Notes from the film room

After looking at game film, Gary Horton tells you what to pay attention to on Super Bowl Sunday.

Originally Published: January 29, 2009
By Gary Horton | Scouts Inc.
After breaking down film and critiquing the teams heading into Super Bowl XLIII, Scouts Inc. tells you what to pay attention to.

[+] EnlargeWillie Parker
G. Newman Lowrance/Getty ImagesWill Willie Parker make a game-changing play Sunday?

Parker's presence

Even though RB Willie Parker is healthy, the Steelers' run game has been inconsistent. His biggest asset is his speed, but the Cardinals' run defense is much improved, so he could struggle on Sunday. Parker does a nice job of starting inside, pressing the hole, luring the defenders and then bouncing to the outside. Once the linebackers are lured in, TE Heath Miller is able to seal the edge and give Parker a lane to run. As a result, the biggest challenge the Cardinals' corners and safeties will have is to stay disciplined and try to turn Parker back inside.

Gimmicks and trickery

Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt has a reputation for using gadget plays to keep the defense on its toes. The Cardinals used a big double pass in the NFC Championship Game, which Whisenhunt also used in 2005 when he was the Steelers' offensive coordinator. The Cardinals are very good at running the flea-flicker. This play looks like a typical run, but as the running back reaches the pile, he tosses it back to the quarterback, who can throw it deep.

Gimmick plays force the opposition to spend time in practice planning how to defend them, and they are popular with the players because they are innovative. Look for the Cardinals to run some gadget plays Sunday, because Whisenhunt won't change his strategy now.

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.