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Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Around the NFC West: Hasselbeck back update

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune provides observations suggesting Matt Hasselbeck's back problems are no longer an issue. Boling: "When the Seahawks gathered for their team stretching drills, I saw one contortion that would convince even the most skeptical fan that Hasselbeck is fully recovered. The players lay face-down on the grass, arms out to the side. They lift their left leg back up into the air and rotate it around to touch the ground on the right side of their body. Then they roll back and do the opposite with the other leg. It looks impossible for any vertebrate mammal other than yoga instructors."

Nick Wagoner of stlouisrams.com takes a look inside the Rams' revamped weight room. Strength and conditioning coaches Rock Gullickson and Chuck Faucette oversaw a quick overhaul after new coach Steve Spagnuolo hired them. Wagoner: "The Rams donated the outgoing equipment to local fire and police academies and those organizations came quickly to pick up the goods. Within a week, the order had been placed and the old equipment had cleared out. With no players around, Gullickson and Faucette had hoped to have a new beginning waiting for them in the weight room upon their return. In the record time of 27 days, the makeover was complete and the Rams returned to a completely re-designed weight room."

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee says the 49ers will find a way to get "X" receivers Josh Morgan and Michael Crabtree on the field together if both command playing time. Barrows: "Having said that ... Keep in mind that Crabtree [foot] won't be able to practice with the team until training camp. So he's not only a rookie learning how to play against big, physical cornerbacks, he's also getting a late start on the learning process. In other words, there's no guarantee he'll be a starter in Week One. Something else to keep in mind ... Very rarely does a receiving corps make it through an entire season unscathed."

Taylor Price of 49ers.com says linebacker Jeff Ulbrich has enjoyed each of his roles with the team over a decade-long run with the 49ers. Special-teams coach Al Everest: "For a guy to be going into his tenth season with the same team, going through free agency with him making the decision to stay and for the Niners to keep him is a great tribute to him. He is what football is all about. He prepares well, he has fun, and he's a great learner. He learns his techniques and plays with those techniques. He knows his assignments and has fun doing it. He's a real pleasure to coach."

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com recognizes the late Pat Tillman and other veterans on Memorial Day. Urban: "A great day off, for sure, but also important as a time to remember. Almost everyone is connected to someone in the military. My late grandmother was one of the first women Marines for our country, and if you are reading this blog, you almost certainly feel linked to Pat Tillman. Tillman is one of the famous soldiers, not like my grandmother, for instance, or the father of Cardinals fan Jerry Jones, a World War II vet named Chester."