NFC West: Marc Trestman

Which new coaches NFC West will face

January, 16, 2013
1/16/13
3:37
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NFL teams have filled six of eight head-coaching vacancies now that Chip Kelly has landed in Philadelphia as the Eagles' replacement for Andy Reid.

A quick run through NFC West opponents for 2013 shows relatively few games against teams with first-year head coaches.

Every team in the division faces Jacksonville. That could be interesting if Jaguars general manager David Caldwell hires San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman, his former college teammate and roommate.

Arizona faces the Eagles on the road this season. San Francisco, Seattle and St. Louis will of course face the Cardinals, who have yet to hire a replacement for Ken Whisenhunt.

Buffalo (Doug Marrone), Chicago (Marc Trestman), Cleveland (Rob Chudzinski), Kansas City (Andy Reid), Philadelphia (Kelly) and San Diego (Mike McCoy) have hired offensive-minded head coaches. I think the Cardinals have intended to do the same. And if Roman emerges as the choice in Jacksonville, there's strong potential for all eight first-year coaches coming from the offensive side of the ball.

Around the NFC West: Seismic matters

January, 11, 2011
1/11/11
9:13
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Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times passes along a Seismograph showing seismic activity associated with fan reaction during Marshawn Lynch's 67-yard touchdown run Saturday. More here.

Also from O'Neil: The Seahawks expect middle linebacker Lofa Tatupu to practice this week after suffering a concussion Saturday.

Clare Farnsworth of seahawks.com checks in with Matt Hasselbeck, who says Lance Briggs' absence from Seattle's Week 6 victory at Soldier Field was a big deal. Hasselbeck: "He’s huge. He’s arguably one of the best defensive players in the game. I think he’s a great player. Going into that game, we fully expected him to play. He didn’t play, and that was a big deal. So for us to sit back and say, ‘Oh hey, we beat them at their place. We can do it again,’ that would be a dangerous way to feel. Because Lance Briggs did not play in that game. He is a big, big-time difference-maker and a great football player."

Also from Farnsworth: Hasselbeck "abhorred" missing the Week 17 game against St. Louis.

Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune says Hasselbeck rescued his Seattle legacy with a four-touchdown performance against the Saints.

Eric D. Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune says the Seahawks' return trip to Chicago carries different circumstances.

Also from Williams: He passes along Brian McIntyre's weekly Seahawks personnel report.

Doug Farrar of Sportspress Northwest looks at how Pete Carroll has changed since his last stint as an NFL head coach.

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic says the Cardinals might have no shot at hiring the Steelers' Keith Butler as their defensive coordinator. Somers: "After the 2009 season, Butler turned down an offer to become the Dolphins' defensive coordinator. According to the Post-Gazette, Butler and the Steelers agreed then to contract language that identifies Butler as 'the coordinator in waiting' for when Dick LeBeau decides to retire." The 49ers' Greg Manusky could be a candidate, but he might have options elsewhere, including at San Diego if Ron Rivera leaves, or at Dallas.

Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says the Cardinals have not asked for permission to speak with Butler.

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com updates the Cardinals' search for a defensive coordinator. Urban: "(Ken) Whisenhunt has not said whether a coach’s background on scheme impacts the hire, although the Steelers do run a 3-4 look like the Cardinals. It also seems unlikely to make a significant scheme change in an offseason that could be drastically shortened or even lost because of labor problems and a lockout."

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch sees no likely in-house candidates to replace Pat Shurmur if the Rams' offensive coordinator becomes head coach of the Browns. Thomas: "Should Shurmur end up with the Cleveland job, the Rams don't appear to have any logical replacements for the coordinator's job in-house. Assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach Dick Curl hasn't been a coordinator since 1997 with the Barcelona Dragons of NFL Europe. Wide receivers coach Nolan Cromwell was an offensive coordinator on the college level, but for just two seasons at Texas A&M. He does, however, have a background in the West Coast system, having been wide receivers coach for Holmgren both in Seattle and Green Bay. Running backs coach Sylvester Croom was offensive coordinator for Detroit, but that was 10 years ago-plus (1997-2000)."

Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com updates the 49ers' efforts to hire a coaching staff. Manusky has permission to pursue other jobs. Vic Fangio could have opportunities elsewhere, including at Stanford. Maiocco: "Fangio served as an NFL defensive coordinator for 11 seasons. But Fangio might also be a candidate to replace Harbaugh as Stanford head coach after top candidate Chris Petersen announced he will remain at Boise State." ESPN's John Clayton has mentioned former 49ers assistant Marc Trestman as a person Harbaugh has contacted about possibly becoming offensive coordinator.

Also from Maiocco: a look at how a lockout could affect player personnel for the 49ers. Maiocco: "The only contracts that can be signed before March 3 are extensions. That is, a team can sign a player on its current roster to a new deal. So, the 49ers are allowed to work out contracts with their own scheduled free agents, such as David Baas, Aubrayo Franklin, Manny Lawson, Dashon Goldson and others. (Remember, there was no NFL salary cap in 2010, and there are no indications that one will come back in the future.)"

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee says it's likely the 49ers would want to retain offensive line coach Mike Solari, running backs coach Tom Rathman and defensive line coach Jim Tomsula.

The 49ers' website passes along an interview transcript featuring linebacker Keaton Kristick.

Eric Branch of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat previews a potential national broadcast featuring Harbaugh against his brother.

Daniel Brown of the San Jose Mercury News links to bios for Harbaugh's coaches at Stanford.
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

An editor asked me recently whether I'd like to schedule mailbag columns for a certain day each week. My thought: Why limit them to a single day? Interacting with passionate NFL fans is one of the highlights of blogging for me. I've been in your shoes. I've been a die-hard fan thirsting for information and insight from people lucky enough to enjoy access.

I grew up following the Rams in the 1970s before getting hooked on the Raiders through the 1980s and well into the 1990s. I've been a season-ticket holder who flew to games from two states away to watch his team get pummeled in the pouring rain. Walking out of that stadium a loser hurts, but you keep coming back because it's what real fans do.

Covering sports for a living takes the fan out of you, no question. I have great memories of the players I enjoyed watching years ago, but the loyalties to any one team are long gone. The loyalty I feel now is to all the fans who can't get enough. With that in mind, let's dive into our first NFC West mailbag, dominated by 49ers fans sick of watching their team wallow in sub-mediocrity.

(Read full post)

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