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Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Around the NFC West: Hawks' RB choices


Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Clare Farnsworth of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer breaks down the Seahawks' situation at running back. Rookie Justin Forsett struggled in the most recent exhibition game, while veteran T.J. Duckett suddenly became productive. Seattle has very good versatility in its backfield, a change from the Shaun Alexander years. 

Jose Romero of the Seattle Times has a note about Seahawks punter Ryan Plackemeier feeling good following his first exhibition game of the summer. Plackemeier is recovering from pectoral surgery.

Frank Hughes of the Tacoma News Tribune breaks down the Seahawks' roster following the cut-down to 75 players.

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic says Cardinals left tackle Mike Gandy keeps a low profile, a good sign for players at the position. Line coach Russ Grimm: "I think he has a lot of pride in what he does. He's not the biggest tackle. He's not the fastest tackle, but he's a good, solid tackle. He's a low-key guy, and he's all business. He knows what he can handle, and he sets his priorities."

Mike Tulumello of the East Valley Tribune says the Cardinals are relatively healthy heading into the final exhibition game. These types of stories carry high cringe value for those who believe in jinxes (not that football people ever fall into that category).

Also from Tulumello: The Cardinals want improved play on special teams, including kicker Neil Rackers.

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee says the 49ers are optimistic about their offense under first-year coordinator Mike Martz. Receiver Arnaz Battle: "Even the defensive guys are excited about what we're doing on the offensive side of the ball."

Matt Maiocco of Instant 49ers held a question-and-answer session. On Manny Lawson: "I think Lawson will be a solid player. I think he'll be very strong in coverage against tight ends, but I'm not sure he'll supply much pass rush."

Daniel Brown of the San Jose Mercury News says Frank Gore is fired up about Martz's offense in San Francisco. Gore: "We have a new leader, man, a new leader on the ship. When he stands up in the room, and you hear him talk, you know that he knows what he's talking about. Everything is going to change this year." 

Tom FitzGerald of the San Francisco Chronicle says Takeo Spikes had the Super Bowl in mind when he signed with the 49ers earlier this month. Every team like its chances this time of year.

Also from FitzGerald: Bryant Johnson and David Baas are trying to win starting jobs after returning from injuries. Meanwhile, right tackle Jonas Jennings ditched a hard cast for a soft one. He has a broken knuckle.

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch checks in with Rams quarterback Trent Green. The team isn't worried about Green's history of concussions. Green will start the team's final exhibition game.

Bill Coats of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch describes Rams receiver Drew Bennett as critical of his own play recently. Bennett: "I have some things to work on. I've had a few drops that I don't want to carry into the season." Bennett's reception totals over the last four seasons have fallen from 80 to 58 to 46 to 33.