NFC West: Denise York

Posted by's Mike Sando provides highlights from Cardinals quarterback Matt Leinart's recent interview with XTRA Sports 910 in Phoenix. Leinart: "Well, obviously it's been a tough couple of years ... and I really learned a lot last year and I've kind of developed a mindset where I'm aware of what I need to do to get better, to be a player, to be a good quarterback for this football team. And I've put in a ton of extra work this offseason. Obviously the offseason's not over yet, but just in the film room, working out, working on my footwork, just working on the little things that are going to help me. And I truly believe that I'm ready to play, it's just a matter of when that opportunity comes." Audio here.

Bob Young of the Arizona Republic says Cardinals receiver Anquan Boldin remained a no-show for voluntary workouts despite news that he had changed agents. Coach Ken Whisenhunt: "I know from our perspective ... nothing has changed. We're a much better football team with Anquan than we are without him, and we have a high regard for him. So nothing has changed from that perspective." shows center Lyle Sendlein successfully fielding a punt in practice to bail out offensive teammates from extra running. More here.

Marla Ridenhour of the Akron Beacon Journal checks in with former Cardinals cornerback Rod Hood, now with the Browns. Hood: "Coach [Eric] Mangini told me his vision and we had a lot of things in common. It just felt like a good fit for me."

Brad Biggs of the Chicago Sun-Times says former Rams linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa will likely sign with the Bears or Bills. Biggs: "The Bears would seem to have an edge simply because Tinoisamoa played for Lovie Smith and Bob Babich as a rookie for the Rams in 2003. Tinoisamoa seemed at ease visiting with coaches and players alike during the OTA at Halas Hall last Wednesday. If the Bears can sign him in the next few days, he will be available to participate in 12 of the 14 OTA's, which would give him a good crash course on the defense in advance of training camp."

Bill Coats of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch looks at the Rams' reconfigured offensive line. The team expects Jason Smith to start at right tackle even though he has worked with the backups to this point in practice. Guard Richie Incognito: "Right now, we're just running through things in jerseys and helmets, and we're concentrating on getting the scheme down. I'm thinking some time in training camp, when we get the pads on and we get the lineup set ... you roll into those first preseason games and things start really coming together and you start jelling. But it's going to take some time."

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee says backup 49ers safety Mark Roman is close to returning from injury.

Taylor Price of says 49ers receiver Dominique Zeigler hopes to build on a strong finish to the 2008 season. Price: "The 6-foot-3, 185-pound wideout has excellent hands and has been known for making highlight reel catches during his season and a half stint as a member of the 49ers practice squad. Zeigler was so impressive in practice that he was called up to active duty at the midway point of last season."

Also from The YMCA of San Francisco is honoring team owners John and Denise York for their humanitarian efforts.

Greg Johns of says Seahawks rookie Nick Reed finds motivation in suggestions he's too small to play defensive end in the NFL. Defensive line coach Dan Quinn: "Every game film you put on in college you say, 'There it is again.' He has that relentless attitude you're looking for. So I'm anxious to see if he can transfer the things he does innately well and we can add some more things to what he does."

John Morgan of Field Gulls says the Seahawks' Marcus Trufant was pretty much the same player in 2008 as he was in 2007, only facing less favorable situations. That's what I saw.

Nolan's statement not the only one

October, 21, 2008

Posted by's Mike Sando

Former 49ers coach Mike Nolan has issued a statement through the team:

"I want to thank the York Family for the opportunity to coach the San Francisco 49ers. It is the responsibility of the head coach to build a foundation and an environment for success. In many area's we were, although it is winning that ultimately determines success.

"I also want to thank our players for their dedication and willingness to work hard. Even during the toughest of times they remained strong and fought through it. It is difficult to put into words my respect for guys that played for the 49ers over the past 3 1/2 seasons. They have my complete respect and admiration. I am forever indebted to them.

The 49ers made a more symbolic statement Tuesday beyond the coaching change. Niners vice president of strategic planning/owner Jed York took the lead role in the news conference, ahead of his father and principal owner, John York.

Jed York and general manager Scot McCloughan were in the room with Nolan when Nolan found out the 49ers were firing him Monday. John York wasn't in the building. McCloughan said he wasn't sure of John York's whereabouts at the time.

Something to keep in mind as the 49ers move forward. John York and Denise DeBartolo York are the owners, but their son's role in the organization is gaining prominence.