Around the NFC West: Crabtree's progress

Daniel Brown of the San Jose Mercury News says Michael Crabtree brings his playbook everywhere, a sign of the second-year receiver's dedication after missing his first NFL offseason during a contract dispute. Crabtree: "[I'm] learning the basics. When I first came here, it was all about cramming a lot into a little amount of time. Right now, we have the time and I'm just taking it step by step." Crabtree looked more like a finished product than anyone could have expected last season. He should improve significantly now that he has time to take things at a more reasonable pace.

Howard Mintz of the San Jose Mercury News says Santa Clara approved a hotel tax that could help raise $35 million toward a new stadium for the 49ers.

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee says the 49ers used their recent organized team activities to evaluate Ricky Jean-Francois at nose tackle. Barrows: "It has been a busy and, in many ways, a terrible offseason for Jean-Francois, whose father emigrated from Haiti to Miami in the mid 1970s. Immediately following the Jan. 12 earthquake that devastated that country's capital, Port-au-Prince, Jean-Francois couldn't locate his grandmother. He finally did but also learned that four of his father's cousins were dead. Jean-Francois, who has been rallying support in South Florida for funds and supplies for Haiti, said he plans to travel there when the 49ers take a break this summer."

Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat offers thoughts on the 49ers' offense following OTAs. On David Carr: "The thing that immediately caught the eye was his throwing motion, which appears unorthodox -- similar to a dart-thrower (others say a shot-putter). He looked very rusty on many of his passes, as he learns the system and works on timing with his targets. He badly underthrew a few deep balls. But let's cut him some slack. He's learning the system, and the weather for Tuesday's practice was atrocious. And, after all, last I checked, it was March. The real games don't begin until September."

Greg Johns of seattlepi.com checks in with draft analyst Rob Rang for thoughts on a few Seahawks-related subjects. On Charlie Whitehurst: "Whitehurst possesses the size, arm strength and accuracy that every NFL team is looking for. When he came out of Clemson four years ago, we at NFLDraftScout.com projected him as a third-round prospect [correctly, as it turned out] based on his upside, as well as his troubling tendency to focus on his primary receiver and force the ball into coverage. My concern with Seattle's trade for Whitehurst is that I don't know how he could have improved in this area without seeing live, regular-season action. There is, however, no question that Whitehurst has the physical talent to warrant the picks Seattle gave up for him, especially considering how quickly the talent drops off at quarterback in the 2010 draft after [Sam] Bradford."

Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times says the Seahawks will face the Raiders during the preseason for the fifth year in a row. Teams generally like to cut down on travel during the preseason.

John Morgan of Field Gulls offers highs and lows from Rob Sims' tenure with the Seahawks.

Paola Boivin of the Arizona Republic says Matt Leinart is gearing up for the 2010 season with a new mindset. Leinart: "I feel great, comfortable and more confident. It's a totally different mind-set for me, to not have to look over my shoulder and to be able to be myself. I've worked so hard the last couple of years to get better so that if the opportunity ever came, I could be successful."

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic says the Cardinals appear set at safety now that Matt Ware has re-signed. Somers: "This move will make strong safety Adrian Wilson smile. With Ware playing in some nickel and dime packages, Wilson is able to move closer to scrimmage, where his versatility is a weapon. When Ware went out with a knee injury in December, the Cardinals' pass defense was less productive. Ware's injury wasn't the only reason but it was a significant one."

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com breaks down some contract numbers for various Cardinals. Joey Porter gets a $4 million signing bonus with $250,000 workout bonuses in each season of his three-year deal.

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Rams will not have an independent doctor evaluate Sam Bradford. The team simply no longer has questions about the quarterback's surgically repaired shoulder. The team will run Bradford through one final pre-draft workout April 19. Rams general manager Billy Devaney: "To be honest, it's not going to be a butt-kicking workout when we go back in. We want to make sure there hasn't been any setbacks, that the shoulder is still good. That close to the draft, one last time, just throw the ball around a little bit, make sure he's still good to go."

The St. Louis Globe-Democrat says the Rams will not play an exhibition game against the Chiefs for the first time since 2000.