NFC West: Eight in the Box 061413

Eight in the Box: Biggest questions

June, 14, 2013
6/14/13
12:00
PM ET
NFC Eight in the Box: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

The major question facing each team in the NFC West as summer break looms:

Arizona Cardinals: What form will the defense take? Todd Bowles is the new coordinator after taking over for Ray Horton. Bowles said from the beginning he would only "tweak" the 3-4 scheme Horton put into place with success. Defensive lineman Darnell Dockett has responded to those tweaks in a manner suggesting his life will be completely different -- and much better -- as an attacking, up-the-field force. From the outside, it looks like the Cardinals have acquired personnel suited to play in a scheme with 4-3 tendencies. Perhaps we're overthinking things here. I'm definitely curious to see how the defense comes together and whether Bowles can build upon the solid foundation Horton seemed to establish.

St. Louis Rams: Does the team need some veteran depth? The Rams have the NFL's youngest roster. They're young just about everywhere but along the offensive line, where Scott Wells, Harvey Dahl and Jake Long provide some seasoning. Depth at linebacker and safety appears a bit tenuous, however, and that has led the Rams to consider free-agent options. Linebackers Takeo Spikes, Will Witherspoon and Chris Gocong have joined safeties Sherrod Martin, Matt Giordano and Abram Elam as free-agent visitors to Rams headquarters, according to Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

San Francisco 49ers: How will the wide receiver situation shake out? Second-year receiver A.J. Jenkins performed to positive reviews during the recently completed organized team activities and minicamp. Ricardo Lockette was another young receiver catching the 49ers' attention. The team has question marks at the position while Michael Crabtree recovers from a torn Achilles tendon. The 49ers ran former Indianapolis Colts receiver Austin Collie through a workout this week. Collie is recovering from knee surgery. He has a history of concussions. The 49ers are lining up contingencies, it appears, as they prepare for training camp.

Seattle Seahawks: Who becomes the No. 2 quarterback behind Russell Wilson? Tarvaris Jackson's addition this week gives the team two veteran quarterbacks competing for the job. The Seahawks posted a 7-7 record when Jackson was their starter during the 2011 season, before Wilson arrived. Brady Quinn posted a 1-7 record while starting for Kansas City last season. Jackson already knows the Seahawks' offense. He has strong relationships with Seattle players and with offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell. He looks like the favorite for the job, even though Quinn has been the one practicing with the team this offseason.

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