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NFC Whispers

DeCamillis an NFL head-coaching candidate

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By PFW staff

Here are the latest Whispers we're hearing from our sources throughout the NFC:

• Cowboys special-teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis is receiving attention for soon-to-be vacant head-coaching positions. For years, he has been regarded as a future head coach, whether on the college or pro level, and this could be his first serious crack at getting interviews.

• Oregon head coach Chip Kelly has been the name most associated with the expected head-coaching vacancy in Philadelphia, and there’s no doubt that the Eagles have done their homework on the college offensive guru. But he’s far from guaranteed to be the only strong candidate. Depending on how far the Broncos advance in the postseason, offensive coordinator Mike McCoy could be on their minds. McCoy has impressed in his work with quarterbacks in Carolina and Denver and possesses the leadership qualities to make him attractive among several teams.

• Observers in Minnesota have noted the fine job of Vikings OL coach Jeff Davidson, whipping into shape a group that often was disjointed in 2011. The result has been a career rushing season for RB Adrian Peterson and a consistently solid passing pocket, despite a few wrinkles in the lineup from last season.

• Saints offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael has been connected with head-coaching openings on the NFL and college level in the past year, but the talk we’re hearing around the league is that Carmichael has not improved his reputation in 2012, even though New Orleans’ offense remains one of the league’s most productive units. Carmichael’s responsibilities increased last season and they did even more this season with Sean Payton serving a suspension.

• We hear the 49ers have not been very happy lately with the tentative play of Ted Ginn Jr. both as a receiver and as a kick returner.

• After a strong start, we hear the Cardinals have been disappointed with third-round rookie CB Jamell Fleming. “They’re hoping he’ll grow up,” one team insider said of Fleming. “He had some early success, and then he tapered off. He has a tendency to get complacent. And he has not been as good on special teams as he needs to be.”

• Seahawks QB Russell Wilson believes the area in which he has made the most progress this season is in third-down and red-zone situations. “Great quarterbacks are tremendous in third down and red zone, and I think in two-minute situations as well,” Wilson said. “I thrive for those moments. I can’t wait for those moments. That’s when you want to play the QB position. I think we’ve done a great job of really harping on those situations and doing an excellent job of late capitalizing on our opportunities.”

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