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Around the NFC West: Boone's challenge

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Mark Purdy of the San Jose Mercury News says 49ers rookie Alex Boone has pledged to keep a low profile socially, to better avoid the type of drunken mayhem that affected his draft stock. Boone: "I'm 22 years old. All you want to do after practice is go out and have fun and relax and stuff like that. But the truth is, I am really just not into it anymore. ... This is a job for me right now and I have to do what's best. I like to go home, lay down, watch some TV and go to bed. That's my daily plan. That's easy."

Gwen Knapp of the San Francisco Chronicle examines the relationship between 49ers running backs Frank Gore and Moran Norris. "He's like a brother to me," Norris says.

The San Francisco Chronicle questions the 49ers' stadium plan by saying the $79 million in proposed public financing doesn't include $35 million from a proposed hotel tax. I thought the $114 million figure was well known.

Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat says 49ers rookie Kory Sheets is still adjusting to the complexities of an NFL playbook.

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic says Ben Patrick's four-game suspension hurts his chances for building on the Cardinals' appearance in Super Bowl XLIII. Somers: "He caught a TD pass in the Super Bowl and looked good in off-season workouts. Under the policy, he will be able to participate in training camp but the suspension will start the day the regular 53-man roster is set. The Cardinals have five other tight ends on the roster, signing Anthony Becht and Dominique Byrd this off-season. Leonard Pope has starting experiences, as does Stephen Spach, who is coming off ACL surgery. Alex Shor spent most of last year on the practice squad."

Also from Somers: contract details for some of the Cardinals' rookies.

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com sizes up Patrick's suspension this way: "It's the latest hit for Patrick, the 2007 seventh-round pick who had been hoping to use his touchdown catch in the Super Bowl as a jumping-off point to win the starting job for the Cards' nebulous tight end situation. Patrick's 2008 season was tumultuous because of various nagging injuries."

Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times looks at how Colin Cole's addition to the Seahawks' defensive line affects Brandon Mebane. Coach Jim Mora says Mebane should be more effective as a three-technique tackle. Mora explains why: "His explosiveness off the ball, his first step. His ability to get up the field in the run game. He's got some pass-rush ability. He'll spend less time on double teams at that position. He can be more disruptive. They call him a dancing bear. He's got initial quickness, he's got quick feet and that's what you're looking for at that position."

Peter King of SI.com checks in with Mora and Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley. King: "I asked Mora for a couple of defensive players who'd stood out in the offseason, and he said Darryl Tapp and Lawrence Jackson. Both defensive ends. Both former high picks. So maybe there will be less pressure on [Aaron] Curry to be a 12-sack guy if these bookend ends emerge and if Patrick Kerney can stay healthy and give Seattle the production he's used to giving." Twelve sacks for Curry sounds like a two- or three-year total.

Clare Farnsworth of Seahawks.com says the team is expected to hold its first practice of training camp July 31.

John Morgan of Field Gulls revisits Owen Schmitt's rookie season in Seattle. Morgan: "He has a couple troubling snags. His blitz awareness is weak. He's a bit stiff, especially at or near full speed. I don't think he'll develop into a great receiver. The most important of those three, his blitz awareness, should develop, and though I'm not fond of punting receiving ability at any skill position, [Greg] Knapp doesn't pass to his fullbacks, and Knapp is the man calling plays." An assistant coach for another team told me he questioned whether Schmitt had the lateral movement required to pick up blitzes from various angles.

VanRam of Turf Show Times sees few options for the Rams among the lists of available free agents. Quite a few of those available players were with the Rams last season. Among them: Gary Stills, Dante Hall, Ricky Manning, Rob Petitti, Travis Minor, Jason Craft, Fakhir Brown, Cory Withrow, Anthony Davis, Dane Looker and the presumably retiring La'Roi Glover.