Around the NFC West: Stopping big plays

October, 9, 2008
10/09/08
9:40
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Clare Farnsworth of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer checks in with Seahawks defensive backs coach Jim Mora, who says the team will figure out how to defend big plays. Seattle is on pace to allow 68 pass plays of at least 20 yards, up from 47 last season. The Packers' Greg Jennings visits Qwest Field in Week 6. Jennings leads the NFL in receptions of at least 20 yards. He has 11, four more than any other player.

Also from Farnsworth: Coach Mike Holmgren doesn't want to hear any excuses.

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune says Koren Robinson and Josh Wilson could see more playing time for Seattle this week. Robinson has yet to play in a game this season.

Also from Williams: Highlights from Holmgren's mid-week news conference. Holmgren weighed in on the hit that injured Matt Hasselbeck's knee. 

Frank Hughes of the Tacoma News Tribune quotes Holmgren as saying Jim Zorn's departure isn't the reason behind Hasselbeck's poor stats this season. Holmgren points to injuries at receiver and warns against making judgments too soon.

Also from Hughes: Receiver Courtney Taylor could have signed with Denver's practice squad.

Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times quotes Holmgren as saying Wilson will get more work at right cornerback starting this week.

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com says Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is going through growing pains as a rookie. Of course, Rodgers-Cromartie isn't the only cornerback to struggle against the Bills' Lee Evans.

Also from Urban: J.J. Arrington isn't sure if he'll keep getting snaps in the offense, but he's happy to become relevant again.

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic says Rodgers-Cromartie is learning that speed can't cover for every mistake in the NFL.

Bob Young of the Arizona Republic offers a primer for beating the Cowboys. He recommends inviting Carrie Underwood and Jessica Simpson to sing the national anthem.

Scott Bordow of the East Valley Tribune wonders how NFL scouts whiffed on Kurt Warner and Tony Romo, star quarterbacks who entered the NFL as free agents.

Mike Tulumello of the East Valley Tribune says the Cardinals' short-passing game might represent their new identity on offense. The team has scored 76 points in its last six quarters.

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Rams are collecting veteran castoffs, notably Ricky Manning and Jason Craft.  Thomas also suggests why Fakhir Brown has yet to re-sign with the team. The collective bargaining agreement could allow Brown to collect two salaries this season, but only if he misses one game check.

Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says St. Louis Blues CEO Dave Checketts might have interest in purchasing the Rams.

Bill Coats of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch updates Dane Looker's condition.

Also from Coats: Eddie Kennison doesn't mind being cut and re-signed in quick order.

More from Coats: The Rams have made a few changes under Jim Haslett, picking up the pace of practices, but most things remain unchanged.

Ann Killion of the San Jose Mercury News isn't the first person to accuse 49ers coach Mike Nolan of running a "vanilla" defense.

John Crumpacker of the San Francisco Chronicle writes about how the 49ers drafted Kentwan Balmer and Chilo Rachal when they could have had DeSean Jackson instead. They'll have to defend Jackson when the Eagles visit Candlestick Park.

Also from Crumpacker: The 49ers' Michael Lewis gets a shot at his former team.

Dan Brown of 49ers Hot Read says the Eagles' Jackson remains motivated to succeed against the teams that didn't draft him.

Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat provides highlights from Nolan's mid-week news conference, including the coach's belief that other players would help the 49ers more quickly than Jackson would have helped the team.

Also from Maiocco: Answers to readers' questions. He's not hearing anything on the trade front.

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee notes that the Eagles chose Jackson with the -- get this -- 49th overall choice in the draft.

Also from Barrows: Jerry Rice mentored Jackson before the draft. The Eagles were impressed by the former Cal receiver's knowledge of the West Coast offense.

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