speed on beating press coverage and other fundamentals that go with taking on corners instead of the occasional linebacker or safety in the slot."

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