NFC West Final Report Card

Talk about turnarounds; the Seahawks and Rams totally dominated the division over the last decade, but due in part to their own mismanagement, injuries and age, the timing was right for the Cardinals to finally take charge within the division.

Pre-season Mid-season Final

1 - Seattle 1 - Arizona 1 – Arizona

2 - Arizona 2 - Seattle 2 – San Francisco

3 - San Francisco 3 - St. Louis 3 – Seattle

4 - St Louis 4 - San Francisco 4 – St Louis

Final Report Cards – NFC West

TEAM: Seattle Seahawks

OFFENSE D- F

DEFENSE D- D-

SPEC. TEAMS D- D-

COACHING C+ D

FRONT OFFICE C D

SCOUTING C+ D

OVERALL C- D-

STRENGTH RB TE LB

WEAKNESS DS WR OG

OFF. MVP Julius Jones

DEF. MVP Brandon Mebane

TOP ROOKIE John Carlson

2009 Prognosis Descending

Comments: A the mid point of the season, I had some thoughts that the Seahawks window of opportunity appeared to be nearly closed, but after watching them perform in the second half, I have no doubt that it is in fact closed and nailed shut. The offensive line, wide receiver and quarterback position are all in horrendous shape.

I hated to see head coach Mike Holmgren coaching career in Seattle end the way it did, but when you look at his career as a whole, it's a very impressive to say the least.

Patrick Kearney, Brandon Mebane, Lofo Tatupo, Leroy Hill and Marcus Trufant are all good football players, but overall the defensive unit did not perform near expectations.

On the offensive side of the ball, aside from tackle Walter Jones, Julius Jones and young center Chris Spencer lead the way, but overall watching them perform in 2008 was absolute painful.

Arizona Cardinals Final Report Card

TEAM: Arizona Cardinals

OFFENSE A- A

DEFENSE B- B

SPEC. TEAMS C B-

COACHING B B

FRONT OFFICE C B-

SCOUTING C C+

OVERALL C- B-

STRENGTH WR QB DS

WEAKNESS FB OT OC

OFF. MVP Kurt Warner

DEF. MVP Karlos Dansby

TOP ROOKIE Tim Hightower

2009 Prognosis Steady improvement

Comments: I gave them little chance of advancing in the playoffs, but low and behold here they are playing in their first ever Super Bowl. They obviously have some outstanding football players, but I'm not backing off my thoughts that they just a middle of the road football club.

All that being said, the I believe second year coach Ken Whisehunt and his staff has done a commendable job of molding this team into NFC Champions. Larry Fitzgerald the third overall selection into the 2004 draft is clearly the top receiver in the league and when you add Anquan Boldin to the mix, it form the top receiving duo in all of football.

Veteran Kurt Warner has played very well within the Cardinal offense. He's tough, smart, experienced and is a very accurate short passer. His mobility and deep throwing ability is no longer what it was, but without him at the helm, the Cardinals would not be playing in this year's Super Bowl.

Fitzgerald, Dockett, Boldin, Dansby, Wilson, Rolle and Rogers-Cromartie are all first rate football players, but I'm not certain the offensive front is first rate and a long term fix at the quarterback position, running back and tight end must be found before I deem this club a serious long term contender.

St. Louis Rams Final Report Card

TEAM: St Louis Rams

OFFENSE F F

DEFENSE F F

SPEC. TEAMS D- D-

COACHING D F

FRONT OFFICE F F

SCOUTING C C

OVERALL F F

STRENGTH RB LB QB

WEAKNESS DT DC DS,

OFF. MVP Steven Jackson

DEF. MVP Pisa Tinoisamoa

TOP ROOKIE Donnie Avery

2009 Prognosis Bleak

Comments: The Rams are off to a great start for the 2009 season with the hiring of a new head coach in Steve Spagnuolo and GM Billy Devaney. For far too long a time the organization has been totally dysfunctional and the two should go a very long way to pointing the club in the right direction.

Expect the Rams to try and unload the fading Torry Holt and his hefty contract and as much as I hat to say it, Orlando Pace, quite possibly the greatest tackle in the history of the game, has broken down physically and appears to be at or very near the end of the line.

What the Rams do have is have is one of the very best running backs and quarterbacks in the game today in the game today in Steven Jackson and Marc Bulger left from one of the top offensive units in the modern history of the game.

It's not going to be a quick turn around, but for the first time in some time, I believe they have the leadership at the top to get there.

San Francisco 49ers Final Report Card

TEAM: San Francisco 49ers

OFFENSE D C

DEFENSE D C

SPEC. TEAMS D D

COACHING D C

FRONT OFFICE C C-

SCOUTING B B

OVERALL D C

STRENGTH RB LB

WEAKNESS WR DL OG

OFF. MVP Frank Gore

DEF. MVP Patrick Willis

TOP ROOKIE Josh Morgan

2009 Prognosis Improving

Comments: The 49ers certainly played better in the second half of the 2008 season, but unless they can significantly improve at the quarterback, wide receiver and in the secondary quickly, I see little chance of this club making a serious move in the NFC West division, let alone within the league.

Mike Singletary, a passionate but inexperienced defensive assistant took over at mid season and did a commendable job, I'll be very surprised if the offense regresses from the loss of Mike Martz.

In Patrick Willis, the 49ers have possibly the very best inside backer in the game. When you add Manny Lawson, Justin Smith and Nate Clements to the mix and one can see the 49ers have a credible defensive unit.

2009 will be a very important year for the 49ers GM Scot McCloughan. He's bright and comes from a very good football family, but it's going to be a very long time before most 49ers fans let him forget his drafting of Alex Smith with the first selection in the 2005 college draft.


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