Extra Points: Quinn, Austin, Falcons, Vikings

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll has a lot of great things he can point to on his resumé, but he readily admits that he missed on Packers linebacker Clay Matthews when he was hit coach at USC. “Maybe because of the way he came up, it took him a long time to develop,” Carroll said, according to Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “and didn’t recognize the great heart that he had, and unbelievable competitiveness and the great savvy that he demonstrates now. It’s really one of my big misses. I should have figured that out a lot sooner than I did. He made the rest of it history and been an extraordinary player ever since.” Matthews was a walk-on at USC and didn’t start at linebacker until his senior year. More from around the NFL..

  • The Falcons haven’t scheduled a second interview with Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn just yet, according to Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com (on Twitter). An interview could happen Monday after Seattle’s game, however.
  • It’s a similar situation for the Falcons and Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press (on Twitter). Austin, as our Head Coaching Tracker shows, has been a popular guy in recent weeks.
  • The Vikings have big fifth-year decisions to make on left tackle Matt Kalil and safety Harrison Smith, as Master Tesfatsion of the Star Tribune writes. Smith would be a no-brainer to exercise and possibly even incorporate the option into a long-term extension during the offseason. He’s a top five player at his position and will be one of the key pieces for this Vikings defense under head coach Mike Zimmer. Kalil, on the other hand, represents a tougher choice.
  • Bob Sturm of The Dallas Morning News doesn’t believe that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is really the team’s General Manager. Jones has final say over football matters, of course, but he doesn’t handle the day-to-day responsibilities that a GM would.
  • In a telephone interview with Lorenzo Reyes of USA TODAY Sports, ESPN NFL draft analyst Todd McShay gave his thoughts on Ohio State quarterback Cardale Jones. “There’s no question he has the physical ability to play in the league. He’s big, prototypical size. He’s bigger than what you look for. He has an NFL arm and can make all the throws and can do it with ease,” McShay said. “He’s deceptively mobile and strong as a runner. To me he’s an extremely raw version of a Ben Roethlisberger.” Jones likely agrees that he’s a little too green for the NFL, as he announced today that he’s staying in school.
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