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Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Around the NFC West: Carroll on Harbaugh

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee checks in with Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, who says he has no beef with new 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh, counter to perceptions lingering from their time together in the Pac-10. Specifically, Harbaugh's Stanford team went for a two-point conversion while blowing out Carroll's USC team, leading to a postgame exchange in which Carroll was heard to ask, "What's your deal?" Harbaugh supposedly threw the question right back at Carroll. Carroll: "You'll have to talk to Jim about that. I don't know anything about it. I don't care about it. It means nothing to me. That meant nothing to me. The other coaches get to do whatever they want, and I don't hold anything against them. I'm not one of those guys who is looking for issues with guys. They can do whatever they want to. I don't even remember the circumstances other than we were getting our butts kicked. Other than that, I don't know."

Also from Barrows: Mike Singletary's thoughts on the importance of head coaches having first served as coordinators. Singletary: "I'd be willing to sit down with anybody and talk X's and O's on both sides of the ball. As a matter of fact, I've talked to a number of coordinators, and kind of helped them in some areas. In terms of criticisms and all those other things, it doesn't matter. People can say what they want to say. I just think it's important to move forward in the journey that I'm on. And in the meantime, someone should study the coaches in the league that aren't coordinators, haven't been coordinators. I think some of them have done pretty well." Andy Reid and Tom Coughlin never served as coordinators at the NFL level. Coughlin was a coordinator at Syracuse. Jack Del Rio was an NFL coordinator for one season.

Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com checks in with Singletary, who agrees with Jed York's comments about Singletary and top personnel man Trent Baalke not meshing very well. Singletary: "I will take credit for all of that. That's something that's on me. He's exactly right. And that's something that Jed knew last year. But Trent did a good job and for me it's just a matter of some people you mesh with, and others you don't. I just look at it as one of those things that sometimes it's there, sometimes it's not."

Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times says the Seahawks' late push knocked down their draft stock enough to possibly prevent them from targeting a top pass-rusher in the first round of the 2011 NFL draft. O'Neil: "The good news? This is a draft where there are a number of players Seattle may be able to find to plug into that five-technique spot now designated for big-bodied run-stuffers in the mold of Red Bryant. Jarvis Jenkins of Clemson could fit that mold. He's 6-4, 309 pounds and here at the Senior Bowl."

Also from O'Neil: Carroll points to the "balanced" offense Darrell Bevell called for Minnesota as one reason he's excited to have Bevell as his offensive coordinator. Of course, balance is a little easier to come by when Adrian Peterson is your running back and your offensive line features more than two legitimate NFL starters. Carroll on the fit between Bevell and new line coach Tom Cable: "The scheme that he has been in is one that connects perfectly with Tom. They have the same background, schematically and all that, so they'll have harmony from the beginning, communications and terminology and all that kind of stuff. He's aggressive, his mentality about how he likes to go after it and call plays. I think he's a great fit for us."

Bob McManaman of the Arizona Republic checks in with former Cardinals quarterback Neil Lomax, who says he's enjoying life despite continuing trouble with the hip he injured badly. Lomax on the Jay Cutler situation: "Knowing what I know about Jay Cutler, he would have played if they had given him clearance and he was healthy enough to play. Who's in his shoes? Nobody can say. He took that team to the NFC Championship Game -- he did -- and now he's going to turn his back on those guys? No. His own coach, Lovie Smith, said he was hurt. That's good enough for me."

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com notes that before this postseason, Arizona was the last team Pittsburgh and Green Bay played during the playoffs.

The Phoenix Business Journal says Larry Fitzgerald gave away Pro Bowl travel packages to lucky fans.

Aaron Wilson of National Football Post says Dolphins assistant Todd Bowles impressed Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt during an interview for the vacant defensive coordinator position.

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says during a chat that he thinks the Rams will work out something with safety Oshiomogho Atogwe. Thomas: "Atogwe's bonus actually is due on Feb. 21, so it's coming up quickly. Maybe the Rams can renegotiate how the $8 million is paid, or even ask Atogwe to take less than the $8 million. But with several holes elsewhere, it's hard to imagine the team creating another one by releasing Atogwe unless they're confident they can re-sign him anyway." The Rams have been through this before. The last time Atogwe hit the market, he didn't have many options. No teams brought him in for a visit, to my knowledge. I would think the Rams would be able to work out something amenable to both sides.

Nick Wagoner of stlouisrams.com revisits the first four games of the Rams' 2010 season.