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Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Around the NFC West: Daughters reveal Holmgren

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Jim Moore of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer takes a look at Mike Holmgren through the eyes of the Seattle coach's four daughters. This is a fun read with two classic family photos (1,2). His daughters live and die with Seahawks games, and they despise bad refs -- just like their dad. These women know football. As daughter Calla said: "We got after him a couple years ago because we thought he was getting a little bit predictable (with his play-calling). We were like, 'You know, there are only so many times you can run a draw.' "

Bill Coats of Around the Horns quotes Rams coach Scott Linehan as saying receiver Torry Holt is much healthier than he was a year ago. "Rejuvenated" was the word Linehan used. The Rams absolutely, positively need a healthy Holt to attack defenses down the field.

Jeff Gordon of stltoday.com takes a big-picture look at the Rams heading into their season opener at Philadelphia. He says Linehan is coaching for his job, and it shows.

Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times exposes Bills defensive end Aaron Schobel for failing to remember Walter Jones' name during a conference call. Players can be funny that way. I remember asking Jones about a prominent rookie several years ago. Jones had never heard of him. Players can keep a narrow focus. They don't see the game the way we do. An older veteran might not even know the names of some younger teammates.

49ers.com carries Mike Nolan's interview transcript, in which the coach explains why he thinks the team is improved: "I think because we're more established at the quarterback position, I believe, than a year ago. We have more depth. I feel more encouraged by the offense's production in the preseason. The maturity on defense has taken another step."

Dan Brown of 49ers Hot Read provides details from general manager Scot McCloughan's meeting with reporters today. McCloughan said he was surprised to see J.T. O'Sullivan win the starting job at quarterback. He also cited frequent coordinator changes for hindering Alex Smith's development. Brown includes the full interview transcript. It's a good read.

Clare Farnsworth of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer catches up with the left side of the Seahawks' offensive line. Guard Mike Wahle, signed in free agency, is making Jones' job easier. Jones: "Not to take anything away from the other guys, but man, Mike Wahle is the real deal. From the first day he stepping in there, the difference has been amazing. I don't have to worry about what's going on next to me."

Frank Hughes of Seahawks Insider wonders if Deion Branch is taking a risk by returning seven months after ACL surgery. Branch practiced today. He might not play Sunday, but he could be back for the second or third game. His teammate, Bobby Engram, underwent ACL surgery in mid-October 2000. Engram was back on the field in early June 2001. Each situation is different. We don't know enough about Branch's knee to know the risks.