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Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Around the NFC West: '87 strike tales

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com checks in with former 49ers receiver Dwight Clark for thoughts on how players handled the NFL work stoppage in 1987. Clark: "We had organized practices, 7-on-7, with no pads, of course. We were running to stay in shape and we'd run routes vs. DBs and linebackers." That situation was different from a timing standpoint. Those practices would have taken place in September. Clark cited a fondness for 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr. in explaining why he joined Joe Montana and Roger Craig in crossing the picket line back then. Clark said he expected 1987 to be his final season, and the decision gave him ulcers.

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee says the 49ers have a predraft visit set up with LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson.

Also from Barrows: University of Washington quarterback Jake Locker generally had a tough time against Jim Harbaugh's Stanford team.

Clare Farnsworth of seahawks.com recalls the late Dave Brown for his latest piece on the 35th anniversary team. Eugene Robinson: "I had some really good role models and mentors in front of him to teach me how to play. ... No one knows, but I was at Dave Brown’s house every Wednesday watching film. And that was before it was cut up like it is now into third downs, first downs, mixed downs and all the different ways they prepare film for the players. Guess what? I had to do that by myself, with Dave Brown. Every Wednesday. Without exception. Talk about an education."

Brady Henderson of 710ESPN Seattle says draft analyst Rob Rang is now projecting Wisconsin tackle Gabe Carimi as the Seahawks' first-round draft choice for 2011. Rang: "Carimi, a four-year starter at left tackle, lacks the elite athleticism to remain there in the NFL, which could push him into the second portion of the round. The 2010 Outland Trophy winner has the bulk, strength and physicality in the running game to star on the right side." Coach Pete Carroll recently said Stacy Andrews would compete for the starting job on the right side. Drafting Carimi would make Andrews' salary pretty much prohibitive. It's on the high side, anyway.

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic does not expect Cardinals players to gather for informal practice sessions this offseason. Somers: "The Cardinals seem among the least likely teams to organize such off-season workouts. Many of their key players -- receiver Steve Breaston, center Lyle Sendlein, guards Alan Faneca and Deuce Lutui -- have no contract for 2011. Why would Breaston, Lutui and Sendlein, for instance, risk injury for a team that has not seriously tried yet to sign them to long-term deals? Many Cardinals players are working out under the supervision of personal trainers, or on their own. Some, such as Larry Fitzgerald, have [spent] the off-season traveling."

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com sent LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson to the Cardinals at No. 5 in a mock draft after Cam Newton, Marcell Dareus, Von Miller and A.J. Green came off the board in the top four spots.

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch sends defensive end Robert Quinn to the Rams with the 14th overall choice in his mock draft. He has Miller going to Arizona at No. 5, Peterson going to San Francisco at No. 7 and quarterback Christian Ponder heading to Seattle at No. 25. Will Quinn be available? He was not on the five other mock drafts listed along with the one Thomas submitted. Not that anyone knows for sure.

Tim Klutsarits of examiner.com thinks the NFL's new rules for kickoff returns will help the Rams. His reasoning: The Rams do not have a great returner, their kicker hasn't produced many touchbacks and the team should have an easier time avoiding injuries now.