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Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Around the NFC West: Largent or Jones?

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

Clare Farnsworth of seahawks.com offers more thoughts on Steve Largent and Walter Jones in asking fans to name the best player in franchise history. Both were highly consistent and among the very best at their positions. Both had longevity. I would give the tiebreaker to Jones based on superior talent. He was frighteningly athletic. Not that Largent would be a bad choice. Will Lewis on Largent: "The crazy thing about it, he could come off the line and be looking one way, but the body is going the other way. The body control was just amazing. And then he had those strong ankles. He could just stick his foot in the ground and then be gone. You’d be breaking one way and he’d be breaking the other way, because he could make his cuts at full speed. It was enlightening. And I had a chance to see him every day for two years because I was always the nickel or dime corner with the first defense, so the No. 1 offense was always going against the young guys in practice. So we saw plenty of Steve Largent."

Also from Farnsworth: a look back at the 1980 Seahawks.

Eric D. Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune takes a closer look at Seahawks rookie cornerback Byron Maxwell, a sixth-round selection. Williams: "There’s no denying that Maxwell has the physical ability to play in the NFL. At 6-foot-1 and 207 pounds, he bench pressed 225 pounds 24 times, ran a 4.46 40-yard dash and broad jumped 10 feet, 4 inches, all marks that placed him among the top 10 corners at February’s NFL scouting combine. Maxwell, 21, is a hard hitter and was a valuable special teams player at Clemson, finishing with 45 career special-teams tackles. But what Maxwell will have to prove is that he has fluid enough hip movement and route anticipation to remain a corner for Seattle, where he will receive some intense competition for a spot on the final roster with players who already have some experience in defensive coordinator Gus Bradley’s system."

Monte Poole of Bay Area News Group says Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch is making an effort at self-improvement.

ESPN's John Clayton sounds skeptical when asked whether Matt Hasselbeck would want to play for the Titans. I agree, particularly if he's seeking job security beyond one season. Jake Locker projects as the Titans' likely starter in 2012. The situation in Seattle appears less settled for the long term unless the Seahawks make a bold move for another veteran quarterback this offseason.

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com says the Cardinals and other NFL teams will be slammed once a new labor agreement is in place. Urban: "It’s going to be even more work than normal too, since many reports say the teams will have 90 on the roster instead of 80 for camp, a little more leeway for injuries and such in this uncertain season. You have to figure resolving the QB situation will be at the top of the to-do list, but then which way does it go? Are the Cards able to keep guys like Lyle Sendlein, Steve Breaston and Deuce Lutui? How many undrafted free agents are going to be targeted? More important, which veteran free agents will the team chase? And where does Larry Fitzgerald’s extension fit in?"

Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com says the 49ers would sign about 30 players if the next labor agreement included 90-man rosters for the 2011 season. About half of those 30 players would be undrafted college free agents, he estimates. Maiocco on the 49ers: "They can be expected to make an offer to Louisville quarterback and Santa Rosa native Adam Froman, who might also consider the Miami Dolphins as a landing spot. Stanford offensive linemen Chase Beeler and Derek Hall also are possible 49ers targets."

Also from Maiocco: why moving Nate Clements to safety would make no sense for the 49ers or Clements. Cornerbacks do sometimes move to safety later in their careers, but financial and personnel-related realities diminish the likelihood for such a conversion involving Clements in San Francisco heading into the 2011 season.

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee looks at one potential NFL calendar from a 49ers perspective.

Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle says Bruce Miller faces a significant transition in his move from playmaking defender in college to fullback with the 49ers. Miller: "Everything is so different on the other side of the ball. There are all brand-new terms. There are things that are common knowledge for offensive players and fullbacks that I'm just picking up. Learning these things -- the terminology -- is going to be the hardest part."

Nick Wagoner of stlouisrams.com confirms reports saying the Rams will hold training camp at their St. Louis-area headquarters for a third time in three seasons under coach Steve Spagnuolo. Wagoner: "Times and dates for this year’s camp will be announced at a later date. As has been the case the past couple of years, the Rams will have open practices for fans to attend throughout camp. Those specific days will also be announced later on." The Rams' headquarters are convenient to the airport. Fans can enjoy clear sight lines to the practice fields. On the downside, hot and humid weather often make camp less enjoyable than if the Rams secured another venue. And the setting within a business park cannot compete with what the Rams would likely encounter if they held camp at a college or university.