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Around the NFC West: Coaching carousel

1/8/2009

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat says Scott Linehan and Rob Chudzinski should be the top two candidates for the 49ers' opening at offensive coordinator. Both are reportedly candidates to interview, although the team called such talk speculative.

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee looks at the 49ers' running backs after Frank Gore. Is DeShaun Foster a solid No. 2?

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic expects pass-rusher Travis LaBoy to return from an ankle injury in the divisional round. Receiver Anquan Boldin's status remains uncertain. Boldin missed practice all week. The Cardinals won't have to make a decision until 90 minutes before kickoff Saturday. That means we might not know until 6:45 p.m. ET on game day. If Boldin plays, will he be able to contribute over the course of a full game? That seems unlikely.

David White of the San Francisco Chronicle says the Seahawks plan to interview Raiders special-teams coach Brian Schneider. The Seahawks are also working on a short list of candidates at defensive coordinator. The Browns' Mel Tucker is on that short list. I do not expect Seattle to make a "name" hire at defensive coordinator. The Seahawks will look for a solid coach, but head coach Jim Mora will run the defense. Expect the arrangement to resemble how Mike Holmgren and Gil Haskell handled the offense in recent seasons. Meanwhile, former Lions coach Rod Marinelli remains a potential candidate as Seattle's defensive line coach, but he his visiting with the Texans and appears to be considering his options carefully. Also: Seattle re-signed receiver Billy McMullen to a future contract.

Jeff Gordon of stltoday.com looks at pros and cons associated with hiring Mike Martz as the Rams' offensive coordinator under Jim Haslett. Haslett wants to establish an identity in the running game. Martz is known for his creativity and aggressiveness in the passing game. Haven't we been down this road before? Retaining Haslett and bringing back Martz would hardly represent a clean break from the Rams' past. But Martz's addition might energize fans who miss his high-flying style of offense.