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Around the NFC West: Spagnuolo settling in

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Bernie Miklasz of 101 ESPN radio checks in with Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo. The new coach has found a home in the Lafayette Square area and has checked out some of the local parks. He's been to a playoff hockey game. He's hung out with Tony LaRussa some. Spagnuolo on the youth movement in St. Louis: "When Billy [Devaney] and I originally spoke, it was one of the minor things we looked at. You certainly don't let good players go out of the building regardless of age. Billy and I both do feel it is important to have some young legs. You don't want to be too old, as they say. A mixture of both is the best way to do it. I know in New York we had some young legs, but we certainly had some key veterans and they weren't all starters. They were just guys that knew how to be pros."

The 49ers' Web site provides a transcript for a Nate Davis interview. Davis says he learned to throw the ball without aligning his fingers across the laces to facilitate quick passes in high school and middle school. Davis: "It helps me with the quick throws. You catch it [out of the shotgun] and throw it, take a snap and throw it. That's where it helps me."

Vinnie Iyer of Sporting News lists the 49ers' Josh Morgan ninth and the Rams' Donnie Avery 10th among second-year players "on the spot" this season. Iyer: "He looks like a sixth-round steal, and with [Michael] Crabtree having the chance to start right away on the opposite side, it would allow Morgan to use his speed and 6-0, 219-pound frame to burn No. 2 corners in single coverage." We'll have to see how the 49ers use these players. Both need to play, I think, but both are also split ends. Perhaps they will work together in three-receiver personnel groupings.

Clark Judge of CBSSports.com says the Seahawks' season hinges on Matt Hasselbeck's health. Protecting Hasselbeck must be the top priority on offense. Judge: "[Jim] Mora couldn't have made it clearer: If you're looking for reasons to believe Hasselbeck is winding down you won't find them on the practice field. Mora said the quarterback has gone through every drill, taken every snap he's supposed to take and made every throw he's expected to make -- all without a hitch. Of course, this is May, and Hasselbeck hasn't gone through six weeks of training camp and four months of games, which is why Mora will stay away from predictions. Nevertheless, the early prognosis for Hasselbeck -- and for the Seahawks -- is good."

Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times thinks it's unfair to blame Shaun Alexander's rapid decline wholly on the fat contract Alexander signed after the 2005 season. I would agree, but I don't think the contract helped matters, either.

Brian McIntyre of Scout.com thinks the 49ers' recent signings of draft choices should help set the market for other picks, including Seahawks picks. Scott McKillop's signing bonus was for $192,500. Ricky Jean-Francois' bonus was for $43,000. Both figures come from Matt Maiocco.

Eric D. Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune thinks the Seahawks should not follow Mike Lombardi's advice. Lombardi suggested trading Deion Branch for Thomas Jones. Williams: "I don't believe Hawks general manager Tim Ruskell is willing to give up on Branch yet, particularly after the way Branch played at the end of last season. Further, I think Ruskell understands that things can go south quickly with a few injuries at receiver, and will keep Branch around because of his play-making ability and added depth because he doesn't want to go through what happened in 2008 again. I also believe Duckett has enough quickness to be effective in the offense." Do zone-blocking teams need to invest heavily in running backs?

John Morgan of Field Gulls gives the Seahawks a "C" grade at quarterback, the same grade Turf Show Times' VanRam gives for the Rams at the position. Cgolden gives the Cardinals an "A" grade while Fooch gives the 49ers a "B" grade. Would you rather have Shaun Hill and Alex Smith or Hasselbeck and Seneca Wallace?

BillT of Seahawk Addicts reacts to my item about how the Seahawks have 36 of their own draft choices and all came from BCS programs. No NFL team has more of its own BCS draft choices on its roster. For the record, other teams do have more of their own draft choices overall. The Colts have 44, most in the league.

Jim Cross of KTAR radio in Phoenix met President Obama during a recent stop in Arizona. The president informally invited Kurt Warner to shoot some hoops with him at the White House. Warner: "I'll definitely be there."

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com gives the edge to Warner and Larry Fitzgerald in a mythical 2-on-2 game against the president and his aide.

More from Urban: Increases in salary-cap space will not change teams' plans in most cases.

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic says the Cardinals should have about $6.2 million in salary-cap space after the increases.