Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NFC West [Print without images]

Thursday, September 17, 2009
Around the NFC West: Boldin challenges Cards

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com


Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando


Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic says Cardinals receiver Anquan Boldin gave a fiery speech imploring teammates to clean up mistakes. Somers: "The performance prompted Boldin to make an impassioned postgame speech about the need to pay attention to detail. Boldin remained irritable about the subject on Wednesday, refusing to blame injuries, including his sore hamstring, for the Cardinals' lack of offensive production."

Also from Somers: says the Cardinals' Larry Fitzgerald faces frequent double coverage and must adjust.

More from Somers: The Cardinals plan to be cautious with Steve Breaston in practice after a knee injury sidelined the receiver in Week 1.

More still from Somers: Lance Long's departure suggests the Cardinals expect more from their injured receivers in Week 2.

Greg Johns of seattlepi.com profiles Aaron Curry following the rookie's spirited Seahawks debut. Full of bravado on game day, Curry said he'll show respect for 49ers coach Mike Singletary. Curry: "It would be cool to see Mike Singletary at the grocery store. It's going to be amazing. It'll be hard to actually make eye contact with him because he has that stare, but I'll take a peek over there now and then."

Also from Johns: The Seahawks aren't sure where Sean Locklear will play on the offensive line once Walter Jones returns from knee surgery. Jones participated in some individual drills Wednesday.

Eric D. Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune says word is getting out that Seahawks tight end John Carlson can play. Carlson: "I love playing with Matt [Hasselbeck]. He’s such a smart player, and he does little things that the typical fan doesn’t realize that really helps the offense. Things like snap count, cadence, checking plays at the line of scrimmage. He had a couple run checks that got guys big yards. He does that on the fly. He’s a great player, and I learn a lot from him."

Clare Farnsworth of seahawks.com says the Seahawks plan to use Seneca Wallace, one of the more athletic quarterbacks in NFL history.

Also from Farnsworth: notes from practice Wednesday.

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch revisits Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo's history against the Redskins, pointing to his teams' 14-6 record against them over a 10-year period.

Also from Thomas: The Rams have interest in former Eagles receiver Hank Baskett, but it appeared as though they would not sign him.

Bill Coats of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch checks in with Rams newcomers Ruvell Martin and Paris Lenon. Coats: "Along with a scattering of his football gear, also sitting in front of Paris Lenon's locker after practice Wednesday at Rams Park was a large, blue, unpacked suitcase. It even had an airline bag tag attached, with 'STL' stamped as the destination."

Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch thinks the Rams should have run the ball more frequently against the Seahawks. By my accounting, the Seahawks put eight defenders in the box four times, allowing 5.3 yards per attempt on these rushes. They allowed 4.0 yards per attempt on 14 rushes with fewer than eight in the box. The Rams had a 10-yard run against and eight-man box.

Taylor Price of 49ers.com says the 49ers plan to stick with the ground game. Also, center Eric Heitmann sizes up Seattle's defensive line this way: "Brandon Mebane is a very good, stout player. And he's actually very active for a big guy. Cory Redding, their new lineman, I've played him a couple times when he was with Detroit. He's a very good player, who is very active off the snap. He’s a good pass rusher and someone who we’re going to have to focus on."

John Crumpacker of the San Francisco Chronicle says the 49ers plan to keep running the ball even though they're averaging 30.2 inches per carry. Not bad, not bad.

Gwen Knapp of the San Francisco Chronicle says 49ers pass-rusher Parys Haralson deserved the more than $200,000 in league-awarded performance bonus he received after last season.

Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat says 49ers tight end Vernon Davis plans to avoid the fate he suffered the last time Seattle visited Candlestick Park. Maiocco: "Last time the 49ers played the Seahawks, TE Vernon Davis got an unnecessary roughness penalty, and Singletary banished him to locker room. It was safety Brian Russell who provoked Davis into the penalty last year. Russell is no longer on the Seahawks, but he expects to hear a lot of chirping on Sunday. Davis says, 'I'm sure they're going to try to do something to ... try to get me to go back to the locker room. But it ain't happening.' "

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee provides an injury update for the 49ers. Justin Smith received a day off, but he's expected back Thursday.

Also from Barrows: With Michael Crabtree still unsigned, Seahawks first-round choice Aaron Curry says he needed little time to catch up after missing the first eight days of training camp.

More from Barrows: Davis elaborates on his mindset, while guard Chilo Rachal admits to accidentally blocking teammate Isaac Bruce in Week 1.

Dan Brown of the San Jose Mercury News says Singletary keeps taking jabs at the 49ers' offensive line following a rough outing in Arizona. Sounds like motivational tactics.