Around the NFC West: Haslett's future
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says Jim Haslett has a plan to fix the Rams in one offseason, but it's unclear whether the team will indulge him.
Also from Thomas: A scouting report giving the Rams an edge over Seattle when St. Louis passes the ball.
Bryan Burwell of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says Haslett is the right man for the job, even though he might not be a popular choice. Burwell blames executive John Shaw for getting the Rams into their current mess, one reason he thinks Shaw should have no input in naming the next head coach.
Bill Coats of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch quotes Seattle players complaining about Richie Incognito's allegedly dirty tactics.Steve Korte of the Belleville News-Democrat quotes Rams cornerback Ron Bartell as saying he wouldn't buy a ticket to the Seahawks-Rams game.
Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic says the Cardinals have avoided serious injuries, one reason the team was able to clinch the NFC West title so early.
Mike Tulumello of the East Valley Tribune says the Cardinals want the third seed in the NFC playoff race. Coach Ken Whisenhunt: "History dictates the higher seeds have a better chance in the playoffs." Except for the time Whisenhunt and the sixth-seeded Steelers won the Super Bowl.
Darren Urban of azcardinals.com quotes Kurt Warner as saying the Cardinals can't be content winning a division title. Warner: "It will take some time to convince guys who haven't been here before that this isn't the pinnacle."
John Crumpacker of the San Francisco Chronicle looks at how the 49ers plan to block Dolphins pass-rusher Joey Porter. Offensive line coach Chris Foerster: "Hopefully, we can win our share of one-on-ones and get help when we need it."
Also from Crumpacker: A look at key matchups, including the one between the 49ers' Justin Smith and the Dolphins' Jake Long.
Kevin Lynch of Niner Insider says the Dolphins' defense might be most vulnerable through the air. That was certainly the case when Miami faced the Cardinals in Week 2.
Daniel Brown of the San Jose Mercury News says running back DeShaun Foster is unusually fresh for this late in the season. He'll finally get extensive work now that Frank Gore is injured.
Also from Brown: Niners linebacker Patrick Willis appreciates the team's new approach to offense. San Francisco possessed the ball for nearly 40 minutes against the Jets in Week 14.
Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee says the 49ers are in no rush to hire Mike Singletary as coach beyond this season, in part because rules prevent them from doing so.
Also from Barrows: A scouting report noting that the Dolphins lead the NFL in turnover differential, having surrendered only four fumbles and six interceptions.
Jose Romero of the Seattle Times says the Seahawks hope to beat the Rams for an eighth consecutive time. The Rams blitzed Seattle frequently when the teams met previously this season.
Also from Romero: A scouting report suggesting Seattle should be able to end its six-game losing streak. Deion Branch, coming off a breakout game against New England, had five catches for 92 yards and a touchdown in the Edward Jones Dome last season.
Doug Farrar of Field Gulls takes an initial look at Sean Locklear's prognosis at left tackle. The final three games give Locklear a chance to show whether he can play effectively on that side.
Frank Hughes of the Tacoma News Tribune says the Seahawks' patchwork offensive line is looking for another better-than-expected performance. Floyd Womack has played particularly well.
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