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Around the NFC West: Martz lets praise fly

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

John Crumpacker of the San Francisco Chronicle says 49ers center Eric Heitmann faces a king-sized challenge in Jets nose tackle Kris Jenkins.
Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat quotes 49ers offensive coordinator Mike Martz as saying Heitmann is the best center he's ever coached.

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee says Barry Sims could get some work at right tackle even though Adam Snyder will continue to start.

Also from Barrows: Heitmann explains why he didn't wait until free agency before signing a new contract.

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com says the Cardinals are viewing their defensive meltdown in Philadelphia as an aberration.

Also from Urban: a look at Kurt Warner's performance in games against the Rams.

More from Urban: Matt Leinart is taking mental reps during games to supplement the limited work he gets in practice.

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic goes in search of the Cardinals' pass rush. Travis LaBoy's injury situation could be a factor.

Clare Farnsworth of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer says Marcus Trufant broke up multiple passes during Seahawks practice Thursday as he prepared to face Randy Moss.

Frank Hughes of Seahawks Insider takes a look at the Seahawks' blitzing tendencies against the Cowboys.

Also from Hughes: Mike Holmgren says the Seahawks weren't expecting huge numbers from receiver Deion Branch. They did expect Branch to become their top receiver, however.

Chris Sullivan of Seahawk Addicts provides answers to our question about which NFC West players would start for the Seahawks. Extra credit for using Excel shading in a chart.

Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times says the Seahawks wanted Branch to become a leader after watching Darrell Jackson miss practices and skip offseason workouts.

John Morgan of Field Gulls thought Matt Hasselbeck made some impressive throws in the second half of the Dallas game.

Bill Coats of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, in breaking down Warner's MVP chances, says the Cardinals are 12-11 since Warner took over as starter last season, up from 25-55 in their previous five seasons.

Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch breaks down MVP candidates and says the award might be Warner's to lose.

3k of Turf Show Times offers a nine-pick mock draft covering the Seahawks, Rams and 49ers. Michael Crabtree, Vontae Davis and Michael Oher become NFC West-bound.

Steve Korte of Ramblings quotes the Rams' Jim Haslett and Steven Jackson as saying their relationship is a good one.

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch also assesses the Haslett-Jackson dynamic, while noting that Jackson was on the field for 41 snaps against the Dolphins, including four in the fourth quarter.