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Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Around the NFC West: Hasselbeck's 2009

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

Eric D. Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune quotes Seahawks coach Pete Carroll as saying quarterback Matt Hasselbeck tried too hard in 2009. Carroll: "It was clear that he was over-trying. Tremendously over-trying. He was trying to make things happen, in classic fashion to try and make a play and that caused him to make decisions where he would throw the ball into trouble. He wouldn’t read everything out. He wasn’t patient enough because he felt like there wasn’t room enough to be patient. And so those decisions, it takes you to ... another level of production that goes totally against you. And you have to play within the system and the concepts or you’re just making stuff up. And so he pressed too much."

Also from Williams: checks in with Seahawks rookie E.J. Wilson. Draft analyst Rob Rang says he probably underrated Wilson coming out of college.

More from Williams: Deon Butler has more than speed to offer Seattle's offense.

Clare Farnsworth of seahawks.com says linebacker Leroy Hill downplayed the knee injury he suffered during practice. Hill could miss some time, however. Hill has never played a full 16-game regular season since entering the NFL as a third-round draft choice in 2005. He has missed nine games over the past two seasons and he'll miss at least one more in 2010 thanks to an NFL suspension.

Rod Mar of seahawks.com offers photos from practice, including one showing rookie Golden Tate making a one-handed grab.

Ben Malcolmson of seahawks.com says T.J. Houshmandzadeh was highly productive in practice Tuesday.

Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times was ringside for the Seahawks' most contentious practice of camp. Brandon Mebane took a swing at someone (it might have been Max Unger).

Also from O'Neil: Aaron Curry was back at practice following a concussion and determined to make a strong impression.

Greg Johns of seattlepi.com says the Seahawks formally made Russell Okung their starting left tackle Tuesday. Also, Kevin Ellison picked off a pass. Ellison appears to have a good shot at sticking in the secondary.

Also from Johns: The defense seemed to like practice Tuesday. Safety Earl Thomas: "Today was just a great day. The defensive line and O-line were battling it out. That's what we've got to have in practice. It felt good. It gave me chills in my body. I'm just glad to be part of this team. We're going in the right direction and are just looking forward to the first game."

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic says the Cardinals like having some seasoned veterans on their roster. They have 12 players in their 30s at present, including Joey Porter. Coach Ken Whisenhunt: "If you watch Joey walk into a meeting room and you watch the younger players, they watch him. They look at where he sits, how he prepares, because this guy is a Pro Bowl player. So when things aren't going well, or are going well, that's where the younger players are going to look to, to see how those guys are going to handle it."

Also from Somers: Beanie Wells might not play Sunday after taking a hit to the ribs this week. Sitting out sounds like the safest strategy.

More from Somers: an early Cardinals depth chart with rookie Dan Williams listed as the third nose tackle.

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com says the Cardinals could be looking to sign a veteran at inside linebacker, where Pago Togafau worked with the starters Tuesday. Also, second-year outside linebacker Cody Brown is showing signs of progress, a very good sign for Arizona.

Also from Urban: a look at how the 7,000-foot altitude affects players at Cardinals camp.

More from Urban: Safety Hamza Abdullah fasts from sunrise to sunset during camp in observance of Ramadan.

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch heads to Bears camp to check out former Rams Lovie Smith, Mike Martz, Isaac Bruce, Pisa Tinoisamoa and Brandon Manumaleuna. Too bad the Bears did not bring back Orlando Pace. Martz: "This is a good football team. I love the organization. Good players. The coaching staff has a real special chemistry with this group. You know, you get in those moments where things are really good and everything kind of meshes. This has that kind of feel. Everything's just kind of -- it's hard to explain -- there's a lot of good things that could happen. We'll just see."

Also from Thomas: That was Jason Smith working with the starters during team drills for the first time this summer.

Bill Coats of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Rams have lots to figure out at tight end. The Rams have been happy with what Billy Bajema has added, not only as a blocker but as a receiver.

Also from Coats: The Rams' exhibition opener will not be televised live in St. Louis.

Steve Korte of the Belleville News-Democrat says the Rams have worked on contingencies at kicker while Josh Brown rests a hip injury.

Also from Korte: Rookie George Selvie has made a positive impression lately.

Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com says two Alex Smith completions stood out as highlights of 49ers practice Tuesday morning.

Also from Maiocco: New special-teams coach Kurt Schottenheimer had nice things to say about returners Ted Ginn Jr. and Kyle Williams.

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee says 49ers offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye says Smith will be judged on whether the team wins, nothing more, and that is one reason not to worry about a rough practice. Barrows: "Raye also said there were extenuating circumstances to Smith's day. He noted that Smith usually makes 94 throws in the morning and another 86-90 in the afternoon. He said this is the point in camp that quarterbacks get what Raye called 'arm weary'. And he also noted that both of Smith's top targets, Vernon Davis and Michael Crabtree, were given the morning off. (That's two straight practices for Davis). One more obstacle: Smith is getting used to a new center, David Baas, who had a few errant snaps. Raye said he hoped to settle the center competition between Baas and Tony Wragge by the third preseason game."

Also from Barrows: The mystery of Kentwan Balmer continues.

Taylor Price of 49ers.com offers notes from 49ers practice, plus a photo of Dominique Zeigler's acrobatic grab over Shawntae Spencer.

Phil Barber of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat looks at the linebackers San Francisco signed for depth.

Dan Brown of the San Jose Mercury News checks in with Baas, who is on to his next challenge. Brown: "David Baas has a knack for showing up unexpectedly, starting with the day he was born. His parents steered their Datsun into a parking lot upon realizing there was no time to make it to the hospital. Baas greeted the world just outside a bank in Tulsa, Okla. That set the tone for a life in which Baas could pop up almost anywhere." Next stop: center.

Also from Brown: notes from practice and a challenge (name the five running backs with the most rushes of at least 20 yards last season).

David White of the San Francisco Chronicle says the conversion to Baas at center is tougher because the team has inexperienced guards around him.

Kevin Lynch of Niner Insider wonders how Crabtree gets a veteran's day off in only his second season. By playing like a veteran, perhaps?