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Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Around the NFC West: Zygmunt's legacy

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Reid Laymance of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch polls beat reporters and columnists for the best and worst moves of the Jay Zygmunt era. Letting London Fletcher leave in free agency ranks among the worst moves. Moving to acquire Marshall Faulk ranks among the best.

Jeff Gordon of stltoday.com points to the 1999 Rams for evidence that the franchise can lead a quick turnaround. Gordon outlines the key players in that reversal, from ownership to offensive coordinator Mike Martz.

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says Zygmunt took the high road upon resigning from the Rams.

Bryan Burwell of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Rams have a shot at success now that Zygmunt isn't part of the personnel equation.

Bill Coats of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch quotes Jim Haslett as saying the Rams are doing enough defensively to win games. The Rams have allowed 17.25 points per game over their last four games. The offense isn't scoring enough points to win games.

Also from Coats: Haslett says the team played hard Sunday.

VanRam of Turf Show Times shoots down the theory that turnovers explain the Rams' struggles.

Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat says the 49ers are growing mustaches to go with the throwback uniforms they'll wear in Week 17. Shaun Hill compared kicker Joe Nedney's attempt to "garage-floor broom bristles" -- not bad. More here.

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee says players wouldn't mind seeing coach Mike Singletary grow the type of mustache he wore in the 1985 Super Bowl Shuffle video. More here.

Gwen Knapp of the San Francisco Chronicle says Singletary isn't acting like an interim coach.

John Crumpacker of the San Francisco Chronicle says Hill started working on his moustache about four weeks ago. Hill: "How bad is that?"

Also from Crumpacker: Before Singletary, no 49ers coach in recent memory has given players Christmas off.

Dan Brown of the San Jose Mercury News runs a transcript of Singletary's day-after-game news conference. The coach explains why he gave players Christmas off, and he offered no apologies for departing from how other teams handle the holidays.

Paola Boivin of the Arizona Republic says the Cardinals can't blame Neil Rackers for their troubles. The kicker has made 88 percent of his field goal tries. As noted, Rackers is attempting fewer long field goals this season, explaining the increase in percentage.

Bob McManaman of the Arizona Republic says Ken Whisenhunt brought cookies to his day-after-game news conference, but he expected tough questions, anyway. Whisenhunt said he'll threaten jobs this week in an attempt to jump-start the team.

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com says Darnell Dockett plans to watch video from earlier in the season for clues as to what the Cardinals were doing differently.

Also from Urban: A look at which teams could visit Arizona for wild-card weekend.

Clare Farnsworth of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer says the Seahawks will have Christmas off, but they'll have to practice Tuesday, which is generally an off day. Also, linebacker Leroy Hill could return against the Cardinals.

John Morgan of Field Gulls found Seahawks linebacker Will Herring a bit intriguing. Herring needs to add weight, but his quickness pays off in coverage.

Jose Romero of the Seattle Times looks at Mike Holmgren's final week as Seahawks coach. The finality will set in with Holmgren at some point soon.

Frank Hughes of the Tacoma News Tribune says Holmgren's home farewell obscured the fact that the team still has one game remaining.

Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune laments the snowball-throwing fans at Qwest Field.