Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Cardinals and Seahawks: Different Approaches

by: Michael Steffes

Now with two drafts under the belts of the new crew in the desert, it is becoming clear that these teams are taking different approaches in adding players. To me this makes the rivalry, and that they appear set to battle each other for the NFC West crown again, more interesting.

I don't need to fully document the Seahawks strategies again, especially in regards to the draft. However it is clear that the Cardinals don't share the same philosophy. Over the weekend they selected two players with red flags for character. I documented one during the draft, Kenny Iwebewa. Iwebewa doesn't have major legal issues, but he has similar issues to 2nd round pick last year Alan Branch. Many teams had these players crossed off their boards because they were known as lazy, uninterested, and medical risks. There were also some concerns about "Buster" Davis if I recall, and after being chosen in the 3rd round, he was released.

However, that doesn't mean that legal issues scare off the Cardinals either. 7th rounder Brandon Keith was only available at that point because of an incident last month where he charged police and was subsequently tasered. Three misdemeanors are pending.

Look, I am not going to pretend that bad guys can't play football. Sometimes it even helps. However, when you consider that the team is now having troubles with both Anquan Boldin and Darnell Dockett, you wonder if a change in organizational philosophy would help. I am not trying to say that the Seahawks are immune to these issues, Rocky Bernard was just arrested, and as for the contract issues, they suffered them with Darrell Jackson. However, as time moves on it seems these things are less likely to happen because the Hawks don't bring these guys in. Both of those players were of the pre-Ruskell character filter era. With the Cardinals ignoring character issues, we will be given a great measuring stick over the next few years as to the correlation between character and success, especially since there are two games a year and a division title on the line every season. END