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1-10-12 Around The NFC West: 49ers Vs. Saints Prep, Matt Flynn, Jay Gruden

Here are the links from around the rest of the NFC West. The San Francisco 49ers prepare for the Saints and you can see a lot of breakdowns of who needs to step up and what stats will be important. The Seattle Seahawks don't have much going on still, so their team blog looks back at the season and also looks more at Matt Flynn. Flynn could be the Kevin Kolb of the offseason. As for the St. Louis Rams, there is not much about Jeff Fisher, but Jay Gruden becomes a topic.

The links are after the the ones you want. Or don't. Whatever.

San Francisco 49ers:

49ers Vs. Saints: A Prospector's Guide - Niners Nation
We break down some pertinent stats and the historical series between the 49ers and Saints.

49ers Vs. Saints: Dealing With The Blitz - Niners Nation
The 49ers and Saints squared off at the start of the preseason and the big story was how much the Saints defense blitzed. Alex Smith spent a sizable portion of his time in the game struggling to avoid the onslaught of blitzes. The story that creeped out was something to do with Sean Payton being displeased by Jim Harbaugh's failure to call him about setting up some sort of gentleman's agreement regarding some of the ground rules.

Why The 49ers Are Going to Shock The World Saturday - Niners Nation
The talk of the town is the New Orleans Saints and that high-flying circus offense they boast. However, I believe a rough and tumble 49er defense will subdue and contain the efforts from Drew Brees and company. After examining the Saints' 2011 regular season schedule, one could convincingly argue that the New Orleans didn't face an elite defense all season. The Saints are also going to be a long way from dome.

49ers vs. Saints: One Player in Particular Who Must Have a Great Game - Niners Nation
As the game against the Saints approaches we hear the predictable discussion surrounding Drew Brees and the New Orleans passing game. It's no surprise, Brees broke several NFL records (completion%, passing yards) this season and anyone can see he is a masterful thrower of ye old pigskin.

49ers Vs. Saints: Vic Fangio, Patrick Willis, Michael Crabtree To Chat With Media - Niners Nation
We break down what to expect from 49ers players chatting with the media and how they might handle the build-up to Sunday's playoff game.

49ers Vs. Saints: Drew Brees Is Gonna Need To Feel 99 Problems - Niners Nation
The 49ers face numerous challenges against the New Orleans Saints this Saturday, with Drew Brees and his band of merry men topping the list. Even if the grass slows down the Saints attack to some extent, it is still an incredibly tough offense to contain. The Saints have numerous weapons up and down the roster and will find ways to mix and match their skill position players all around the field.

49ers Vs. Saints, 2012 NFL Playoffs: Delanie Walker Could Be Cleared By Monday - Niners Nation
This should not come as a huge surprise, but it has just about become all but certain that tight end Delanie Walker will not play this Saturday against the New Orleans Saints. Walker broke his jaw in Week 16 against the Seahawks and was on a liquid diet for a week and a half after that. There is some optimism that Walker could be cleared to return to practice this coming Monday if the 49ers are able to win on Saturday.

49ers Vs. Saints: Alex Smith, Michael Crabtree Chat With The Media - Niners Nation
Playoff week means extra media attention, which has led tot the 49ers providing more players to the media for organized press conferences. Alex Smith and Michael Crabtree were two of the players involved today and I've posted their transcripts after the jump. One of the highlight quotes comes from Crabtree who spoke about getting Coach Harbaugh a Jordan sweatsuit for his birthday.

January 10, 2012: The Thirtieth Anniversary Of The Catch - Niners Nation
We provide video of The Catch.

Seattle Seahawks:

Matt Flynn on Tape Part I - Field Gulls
I skipped New England & preseason; the Patriots are too star-making a pass defense and preseason doesn't face game plans & starters. There are already difficult, inseparable factors in scouting Flynn that can easily mislead, for example the Packers offense, or the situation vs. Detroit, which was meaningful for the Lions but not Green Bay. So I'm glad Thomas put forth such an in depth and diligent study on those games. I'll be interested to see how our notes on the Lions game differ.

The Seattle Seahawks 2011 Season: A Look Back at the Offense - Field Gulls
As I wrote about yesterday, the Seahawks' offense from 2011 left something to be desired. This sentiment, really, has been described by pretty much every Seahawks' writer since the end of the season. The storylines are all pretty similar- a slow start, the line 'gelled,' Marshawn Lynch started to do his thang, and towards the end of the season, things were looking up. Beast mode's arrival was the signal that the Seahawks had undergone an identity change.

The Seahawks 2011 Season: Penalty Review, Week 1 - Field Gulls
by this point I'm sick and bloody tired of this game and that ratty old nasty stadium. I'm honestly looking forward to the next game, and that's really saying something. In the next installment of the series, I'll include a running tally of cumulative total penalties, penalties accepted, players penalized, total penalty yards, and all that sort of good stuff.

Matt Flynn on Tape Part II - Field Gulls
If you saw the game, this GB-DET matchup, saw the highlights, or heard the news that put Flynn's name in the QB prospect discussion for needy teams from, "Don't forget Matt Flynn," to, "If you're picking 3rd or lower, maybe you should first look at Matt Flynn" -- if you know about the game, you know it got markedly better.

Seattle Seahawks: Don't Be the Bucs Part 2. Say Goodbye to Yesterday. - Field Gulls
There's the plan that you should follow and the plan that fails miserably that you should learn from. If Christopher Nolan is hired to do his own Batman trilogy, a well-established franchise that has seen both success and failure, he can use the original Batman as a guide to what works and use George Clooney's nipples as a guide to what does not.

St. Louis Rams:

Rams Interview Ryan Grigson For GM Job, A Closer Look At His Resume - Turf Show Times
The St. Louis Rams took the first step toward finding a new occupant for the GM's office at Rams Park. Known to be interested in eight men, Ryan Grigson, the Eagles' Director of Player Personnel, is the first to get an interview, visiting the building that the universe forgot on Monday. Grigson, 39, passes muster as one of the league's up and comers, a rising star ready to attach a more prominent set of nouns to his business card.

Rams Request Permission To Interview Jay Gruden For Head Coaching Position - Turf Show Times
Jeff Fisher is still thinking about his coaching options, but both teams, the Miami Dolphins and the St. Louis Rams, are proceeding with backup plans. Bernie Miklasz reported on his 101 ESPN radio show today that the Rams have requested permission to interview Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden.

What the Next Head Coach of the Rams Needs to Have Learned From the BCS Championship - Turf Show Times
Last night, the football-watching world was treated to a painful exhibition of one team's absolutely terrifying delivery of defensive power. It was also forced to watch LSU's floundering offense drown in a pool of 260-pound linebackers and an adherence to a gameplan that stopped working before the game started.

Jay Gruden Will Not Interview For Head Coaching Jobs - Turf Show Times
Scratch another one off the list for the St. Louis Rams. Cincinnati offensive coordinator Jay Gruden says that he will not interview for head coaching vacancies for the 2012 season, according to Jason LaCanfora of the NFL Network. The Rams and the Jacksonville Jaguars had expressed interest in interviewing Gruden.2012 NFL Mock Draft:

Robert Griffin III Is Going Pro, Let The Trade Talk Begin - Turf Show Times

The St. Louis Rams got some good news today, albeit news that was widely expected. According to Chris Mortensen of ESPN, Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III will inform his coach at Baylor of his intention to head to the NFL this year.

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