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Around the NFC West: Boldin then and now

8/20/2008

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic puts Anquan Boldin's contract complaints in perspective. Somers says the team has connected the dots between Boldin's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, and various media outlets (including ESPN) that carried the receivers' comments Monday. Somers: "It's easy to say the situation is irreparable, but don't underestimate the healing powers of money."

Also from Somers: Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt says Matt Leinart is the starting quarterback, but not necessarily for the regular-season opener. Whisenhunt: "We haven't changed, as we've said all along, Matt's the starter right now, and Kurt is pushing him." A statement such as that one might serve to keep the pressure on a younger player while keeping the interest of an older one. Or, as Somers notes, the Cardinals might want to keep the 49ers guessing. Arizona opens at San Francisco.

Mike Tulumello of the East Valley Tribune quotes Boldin extensively. Boldin thinks Whisenhunt crossed a line by joining negotiations. Whisenhunt denies doing any such thing. Boldin: "That's where it became a problem. ... I think it should be completely separated. I think that's why we have a department that deals with that."

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com says Boldin's words have more bite than the tone he uses when delivering them.

Also from Urban: Like Somers, Urban went back into the archives to compare Boldin's current comments with past comments. He included the following 2003 lead from a story he wrote as beat writer for the East Valley Tribune: "Growing up, Anquan Boldin heard a constant message from his parents. 'A good name, they said, is better than riches and gold.'" A reminder: Anything you say can and will be used against you in the court of public opinion.

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch takes note of Dante Hall's revival under Al Saunders. Hall is the Rams' third receiver. That should sound a little scary if you're a Rams fan; Hall has been a return specialist primarily. But we'll reserve judgment for now. 

Bill Coats of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch risks putting a jinx on Alex Barron by lauding the right tackle's durability. I'm kidding. Sort of. As a beat writer covering the Seahawks a few years ago, I remember guard Chris Gray asking me not to bring up his team-record starting streak, for fear of jinxing him.

Greg Johns of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer provides an update on Jason Babin's attempt to earn a roster spot with the Seahawks. Babin was arguably miscast in the Texans defense after Houston made him a first-round draft choice. He has fared better in camp with Seattle. Babin has always been a hard worker, whether pulling a tire around town to build strength or wiring houses with his electrically inclined father.

Clare Farnsworth of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer says the Seahawks are giving first-round choice Lawrence Jackson every chance to seize the starting job at right defensive end. Defensive coordinator John Marshall, after watching Jackson start against the Bears in the most recent exhibition game: "He's certainly not polished, but he did show pass-rush ability. He showed the thing that he showed at USC, [which] was his awareness in certain situations against certain blocking schemes -- crossing faces, reading things. He does a very, very good job of that."

Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat describes the 49ers' quarterback situation in the words of J.T. O'Sullivan and Alex Smith. If only one of them would say something.

Dan Brown of 49ers Hot Read pasted the full transcript from Smith, O'Sullivan and coach Mike Nolan. I was there and didn't find anything worth writing about. It's the same old non-answers to the same old questions.