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Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Around the NFC West: Stan Kroenke speaks

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch checks in with Rams owner Stan Kroenke, who remains noncommittal regarding the current structure of the team's front office. Kroenke would not say whether or not the team planned to hire a team president. Kroenke: "Right now we're not hiring because we're in this lockout. A lot of this is common sense. We can parse it, but it's common sense -- nothing any different than what we would do in a normal business. We'll get some clarity at some point, and if we feel like we're going to be playing football, we'll see where we go from there." If Kroenke preferred the current structure, he could certainly say so. It's not like he has to worry about ticking off the owner. He is the owner. The more significant question would be to what extent hiring a team president would precipitate other changes.

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee says Joe Staley is among 49ers players leading offseason workouts away from team headquarters. Staley: "We're professional athletes. We get paid to work out and stay in shape." Not now.

Also from Barrows: 49ers kicker Joe Nedney offers thoughts on the NFL proposal to change rules regarding kickoffs. As Barrows notes, the 49ers lost Phillip Adams, Will James and Dominique Zeigler to injuries suffered on kickoff returns.

Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com says the 49ers probably would not trade their first-round choice to Philadelphia for Eagles quarterback Kevin Kolb. I don't think the 49ers would give up a first-round pick for a quarterback unless they were convinced they were getting an elite player. Kolb would upgrade the position overall for San Francisco -- David Carr is the only quarterback under contract to the 49ers, and he is not expected back -- but I've seen nothing from the 49ers to suggest they're going to make a strong play for him.

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic offers a few Cardinals-related thoughts. Somers on a report that the Cardinals had not given up on Max Hall: "True enough, but John Skelton is ahead of him. And Ken Whisenhunt and his staff like what they saw of Rich Bartel late in the year. Currently, Bartel is ahead of Hall for the No. 3 job . If a rookie and/or a free agent is added, Hall should hope Whisenhunt is open to keeping a QB on the practice squad."

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com says it's possible the Eagles are floating the idea that a team or teams are clamoring for Kolb on the trade market.

Also from Urban: Dan Williams finished his rookie season strong. Pro Football Focus offers statistical evidence.

Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times says Matt Hasselbeck's 5-year-old son ranks 103rd out of nearly six million participants in ESPN.com's NCAA Tournament Challenge. Aaron Levin of q13fox.com has additional details: "In the Southwest Region, he chose 12-seed Richmond, 11-seed VCU, 10-seed Florida St., and top-seed Kansas to advance to the Sweet 16. He was one of only 2811 entries to have all four teams advancing."

Also from O'Neil: Defensive end remains a position of interest for the Seahawks in the draft even though Chris Clemons and Raheem Brock put up strong sack numbers last season. O'Neil: "Brock is scheduled to be a free agent for one, and then there's the fact that expecting veterans to replicate career years can be problematic. Then top it all off with the fact that defensive end just might be the deepest position in this draft."