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Thursday, October 15, 2009
Around the NFC West: Tapp stepping up

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com


Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando


Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune says Seahawks defensive end Darryl Tapp goes about his work with the playfulness of a child, sometimes even skipping from one drill to the next. Boling: "Tapp is earning even more opportunities with the quality and consistency of his play. Viewed as something of a pass-rush specialist when he was taken in the second round of the 2006 draft out of Virginia Tech, he’s no longer considered a liability on running downs, and has become a force at the point of attack."

Rod Mar of seahawks.com offers high-resolution photos from the Seahawks' 41-0 victory over the Jaguars. Nice shot of Matt Hasselbeck in the tunnel before warm-ups.

Clare Farnsworth of seahawks.com says reporters didn't even ask coach Jim Mora about Hasselbeck's injured ribs. Hasselbeck's performance in Week 5 seemed to answer any questions. Offensive coordinator Greg Knapp: "What Matt went through last week in preparation -- to see him really make the effort Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday to get on the field to practice -- it showed a lot about Matt Hasselbeck and how he is a big-time leader of this team. And then for him to go through the pain -- not only during the game but after the game -- he really has shown a lot of toughness and the other players fed off that."

Also from Farnsworth: a Seahawks practice report with input from newly signed tackle Damion McIntosh. Farnsworth: "McIntosh has started 111 of 115 games -- 93 at left tackle, 16 at right tackle and two at right guard."

More from Farnsworth: Mora expresses confidence in new starting left tackle Kyle Williams, who has big-game experience from his days at USC. Knapp: "We're going to have to change things a little bit, because Kyle's experience isn't as much as some others. But not a lot. We’re going to do what we do."

Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times says Jack Del Rio's pregame antics amused Seahawks receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh. Houshmandzadeh: "It was just kind of crazy, man. Jon Ryan was out there punting, and I guess he may have been in Jacksonville's area. And he [Del Rio] just grabbed the ball and threw it and was like, 'Get the [expletive] on your side of the field.' "

Also from O'Neil: an update from Mora's midweek news conference. Brandon Frye's injury was more serious than first suspected.

More from O'Neil: "Two years ago Kyle Williams was undrafted, unemployed and living with his in-laws in Arizona."

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic says the Cardinals' defense is having problems against the pass. Defensive coordinator Bill Davis: "We're very excited about the No. 1 ranking against the run and very aware and focused on the No. 32 ranking in the pass."

Also from Somers: Tight end Stephen Spach was the only Cardinals player to miss all of practice Wednesday.

Bob McManaman of the Arizona Republic says Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner isn't happy with the team's offense to this point. McManaman also has a note on Seahawks fullback Owen Schmitt.

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com puts into perspective Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie's recent interception return for a touchdown. Good photo.

Also from Urban: Holding Frank Gore to 21 yards rushing was a key to Arizona's strong statistical showing against the run so far.

Revenge of the Birds' Andrew602 gives the Cardinals an edge over Seattle at quarterback in his positional preview.

Scott Bordow of the East Valley Tribune says only Tennessee is allowing fewer yards per carry than the Cardinals.

Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says prospective Rams owner Dave Checketts never saw coming the reaction that would lead to Rush Limbaugh's dismissal as a potential limited partner. Miklasz: "Limbaugh is a polarizing figure, and there is no way to get around that. You mention his name, and people begin choosing sides, drawing boundaries and selecting their weapon of choice. I've got nothing against Limbaugh personally. And that's because I don't take politics personally. Politics are a gladiator sport, a full-contact sport, and it's a rough arena. Limbaugh hits hard, but he's no more vicious than those who attack him from the opposite extreme of the political spectrum. I tend to tune it all out."

Bill Coats of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo was "very, very, very" happy with the team's energy at practice Wednesday. Chris Long: "You don’t really have a choice but to keep grinding away,” Long said. “Continuing to work hard and try to keep going up, that’s the only way we can do it. Build on the little things that we’re doing well and try to make those things big things. It's no different than any other week. We're trying to get that win, just the same as if we were 5-0."

Steve Korte of the Belleville News-Democrat checks in with former Rams receiver Torry Holt, who faces his former team Sunday. Holt: "I'm most happy and proud that I was able to play in front of the fans there in St. Louis who treated myself and my family so well. St. Louis will always be dear to me. I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for the Rams as well as the city of St. Louis and the fans there.''

Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat says the 49ers held one final practice before dispersing for their bye week. Maiocco: "Tackle Adam Snyder (left thigh contusion), defensive end Ray McDonald (left ankle), cornerback Tarell Brown (groin), safety Michael Lewis (concussion), linebacker Jeff Ulbrich (concussion) and safety Reggie Smith (groin) did not see work during practice. It is not known which of those players will be available to play the week after the bye."

Also from Maiocco: Coach Mike Singletary says there's a "good chance" the 49ers will make a lineup change on the offensive line.

More from Maiocco: 49ers rookie Michael Crabtree says teammates are helping him get up to speed.

Daniel Brown of the San Jose Mercury News quotes recently concussed 49ers safety Michael Lewis as saying he expects to play Oct. 25 against the Texans. Singletary: "Twenty years ago, they would have given him smelling salts and put him back in the game."

Also from Brown: Singletary says Crabtree will definitely play against the Texans.