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Notes from the film room

1/29/2009 - NFL

After breaking down film and critiquing the teams heading into Super Bowl XLIII, Scouts Inc. tells you what to pay attention to.

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.