As training camp approaches, SI.com goes around the league and asks 10 key questions for each division.
1. Which coach will face more scrutiny: Mike Holmgren or Mike Martz?
We'll go with Holmgren on this one, simply because he came to Seattle with heavy-duty hype. Six seasons later, he still has yet to win a playoff game in three appearances and his team continues to be dogged by questions about its mental toughness. In the past, the Seahawks responded to these problems by dumping prominent players and even an executive (team president Bob Whitsitt was canned after last season). But if the inconsistency continues, the Holmgren-bashing will commence.
2. Can Kurt Warner succeed in Arizona?
Yes, we know the numbers: Warner has 10 touchdown passes and 16 interceptions over the last three seasons, along with five wins in his last 16 starts. But we also know this: He'll have quality weapons at wide receiver in Arizona (Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald) along with an offense that will be more wide-open than what he found with his previous team, the New York Giants. The key is keeping Warner upright. If the Cardinals' suspect offensive line can do that, he'll be the next aging quarterback to thrive under head coach Dennis Green.
3. What impact will running back Steven Jackson have on the Rams offense?
The 6-foot-2, 233-pound Jackson provides a bruising element to the Rams' high-powered attack. He has the size and power to run inside and the speed turn the corner. Combine his talents with the quickness and speed of Marshall Faulk and the Rams have a potent 1-2 punch in their backfield. The question, however, is whether Martz will take full advantage of it. He tends to forget about his running game from time to time.
4. When will No. 1 overall draft pick Alex Smith get on the field?
The speculation is that Tim Rattay will start the season at quarterback for the 49ers, which makes little sense if it actually happens. This team will be so lousy that Smith would be best served if he took the field on day one. He certainly won't have to worry about setting the team back with his play. But given the Niners' desire to get Smith acclimated to NFL life, he might not get under center before midseason, at the earliest.