St. Louis Rams: Pete Carroll

NFLN survey/popular coach: Rams

January, 28, 2014
Jan 28
ST. LOUIS -- All but three coaches received votes in the NFL Nation survey question "Which head coach would you most like to play for?"

That means that of the 320 players surveyed, 29 of 32 coaches were mentioned by name. Seattle coach Pete Carroll was named the most, claiming 22.5 percent of the vote.

Rams fans probably wretch at the thought of playing for Carroll or, really, anything involving the Seahawks leader. But it's understandable why players would want to play for him. Carroll has quickly elevated the Seahawks to the top of the league's toughest division and has a knack for doing it while having fun.

Of course, Rams fans would also argue Carroll is a bit too lax in light of some of the suspensions the Seahawks have dealt with. Carroll is pretty open and allows his players enough leash to have a good time while still winning.

Rams coach Jeff Fisher's name didn't pop up in the top 10 but you'd be hard-pressed to find a player that doesn't like playing for him. Fisher, who got seven votes, is decidedly a players' coach and knows when to pull up the reins on practice length and times. His "sleep in" Thursday is a tradition his players especially love.

Of course, Fisher also hasn't enjoyed the success of a coach like Carroll in recent years. The common tie among the top 10 on the list is a recent history of playoff appearances and success. If Fisher had more of that, he'd likely be higher on this list.

Final 2013 preseason QB snap counts

August, 30, 2013
Six projected starting quarterbacks played in their teams' final exhibition games of the 2013 preseason. The Seattle Seahawks' Russell Wilson and the San Francisco 49ers' Colin Kaepernick were two of them, and both led touchdown drives before exiting after one series. None of the NFL's projected starters got hurt Thursday night.

The chart shows week-by-week snap counts for quarterbacks I singled out as projected starters heading into preseason. NFC West alums Kevin Kolb and Matt Flynn might not start after all, but I've left them in the chart for context.

St. Louis Rams coach Jeff Fisher has generally played starters in the final preseason game. He did not this time.

"Typically I have, but I guess in the new world that we’re in, it’s hard to," Fisher told reporters after the Rams' game against Baltimore. "What that implies is that I'm pleased with where they are right now, those guys that sat. They worked hard. We got a great workout and it allowed them to fast-forward their minds to Arizona."

Fisher could have been alluding to the run of higher-profile injuries around the league this summer. Last year, the Rams lost rookie defensive tackle Michael Brockers to a high-ankle sprain in the final preseason game.

The Rams emerged from this preseason healthier than their division rivals. That did not stop the 49ers from playing their offensive starters or the Seahawks from playing starters on both sides of the ball Thursday night. The Arizona Cardinals rested most of their starters, though Michael Floyd was one notable exception.

San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh offered no explanation for playing his starting offense one series. Kaepernick hadn't gotten many snaps through the first three games, however. Getting additional reps for Kaepernick and the team's group of emerging receivers made some sense on the surface.

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll went into the final preseason game saying he wanted starters to play because the team values this games as competitive opportunities.