Around the NFC West: Warner expected back
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
Bob McManaman of the Arizona Republic expects Kurt Warner to re-sign with the Cardinals in the next two or three weeks. McManaman: "That was the word circulating through the Warner camp before and following the Cardinals' 27-23 loss to the Steelers in Tampa. And unless management completely drops the ball and short-changes the quarterback at the negotiating table, it's appears to be a done deal."
Also from McManaman: a quick look at questionable calls in the Super Bowl. Aaron Francisco calls out the Steelers' James Harrison.
Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic says Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt was "humbled" and "stunned" to receive a phone call from the president following Super Bowl XLIII.
Also from Somers: The Cardinals are five weeks behind most teams as they finally dive into offseason preparations.
Darren Urban of azcardinals.com says the Cardinals said their goodbyes Tuesday, knowing some players would not be back.
Mike Tulumello of the East Valley Tribune says Whisenhunt appeared "bewildered" by the number of penalties called against the Cardinals in the Super Bowl.
Revenge of the Birds' Andrew602 looks at what the Cardinals' Super Bowl appearance might mean to the team in the future. Seven of the last eight Super Bowl losers missed the playoffs the following season.
Niners tackle Joe Staley blogs about his Super Bowl experience. Watching other teams play made him feel sick, or was it the annoying fan seated behind him? Staley's immediate plans include visiting family in Pennsylvania and hanging out with quarterback Shaun Hill in Missouri. It's a good sign when an offensive lineman chooses to hang out with a quarterback.
Kris Anderson of 49ers.com profiles linebacker Patrick Willis.
Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat takes a look at free-agent situations around the NFC West. He considers retirement "highly unlikely" for Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner.
Also from Maiocco: a look at how the 49ers contained Larry Fitzgerald during the regular season. The Cardinals were a running team when they visited San Francisco in the opener. And then I thought Nate Clements played well during the rematch in Arizona.
Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee looks at whether the 49ers will split carries between backs or rely almost exclusively on Frank Gore.
Dan Brown of the San Jose Mercury News contrasts the 49ers and Steelers in showing how Pittsburgh has built a consistent winner. Brown: "So how does Pittsburgh do it? Their transactions in 2004 certainly helped. That off-season, Pittsburgh drafted quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in the first round (11th overall), and quietly landed linebacker James Harrison (free agent) and running back Willie Parker (free agent). That same year, the 49ers' drafted Rashaun Woods."
Jeff Gordon of stltoday.com suggests the Rams can improve if Steve Spagnuolo can restore their attitudes. Linebacker Chris Draft: "I'm definitely excited. Not just what he's done with the defense in New York, but he is going to come with a swagger. His guys have been playing well, have been playing with passion, playing with physical presence these last few years. That's what we need. We need to have a swagger to us."
Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Rams need at least two new starters on their offensive line. Thomas: "To me, the Rams need a new starting center and a new starting tackle at a minimum for the line next season. I don't know if you saw the stat during the Super Bowl, but Bulger has been sacked something like 190 times over the past five seasons, the second-highest total in the league over that period. So it starts there."
Greg Johns of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer summarizes Greg Knapp's comments following Knapp's first interview as the Seahawks' offensive coordinator. Knapp: "One of the strengths of the zone run game is that its history has proven, as the parts have changed -- whether the runner or linemen -- it's still been pretty productive. There's so much turnover now with free agency and coaches, this is a system that maybe lends better to that environment. It provides a quicker learning curve to get on target to have success."
Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times traces Knapp's NFL roots to his days as camp quarterback for the 49ers and Chiefs.
Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune says the Seahawks will need more than an altered scheme to revive their offense in 2009.
John Morgan of Field Gulls says Florida State's Everette Brown is on his radar as a potential Seahawks draft choice.