Scouts Inc.: NFC West team profiles

Analyzing team philosophies and offseason observations for NFC West teams

Originally Published: April 24, 2011
By Gary Horton | Scouts Inc.
Pete CarrollTom Hauck/Getty ImagesPete Carroll has brought new energy and excitement to the Seattle Seahawks franchise.

Scouts Inc. takes a look at all 32 NFL teams, grouped by division, heading toward the 2011 season (whenever it arrives), examining offseason observations, the decision-makers, and the offensive and defensive philosophies of each team.

NFC West

Arizona Cardinals

Offseason observations: The Cardinals lost a lot of key players and underrated leadership before the 2010 season and they thought they could survive it. They couldn't. The quarterback position has been a disaster in the post-Kurt Warner era, the expected power run game never developed and on defense we rarely saw game changing plays. On the positive side, the organization had a lot of production from the rookie class and there are some good, young developmental players.

Organizational structure: GM Rod Graves has a lot of "juice" in this organization and he has the final say on all personnel matters, although he works well with Ken Whisenhunt and the coaching staff. Director of player personnel Steve Keim is a well-respected information gatherer and director of pro personnel T.J. McCreight has a voice, especially in free agency and pro acquisitions. While team president Michael Bidwell gets involved in personnel decisions, he leaves the contracts and salary cap situations in Justin Casey's hands.

Offensive philosophy: This would like to be a 55-45 percent run offense versus pass, but that has not happened yet, partly because they are always playing from behind. Look for them to try to establish a power run game to set up a short passing game and play-action package. Whisenhunt will also throw in some gimmick plays at times.

Gary Horton spent 10 years in the NFL as a scout and another 10 years at the college level as an assistant coach and recruiter. He is the founder and most seasoned member of the Scouts Inc. staff, and his extensive experience at all levels of football make him an excellent talent evaluator.