Around the NFC West: LaBoy beats out Berry?

August, 22, 2008
8/22/08
9:29
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic identifies key developments and memorable moments from Cardinals training camp. Kurt Warner's kindness to fans stood out. Somers: "Every day. For everyone. After practice one day, I did a couple of interviews, loitered around the field, walked a quarter mile to my car and then drove by the practice field. Warner was still there signing."

Also from Somers: Though depth charts have not yet solidified, Travis LaBoy appears to have overtaken Bertrand Berry on the Cardinals' depth chart. No surprise there. LaBoy has enjoyed an outstanding camp. He had two sacks against the Chiefs in a recent exhibition game.

More from Somers: Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt made a simple request to players as they left the field for the final time during training camp at Northern Arizona University: "Please, nobody trip and get hurt in the stampede leaving this field."

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com checks in with overlooked draft choice Chris Harrington, a candidate for the practice squad after a strong camp.

Also from Urban: Rookie running back Tim Hightower acknowledges but doesn't particularly like one of his nicknames. "The Bread Truck" stuck after a college announcer criticized Hightower for carrying the ball like a loaf of bread, only to praise him for running with authority on his way to a touchdown.

Daniel Brown of the San Jose Mercury News files a report card from the 49ers' game at Chicago. Helped themselves: receiver Jason Hill, fullback Zak Keasey, running back Thomas Clayton. Hurt themselves: quarterback Alex Smith and safety Keith Lewis.

Also from Brown: The 49ers' special teams struggled. Injuries to Jeff Ulbrich and Allen Rossum will require further evaluation. Ulbrich has been trying to hold off newcomer Takeo Spikes for one of the starting jobs at inside linebacker.

Also from Brown: The QB race is looking like "J.T.O. by TKO" (with J.T. O'Sullivan posting a perfect passer rating while Smith fell short on the stat sheet and on artistic merits).

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee describes the 49ers as a confident bunch following their most recent exhibition game. The quarterback race is all but over, Barrows says.

Matt Maiocco of Instant 49ers runs a transcript from his interview with 49ers general manager Scot McCloughan, who says he won't butt into the decision on a starting quarterback. The decision has previously been framed as a group effort involving McCloughan and coaches. Also, McCloughan said he thinks Smith will become a good NFL quarterback even if he isn't the starter heading into this season.

Also from Maiocco: Tight end Vernon Davis is "dying to know" the identity of the starting quarterback for the regular season. O'Sullivan appears to be a slam-dunk choices, but Smith says he's only scratching the surface of what he can do in this offense.

More from Maiocco: After leading with a note on the 49ers' special teams, Maiocco singles out the "patchwork" offensive line for high praise. The 49ers rushed for 160 yards, and pass protection was solid.

Chrissy Mauck of sf49ers.com all but hands the quarterback job to O'Sullivan: "If the 49ers coaching staff was looking for a decisive performance before selecting their permanent starting quarterback, J.T O'Sullivan may have given it to them ..."

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says newly signed running back Steven Jackson is looking for a "fresh start" with fans after holding out for big money.

Bill Coats of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says Orlando Pace's surgically repaired shoulder suffered a "little setback" in the words of the former Pro Bowl left tackle (Pace, not Coats). Coach Scott Linehan said Pace has been suffering merely from soreness. Experience tells me we're dealing with semantics here. Pace's definition of a "setback" would not necessarily meet the medical definition for the term. Pace: "I did it when I was trying to make a tackle (after an interception). I landed on it pretty hard. I didn't even think about it ... I didn't even feel the swelling until Monday, when I came in and I couldn't raise my arm too high. That was a little concern for me." Pace still might play Saturday night.

Also from Coats: Brian Leonard is happy to get extra work at running back while Jackson gets up to speed. Also, Pace returned to practice.

Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times says Courtney Taylor is looking forward to getting a few more chances to catch passes in the Seahawks' offense.

Frank Hughes of the Tacoma News Tribune sizes up diminutive Seahawks running back Justin Forsett. Special teams coach Bruce DeHaven described Forsett this way: "There are little guys out there who are 5-8, 165 or 170 pounds. Those guy generally don't last too long. ... And then there are these guys who are 5-6, 5-7 and weigh 200 pounds. They are not little guys, they are just short guys. It's a big difference. Justin, just like [Maurice] Jones-Drew, is a short guy."

Clare Farnsworth of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer hands out training-camp awards to five Seahawks: Matt Hasselbeck (MVP), Forsett (most impressive offensive player), Josh Wilson (most impressive defensive player), Mike Wahle (best free-agent addition), Forsett again (best rookie) and Steve Vallos (biggest surprise).

Mike Tulumello of the East Valley Tribune chronicles Steve Morey's annual fight to win a roster spot with the Cardinals. Morey has been released before. Tulumello: "While out of football, he's delivered furniture, worked on a fishing boat, dug 8-foot-d
eep holes for real estate developers 'so they can test the soil ... if you hit a rock, you have to start over.' "

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Comments

You must be signed in to post a comment

Already have an account?

Insider