The following quotes are from NFL scouts, coaches and front-office personnel, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
• "Pete Carroll knew what was staring him in the face (NCAA sanctions). He played it right and got out. I think this will be his last job. He will never coach again after this one — and I don't think it will end well. They traded for LenDale White and Kevin Vickerson. White is already gone, and Vickerson will bring a lot of headaches for a backup DT. They signed (WR) Reggie Williams and already cut him. They have made a lot of moves since (Carroll) has taken over, but how many will prove worthy? There was a reason Pete did not want (Patriots senior football advisor) Floyd Reese in the building. Pete wanted control. ... Every expert in the country gave Seattle's draft a glowing recommendation, but throw on the national championship game and watch Earl Thomas try to tackle those NFL backs (on Alabama). He whiffed at least five times. He will be run at all day. I'm looking forward to playing him."
• "When you look at why (LB) Adalius Thomas was successful in Baltimore, so much of it had to do with the supporting cast. He was surrounded by so much talent and was schemed to create pressure. He was never dominant with his hand in the dirt. Most of his production came from overloaded blitzes. I never understood why New England was interested. There was a reason Baltimore would not pay him."
• "I have to give the Texans credit. I think they made the right move letting Dunta Robinson walk. I don't think he is the player he was, coming out of college."
• "The financial troubles have been mounting in Dallas because of how much they overextended on the stadium. They were ecstatic to be in the final eight and not have to go sign players. The dominoes could not have fallen better. Do you think it was a coincidence Montrae Holland was their only free agent? If they lost one, they could only sign one, and no one was going to sign a backup guard. And if they did sign one, (it could only amount to what they lost). Looking at when the stadium was built and how the CBA has gone down, it could not have fallen any better for the Cowboys."
• "When you look at (former Browns GM) Phil Savage's tenure in Cleveland, what it shows is that he could find college players. It was his pro personnel moves that killed him. He gave up picks and overpaid (DL) Corey Williams, who was best-suited for a (rotational) role in a "30" front. When (DL Johnny) Jolly went on I.R. (in Green Bay), (Williams) wore down fast. (Savage) paid (OG Eric) Steinbach like a top-five guard when he is far from it. He's just not tough enough. They traded a fourth-round pick the first year (Savage) was there for Trent Dilfer and gave big money to Derek Anderson, who then demanded to get out of there because he could not stand the offensive coordinator. Even when Anderson was at his best, he was not very good. He cannot move his feet. Oh yeah, and (Savage) traded up for Brady Quinn. (Savage) could never get the QB situation squared away."
• "To me, the Lions' biggest problem is this — (defensive coordinator) Gunther Cunningham is still coaching in the '80s scheme-wise. He has not adapted to the new game. You have to know your defense and know what is most important and make it a priority in the acquisition of players. I think (head coach Jim Schwartz) gets it. I don't think Gunny understands matchups very well."
• "(Eagles CB) Asante Samuel does not like to tackle, and he is a riverboat gambler. He makes a lot of plays on the ball, but he gives up a lot (by) misdiagnosing routes and biting on play-action and pump fakes. He has a big-play flair, but he has not been nearly as consistent as you'd like (for the Eagles). He was that way with the Patriots."
• "It is a shame Steven Jackson is not on a better football team. When he is healthy, he is the best back in the league to me. He runs with more violence and strength than Adrian Peterson. You can clump Marshawn Lynch in there as well. When (Lynch) is right, he is a beast."
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