<
>

Around the NFC West: Alex Smith sharp

Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com says 49ers quarterback Alex Smith was particularly sharp in practice Wednesday. Maiocco: "Smith could not have thrown the deep ball better when he put four consecutive passes on the money during a passing drill. On consecutive go-routes against man coverage, Smith hit Brandon Jones, Michael Crabtree, Josh Morgan and Ted Ginn with perfect passes approximately 40 yards down field. Crabtree, however, dropped his pass."

Also from Maiocco: Chilo Rachal sat out practice a day after suffering from dehydration.

David White of the San Francisco Chronicle checks in with 49ers cornerback Phillip Adams, a seventh-round draft choice trying to catch the coaches' attention.

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee says the 49ers carted off linebacker Scott McKillop with a knee injury diagnosed initially as a sprain.

Also from Barrows: The 49ers shuffled their offensive line thanks to personnel changes. Barrows: "Tony Wragge is clearly ahead of Cody Wallace at center, and he's been the No. 2 center since training camp began. (Baas also had taken some snaps at center before his concussion). Adam Snyder's chances of making the team go up because he can both play inside and outside on the offensive line. Both Mike Iupati and Anthony Davis are very inconsistent, which is what you'd expect from a rookie on Day 4 of training camp. In one instance, Iupati is mowing down the opposing defensive end as he did against Khalif Mitchell this morning. On the next two, he is beaten by Justin Smith and Ahmad Brooks, respectively. Davis, meanwhile, has been the culprit on a couple of blown protections the last two days. Today he was beaten soundly by Parys Haralson who disrupted Alex Smith." It's all good for the 49ers as long as Iupati and Davis are getting extended work with the first-team offense. They need the reps.

Taylor Price of 49ers.com says the 49ers will hold only one practice Thursday and it will be in Monterey.

Daniel Brown of the San Jose Mercury News says the 49ers' Delanie Walker suffered a concussion.

Also from Brown: Jerry Rice's legacy and its impact on current 49ers players.

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic says during a chat that the Cardinals have been impressed with inside linebacker Paris Lenon. Somers: "They like Paris Lenon a lot. They watched him video the past few years and say he didn't make a lot of mistakes. Washington has been good. He can really run. My guess is he will open the season playing in passing situations and then maybe work into the starting unit."

Also from Somers: Cardinals tight end Ben Patrick suffered a knee injury and will undergo an MRI exam. The injury was initially diagnosed as a sprain. Patrick is the most versatile tight end on the team. Anthony Becht and Stephen Spach are primarily blockers.

More from Somers: What's in a number for strong safety Adrian Wilson?

Jim Trotter of Sports Illustrated checks in from Cardinals camp. Wilson on Matt Leinart: "To be honest with you, Matt has really jumped out at me. He's been a much more vocal leader. He wasn't like that in the past. The quarterback position is the head position; everybody looks up to it. Matt wasn't just thrown in that spot, he had to wait a while. I think he's really matured and it's showing. If he misses on a ball, he knows it's his fault and not the receiver's fault. That's just something he has really grown into." I haven't gotten the sense Leinart's job has been in question this summer. It's easier to be assertive without that doubt. However, it's also important for Leinart to play well enough consistently enough to make it obvious he's a legitimate starter. He'll need to do that the rest of the summer.

Zach Buchanan of the Arizona Republic says Early Doucet is shooting for a breakout season.

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com offers notes from practice, plus a photo of former Cardinals pass-rusher Bertrand Berry in his new role as reporter.

Also from Urban: This Cardinals training camp is more intense.

More from Urban: Beanie Wells is much more comfortable in Arizona than he was one year ago.

Greg Johns of seattlepi.com looks at recent roster moves for Seattle, including the addition of defensive tackle Quinn Pitcock. Johns: "The Seahawks aren't particularly thin at defensive tackle with starters Brandon Mebane and Colin Cole backed up by veterans Craig Terrill, Kevin Vickerson and Jonathan Lewis. Vickerson, a 6-5, 321-pounder obtained from Tennessee in the LenDale White trade on draft day, has shown flashes of considerable power at times early in camp. But GM John Schneider has made it clear he's willing to look for talent anywhere he can find it, so the Seahawks apparently will bring in Pitcock to see what he can offer."

Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times asks whether the grueling camp Seattle conducted under Jim Mora one year ago contributed to a poor finish. O'Neil: "Consider Mora's regular-season record. In four seasons as an NFL head coach, his teams were 25-19 before Dec. 1 (.568). His record after Dec. 1? 6-14 (.300)." New coach Pete Carroll gave the Seahawks a day off from practice Wednesday. Several teams give players down days on occasion.

Clare Farnsworth of seahwaks.com reviews the first four days of Seahawks training camp. Farnsworth: "Matt Hasselbeck has been en fuego, but his touchdown pass to rookie Golden Tate on Monday afternoon was a beauty. As Tate slipped behind cornerback Cord Parks, Hasselbeck not only hit Tate in stride, he put a little something extra on the pass so Tate could make the catch before running out of end zone."

Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune looks at the competition between backup quarterbacks Charlie Whitehurst and J.P. Losman. Boling: "Whitehurst is more nimble than one might expect, given his height. And he has a decent enough presence in the pocket. But his pure passing and arm strength do not appear to be the equal of Losman’s. Two plays in recent team drills seem fair comparisons. On one deep pass, receiver Golden Tate got behind cornerback Josh Wilson. Whitehurst put too much air under the ball, and as it finally nosed downward, Wilson had time to recover and deflect the pass. On the other side, Losman saw Deon Butler streaking up the sideline past his coverage. With a lower trajectory and more velocity, Losman’s pass was out in front of Butler where he could run it down. Butler didn’t make a great adjustment to it, though, and it fell incomplete. But not because the pass wasn’t there. Whitehurst looked very competent in a two-minute drill on Tuesday. Losman countered with continued zip on his ball, including one sideline completion of an 'out' route that was absolutely humming as it reached the receiver."

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says former Rams defensive end Leonard Little is undecided about continuing his career. Most veterans with Little's age and experience aren't excited about participating in training camp. Little: "Sometimes I feel like I want to come back," Little said. "Sometimes I feel like I don't. It's a hard decision to make when you're used to playing football. I've been playing football since I was 5 years old. I love the game. And I do miss it. But my decision is not going to be about football. It's going to be about other things -- things I'd rather not talk about right now."

Bill Coats of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says Rams quarterback Sam Bradford is working through the usual rookie mistakes. Bradford: "We've put a lot [of the offensive scheme] in every day," Bradford said. "And the more we put in, the more I have to think. ... Once we get everything in and I've repped everything, I think I'll feel more comfortable. I think it's just a matter of me really adjusting to the speed and all the different variations can that occur in a play."

Also from Coats: Bradford has high expectations for the offense.

Steve Korte of the Belleville News-Democrat updates Rams injuries, noting that Ron Bartell suffered a low ankle sprain and tight end Eric Butler has a shoulder injury.

Also from Korte: Bradford says he's having fun working the "best job in the world."