Around the NFC West: Expectations for Edge

Posted by ESPN.com''s Mike Sando

Bob McManaman of the Arizona Republic says the Cardinals expect Edgerrin James to put the team first when dealing with losing his starting job to Tim Hightower. Coach Ken Whisenhunt says he has seen nothing to suggest an unhappy James will be a problem.

Mike Tulumello of the East Valley Tribune says the Cardinals are calling James an important part of the team, but not important enough to play very much.

Also from Tulumello: Kurt Warner is putting up MVP numbers.

John Crumpacker of the San Francisco Chronicle says Mike Singletary is no longer worried about which person leaked information about his pants-free halftime speech.

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee says Singletary is trying to focus on the Cardinals.

Also from Barrows: Alex Smith underwent shoulder surgery in Alabama. The proceduce was considered minor.

Ann Killion of the San Jose Mercury News is going with "Pants-a-Palooza" to describe the Singletary story, which lingered through the bye week in the absence of a game.

Jose Romero of the Seattle Times says the Seahawks could have Matt Hasselbeck on the field as soon as the Arizona game in two weeks, but Patrick Kerney's immediate future is not known.

Clare Farnsworth of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer says Kerney could miss the remainder of the season depending on what surgery reveals.

Greg Johns of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer says Mike Holmgren has stopped giving rah-rah speeches designed to fire up the team. The Seahawks are well past that stage.

Michael Steffes of Seahawk Addicts blames the team's defensive struggles on offensive shortcomings, many related to injuries. I agree.

Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune says the Seahawks should put Hasselbeck on the bench for the remainder of this lost season. He thinks the focus should be on getting Hasselbeck healthy for next season, when the games will matter again.

Frank Hughes of the Tacoma News Tribune hands out midseason grades for the Seahawks.

Scott Johnson of the Everett Herald says Holmgren is getting philosophical, recalling a story from his childhood to make sense of the season.

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Rams' backs are against the wall after consecutive defeats. Steven Jackson, still limited by a thigh injury, took himself out of the game on the first play in Week 9 to avoid a cutback run.

Bill Coats of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Rams will be without Dante Hall and Drew Bennett for the rest of the season. Hall suffered an ankle injury on special teams.

Steve Korte of the Belleville News-Democrat says the Rams won't let Jackson play unless the running back can give them a full day's work in practice.