Around the NFC West: Warner on Kolb

Conventional wisdom suggested Seattle's Matt Flynn and Arizona's Kevin Kolb would emerge as starting quarterbacks this season.

Those were the players earning the most money from their teams at the position, after all. But with Russell Wilson (Seahawks) and John Skelton (Cardinals) scheduled to start exhibition games this week, perceptions have changed. Wilson and especially Skelton could be the favorites at this point.

Dan Bickley of the Arizona Republic thinks Skelton is the only choice for Arizona based on how Kolb has performed to this point. He checks in with former Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner for thoughts on Kolb. Warner: "I've been in games when it's hard to get the game to slow down, and it's not a fun place to be," Warner said. "Everything looks like a jumbled mess. Sometimes you're nervous, sometimes you're anxious. When I watch him on film, it looks like he's looking in the right spots. But that doesn't mean he's seeing it, or that he's seeing what I'm seeing. But he's looking at it and not letting the ball go. What's causing that?" Noted: Warner makes some interesting points at the risk of sounding self-serving, particularly when we learn of text messages Warner received begging him to come out of retirement.

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic says the Cardinals emerged from training camp with quite a few unanswered questions.

Clare Farnsworth of seahawks.com quotes coach Pete Carroll as saying Wilson is a "nightmare" for defenses in part because of his ability to move.

Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times offers a Seahawks injury update. Sidney Rice was practicing without restrictions, but Doug Baldwin underwent "a little procedure" on a hamstring.

Steve Kelley of the Seattle Times says Matt Flynn is the loser in Carroll's high-risk quarterback gamble. Kelley: "This is Carroll telling critics to bring it on. This is a coach willing to take gambles few in his profession will take. Carroll works without a safety net. This game of quarterback roulette only can be played by coaches who are secure in their jobs and supremely confident in what they do. Carroll is both. He's going to do it his way. It's daring and risky and off-the-charts against the grain. But this is who Carroll is, and he revels in his unorthodoxy."

Brock Huard of 710ESPN Seattle likes the way Carroll is thinking on this one.

John McGrath of the Tacoma News Tribune says Carroll's thinking reflects a changing game. McGrath: "If Carroll ends up handing the Seahawks’ offense to a rookie, the coach stands to be blistered by critics whose deepest thoughts are steeped in 1983. Nonsense. The game has changed, and the league has changed. The players have changed. Their contracts have changed. If he’s convinced a rookie has the chops of a starting quarterback, Pete Carroll will exude a wisdom best described by one word. Conventional."

Dan O'Neill of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Rams are close to welcoming back receiver Brandon Gibson from injury.

Bryan Burwell of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch looks at the latest proposal for the Edward Jones Dome from the local stadium authority. Burwell: "At the very least, it closes the enormous gap between its original (and woefully inadequate) $124 million proposal and the far more elaborate one the Rams put on the table. This hedges a bet that if the arbitration panel was of the mind to take an either-or stance with the outcome of its decision, it's better for the CVC to move its offer a bit closer to reality because it's safe to say that its original proposal would not come close to meeting the lease's 'first-tier' requirements."

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Rams' decision to trade Josh Gordy to Indianapolis for a conditional 2014 pick reflects confidence in the team's improved depth at cornerback.

Nick Wagoner of stlouisrams.com offers notes from Rams practice, including this one: "Much of the talk in this camp when it comes to quarterbacks has been on starter Sam Bradford and rookie Austin Davis but Kellen Clemens has seemed to respond to the challenge in the past few days. He had some strong throws on Tuesday, none better than the dart he fired on the run across his body to TE Deangelo Peterson for a big gain. And while Clemens has struggled to complete passes on a consistent basis in his career, he is 12-of-16 (75 percent) in the preseason so far."

Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com says the 49ers have yet to see a backup safety emerge behind Donte Whitner and Dashon Goldson. Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio: "We know we have Whitner and Goldson. But we're looking to see who are our third, fourth and, possibly, fifth safety. We need for that to clear itself up. Hopefully, guys will step forward and make it easy. Right now, it hasn't been an easy decision for us there."

Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News says there's no escaping the fact that the 49ers are living in a construction zone.

Steve Corkran of Bay Area News Group says swimming has helped Randy Moss stay in shape. Receiver Chris Owusu: "If Moss is doing it, you got to do it, especially as a young receiver. You want to emulate everything that he does because he's been to the top, he's a Hall of Fame receiver, so you got to go out and do what he does."