Around the NFC West: Missed opportunities

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic looks back at opportunities the Cardinals missed the last time they faced the Panthers.

Also from Somers: The Cardinals are embracing the underdog role heading to Carolina.

More from Somers: Anquan Boldin's injury status remains unclear.

Still more from Somers: Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum is headed to Arizona to interview Cardinals assistant coach Russ Grimm.

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com revisits the Cardinals' final possession against the Falcons. Offensive coordinator Todd Haley had long since decided against a conservative approach in that situation.

Chrissy Mauck of 49ers.com wonders what lies ahead for 49ers receiver Bryant Johnson, who is scheduled to become a free agent. A hamstring injury derailed Johnson in 2008.

Ron Kroichick of the San Francisco Chronicle says Ted Robinson is eager to become the 49ers' radio play-by-play announcer in part because the job requires less travel. Known for his versatility, Robinson will have a chance to dive deeper into the NFL than he has in the past.

Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat says the 49ers have benefited from coaching at the Senior Bowl in past years, but they won't get the chance in 2009.

Also from Maiocco: Robinson appreciates the fact that radio play-by-play announcers connect with fans of a team.

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee takes a closer look at Scott Linehan as a candidate to become the 49ers' offensive coordinator. The fit appears right on the surface.

Ann Killion of the San Jose Mercury News says the 49ers need to hire Tom Rathman for their offensive staff. She says Rathman makes sense for the 49ers because he represents a smashmouth style with ties to the Bill Walsh era.

Clare Farnsworth of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer says the Seahawks expect to receive permission from the Bucs to interview Tampa Bay linebackers coach Gus Bradley.

Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times says Bradley came to the Bucs more than two years after current Seahawks president Tim Ruskell left the organization.

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune wonders if the Seahawks can regain their edge in the NFC West. Arizona has won four of the last five games between the teams.

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch looks at Vikings defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier's candidacy to become Rams coach. He also checks in with Cowboys assistant Ray Sherman, who says the Rams are in position for a quick turnaround.

Bryan Burwell of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Rams will conduct a respectable coaching search now that they have football people asking the tough questions. But with big-name candidates apparently unavailable, the Rams are likely to hire a lesser-known coach.