A certain not-yet-available quarterback nearly overshadowed Super Bowl week. Overshadowing other subjects during the latest NFC West chat was easy by comparison. And predictable. And welcome, actually. Few subjects can compete with Peyton Manning potentially joining another team.
Kathy from San Antonio wonders why San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh seems so "fixated" on Alex Smith as the team's starting quarterback. She thinks Manning could put the 49ers over the top. "Harbaugh seems like a guy who wants to be considered in the same sentence as Bill Walsh," she wrote, "yet he will hurt his long-term future as head coach if he sticks with Smith."
Mike Sando: Peyton Manning's health is a key variable. The 49ers might not trust his ability to get and stay healthy. The team might feel as though it has a good thing going, and the rewards of adding a diminished, older Manning might not appeal to them coming off a season in which they were really a play or two away from the Super Bowl. It is also possible the 49ers will reevaluate if anything changes with Manning.
Matt from Syracuse asks whether Arizona or Seattle is a better fit for Peyton Manning.
Mike Sando: I lean toward Arizona because the Cardinals play indoors, they have an offensive coach (Frank Reich) with direct ties to Manning and they have Larry Fitzgerald. But if they pay the $7 million to Kevin Kolb, it would be tough to pay Manning as well. The Seahawks are in better position to add a big-money quarterback because they do not have a big-money incumbent QB.
Josh from Iowa asks why assistants Gregg Williams, Brian Schottenheimer and Dave McGinnis seemed to eager to join Jeff Fisher's staff in St. Louis.
Mike Sando: I listened to McGinnis on the conference call. His excitement was definitely palpable. The fact that Williams and McGinnis would jump at the change to reunite with Fisher reflects well on Fisher. Fisher seems to know what is important. He seems to be no-nonsense and without pretense. He seems real. He's not walking around trying to prove to everyone that he's a head coach. This shows up in the confidence Fisher projects. Assistants are also looking for stability, which tends to be elusive in the NFL. Fisher lasted 16-plus seasons as head coach in his last job. That track record is appealing.
The next chat will be in two weeks. I'm taking off next week before ramping up for the NFL scouting combine.