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Friday, March 12, 2010
Around the NFC West: Carroll's ties

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune passes along tidbits left over from his recent profile on Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, whose work with "A Better L.A." has been significant. Boling: "As I researched A Better LA, I saw an interesting name on the board of directors … Tim Leiweke, Tod’s brother. If we wondered why Carroll’s name came up so quickly as a candidate for the Seahawks, it would appear that’s an obvious connection." Tod Leiweke is the Seahawks' CEO. Another Seahawks executive, general counsel Lance Lopes, has a brother working in the USC athletic department. Those connections had to play significant roles in Carroll's hiring.

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee passes along David Carr's comments regarding new 49ers teammate Patrick Willis after Willis apologized for criticizing the team for showing interest in Carr. Carr via TwitLonger: "Patrick called me almost as soon as he posted his thoughts. We had great talk, I admire his passion for his teammates, but I believe I can help this team. I'm sure Patrick is not the only player who will be thinking, 'What's this guy got?' I told him that's why I left NY, to prove to myself and the rest of the NFL, I Can Play at a High Level, I can be the difference for a team, I believe in my heart I'm ready, Patrick and I have one thing in common, we will do ALL that is needed to bring another Championship to the 49ers."

Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat says the 49ers will not hold a formal quarterback competition, but there are still no guarantees for Alex Smith now that Carr is on board.

Jason LaCanfora of NFL.com says the Redskins have interest in Rams defensive tackle Adam Carriker, who played for Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett in St. Louis. LaCanfora: "Carriker, who missed all of last season because of a right shoulder injury, hasn't lived up to expectations after the Rams drafted him 13th overall in 2007, and he's someone whom other NFL teams believe would be available in a trade. Other teams also have inquired about Carriker, and a deal is possible before the draft next month." Carriker might be better suited to play defensive end in a 3-4 scheme. The Redskins are expected to run a 3-4 scheme. It's tough to envision the Rams getting much in return for Carriker based on Carriker's recent injuries and overall production to this point in his career.

Bryan Burwell of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch checks in with Rams general manager Billy Devaney from Ndamukong Suh's pro day at Nebraska. Devaney: "You look at him out there today in 15 minutes on the field and you know what you see? 'Wow, he moves great!' Well, we already knew that. What we came here for is to drill down deep to make sure we have the right guy off the field, too. We do that with him, we did that with (Gerald) McCoy, and we'll do that with (Sam) Bradford, too. It's the first pick in the draft, it's a lot of money. You want to make sure it's the right guy. You want to be sure that the person that you see now will be the same person four or five months from now." No mention of Jimmy Clausen there. I know Clausen's name was initially included among the list of players the Rams were seriously considering with the first overall choice, but that seemed like a stretch based on conventional wisdom.

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com says the Cardinals' moves on the offensive line all but close the door on Mike Gandy returning. He expects Rex Hadnot to challenge for one of the starting guard spots. I agree that Herman Johnson should get a shot at tackle, but I also think the Cardinals could use another tackle with pass-protecting skills. That is debatable because Jeremy Bridges generally played well at left tackle once he replaced Gandy. But it's also fair to wonder how well Levi Brown will transition to the left side, should the Cardinals follow through with that move. The tackle situation bears watching this offseason.