Q: The Seahawks are getting all the hype, but they’ve had a really weak schedule. Playing in the NFC West doesn’t exactly prepare a team for the playoffs, does it?
--Rich Bryan, San Francisco
A: A few weeks ago, people in Seattle were complaining about getting no respect. You’re right about the NFC West. That’s true of the entire NFC this season. I think all four AFC teams left are capable of winning the Super Bowl while only the Seahawks are capable from the NFC. They have plenty still to prove, no doubt, because their playoff record under Mike Holmgren is unimpressive. But opening at home after a bye week for the first time should be enough to give them a jump-start and enable them to host the NFC title game in Seattle. Comparing strength of schedules is a helpful tool, but a team doesn’t need to apologize by beating the teams they are scheduled to play. The Seahawks did lead the league in offense and scoring, impressive against any competition.
Q: Kirk Ferentz and Pat Hill seem to be the “hot” names in coaching right now, but what makes people think they’ll be good in the NFL? Neither has won a title in college, even.
—Chris Rathell, East Lansing, Mich.
A: Good point. I think maybe their style of coaching and their personalities are a better reason than titles. Not every college has a chance to compete for a national title. Pro owners look for coaches who have overachieved in sometimes difficult circumstances, or who have been consistently good. In the case of Hill and Ferentz, their backgrounds as assistants under Bill Belichick in Cleveland in the early ’90s also looks very enticing on their resumes. Everybody is looking for some connection to Belichick. I don’t think you see names like USC’s Pete Carroll or Texas’ Mack Brown on many hot lists these days because the best college coaches have better deals than NFL coaches. The money is comparable and the hours are better. If you think college recruiting is tough, try NFL free-agent recruiting. There is no down time in the NFL any more.
CSN: Brian Urlacher, who played 13 seasons for the Bears, announced his retirement from football Wenesday on his personal twitter account.
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