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Friday, May 22, 2009
Around the NFC West: Doucet getting work

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Bob McManaman of the Arizona Republic says second-year Cardinals receiver Early Doucet seems to be benefiting from Anquan Boldin's absence at voluntary practices. Teammate Steve Breaston: "He's got the talent to do great things for us." Doucet became a forgotten man after suffering a hamstring injury just as Breaston was asserting himself as the third receiver last offseason.

Dan Bickley of the Arizona Republic quotes Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt as saying Matt Leinart appears to have grown up some. Leinart: "I always wanted to be here, and I want to be here until I'm done playing. There's a business side to it, and everything doesn't always happen the way you want it. But my opportunity is coming, and it's on me to continue getting better and to be ready when it happens."

Andrew Bagnato of the East Valley Tribune checks in with new Cardinals defensive coordinator Bill Davis. The Cardinals want to build on how they played defense through the playoffs, distancing themselves from the unit that allowed more points than all but four teams during the regular season.

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com says the Cardinals have no interest in quarterback Michael Vick. Why would Arizona make any sense at all as a destination? I have no idea.

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee takes note of the 49ers' reluctance to rule out Vick as a future option. Receiver Josh Morgan: "He's the reason so many people went to Virginia Tech. He's definitely the reason I went there. That's my idol. We love him, and we talk about him and think about him all the time. We can't wait for him to get back on the field. He's always been a humble guy, with a quiet personality, but he's always helping out people and not even talking about it. I got to throw with him, to run some drills, and he's a great guy."

Also from Barrows: He doesn't think the 49ers will sign Vick, but he did speak at length with Vick's former Falcons teammate, Allen Rossum, for thoughts on the disgraced quarterback. Rossum: "Well, I haven't personally talked to him or texted him, but I have sent messages through mutual friends who we are both very close to. I think we are still close. I still support him as a man. I don't support the action that he did, of course. But just like if I had a brother who made a mistake, I'm still going to love him, still consider him a brother. Hopefully he has learned from it."

The 49ers' Web site provides a transcript from Mike Singletary's post-practice media session Thursday. Will Reggie Smith move back to corner following Walt Harris' injury? Singletary: "No. Absolutely not. No, although Reggie, when we drafted him, he's a guy that had the flexibility. There's some guys that you can get that can do both. And he can do both, but right now he's at safety, and he's making strides there and is doing a good job."

John Crumpacker of the San Francisco Chronicle details Bear Pascoe's steer-roping roots. The 49ers' rookie tight end grew up on 30 acres of ranchland and farmland. His family owns or leases another 4,000 acres featuring 150 head of cattle. Said Pascoe's father: "It's a good life. There's a lot more to it than money, let me tell you. It's in your blood."

Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat says the 49ers signed Dre Bly to a one-year deal for $845,000. That's the minimum for a player with Bly's experience. It's a buyer's market after the draft.

Also from Maiocco: Bly knows he'll have to win Harris' old job. No gimmes here.

Bill Coats of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says Marc Bulger appreciates the support Steve Spagnuolo and the Rams' new coaching staff has shown for him. Bulger: "Now it's my turn to keep my side of the bargain and play better."

Also from Coats: Donnie Avery and Laurent Robinson were the first-team receivers in practice while Keenan Burton rested a sore hamstring. Avery and Burton are the starters when all are healthy.

Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune says the Seahawks shouldn't take a chance on Michael Vick. No worries there. Seattle isn't among the teams with interest.

Greg Johns of seattlepi.com says the Seahawks were mostly mum on the Vick front. The Seahawks' strongest ties to Vick -- Jim Mora and Greg Knapp coached him -- do not necessarily work in Vick's favor. Vick was a one-dimensional player in Atlanta. That dimension was a spectacular one, but I think the Seahawks' coaches are looking forward to working with a more conventional passer. And if character-stressing general manager Tim Ruskell suddenly starts showing interest in convicted felons, the media will have a field day with it. Not going to happen.

Clare Farnsworth of Seahawks.com checks in with new Seattle snapper Bryan Pittman. Pittman: "I think it's every player's dream to go back and to play for their hometown team. I'm just excited about the chance to have that opportunity."