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Monday, January 5, 2009
Help sought in naming all-division team

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

PositionAll-NFC West Player
Team
LT

LGReggie WellsCardinals
CEric Heitmann
49ers
RGFloyd Womack
Seahawks
RTLevi Brown
Cardinals
QBKurt Warner
Cardinals
RB

FB
Leonard Weaver
Seahawks
WRLarry Fitzgerald
Cardinals
WRAnquan Boldin
Cardinals
TE


 
LDE 
RDEJustin Smith
49ers
DTBrandon Mebane
Seahawks
DTDarnell DockettCardinals
LBPatrick Willis49ers
LBKarlos Dansby
Cardinals
LB

SSAdrian WilsonCardinals
FSOshiomogho Atogwe Rams
CB

CBD. Rodgers-Cromartie Cardinals
 

P
Donnie Jones
Rams
K 
LS
 
RET
 
ST
Sean Morey
Cardinals
ST
Manny Lawson
49ers

We have a problem at running back in putting together our all-NFC West team for 2008.

The Rams' Steven Jackson and the 49ers' Frank Gore put together nearly identical seasons from a statistical standpoint.

I'm inclined to give Gore the edge given that his team won more games, but regular contributors to this blog know it's not that simple. Let's open the subject for discussion, not just at running back but for the other positions.

I've penciled in players who seemed to qualify as easy choices, either through their own efforts or by default. The offensive linemen played the specific listed positions this season, although Floyd Womack moved to left guard later in the season.

Walter Jones would be my choice at left tackle, but I know we have some Joe Staley fans out there. Orlando Pace looked good in a couple of late-season games, at least from what I saw. John Carlson and Vernon Davis would be the candidates at tight end.

Parys Haralson, Leroy Hill, Pisa Tinoisamoa and Takeo Spikes might qualify as candidates for that third linebacker spot. Marcus Trufant and Nate Clements could be in contention for that second cornerback spot. Ron Bartell played well late in the season.

All four kickers in the division showed good accuracy. Olindo Mare had 22 touchbacks, easily the most in the division.

Josh Brown made 6 of 8 field-goal tries from 50 yards or longer, best in the division. He also averaged better than 68 yards per kickoff, another division best.

Neil Rackers did not miss from 40 to 49 yards. Joe Nedney was solid if unspectacular in any one category.

For reference, here are the players we considered earlier in the season. I'll weigh the arguments and put together a team that most of us can hopefully live with.