Around the NFC West: Whisenhunt's pedigree


Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt is drawing on lessons he learned as a Steelers assistant coach. Whisenhunt: "I learned so much from the Rooneys and coach [Bill] Cowher, the biggest thing probably being that honesty and fairness are what players respect the most. I also learned you have to stay true to your plan. You have to get your players to believe that your plan can work. We're getting there."

Jarrett Bell of USA Today takes an in-depth look at Kurt Warner's MVP-caliber season. Rich Gannon is among those appreciating Warner's attention to detail on fundamentals. Offensive coordinator Todd Haley: "Play in and play out, situationally he's making better decisions, choosing when's the time to take a chance. That's hard, because he's aggressive. And you don't ever want to take that stinger away from him."

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic says the Cardinals want competence in the running game. They aren't as concerned about balance. This is a passing team.

Bob McManaman of the Arizona Republic says the Cardinals took a sneak peek at the Eagles well in advance, an effort to offset the short work week.

The Washington Times says Cardinals offensive line coach Russ Grimm is a semifinalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the fifth consecutive year Grimm has reached that level. Grimm is a member of the NFL's all-decade team for the 1980s.

Bob Young of the Arizona Republic reveals embarrassing details from Rams guard Richie Incognito's past, countering assurances that Incognito's behavior will change following a pep talk from coach Jim Haslett.

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com says Cardinals defensive end Bert Berry sympathizes with Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb. The two are friends, and Berry knows what it's like to have his role reduced.

Also from Urban: The Cardinals aren't worried about their ground game as long as the team can move the ball.

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Rams had a mid-round draft grade on linebacker Larry Grant, who the team signed from the 49ers' practice squad. The team also signed veteran center Cory Withrow after placing Nick Leckey on injured reserve.

Also from Thomas: Rams defensive end Leonard Little is playing with a torn hamstring.

Steve Korte of the Belleville News-Democrat says Rams quarterback Marc Bulger must pass a neuropsych test before the team clears him to play in Week 13.

Nancy Gay of the San Francisco Chronicle says 49ers great Roger Craig is a Hall of Fame semifinalist for the first time.

Also from Gay: The role of interim coach can be a thankless one.

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee says Grant was the only 49ers draft choice from 2008 who didn't earn a spot on the 53-man roster. The team hasn't replaced Grant on the practice squad after the Rams signed the linebacker for insurance.

Ann Killion of the San Jose Mercury News criticizes 49ers coach Mike Singletary for suggesting the team's defeat at Dallas wasn't a lopsided one. The Cowboys held a 32-9 lead at one point.

John Ryan of the San Jose Mercury News says Singletary once revealed details of a coach's halftime motivational tactics.

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune quotes Seahawks linebacker Julian Peterson as saying Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo will suffer turnovers if a defense can fluster him. The Seahawks are facing Romo for the first time since the memorable playoff game between the teams after the 2006 season.

Clare Farnsworth of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer says Julius Jones is fired up about facing his former team in Dallas on Thanksgiving. That's one reason the Seahawks named him a starter for the game, coach Mike Holmgren said.

Scott Johnson of the Everett Herald says the Seahawks are rushing through their work week to get ready for Thursday.

Frank Hughes of the Tacoma News Tribune says second-year center Steve Vallos will start for the Seahawks against Dallas. A back injury will sideline Chris Spencer. The matchup is a tough one for Vallos, but the Seahawks will get a chance to see him in a regular-season game. They liked what Vallos showed during the exhibition season.