Thanks to those who kept the latest NFC West chat moving. Full transcript here. Highlights below:
Keith H (Seattle): Good morning, Mike. The 12th Man is getting disgruntled with Ruskell in the GM role and judging by the comments from Steve Kelley's column in the Times, it appears a growing number are ready to bring back The Big Show as the new GM. Your thoughts?
Mike Sando: Ah, yes, the glory days of Mike Holmgren as general manager. I remember them well. People thought he was arrogant and condescending when he offered "trust me" as his defense for a few down seasons. Look, I have tremendous respect for Mike Holmgren and his accomplishments, but people sure have short memories. I would wager that fans were more upset with Holmgren in 2002 than they are with Tim Ruskell right now. But when people look back on the Holmgren era, they think everything was ... P-E-R-F-E-C-T.
Rex Hughes (Pullman, WA): Sando, what are the Rams' plans at QB going forward? I mean they can't possibly continue with Jabba the Bulger, can they?
Mike Sando: Marc Bulger played pretty well against the Saints. I am not convinced they absolutely, positively need to make a change there. I've always though Bulger was pretty good when he had a good supporting cast. The question was whether he could recover from all the pounding he has taken. A strong finish to this season would put the Rams in good position to address other need areas.
Mike (Mill Creek, WA): It's clear on my 52" 1080p LCD HDTV what Dockett did to Hasselbeck last week. I never thought of Dockett as a dirty player. Do you believe it was intentional, and if so, what would be a reason? I don't believe Hasselbeck ever said anything bad toward him.
Mike Sando: I do believe it was intentional and I think it was more to send a message than to injure. He clearly could have done a lot more damage had he wanted to injure Matt Hasselbeck. This was one of those moves players make to set a tone and intimidate opponents. Frankly, the Seahawks need to walk that line a little more closely. Aaron Curry walked the edge early in the season. Why are the Seahawks always the ones complaining about how Darnell Dockett or E.J. Henderson or Adrian Wilson took a shot at them? Seems to me the Seahawks need to establish an edge of their own.
Tou Vang (Wisconsin): Mike, (insert awesome compliments on your blog here). Is it time to fire Jimmy Raye? He clearly isn't getting the results the Niners need, even with improved play from the o-line and Michael Crabtree. It just seems they're making all the excuses (in a no-excuse game) except for the one that makes the most sense: the play-calling.
Mike Sando: Fire Jimmy Raye entering Week 11? No way. That would set back the 49ers even more than they've already been set back while changing coordinators every offseason. I do think Mike Singletary's choice for that role was the most important hiring decision he could make. I am not yet convinced he made the right choice, but I am convinced making another chance prematurely would be the wrong one.
That Cardinals item was more of a Seahawks-Cardinals item, but I wanted to hit on that subject here.