We've heard the following whispers from our sources around the NFC:
• Our sources in Seattle tell us there's a very good chance physical 2010 fourth-round draft pick Walter Thurmond will replace Kelly Jennings as the starting right cornerback next season.
• We hear the Cardinals believe both 2010 second-round ILB Daryl Washington and seventh-round TE Jim Dray need to bulk up a bit. "Washington had trouble getting off blocks and needs to put on about 10 pounds," said one team source. "Dray got swallowed up too much and is another guy who needs to benefit from (strength and conditioning coach) John Lott's conditioning program."
• Our Rams sources tell us the odds are less than 50-50 that potential free-agent DT Clifton Ryan, who had serious concussion issues this past season, will be back with the team in 2011.
• With three coaches assigned to handle offensive-line duties on Niners head coach Jim Harbaugh's revamped staff (Tim Drevno and holdovers Mike Solari and Ray Brown), we hear Solari and Drevno will coach the entire O-line while Brown works primarily with tackles and tight ends.
• The Redskins gave been doing their homework on Senior Bowl quarterbacks all week, but we hear they also have been doing a lot of work on defensive players who might fit into their 3-4 scheme. It makes sense. The team struggled to find good fits in the defense and could be looking at two or three new starting defensive linemen.
• Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said he believes that critics were too harsh on the team's CB play last season and that, as time passes, most will have a somewhat different perspective on how they actually performed. Despite what Jones said, we hear that the team recognizes its shortcomings at the position and has plans to make some changes there in the offseason.
• We hear the Vikings are discussing their quarterback options for next season and that they might be very conservative when it comes to veteran options. While everyone assumes the team will look into Vince Young, whom the Titans say they will not bring back, it's more likely that the Vikings will not aggressively pursue him, perhaps because they believe the Titans will have to release Young without much of a trade market developing.
• Packers NT B.J. Raji, who has come into his own this season, can't say enough good things about Packers D-line coach Mike Trgovac. "He's been a life changer for me," Raji said. "He's had so much experience with the young, high draft picks. He knows when to back off; he knows when to get on you. ... He's kind of laid off a little bit and let me grow. But he's also a good coach, so he's going to get on me when he sees it's necessary."
• Some expect the Bears to cut DT Tommie Harris this offseason, but at his season-ending press conference, head coach Lovie Smith did not rule out having Harris back with the team. Whether he's in Chicago or somewhere else, Harris said his development in recent years will serve him well. "I grew up," the seven-year veteran said earlier this week. "I stopped pointing the finger at everybody else and I paid attention to myself, which was the most difficult thing to do."
• Falcons DE Jamaal Anderson has the versatility to play inside and outside on the defensive line, and the Falcons value him as a run stuffer, but he has only 4½ sacks in four seasons. One of the team's priorities this offseason is to ramp up its pass rush, and there is some doubt about whether Anderson, who has one year and just under $3.6 million left on his contract, will be back with the team next season.