Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat says the 49ers denied Deion Sanders' claim that two teams reached out to the 49ers about possibly acquiring Michael Crabtree. "Those conversations never took place," a team spokesman said. Sanders said the 49ers "desperately" need Crabtree, and apparently he was serious. The 49ers are installing a power running game. They weren't counting on big things from Crabtree as a rookie anyway, realizing he would need time to get acclimated after rehabbing a foot injury for several months this offseason. Maiocco: "The deadline to trade an unsigned draft pick has passed for the league year. Even if Crabtree were to sign with the 49ers, the club would be unable to trade him until March 1. The 49ers would retain his rights up to the 2010 NFL draft."
Also from Maiocco: 49ers receiver Jason Hill wanted more chances during the exhibition season. Hill said he thinks there's a "strong possibility" the 49ers will release him. Hill: "Maybe the coaches don't like me or something. I don't know. I just haven't been getting enough reps. When I get reps, I make plays. I showed it last year when I get reps. When I get in a game, I make plays. I'm proving it on the field every time." One thing about wide receivers: It always seems to be about them.
More from Maiocco: Have the 49ers improved?
John Crumpacker of the San Francisco Chronicle says 49ers coach Mike Singletary is "very thankful" the exhibition season has ended.
Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee says the 49ers' starters finished the exhibition season with one sack, a "dubious" one collected when JaMarcus Russell fell down.
Dan Brown of the San Jose Mercury News says 49ers coach Mike Singletary wasn't interested in addressing Sanders' claims.
Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch looks at what the Rams learned about themselves during the exhibition season. The defense did a good job forcing turnovers, but stopping the run appeared to remain a problem.
Also from Thomas: Adam Carriker's injured shoulder is not the same one he hurt previously. Thomas: "According to unofficial press box stats, Carriker had no tackles against the Chiefs in his preseason debut. Interestingly, Carriker wasn't re-inserted with the starting unit when he returned to practice in late August. (Gary) Gibson has continued starting in Carriker's spot at defensive tackle, and Carriker played with the second unit Thursday against KC."
Bill Coats of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says Samkon Gado's uncertain injury status clouds the Rams' decisions at running back.
Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic says the Cardinals could tweak their roster in the coming days. Somers: "(Leonard) Pope, due to make $1 million this season, fell out of favor with the coaching staff because he was not a strong blocker, and he had trouble grasping the nuances of the offense."
Also from Somers: Alan Branch fared well enough in spot duty at defensive end to stick on the roster.
Darren Urban of azcardinals.com runs through the team's roster moves as the 53-man limit approached.
Also from Urban: The Cardinals were willing to keep only six defensive linemen because Branch gave them versatility.
Eric D. Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune previews the Seahawks' cutdown decisions. Williams: "The team may decide to keep a fourth cornerback if Marcus Trufant (back) starts the season on the physically unable to perform list, which means he can’t return until the seventh game. If that’s the case, the Seahawks likely will make a decision between Kevin Hobbs and Travis Fisher."
Clare Farnsworth of seahawks.com checks in with rookie running back Devin Moore. Farnsworth: "When given his most extensive stint of the preseason, the undersized Moore (5 feet 9, 191 pounds) came up big. He carried 22 times for 75 yards, including a 1-yard touchdown run, in the Seahawks’ 31-21 romp over the Oakland Raiders."