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Friday, September 18, 2009
Around the NFC West: Stouffer on Crabtree

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com


Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando


Daniel Brown of the San Jose Mercury News checks in with former quarterback Kelly Stouffer, the last NFL player to sit out an entire season. Stouffer offers advice to the 49ers' Michael Crabtree while painting the Cardinals as unreasonable in his own negotiations 22 years ago. The Cardinals issued a statement in response: "Needless to say, the team has a much different recollection of the events of 22 years ago. From our side, it was clear that Stouffer was not getting the best advice. In fact he was represented by an agent (Mike Blatt) who a short time later was arrested and tried for the murder of a rival business associate. There were a lot of bizarre elements to it but suffice to say that if we could do it over, we certainly would have selected someone other than Kelly Stouffer with that pick."

John Crumpacker of the San Francisco Chronicle quotes former 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr. as saying the 49ers need Michael Crabtree badly. DeBartolo: "You know me, I wouldn't be pushed around by him. If it keeps going a little longer, I'd tell him to go back in the draft. It's different now. These kids are looking for other people's money. I think they need Crabtree. I think they need him badly." Does the team really need its former owner suggesting the team badly needs Crabtree?

Also from Crumpacker: 49ers defensive coordinator Greg Manusky says he has never seen a defensive lineman play as well as Justin Smith played for the 49ers on Sunday.

Mark Purdy of the San Jose Mercury News says the 49ers are enhancing DeBartolo's Hall of Fame credentials.

Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat says the 49ers will give Tony Pashos a chance to compete for Adam Snyder's job at right tackle. Snyder wasn't the only 49ers offensive lineman to struggle in Week 1.

Also from Maiocco: Receiver Brandon Jones looks rusty in his return from injury.

Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports quotes NFL executives as saying the league should not protect teams from having unsigned rookies re-enter the draft.

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee says draft analysts think Crabtree would not be a top-10 pick if he re-entered the draft. ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. offered the lone dissent. Kiper: "He's the best player of all the wide receivers that would be available, even after sitting out a year," said the dean of draftniks, Mel Kiper Jr. "There are two reasons why he fell to No. 10 -- the injury and the Raiders."

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic says the Cardinals are taking precautions against the heat as they prepare to play in Jacksonville. Somers: "Some Cardinals will have a cooling system in their shoulder pads. Players can hook a hose to their shoulder pads on the sideline, and cool air blows through an insert in the pads. The Cardinals tried the system out in practice last week, and it drew positive reviews from the players."

Also from Somers: an injury update noting that Steve Breaston practiced.

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com says Chike Okeafor's shoulder injury sidelined him again.

Also from Urban: The Cardinals played well on defense against the 49ers, but they have played well before. Consistency is what new coordinator Bill Davis wants to establish.

More from Urban: He thinks Kurt Warner should "easily" join Brett Favre and Warren Moon as the only 38-year-old quarterbacks to finish a season with at least 3,600 yards and 25 touchdown passes, provided Warner stays healthy enough to play.

Greg Johns of seattlepi.com says Lawrence Jackson's performance for the Seahawks in Week 1 came as a surprise. Defensive coordinator Gus Bradley: "We did see some inconsistency (with Jackson) even in preseason, but we challenged him this game and said you've got to step up. Fortunately he was in position to make some plays and he created his own opportunities, too, just with his pass rush. His big deal now is just consistency. We need to see that each week."

Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times updates the Seahawks' injury situation. Deion Branch was back at practice. Brandon Mebane sat out with a calf injury.

Also from O'Neil: how "Bootstrap Bill" became the nickname for Seahawks linebacker Will Herring.

Eric D. Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune touches on several subjects during an update following Seahawks practice Thursday. Williams: "Chris Spencer did not participate in 11-on-11 drills, but did suit up and work through individual drills for the first time since injuring his quad in the second preseason game against Denver."

Also from Williams: Marcus Trufant says his back injury developed over time. Trufant: "It wasn’t like it was one thing, like I bent over and kind of heard something pop. It was kind of a gradual thing over time, I think, of maybe having some bad posture. And then kind of the way I stand and maybe lifting weights with not the best technique and stuff like that. Just little stuff like that over time. It’s probably been like over five years that this issue has been building up."

John Morgan of Field Gulls gives Justin Forsett credit for making a key block in blitz pickup for Seattle in Week 1.

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch updates roster moves for the Rams after the team adds a defensive lineman to its practice squad.

Bill Coats of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch quotes Rams guard Richie Incognito as calling himself a marked man. Dan Dierdorf: "I don't think he's destined for Canton, but he's plenty good enough to play in this league. All those skills are there. I can see why (Steve) Spagnuolo is trying to save him."

Also from Coats: a list marking key events in Incognito's career.

Steve Korte of the Belleville News-Democrat says the Rams hope to get their ground game going soon. Steven Jackson: "I anticipate defenses going with eight men in the box for the rest of the year because we are just so young at the receiver position.''

Turf Show Times' VanRam wants more carries for Jackson. He points to a stat I provided Thursday, since amended to this: "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."

Also from VanRam: Questioning the Rams' thinking on fourth down.