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Friday, December 19, 2008
Around the NFC West: Morey's unlikely story


Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic profiles the Cardinals' Sean Morey, whose story seems made for Hollywood.

Also from Somers: Anquan Boldin and J.J. Arrington might not play against the Patriots. That would dramatically affect the Cardinals' offense, particularly the four-receiver package.

More from Somers: Edgerrin James might get more playing time Sunday. James has averaged 105.6 yards rushing per game against New England.

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com looks at the mental grind of an NFL season.

Mike Tulumello of the East Valley Tribune says Morey once interviewed former Bills special-teams ace Steve Tasker for about an hour in an effort to better learn the craft.

Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat says the 49ers have simplified Justin Smith's role while simplifying the defense. Coordinator Greg Manusky wanted to get Parys Haralson on the field more often.

More from Maiocco: an appreciation for retiring 49ers broadcaster Joe Starkey, who made listening to games better than watching them for some.

Kevin Lynch of Niner Insider says the 49ers might be reluctant to let Frank Gore play on the artificial turf at the Edward Jones Dome. Gore's injured ankle remains a concern.

Chrissy Mauck of 49ers.com says Mike Martz wanted to get the ball to DeShaun Foster more than he managed against the Dolphins. Martz also thinks the Rams' Chris Long has improved since the first time the teams met this season.

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee is trying to figure out the David Letterman skit featuring a non-sensical Mike Singletary double. The skit didn't make any sense, but it made me laugh.

John Crumpacker of the San Francisco Chronicle says Joe Staley's performance at left tackle for the 49ers in Week 15 set a high standard. The 49ers expect him to play that way every week.

Also from Crumpacker: The 49ers held out Mark Roman and Josh Morgan from practice after a violent collision involving the players.

Clare Farnsworth of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer says the Seahawks cut short meetings to give players extra time to get home amid a snowstorm.

Also from Farnsworth: Matt Hasselbeck and Brett Favre separate Mike Holmgren the coach from Mike Holmgren the family man. Two different guys.

Art Thiel of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer says the Seahawks' upcoming game against Favre recalls the most recent one, which could represent a turning point in the team's fortunes.

Jose Romero of the Seattle Times says Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren pulled aside quarterback Seneca Wallace to talk about how Wallace can take the next step.

Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times looks at the relationship between Holmgren and Seahawks president Tim Ruskell. It was an arranged marriage and one that wasn't going to last forever.

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune says Deion Branch sees a bright future for himself and the Seahawks. Branch says he has something to prove.

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch checks in with Rams guard Jacob Bell, who says playing at less than 290 pounds isn't a big deal.

Bryan Burwell of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says Martz foreshadowed the front-office dysfunction that has helped bring down the Rams. Martz returns to the Edward Jones Dome with the 49ers on Sunday.

Bill Coats of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch checks in with former Rams receiver Isaac Bruce, who recalls his Super Bowl-winning touchdown against Tennessee.

Steve Korte of the Belleville News-Democrat says the Rams' Steven Jackson could finish with more than 1,000 yards rushing despite an injury-shortened season.