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Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Around the NFC West: Spikes' concerns

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

Eric Branch of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat checks in with 49ers linebacker Takeo Spikes for thoughts on how a lockout could affect veteran players. Spikes: "Guys in my area, 10-11-12-13 years, you can't afford to miss a year of football. You can't because it's bad enough they want to label you [as old] anyway, so I got just as much to lose, I think, just as much as a young player. At least, they miss a year, you can talk it up and say, 'Aw, he's young, we can knock the rust off him.' With us, it boils down, to, 'Oh, this guy, he's in his later years.'"

Also from Branch: 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio offered thoughts during a recent conversation with KNBR radio.

Ron Kroichick of the San Francisco Chronicle says former 49ers linebacker Dan Bunz is worried about recent short-term memory issues after sustaining numerous concussions during his career. Bunz: "I'm nervous about it. I read, exercise and try to do everything I can (to stay healthy). It worries me, because I'm forgetting more things recently. I can remember what I did in high school and the NFL, but sometimes I can't remember what I did yesterday or today. I don't know if that's because I'm 55 or because of old football injuries, but it shouldn't be happening."

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee offers a mock draft with LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson heading to the 49ers at No. 7, leaving Von Miller on the board. Barrows: "The Peterson v. Von Miller debate gets put to the test in this scenario. Niners conclude that Peterson is slightly closer to being Charles Woodson than Miller is to being Clay Matthews."

Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com passes along information on the 49ers' ticket refund policy should games be canceled. The policy reads, in part: "A full refund will be issued for any canceled preseason or regular-season home games. Refunds may be received in either the original form of payment or as a credit towards future games." Interest accrues at a higher rate for refunds applied toward future games.

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com looks at the last 10 players drafted fifth overall, including current Cardinals tackle Levi Brown. Urban: "Certainly this is the one all Cards’ fans know about, as well as the guy who went seventh. Brown has his share of critics, but he has stayed in the lineup and the Cardinals consistently have said they aren’t unhappy with his play."

Also from Urban: Cardinals president Michael Bidwill offers thoughts on the state of NFL labor relations. Bidwill: "We’ve been intent on keeping things as normal as possible. From a football standpoint, we continue our evaluations and preparations for the NFL Draft which is our primary focus right now. There are certain rules in place as a result of the current labor situation and the process is constantly evolving but we will be ready for whatever scenarios may emerge. No doubt there is some uncertainty surrounding this offseason, but I am absolutely certain of our team’s readiness and commitment to winning in 2011."

Ian Hamilton of the Regina Leader-Post says Seahawks punter Jon Ryan plans to train with Green Bay's Mason Crosby, among others, while locked out. Ryan: "Normally we would start training on Monday and, for me, that's usually when I start kicking again," said Ryan, noting the Seahawks traditionally report in the third week of March to begin offseason training. "So I'm on my way to my place in Phoenix and I'll start kicking and doing my regular workouts as always. I don't think (the lockout) is going to hurt me in any way physically. It's always nice to train with your teammates, especially in the off-season, but you've got to keep on training, so you just do it on your own." Beyond Crosby, Ryan plans to work out with UFL punters Tom Malone and Danny Baugher, plus Carolina Panthers snapper J.J. Jansen.

Note: That's all I'm seeing on this Tuesday morning.