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Friday, June 10, 2011
Around the NFC West: Honoring Jackson

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

Steve Carp of the Las Vegas Review-Journal says the Southern Nevada Sports Hall of Fame will honor St. Louis Rams running back Steven Jackson, among others, at a ceremony Friday night. Jackson on Nevada's 1944 high school state champion football team, which will also be honored as well: "I would have loved to have been on that team; I would have gotten a whole lot more yards. But I would have also loved the challenge of playing against them, because what they did was remarkable, and as a football player, you always want to test yourself against the best. And those guys, for that time, were the best. They helped pave the way for me as well as the guys from Vegas who went into the NFL before me, and I'm honored to be going into the Hall of Fame with that team."

Bill Coats of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says Rams players were back on the field for practices in Arizona. Coats: "Wide receivers Donnie Avery and Brandon Gibson reported Thursday via Twitter that the four-day workout period had begun."

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com revisits the free agents Arizona has signed in recent seasons. Bertrand Berry and Kurt Warner were among those that worked out best. Duane Starks? Not so well. Urban: "The bottom line is that, occasionally, help comes via free agency. More often than not, you acquire the best players through the draft because, aside from a player here or there, there is a reason a team lets a player go. Usually it’s because they don’t see him being worth the money he commands on the open market."

Also from Urban: a Cardinals chat with thoughts on the quarterback situation, specifically whether Matt Hasselbeck could wind up with Arizona. Urban: "That's a good question. Suddenly the Hasselbeck rumors have flared up in the last day or two (in no small part because guys like SI's Jim Trotter and Peter King have mentioned they don't think Hasselbeck will return to the Seahawks). I still think Kevin Kolb will be a top target. The funny thing is, these rumors continue with an ebb and flow and whether it's Bulger or Kolb or Orton or Hasselbeck popping up as a 'favorite,' nothing has happened to actually change any of those things. Talks aren't ongoing. Nothing is different."

Clare Farnsworth of seahawks.com looks at the most impressive single-season receiving performances in franchise history. One more to consider: The year Joe Jurevicius caught 10 touchdown passes, easily a career high and badly needed amid injuries to other wideouts, in helping the Seahawks reach the Super Bowl.

Also from Farnsworth: a look at winning percentages for the Seahawks' starting quarterbacks.

More from Farnsworth: recalling the 1999 season, Seattle's first under Mike Holmgren. That team started 8-2 on its way to 9-7.

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee offers Alex Smith's explanation for the apparent disconnect with receiver Michael Crabtree, who questioned Smith's role as the 49ers' starting quarterback. Smith: "I'm not even on the roster. I'm a free agent. I'm not on the roster. So for him to be confused as to the quarterback situation isn't the strangest thing in the world in my opinion. I can tell you Michael probably doesn't read all the stuff. A lot of guys -- we're in it so deep during the season that during the off-season sometimes the last thing you want to do is read up on what's going on. You have to get away a little bit and clear your head. So for him to be confused? I'm sure there's a lot of other guys confused on what the hell is going on. It's understandable. I don't think that's the strangest thing. I don't think that was a huge deal."

Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com passes along this quote regarding Alex Smith from running back Anthony Dixon: "Alex is pretty much up there and going through it like the offensive coordinator would. It's amazing how much he knows. He know the ins and outs and all the crazy (details) we got. It's great to hear. I'm behind him 100 percent because when your quarterback is out there speaking the offense as fluently as he is, it makes you feel like it's going to be a good year."

Eric Branch of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat offers notes from the 49ers' practice Thursday. Rookie Aldon Smith arrived with veteran Justin Smith. Both played at Missouri.

Also from Branch: David Baas expects to return to the 49ers.

Daniel Brown of the San Jose Mercury News says Smith has been helping rookie quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

Kevin Lynch of the San Francisco Chronicle checks in with David Carr, who says 49ers coaches have told him there would be a competitive situation at quarterback. Will Carr be back? I do not see the fit with Smith as the presumptive starter heading into camp and Kaepernick as the longer-term starter. Carr has previously played for 49ers coaches, notably offensive coordinator Greg Roman. But it would be a bit unusual to have a third-string quarterback earning No. 2 money.