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Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Around the NFC West: Cards firm on Boldin


Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic says the Cardinals refused Anquan Boldin's latest request for a trade. The team still wants to extend Boldin's contract, a spokesman said.

Also from Somers: Cardinals quarterback Matt Leinart is taking the quarterback competition in stride. Leinart remains the starter, but Kurt Warner continues getting first-team reps. Leinart doesn't have a free pass this season. He must produce.

One more note: Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt explains why Deuce Lutui could be in danger of losing his starting job to Elton Brown at right guard. Whisenhunt: "Deuce has shown signs of making good plays, but then he'll have one or two plays a game that are not acceptable, so Elton is making a strong push. This week, we'll see if we can rotate (Brown) in some during the game and see how that goes."

Dan Brown of 49ers Hot Read provides historical perspective for Alex Smith's situation. It's tough to find healthy No. 1 overall draft choices who didn't start in their fourth seasons.

Also from Brown: Ray McDonald is making progress on the defensive line.

And this: more on the quarterbacks, including a look at their disparate salaries.

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee brings us up to date on the 49ers' quarterback situation. J.T. O'Sullivan has worked with the starters since Aug. 6.

Matt Maiocco of Instant 49ers answers questions about Smith's future with the team. He doesn't see the organization releasing Smith this season if the organization goes with O'Sullivan as the starter.

Also from Maiocco: A notebook that leads with the quarterback situation but also touches on Takeo Spikes' progress on defense. The recently signed Spikes is mostly concerned about getting lined up properly.

Tom FitzGerald of the San Francisco Chronicle says the 49ers moved Jonas Jennings from left to right tackle in part because of Jennings' injury history. Jennings underwent surgery to repair a broken knuckle in his right hand. An offensive tackle's outside hand is hugely important, one reason coach Mike Nolan was concerned about what type of cast Jennings might wear. An overly restrictive cast would inhibit Jennings' ability to do his job.

Also from FitzGerald: O'Sullivan is all but certain to start the regular-season opener.

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Rams are fighting to recoup bonus money paid to suspended defensive tackle Claude Wroten.

Also from Thomas: Anthony Becht's hamstring injury is affecting the Rams' plans for their tight ends. Becht: "I know my main (attribute) is the blocking factor. Short-yardage, goal line, two tight situations. ... I get a real thrill out of getting big runs for the running backs. That's something that's important to me."

Bill Coats of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch checks in with John Greco and Roy Schuening, the Rams' rookie offensive linemen. Both are on alert after the team lost backups Mark Setterstrom and Brandon Gorin to season-ending injuries. Greco is working at guard and tackle. Also, quarterback Marc Bulger threw without limitations. He has a sore shoulder.

Clare Farnsworth of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer followed the Seahawks inside to their new indoor practice field. Not that rain is ever a factor in the Northwest.

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune says center Chris Spencer isn't quite ready to resume full-contact work, but he's getting closer. Also, coach Mike Holmgren thought the Seahawks were far too sloppy during their most recent exhibition game. Williams also checks in with Matt Hasselbeck.

Also from Williams: A conversation with defensive coordinator John Marshall, who is "really happy" with cornerback Josh Wilson's improvement.

Jose Romero of the Seattle Times takes a look inside the Seahawks' new facility. Check out the photos (1,2,3).

Also from Romero: Hasselbeck and Spencer were back at practice.