Here are several whispers we've been hearing from around the NFC West:
• One thing that sources on the scene in San Francisco have noticed about Niners head coach Mike Singletary is the conscious effort he seems to have made lately to rein in his emotions and avoid being such a magnet for the cameras. "He's been a lot calmer, and I think it's helped him relate better with his players," one daily team observer told PFW.
• While our Cardinals insiders don't see any way that beleaguered QB Derek Anderson will be back with the team next season, the same can't be said for undrafted rookie Max Hall, whose season ended in Week 13 when he suffered a dislocated left shoulder. "I think they still believe he has some ability," a team insider said of Hall, a local product who was a fan favorite before really struggling when given the starting opportunity. "Plus, he comes cheap."
• S Craig Dahl has been an unsung star for the Rams' defense recently. "He made a bunch of plays last week," head coach Steve Spagnuolo said of Dahl's performance in the Week 13 win over Arizona (a sack, an interception and a team-leading seven tackles). "He played real aggressive and he made the plays when they were presented to him, and at the safety position, that's big. When they throw the ball to you, you've got to catch it, and he did."
• Word is the Seahawks have just about given up on OG Chester Pitts being able to make much of a contribution after failing to stay healthy following the same kind of microfracture knee surgery that ultimately ended Seahawks great Walter Jones' career.