NFC Notes: 49ers, Cardinals, Rams



Part of what makes the Seahawks and 49ers two of the top teams in the NFL is the leadership from their head coaches — Pete Carroll in Seattle and Kyle Shanahan in San Francisco. 49ers CB Richard Sherman has played for both coaches and he says while both have their differences, both have great interpersonal skills. 

“(Carroll) has a way of coaching, a way of talking to his coaches, a way of having his coaches talk to his players. They don’t do the whole rah-rah, curse-you-out style. He would never hire a coach like that,” Sherman said via NFL Media’s Jim Trotter. “Kyle is similar in that he has a philosophy of the best man plays. He doesn’t care about your draft position or any of that. He’s more of a straight shooter than Pete. Pete has a way of making sure everybody feels good, making sure he pushes buttons with certain players and not pushing buttons on other players. Kyle is different. He’s one size fits all.”

Carroll and Shanahan have most of their football expertise on opposite sides of the ball but from a tactical standpoint, Sherman says they are two of the best football minds he’s worked with. 

“Kyle is one of the best offensive minds we’ve ever had in this game. That comes into it,” Sherman said. “With Pete, it’s the Cover 3 he brought to the league. It seems so simple, but nobody can run it like we ran it. The way both of them implement what they do — they talk to others on a personal level, then have the great coaches around them who believe in their philosophy.”


Cardinals LT D.J. Humphries believes their offensive line unit is far better than they’re given credit for.

“Turn on the film,” Humphries said, via “The gist around our building for awhile has been that the reason our offense was doing (well) was the offensive line. It’s going to take a couple years of proving people wrong to realize it is what it is. We were in the top-5 in most of the rushing categories. You talk about the progression from the year before last to last year, just tell them to turn on the film, and watch it from Week 1 to Week 17. They’ll see the progression.”

Arizona enters the 2020 season with a year in HC Kliff Kingsbury’s system and more continuity to build off of.

We were so locked in on every small detail, because it got to the point where the O-line wasn’t expecting me to have a mental error, so I knew I couldn’t mess up,” Humphries said. “The way we trusted each other, we depended on each other, the way we didn’t want to let each other down, it became infectious. I think it’s something we’re going to be able to hang our hat on going forward.


At the age of 34, Rams HC Sean McVay has coached players younger than him at times. And with most coaches going into their 60s, McVay has a long career ahead of him if he wants. But one of the NFL’s brightest coaching minds says keeping himself fresh and avoiding burnout is one of the things that stays at the top of his mind. 

“Yeah, absolutely it is,” McVay said in an interview with Sports Illustrated, via USA Today’s Cameron DaSilva. “That’s something that I do need to be aware of because if you’re not careful — I just know the way that I’m going at it, you’re like, realistically, this isn’t the right way to do it, but you’re such a grinder and it’s kind of being able to step back, being still is going to be a key thing. And I am confident that we’ll be able to achieve a better balance and will lead to more sustainability moving forward.”

McVay explained that life priorities can shift over time and it’s important to have balance in life. 

“[W]hat I’ve really seen from a lot of my close friends, once you get into that point where, hey, I’m gonna get married next year, obviously want to be able to have kids,” McVay said. “That perspective of, all right, now you’ve got a real reason to live when you’ve got a family, you’ve got something else. I think that balance and that appreciation for those things where it’s not just all football will help toward a goal of just being able to sustain and be healthier overall.

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