NFC Notes: Cardinals, 49ers, Rams, Seahawks


Cardinals HC Kliff Kingsbury helped lead the team to another major step forward in his second season in Arizona. But he started to come under fire later in the season as the Cardinals limped to the finish line and ultimately missed the playoffs. While calling the offense is ostensibly one of Kingsbury’s strengths, game management might not be, and while he said he’d struggle to give up play-calling, he sounded open to the idea of bringing in a game management specialist. 

“I would retire. It’s part of the game; I couldn’t just sit there and watch it,” Kingsbury said earlier this season on a podcast with ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt via’s Howard Balzer. “A lot of people are great at that, managing games, and that’s not my strong suit. My strong suit is calling it and interacting with the quarterback. I’ve got to play to my strengths.”


  • Per the Athletic’s Matt Barrows, the agent for 49ers WR Travis Benjamin says he plans to return to the team in 2021 after opting out of 2020. 
  • Staying healthy is also going to be one of the top priorities for the receiving corps after both WR Deebo Samuel and TE George Kittle missed huge chunks of the season due to injury, per GM John Lynch: “Sometimes it’s just luck, but we’re eager to help Deebo find the path to being out there because we know we’re different when he is. He’s one of those players. Kyle also talked about it when George Kittle steps on the field.”
  • The 49ers are bringing in OT Corbin Kaufusi for a visit this week. (Aaron Wilson)


  • Regarding the Rams’ NFC Divisional Round game against the Packers, HC Sean McVay called Packers HC Matt LaFleur one of his closest friends: “Matt is one of my closest friends in life. … It wasn’t one of those tell you what you wanna hear. It’s what you need to hear. … He’s like my big brother.” (Wed Hodkiewicz)
  • McVay described that LaFleur lived across the street from him when they both worked with the Washington Football Team from 2010-2013: “In Washington, he and his wife lived right across the street, right when they had their first son. That was before I met my fiancée so I’d third wheel it with them a lot. They kind of took me under their wing.” (Hodkiewicz)
  • As for who will start between Rams QBs Jared Goff (hand) and John Wolford (neck), McVay said he didn’t have any updates on either quarterback. (Rodrigue)
  • McVay praised Rams K Matt Gay for his consistency, calling the kicker “Mr. Automatic” and that he could be their long-term solution at the position. Gay has gone 3-for-3 on field goals through the last three weeks. (Lindsey Thiry)
  • McVay added that Rams DT Aaron Donald (rib) will play in Saturday’s game, barring any “unforeseen” setbacks: “Unless something unforeseen happens, the terminator will be ready.” (Stacey Dales)
  • Donald downplayed his rib injury and said he feels healthy enough to play against the Packers this weekend: “My damn side is sore…that’s it, I’m good.” (Jourdan Rodrigue)


  • According to Adam Schefter, Seahawks fired OC Brian Schottenheimer on Tuesday after meeting with HC Pete Carroll on Monday night, where the two found “it was evident” that there were unchangeable philosophical differences between them.
  • Mike Garafolo reports that the Seahawks are expected to be interested in Chargers OC Shane Steichen for their offensive coordinator job. 
  • Josina Anderson reports that Seahawks’ impending free-agent LB K.J. Wright wants a new contract that would “commensurate with his production.”  
  • According to Anderson, Wright would still like to re-sign with the Seahawks but the “numbers have to be right.”  
  • Anderson also mentions that the Seahawks could consider Chargers QBs coach Pep Hamilton given he has experience as an offensive coordinator and has done well with rookie QB Justin Herbert and former Colts’ QB Andrew Luck
  • Clemson OC Tony Elliott is another name potentially being discussed for the Seahawks’ vacancy at offensive coordinator. (Anderson)
  • The Seahawks are bringing in DT Myles Adams for a visit this week. (Aaron Wilson)

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