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Friday, May 21, 2010
Around the NFC West: Cards' chemistry

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com describes how Arizona coaches are promoting competition and camaraderie at organized team activities. Even coaches had to run after practice if their side of the ball came up short. Urban: "There was whooping and hollering from the defense when cornerback Greg Toler broke up the first Matt Leinart-to-Larry Fitzgerald pass. And there was the same from the offense when Fitz made a wonderful one-handed grab on the sideline. There was a lot of arguing when a first down pass from Derek Anderson to Early Doucet might have come after a 'sack' of Anderson. And there was an explosion of happiness from the red shirts when Money Mike Adams broke up the final pass to Andre Roberts." These are fairly typical exercises in NFL camps as teams try to keep players engaged.

Jim Gintonio of the Arizona Republic looks at receiver Darren Mougey's efforts to earn a roster spot with the Cardinals. Gintonio: "Mougey, signed as a free agent, knows the level of talent of the Cardinals receivers. He said he feels lucky to be in the mix and wants to learn as much he can, while at the same time not ruling anything out."

Bill Coats of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch examines the working relationship between Rams quarterbacks A.J. Feeley and Sam Bradford. Feeley: "He's a bright guy, he's big, he's strong, and he can throw the football. He's accurate with it. And you can tell he wants to learn and he enjoys playing the game. Nowadays, I think that's most important. Some of these guys that come into the league don't love the game and they don't embrace it. I can tell with [Bradford] that he does ... he definitely does."

Jim Rodenbush of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch quotes Steven Jackson this way regarding Feeley: "With A.J., you can see the leadership, and you can see he has the offense down pat. He knows what he is doing, and he is going to be good for us."

Turf Show Times' VanRam cites stats suggesting tight end Daniel Fells can be a relatively important player for the Rams. Agreed. I think it reflected deficiencies elsewhere on the team. Fells was a better option than he would have been playing for a more talented team.

Clare Farnsworth of seahawks.com looks at rosters moves made since coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider took control of the Seahawks. Farnsworth: "This no-stone-unturned approach has produced 55 transactions in the 122 days since Schneider was hired -- and that doesn’t include the nine players the Seahawks drafted or the 15 rookie free agents they signed just after the draft."

Eric D. Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune says Leroy Hill received a continuance in his court case stemming from a domestic-violence arrest. Williams: "According to a representative of the municipal court, a victim’s advocate asked on behalf of the victim that a no-contact order keeping Hill away from the victim be lifted. Hill’s attorney agreed with the request, but the prosecutor did not, and Stewart determined the order will remain in place."

Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com says the 49ers aren't necessarily considering making a move for Oshiomogho Atogwe if the Rams safety becomes available in June. Maiocco: "On the surface, it appears the 49ers' selection of safety Taylor Mays in the second round of the draft would end any thought the organization might have had about pursuing Atogwe this offseason. And Singletary suggested the 49ers will not make a move."

Also from Maiocco: Nate Clements is forfeiting a $500,000 workout bonus to work out on his own, away from the team. Clements is scheduled to earn $352,941 per week during the regular season. Maiocco: "This is clearly a big offseason for Clements, whom the 49ers benched Nov. 1 against pass-happy Indianapolis. Clements' main duty that day was to return punts, and he sustained a season-ending broken shoulder blade. Clements is penciled in as a starter this season, but his scheduled $6 million salary puts the onus on him to prove during training camp he's worth the big money."

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee thinks 49ers rookie Navorro Bowman could be a player to watch in training camp. Barrows: "Bowman has plenty of speed, both from sideline to sideline and on blitzes up the middle. Bowman played both 'Mike' and 'Ted' linebacker this week."

Phil Barber of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat passes along notes from 49ers camp, quoting team president Jed York as saying he thinks the Bay Area will host a Super Bowl once a new stadium is built.

Also from Barber: an early look at the 49ers' offensive line.