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Around the NFC West: Jackson's wish list

12/27/2008

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Steve Korte of the Belleville News-Democrat says Rams running back Steven Jackson hopes the Rams add a fullback during the offseason. He also wants an upgraded offensive line. Jackson: "We need [guard] Richie Incognito plus three. We need those big-time guys who are going to plow some things open, and we need a fullback with attitude. And, that's what I need."

Bill Coats of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Rams head into their final regular-season game fully aware that sweeping changes likely await. Jackson says the team isn't far from contending in the division.

Also from Coats: Torry Holt reflects on what could be the end of his Rams tenure. Also, rookie John Greco will likely start at left guard. Jonathan Wade could start for the injured Fakhir Brown at cornerback.

Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Rams' coaching job will be easier to fill now that Billy Devaney is general manager. I agree.

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic says Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt is "embarrassed" by the team's poor running game.

Also from Somers: Expect the Cardinals to be "careful" with injured players Anquan Boldin and Travis LaBoy.

Mike Tulumello of the East Valley Tribune says the Cardinals are looking to post a 6-0 record within the division.

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com looks at the emotional aspects of the Seahawks-Cardinals game. Arizona wants to gear up for the playoffs. Seattle wants to finish strong. But both teams know the outcome means nothing in the standings.

David Elfin of the Washington Times checks in with 49ers quarterback Shaun Hill, the NFL's 12th-rated passer. Brett Favre, Eli Manning, Donovan McNabb and Ben Roethlisberger have lower ratings. Said Hill's college coach, Ralph Friedgen: "Shaun's never going to look pretty for you. He's never going to have that big, strong arm, but he wins."

John Crumpacker of the San Francisco Chronicle looks at Mike Singletary's handling of big-picture issues. Singletary's comments about Norv Turner have fueled speculation about Mike Martz's expected firing.

Daniel Brown of the San Jose Mercury News expects Frank Gore to return from an ankle injury and make a run at another 1,000-yard season. More here.

Also from Brown: The 49ers have allowed the fourth-fewest points in the league since Singletary took over as head coach. Only one team has allowed fewer fourth-quarter points. Update: The total listed, 127 points, should be for the last seven games. The 49ers' weekly press release gave that total for eight games. Thanks to Mr Zero for pointing out the discrepancy in the comments section. Much appreciated.

Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat says Gore "looked good while running and making cuts" in practice Friday.

Also from Maiocco: Former 49ers defensive end Andre Carter will face his former team at Candlestick Park.

Jose Romero of the Seattle Times was there when Seattle players presented outgoing coach Mike Holmgren with a new Harley. Holmgren seemed touched by the gesture. He also looked ahead fondly to spending more time with his family and pursuing a more flexible schedule.

Clare Farnsworth of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer described the Harley presentation this way: "Holmgren was told after practice that wide receiver Bobby Engram wanted to address the team. But when Holmgren yielded the 50-yard line in the team's practice facility, Engram set the stage for what was to come. A door in the facility opened and in rode guard Mike Wahle on the bike."

Frank Hughes of the Tacoma News Tribune says coaches and players pooled money to cover the estimated $40,000 needed to purchase the fully equipped Harley.

Scott Johnson of the Everett Herald says Lofa Tatupu needs seven tackles to reach 100 for the season. Tatupu would become the second player in team history with four consecutive 100-tackle seasons.