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Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Around the NFC West: Seattle dysfunction

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times says the Seahawks have been dysfunctional in recent years and that hiring Pete Carroll is a step toward unification, according to CEO Tod Leiweke. Haven't we heard this before? Yes, we have. The team hired Tim Ruskell to work with Mike Holmgren in 2005, putting more distance between the organization and the dysfunction that marked the relationship between Holmgren and former president Bob Whitsitt. The big difference this time is that Seattle is hiring its coach and GM at the same time. That should help them function better together. Leiweke: "To be quite honest, there was not a harmonious relationship between Tim and Mike Holmgren. It's probably neither guy's fault, but we learned a lot there."

Clare Farnsworth of seahawks.com says Carroll, contract negotiator John Idzik and the as-yet-unhired general manager will report to Leiweke.

Greg Johns of seattlepi.com says Leiweke wasn't surprised to hear negative reaction following Carroll's hiring. Leiweke: "No, because when you lead with your chin, when you've had two years like we've had, when people see some dysfunction, when you have a legend like Mike Holmgren leave and you let a coach go after one year, it doesn't really set the table for a ticker tape parade for the next guy coming in. But what gets that right is winning. And Mr. Allen gave us the authority to go out and find the best coach we could and we think we have. And now we're going to find the best GM. And I'm confident it's going to result in what our fans most want, which is winning."

Bob McManaman of the Arizona Republic says the Cardinals' game against the Packers was exciting for a lot of people, but not necessarily coach Ken Whisenhunt. Whisenhunt: "That's funny to say it's entertaining, because it's not entertaining when I'm seeing 88 [Jermichael Finley] and 85 [Greg Jennings] on the other side of the field catching the football and running around with it. It's rewarding when you win a game like that; it's devastating when you lose a game like that. Both teams made enough plays to win the football game. Fortunately, we made one more than them."

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic says the NFL stands by the non-call of a potential face mask penalty against Cardinals cornerback Michael Adams on the final play of the game Sunday. Somers: "In a statement, an NFL spokesman pointed out that an 'incidental grasp' of the face mask is allowed. The rule reads that 'no player shall twist, turn, or pull the face mask of an opponent in any direction.'" More here.

Dan Bickley of the Arizona Republic says the Phoenix area is still buzzing over the Cardinals' victory. Bickley: "With an obscene overnight television rating (21.8) that trumped the Eagles-Cowboys on Saturday night, the game will do wonders for the Big Red brand. The relentless pace of the game felt like the historic Wimbledon final between Roger Federer and Andy Roddick, when a single break of serve spelled disaster for both sides. And it made one realize just how blessed we've been since joining the big leagues in 1998, when Arizona first fielded four major professional sports teams."

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com says Kurt Warner values being part of two organizational turnarounds.

Howard Balzer of the St. Louis Globe-Democrat says the Rams have signed cornerback Marcus Brown, who had spent time of the practice squad. Balzer: "Brown joins defensive end Sean Conover, guard Mark Lewis and center/guard Drew Miller, who were previously signed after ending the season on the practice squad. Players whose practice-squad contracts expired and haven’t been signed are defensive tackle Chris Bradwell, tight end Eric Butler, linebacker Jay Moore and wide receiver Sean Walker."

Also from Balzer: a case for former St. Louis Cardinals coach Don Coryell as a Hall of Fame inductee. Former tackle Dan Dierdorf: "He simply changed the game. The NFL was a running league when he came to the Cardinals [in 1973]. Teams seemingly ran the ball out of obligation. Don wanted to throw the football, especially on first down."

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee says the 49ers plan to interview Bobby April as a potential special-teams coach. Also: "The 49ers signed another practice squadder, tight end Joe Jon Finley, to a future contract. Finley essentially beat out Bear Pascoe, a sixth-round pick, to land a spot on the practice squad in the offseason. Coaches felt more confident in Finley should something have happened to either Vernon Davis or Delanie Walker. Given the importance of the tight end in the 49ers' offense, look for them to acquire a tight end who can block in the offseason."

Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat says April reportedly interviewed with the Steelers recently.