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Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Around the NFC West: McDaniels' hiring

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch thinks the Rams made a strong move in hiring Josh McDaniels as offensive coordinator. Miklasz: "I'm already tired of people whining about how this is a bad move based on McDaniels work in Denver as the head coach. Huh? The guy won't be the head coach here. He isn't the GM. McDaniels won't have the authority to make trades, cut players, set the roster. McDaniels is the Rams' offensive coordinator, period. He was the OC in New England and that seems to have worked out well, to say the least. He knew what his job was and stayed in it without straying into other areas. McDaniels was a bad head coach in Denver. And I would care about this if the Rams were bringing him in as head coach. But they are not doing that. Relax."

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch passes along comments from McDaniels regarding Sam Bradford and Steven Jackson. McDaniels on Bradford: "I'm looking forward certainly to working with everybody there. Sam's an extremely talented player. He's a very accurate guy. Does a lot of things in the pocket well. Does things out of the pocket well. We'll hope to take the things that he did well this year and try to build on 'em as he goes into his second year."

Steve Kelley of the Seattle Times says Jeremy Bates' firing as offensive coordinator kicked off what figures to be an offseason filled with surprises for the Seahawks. Kelley: "There is a disconnect between Pete Carroll's unvarnished postgame optimism following Sunday's smack-in-the-face at Chicago, and his actions the next day. Words won't fix the Seahawks. This building project Carroll inherited is going to take even more time than he thought. This offseason begins without an offensive coordinator, without a quarterback and with questions about players like right tackle Sean Locklear and center Chris Spencer."

Eric D. Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune offers thoughts on why Bates was let go. Williams, after covering on-field struggles: "A more likely scenario for Bates moving on is his gruff personality not jibing with the culture Carroll wants to create in Seattle. Carroll is looking for a fresh perspective and a coach more willing to champion his offensive philosophy of balance and a physical run game." Williams also notes that former Oakland Raiders coach Tom Cable found a "soft landing" in Seattle as the team's offensive line coach. Cable grew up in the Northwest and went to Snohomish High School.

Lowell Cohn of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat outlines complaints from Raiders owner Al Davis regarding the Seahawks' new offensive line coach. According to Davis, two women raised abuse allegations against Cable during the 2009 season. According to Davis, Cable would fly in women to be with him on the road before games. Cohn: "I’d like to pause here and let out a rip-roaring, 'Yippee!!!!!!!!!!' I drove to Alameda for the usual boring new coach intro and now I was into hotel sex -- I certainly don’t approve of the alleged abuse -- and I was into a steamy secret girlfriend hiding in the room and Cable flagrantly breaking the Raiders’ co-habitation clause. I also was into scandal. I mean, sportswriting never gets any better than this. Never." Davis makes harsh accusations, delivered with obvious malice. Cable will surely face additional questions about the matters.

John Morgan of Field Gulls thinks Green Bay's Joe Philbin and Houston's Rick Dennison could make sense as replacements for Bates given their coaching backgrounds. Hiring Cable as offensive line coach before hiring a coordinator makes it more important, in theory, for the team to find a coordinator with specific philosophical traits.

Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com updates 49ers coaching moves. Maiocco: "Ed Donatell, who spent last season as Denver Broncos secondary coach, will coach 49ers defensive backs, new Raiders coach Hue Jackson confirmed at his press conference Tuesday. Also, USC passing game coordinator and receivers coach John Morton has left USC to join Jim Harbaugh's coaching staff, said USC coach Lane Kiffin." Harbaugh is adding some experienced coaches to the defensive side. Vic Fangio and Donatell have been defensive coordinators in the NFL.

Also from Maiocco: a review of the 2010 49ers, beginning with a look at the defensive line. Maiocco: "In a 3-4 scheme, these guys do the dirty work. The 49ers ranked sixth in the NFL in rushing yards allowed per game. The opposition averaged 3.5 yards per rushing attempt. Only the Pittsburgh Steelers were better."

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee checks in with draft analyst Rob Rang for a look at quarterbacks the 49ers might consider in the middle rounds. Rang on Florida State's Christian Ponder: "He's smart and he played in a demanding offensive system for the Seminoles. He doesn't have the arm strength of Ryan Mallett or the athleticism of Cam Newton, but he has just enough of each. He also has a long injury history and suffered a concussion that knocked him out of FSU's bowl game."

Eric Branch of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat updates 49ers coaching hires, noting that former coach Mike Singletary has officially become linebackers coach for the Vikings.

The Phoenix Business Journal says the Cardinals plan to send out renewal notices for season tickets next month, before a potential lockout. The story notes: "The Cards kept most season ticket prices the same for the 2010 season and cut some prices. Cards season tickets ran $25 to $112.50 this season for non-club seats. That excluded a $5.25 per game ticket charge by University of Phoenix Stadium. While demand for ticket may be diminished by a possible lockout, the Cardinals do have home games against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Dallas Cowboys, Cleveland Browns and New York Giants. Those teams all have transplant fans in the Valley and region which will help demand."