The following quotes are from NFL scouts, coaches and front-office personnel, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
• "Mike Holmgren is a screamer and a yeller, and I think they wanted to change that (in Seattle). Jim Mora is a screamer. Bill Cowher fits the same mold. Call it the 'Birkenstock World' or whatever you want to call it, but I think Pete (Carroll)'s style blends more with the Microsoft mentality (of owner Paul Allen). The other guys are more hardheaded, stubborn and stuck in their ways. Pete is open to outside ideas. ... I still can't figure out why they were interested in a guy who was more likely going the other way at USC. If you go to a BCS bowl every year, you can justify paying your head coach 3-5 million dollars. Non-BCS coaches make 1.5 million dollars because they don't have the payout that could cover the head coach's salary and all the other sports. (USC is) dealing with (possible) probation issues. Pete was not in good standing (at USC) — that is a fact."
• "(Cowboys CB) Terence Newman locked down DeSean Jackson (in the wild-card game). Newman and Anthony Spencer were the difference in that game. Every game comes down to a few matchups, and the impact both of those guys made pressuring (Donovan) McNabb and eliminating Jackson was huge."
• "(Jets CB) Darrelle Revis makes it look so easy. Boy, is he good. He is playing on the best defense in football, and I'm not sure I wouldn't rather have Nnamdi Asomugha. He does so much more on a bad defense that only plays man coverage. But those are the two best players at the position."
• "What defensive coordinator has done more than (the Chargers') Ron Rivera after all the injuries that ravaged their lineup?"
• "No one has done anything out of the (Bill) Belichick (coaching) tree. Josh McDaniels had to be the first team to start 6-0 to finish .500. They finished 2-8 the last 10 games. Kyle Orton fell apart."
• "Chicago is living on the edge for one more year. (GM) Jerry Angelo made his signature blockbuster trade (for Jay Cutler) and goes 7-9? The defense has really deteriorated. They did what they do in college all the time and blamed the coordinators and kept the head coach. Lovie (Smith) fired himself (as defensive coordinator)."
• "Eric Mangini is a very prepared guy. I can see how he interviewed well with (Mike) Holmgren to save his job. It was a great job save. He bought himself another year, but it will not last longer than that."
• "How does an NFL franchise and a billion-dollar business turn over the keys to a retired 70-year-old man (like the Bills did with GM Buddy Nix)? Didn't they already try that approach with Marv (Levy)? You better have people in charge that will work hard and know how to evaluate or you have no chance."
• "I just talked to (a defensive coordinator) today. What was interesting — his assistants were all walking on eggshells. All these coaches walk around with the persona that they know everything. But there is so much money being spent now that decisions are coming down on the assistants. Owners are now trying to figure out who is responsible for, say, giving T.J. Houshmandzadeh all that money. Football-speak used to work in the old days. Now there is accountability. There are too many TV shows and radio and TV people that are (analyzing) every angle and connecting common sense."
• "What really kills you as a franchise is trading away your draft picks. Trust me, I've been through it."
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