It is baseball season, but there are plenty of ways to get your fill of football too. Our own Hank Koebler, IV is on the beat making his way across the NFL landscape exhaustively covering team after team. These previews will get you up to snuff with everything you need to know about the transition to each 2010 team.
Each preview covers the team's outlook and projection for the 2010 season. We've got in depth coverage of each team's offense, defense and special teams. We'll cover who's in and who's out, rookies, players in their prime and savvy veterans. Finally, we'll look at strategy and style of play on both sides of the ball, as well detailed information about coaches and players.
Check back often between now and the September 9th season kick-off as new team previews are going up almost every day. Clicking on the NFL Football in the right sidebar will take you right to the latest previews each time you come back.
Today Hank is previewing the NFC West teams, the San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Arizona Cardinals, and St. Louis Rams.
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NFC West Predicted Finish
The Cardinals are coping with the loss of Kurt Warner, Anquan Boldin, Antrel Rolle, and Karlos Dansby. The Seahawks are completely in transition and adjusting to a new coach. The Rams are... the Rams. So by process of elimination, the 49ers, who are the only team in the division to get better this offseason, are the favorites to win the division.
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The first year of the Pete Carroll era will be a good building block, but in the weak NFC West it will likely be enough to win second in the division. On offense, they‘ll be OK, but on defense, Pete Carroll's creativity with the "Elephant" package isn't going to be enough to overcome their talent shortcomings.
The St. Louis Rams are the only reason that this team won't finish fourth in the division. The Cardinals have gotten worse at quarterback, receiver, middle linebacker, outside linebacker, cornerback, and safety. Their weakest unit, offensive line, will see little to no improvement, and the nose tackle they drafted in the first round can't wrest the starting job from the incumbent whose poor play made grabbing a first-round nose tackle such a priority. There are some great players on this team, but they aren't able to compensate for every other weakness on the team. The Cardinals have gotten severely worse this offseason, while both the Seahawks and the 49ers have improved, so it's hard to see the Cardinals return to the postseason this year.
As I said in the offensive overview, the selection of Nndamukong Suh would have had this team looking a lot more competitive this year. However, they chose Bradford, and their fate rests in his hands as he struggles behind a porous offensive line. While we have yet to see how Bradford, and by extension, the Rams, will turn out in the long run, the short-term prognosis is not good at all. - Hank Koebler, IV
Hank is a sports journalist attending the University of Missouri's school of journalism.
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