The following quotes are from NFL scouts, coaches and front-office personnel, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
• "(Ravens GM) Ozzie Newsome should be executive of the year. How do you steal a starting cornerback for a (conditional fifth)-round pick? How do you do that? They stole Josh Wilson from Seattle. Baltimore's only negative is special-teams coaching. (QB Joe) Flacco is smart and could work the triangle in the passing game if (WR Anquan) Boldin is hot. (TE Todd) Heap is coming back and (RB Ray) Rice has come on."
• "John Fox has been so nonchalant responding to questions about his future and has been putting his nose up to the (Panthers') personnel department and ownership all season. He is not handling it with any class."
• "The problem with teams moving to the 3-4 (defense) is that you often need a transition year. You could play some of it some of the time, but it's hard to overhaul your roster overnight. The players on your roster are what they are. You can't turn over your roster in one draft. You need some flexibility. I don't think (former Browns GM Phil) Savage understood that when he hired Romeo (Crennel). I don't think the Bills understood it this year. I don't think the Redskins were ready for it. I've seen it more at the college level, too. Everyone is trying to mimic (Nick) Saban and more teams have moved to the 3-4, but they just don't have the bodies to pull it off. It's hard to find 325-330-pounders who can move."
• "(Vikings MLB) E.J. Henderson is the best linebacker in the NFC North. He does not get enough credit for how he plays the game and what he brings to that defense."
• "If I'm (assessing) the (head-coaching) jobs available (as of this writing), the one that looks the most attractive to me is in San Francisco. They have the most talent on their roster. Both are missing the one key piece on offense. San Francisco has more talent supporting the (QB) position. They've got (Michael) Crabtree. Carolina has three strong running backs, and their receivers are young and getting better. They are both good situations. They both have the talent to flip it in a year."
• "The Giants are a good football team. I think there were a lot of (playoff) teams in the NFC hoping the Packers got in. The Giants were one of those teams that could've gotten hot in January and run the table. They've done it before."
• "The problem with the Eagles is that they lost too many guys. Brandon Graham, Nate Allen, Stewart Bradley. (Eagles defensive coordinator) Sean McDermott has had his work cut out for him plugging in new players every week. … The Eagles may have gotten the steal of the draft with (seventh-round LB) Jamar Chaney."
• "When (Troy) Polamalu does not play, the Steelers struggle. He carries them."
• "(Panthers LB) Jon Beason moved from (weak-side linebacker) back to 'Mike' when Dan Connor got hurt. He plays the game so hard."
• "The Falcons like to run left. I don't know why teams have not picked up on it, but they do a great job getting defenses to flow one way and come back the other way. It's a play they call Joker. It's usually run from a two-back set and both backs go one way, but the tailback cuts back. (Michael) Turner runs it real well. The Chargers and Giants do the same thing."
• "Why is it that defensive coaches can pick good offensive coordinators, but good offensive coordinators don't always pick good defensive coordinators? I don't think they understand matchups as well. Every situation is different. If I'm looking for a head coach, I'd be more interested in a coach with a defensive track."