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

Thursday, October 2, 2008
Around the NFC West: Engram to the rescue

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Clare Farnsworth of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer says Bobby Engram's return to the Seattle offense gives quarterback Matt Hasselbeck two inside targets he trusts. Tight end John Carlson is the other.

Also from Farnsworth: Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren doesn't want to hear about difficulties adjusting to the Eastern time zone.

Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune describes the relationship between Hasselbeck and Engram. Hasselbeck was only half-joking when he said it's reasonable to expect Engram to save the offense.

Frank Hughes of the Tacoma News Tribune says the Seahawks are following the same protocol the 49ers used for East Coast games under Bill Walsh. Good teams win road games, in other words.

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune hits on highlights from Holmgren's news conference. Holmgren likes Julius Jones.

Also from Williams: Seattle plans to ease Deion Branch and Engram back into the offense. Williams expects the Seahawks to keep five receivers active in Week 5.

More from Williams: Branch appears "explosive and nimble" while Maurice Morris, back from injury, looked good running and catching.

John Crumpacker of the San Francisco Chronicle says rookie receiver Josh Morgan is regaining his form after shaking off a staph infection. Morgan leans on the 49ers' veteran receivers for advice. He is one of the more impressive rookies in terms of approach.

Kevin Lynch of Niner Insider says left tackle Joe Staley is taking the 49ers' protection problems personally. Staley says the line needs to finish blocks. Lynch refers to the problems as systemic.

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee looks at the give-and-take nature of the 49ers' passing game.

Also from Barrows: Right tackle Jonas Jennings could be back for an Oct. 12 game, while Manny Lawson won't play against the Patriots.

More from Barrows: Bill Belichick weighs in on the high-risk, high-reward nature of the 49ers' offense.

Dan Brown of 49ers Hot Read explains why 49ers coach Mike Nolan likes his "big sub" package featuring five defensive backs. It's all about matchups, Nolan said.

Also from Brown: The Patriots figure to exploit the 49ers' problems in protection.

Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat says the 49ers plan to use Lawson more once the linebacker returns from a hamstring injury.

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com checks in with receiver Anquan Boldin, who vows to remain an aggressive player following a scary collision.

Also from Urban: The Cardinals must do a better job protecting Kurt Warner. Meanwhile, Steve Breaston remains the top return option even if he starts at receiver.

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic says the Cardinals are still conducting tests to determine a course of treatment for Boldin, who probably will not play in Week 5.

Also from Somers: Nose tackle Gabe Watson finally appears ready to return for Arizona. That's good news for the Cardinals because Alan Branch has been a disappointment.

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says Trent Green is taking his demotion in stride.

Bill Coats of Around the Horns explains why the Rams have opened practices to reporters. Coach Jim Haslett wants the public to know how hard the team is working.

Also from Coats: Richie Incognito says the Rams can use a bye week given all the "negativity swirling around" following an 0-4 start.

More from Coats: Rams receiver Dane Looker is relieved to find out an initial MRI reading was incorrect. For about 24 hours, Looker feared he might have a blockage in his carotid artery.

Jeff Gordon of stltoday.com says Rams quarterback Marc Bulger must pick up his game following the bye week.