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Friday, January 28, 2011
Around the NFC West: Cards' candidates

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic says the Cardinals will not hire a defensive coordinator until after the Super Bowl. Coach Ken Whisenhunt: "I interviewed a couple of guys at the Senior Bowl and felt good about that. But there are guys on both teams I'm interested in talking to after the Super Bowl." Whisenhunt confirmed Todd Bowles' candidacy.

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com wonders which Green Bay assistants could appeal to Whisenhunt. Urban: "What is interesting will be who he might look at from Green Bay, since there has long been speculation on who he will target with the Steelers. The Packers run a 3-4. Does he try to talk to defensive line coach Mike Trgovac, who was a DC in Carolina for six seasons? Safeties coach Darren Perry, with whom Whisenhunt coached with in Pittsburgh? Assistant head coach Winston Moss? (These are just guesses, of course. We’ll see what happens after the Packers and Steelers actually play)."

Clare Farnsworth of seahawks.com checks in with general manager John Schneider for thoughts on how the Senior Bowl fits into draft-related analysis. Schneider reflected on what Ron Wolf told him years ago. Schneider: "He always used to say, 'An all-star game can only help somebody, it can’t hurt somebody.' Because really what you’re focusing on is how they played in the fall. Some of the biggest mistakes, just from a pure evaluation standpoint, that I have made have been from all-star games -- because the guy had a real nice week at the Senior Bowl. So I might have gone the other way, and not really truly stuck with my feelings on how I felt about him in the fall."

Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times has this to say about Seattle's search for quarterback help: "People are going to spend a lot of time talking about the four quarterbacks who are considered potential first-rounders, but Andy Dalton is one of two quarterbacks Seattle could be targeting later in the draft. The other is Christian Ponder from Florida State. Both of those QBs had great three days of practice. In fact, if you were going to evaluate the quarterback play strictly on the three days of practice, Ponder and Dalton performed more consistently than Jake Locker."

Doug Farrar of Sportspress Northwest wonders whether Ponder could be the right fit for Seattle's offense.

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Rams are deciding whether to raise ticket prices for 2011. Thomas: "In recent years, the Rams have ranked in the bottom third of the NFL in annual revenue. In terms of ticket prices, only seven NFL teams had lower prices than the Rams' per ticket average of $65.80 in 2010, according to a study by Team Marketing Report. In an unprecedented act since the franchise moved to St. Louis in 1995, the Rams lowered prices on about two-thirds of the seats in the Edward Jones Dome in 2010. Even so, the Rams struggled to meet sellout requirements all season, needing corporate help to get all eight home games on local television."

Nick Wagoner of stlouisrams.com continues his look back at the Rams' 2010 season.

David White of the San Francisco Chronicle checks in with former 49ers defensive coordinator Greg Manusky for thoughts on acquiring outside linebackers for a 3-4 defense. Manusky: "There's not enough to go around. It's getting harder to find those guys because there's so many more teams that want them. Some of these guys are going to get picked higher than they would have because the pool is getting limited. Teams will start reaching."

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee says the 49ers do not plan the type of roster overhaul Seattle made after changing over its coaching staff. General manager Trent Baalke: "We're still working through with the coaches exactly what they're looking for at each position. … But the systems on both sides of the ball should marry up very well with the personnel that we have now and the personnel that we've been looking for."