Below are some whispers that we've been hearing from around the NFC West:
• While Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt would love for Steelers LB coach and close friend Keith Butler to become his new defensive coordinator, we hear that Butler is the heir apparent to Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau. As a result, Steelers secondary coach Ray Horton is a better bet to replace the ousted Billy Davis in Arizona. "Whiz knows him well," one team insider said of Horton. "He's not on a lot of people's radar, but he's very well-respected."
• Forgive more than a few inhabitants of Niners Nation for being just a bit leery of the heavily run-oriented offense that new head coach Jim Harbaugh appears to have in mind if new Niners offensive coordinator Greg Roman remains true to the form he displayed at Stanford. "It probably makes sense, with no real quarterback they can count on," said one team insider. "But both (Mike) Nolan and (Mike) Singletary stressed strong run games and were never very successful, so there is some concern."
• Our Seahawks sources tell us WR Mike Williams would like to drop about 10-15 pounds. "He thinks losing some weight will keep him from wearing down, like he did late in the year," said one team insider.
• New Rams offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels on how he feels about Steven Jackson as the Rams' primary back: "I know from competing against him that he's very unique and multitalented. He can create long plays, takes great care of the offense. ... I can't wait to get started to work with him."