SEATTLE—Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck and Cardinals quarterback cruncher Darnell Dockett tweet each other like birds in the same tree on a sunny morning.
Hasselbeck also voted for Adrian Wilson in last year's Pro Bowl balloting - even though Arizona's smash-mouth safety pummeled him into a concussion the last time these teams met in Seattle.
Kurt Warner and Anquan Boldin. "Last year, we even voted in (rookie cornerback Dominique) Rodgers-Cromartie as a starter.
"We have a lot of respect for those guys."
New Seahawks running back Edgerrin James says he still has great friends in Arizona. He has no regrets the team dumped him months ago, after he revitalized its offense in the playoffs.
Warner says his Cardinals will openly cheer for James if he cracks the top 10 on the NFL's career rushing list against them.
Bitter rivals? The games between them are intense, but the run-up to Sunday's latest meeting of the Cardinals and the team from which they seized the NFC West title last season feels like a love-in.
Hasselbeck's Twitter stream this week has included requests from Dockett not to use hard snaps counts or other tricks to disrupt Arizona's pass rush.
"no hard counts?" Hasselbeck tweeted back.
Dockett has also tweeted joke gift offerings.
"I'm thinking if I bring MatthewHass8 sum cheesecake he will let me get 2sacks" Dockett posted Tuesday.
There is far more at stake than tweets and cheesecake, though.
Arizona (2-2) can erase its post- Super Bowl haze of mediocrity with a second consecutive win in Seattle, something they haven't had since 1989 and '93.
"The Cardinals have never had the feeling of success from winning the division or going to a Super Bowl, that's something that was new for us. And I don't think we've handled it very well to this point," Arizona coach Ken Whisenhunt said.
A victory would also tie the Cardinals with idle San Francisco for first place in the mild, mild West.
"I don't think there's a lot of people out there who believe we were that good of a football team, anyway," said Warner, who needs 244 yards passing in his 114th career game to tie Dan Marino as the fastest in NFL history to reach 30,000 yards.
A win by Seattle (2-3) would put the Seahawks back in the division race entering their desperately needed bye week. Being at .500 would be an almost miraculous feat.
Hasselbeck missed 2½ games with broken ribs that still aren't healed. The quarterback has 16 touchdown passes in 11 career games against the Cardinals, but Sunday his blind side will be protected from Dockett, Wilson and friends by Kyle Williams. Seattle's Plan D left tackle was on the practice squad until last weekend.
"Yeah, left tackle is one of the more important positions on the football field," Seahawks coach Jim Mora said. "You're protecting a valuable asset. You're protecting a quarterback."
Hasselbeck has seven touchdowns in the two games he's stayed healthy enough to finish, including four when he returned last weekend to beat Jacksonville 41-0. Those are Seattle's only two wins this season.
The Seahawks are so desperate at left tackle, Tuesday they signed veteran Damion McIntosh out of six weeks of inactivity at his home in Kansas City, after the Chiefs released their former starting tackle.
"Here we are in Week 6 of the season, bringing in a new left tackle," Mora said, shaking his head.
Then he just laughed. It beats crying.
At least four more starters will miss another game Sunday, including three-fifths of the regular offensive line. Seattle has already had a dozen starters miss a game due to injury this season.
James isn't one of the them. He's not even a starter. The 31-year-old is slowing working into Seattle's offense after signing in late August. He had 46 yards rushing last weekend and chuckled over merely being the "closer" late in a blowout.
James, who has 12,226 yards, needs 18 to pass Marcus Allen and enter the top 10 on the league's all-time rushing list.
"It means a lot to me, especially in this day and era," James said. "There aren't too many guys who will be able to run for 10-12,000 yards because of the way teams uses two-back systems now. Guys like LaDainian (Tomlinson), (Clinton) Portis and me are like the last of a dying breed."
Warner said the Cardinals will honor their former teammate if he gets those 18 yards Sunday.
"I guarantee you that if he (reaches that milestone), there's going to be a bunch of guys on our sidelines that are going to be standing up and cheering for him because he deserves it," Warner said. "He is so classy and such a great friend, that we'd be extremely happy for him."