As you can imagine, the NFC West news is dominated by two topics. The St. Louis Rams are looking for a coach and Jeff Fisher is the biggest name, while another name -- Todd Bowles -- I think would be a very interesting fit, although it looks like he is on the list to fulfill the Rooney Rule that requires a minority candidate be interviewed. There is an interesting comparison between Marshawn Lynch and Shaun Alexander and the Niners blog asks its readers what team they would prefer the team play in the playoffs.
Read on and read the ones that interest you the most.
While there is hopefully a whole lot of playoff football still to be enjoyed, there is enough on the business of things worth discussing as we plow through the bye week. I'm actually convinced the playoff bye week will feel much longer than the mid-season bye week. It may in fact never end. There's your optimism for you!
I hate to forgo my excitement regarding the 49ers playoff status but I want to get down to brass tax and open up discussion on the biggest question on my mind -- 'Who would I prefer the 49ers host at Candlestick in the divisional playoff round?'
We break down the news of David Akers being named Week 17 NFC special teams player of the week.
While we get to enjoy the start of the 2012 NFL Playoffs, the St. Louis Rams have quickly begun the process of searching for a new coach and general manager. A day after wrapping up a 2-14 season, the Rams fired head coach Steve Spagnuolo and his entire coaching staff and also canned general manager Billy Devaney. The Rams seemed to be on the return to relevance last season when they finished 7-9. However, things went south quickly as injuries and inconsistency ravaged the Rams. In Spagnuolo's three seasons as head coach, the Rams were 10-38.
This officially qualifies as dated information, but I definitely wanted to get a post up with a rundown of the 49ers 2012 list of opponents. We had a pretty solid idea of the opponents back in mid-December, but now we have the specifics, as well as some clarification on the rotation of home and away games.
The 49ers have worked their way to 13-3 without revealing a whole lot of strategy in chatting with the media. Coach Harbaugh is turning non-answers into an art form and the rest of the staff follows suit for the most part. DC Vic Fangio and OC Greg Roman will sometimes provide a little more detail in their weekly press conferences, but for the most part they are all strong believers in the old adage, "Loose lips sink ships."
I wanted to write this article shortly after the game against the Bears in which Marshawn Lynch had broken the record for most consecutive games with a touchdown, once held by Shaun Alexander. As luck would have it, I couldn't get around to it until after the Week 16 game against the Niners in which Lynch ended both their streak of zero rushing touchdowns allowed this season, and games without a 100-yard rusher dating back to 2009.
First, if you haven't already, please go back and read parts one, two, and three. After you've done that, please stare at the attached chart for a minute or so. After you do that and get frustrated, I will walk you through what it means. This spreadsheet shows a nameless, faceless 53-man roster. It is a pretty fair representation of the Green Bay model I've talked about in parts one-three. It is broken up by Draft Year or Years of accumulated experience in the NFL. A Year 1 player would be a 2011 NFL Rookie, Year 2 refers to the class of players that was a Drafted Rookie in 2010, Year 5 Players were Drafted and a Rookie in 2007. A Year 9+ Player would be any player drafted in 2003 or prior. (I have a Seahawks chart of this with real player names coming soon in a future article in this series).
St. Louis Rams:
It's been about 48 hours since the St. Louis Rams fired head coach Steve Spagnuolo and GM Billy Devaney. Since those firings and the Monday afternoon press conference from Rams COO Kevin Demoff, it's been quiet. Naturally, the rumor mill has filled the vacuum, and the name that keeps coming up in connection with the Rams is Jeff Fisher.
Rams Express Interest In Todd Bowles For Head Coaching Job - Turf Show Times
The St. Louis Rams have expressed interest in Todd Bowles, according to Jim Thomas of the Post-Dispatch. Bowles is currently serving as the interim head coach of the Miami Dolphins. He joins Jeff Fisher as the only other candidate the Rams are known to have interest in at this point in the process.
2012 NFL Mock Draft: Justin Blackmon, Matt Kalil Or Trade - Turf Show Times
It's very possible the Rams will at look at USC OT Matt Kalil here. However, they have invested a ton of money on the offensive line in recent years and getting a big-play receiver for quarterback Sam Bradford and then looking to fix the offensive line later on might be a better play.
Report: Miami Dolphins Favorites To Land Jeff Fisher - Turf Show Times
The Miami Dolphins interviewed Jeff Fisher yesterday for their head coaching vacancy. According to Mike Silver at Yahoo Sports, the Dolphins are now the favorites to land Fisher, the biggest name in the coaching market at the moment. Silver's report also says that the Rams are interviewing Fisher on Wednesday and Thursday, but the team has not confirmed that report
NFL Head Coaching Candidates: Mike Sherman - Turf Show Times
There have been many names linked to the St. Louis Rams' head coaching search. Among those names have been the likes of Jon Gruden and Jeff Fisher, both proven NFL head coaches. Ryan recently reported that the brass at Rams Park are also interested in Miami's Todd Bowles. Another name that has been tossed out there has been Mike Sherman. Here's a quick look at his credentials:
Jeff Fisher Rumors: It's Between The Dolphins And The Rams; Miami Says It Won't Be Outbid - Turf Show Times
The Jeff Fisher rumors are blocking out the sun for anyone else trying to squeeze into the rumor mill this week. The latest and greatest on Fisher is two-fold. First, Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald is reporting that the Dolphins will not be outbid for Fisher. Adam Schefter at ESPN cites league sources who say that it's either the St. Louis Rams or the Dolphins that will land Fisher, with the Rams having an edge.
Rams Request Permission To Interview Eric DeCosta, Ravens Director Of Player Personnel, For GM Position - Turf Show Times
The St. Louis Rams have requested permission to interview Eric DeCosta, the Baltimore Ravens Director of Player Personnel, according to Pro Football Talk. DeCosta would be interviewing for the team's General Manager position, vacant following the firing of Billy Devaney. If true, this would be the first confirmed candidate for the Rams' GM job.