With the seventh pick in the 2013 Draft the Arizona Cardinals select….
Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
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The Cardinals cleaned house this off-season, releasing seven veteran players. In doing so the team cleared up a large amount of cap space. It appears as though the Cardinals and GM Steve Keim are looking ahead to make future moves and improve throught the draft. The team also traded for veteran Quaterback Carson Palmer. Possibly to mold a rookie Quaterback? If not Palmer can still be a solid starter for the Cardinals. The team also hired former Indianapolis Colts Offensive-Coordinator Bruce Arians as head coach. A few years removed from a Super Bowl appearence its looking like a fresh start in Arizona after a 5-11 season.
Beanie Wells was doing poorly and got hurt. Ditto to Ryan Williams. Now, the Cardinals’ new running backs are doing nothing. When will they finally get someone who can run the ball? Maybe in the draft.
The Cowboys were 8-8 last year and will go 8-8 this year. They aren’t a bad team, but a notch below the Eagles and Giants.
The Arizona Cardinals struggled mightily on offense last year due to erratic quarterback play. Arizona started Derek Anderson, Max Hall, and John Skelton with varying degrees of disappointment to finish second to last in passing and last overall in rush offense.
To solve this glaring problem they traded Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a 2012 draft pick for Philadelphia QB Kevin Kolb. Kolb is unproven, making only 5 starts in 2010 for the Eagles, but has plenty of potential, especially with all-world wideout Larry Fitzgerald snagging everything in sight.. The Cardinals also drafted Virginia Tech running back Ryan Williams to boost their ground attack, but he went down with a torn ACL in their second preseason game. Coupled with the loss of Tim Hightower to free agency and it looks like it is oft-injured Beanie Wells’ time to run the show. Tight end Todd Heap was brought in to strengthen the position, but he’s on the downside of his career. Guard Daryn Colledge, from Super Bowl Champion Green Bay, was brought in to solidify the offensive line.
On the defensive side, the loss of Rodgers-Cromartie hurt, but the blow was softened with the selection of LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson. Additionally, Richard Marshall, a very productive corner from the Carolina Panthers (believe it or not), was signed during free agency. The real question is whether or not the front 7 will be able to do enough. Arizona ranked 30th in rush defense last season by allowing 145 yards a game on the ground. Often injured Stuart Bradley was the only major addition to the linebacking corps. Complicating matters is a torn bicep muscle suffered in training camp to stalwart safety Adrian Wilson. One of their most productive players the past few years, Wilson has said he will try to play through the injury, but one can only imagine that the injury will eventually take its toll and force him out of the lineup.
The Cardinals should be improved somewhat on offense if Kolb is able to surpass the low benchmark set by last year’s batch of quarterbacks. A healthy Beanie Wells will certainly help take the pressure off of the new franchise QB. The defense could continue to be an issue through the season and hold them back from becoming a better team. Arizona will most likely finish in the middle to bottom of the pack of the NFC West.
The NFC West is more wide open then ever this year with the departure of Kurt Warner and Anquan Boldin from the Cardinals. It’s weird to say that the Cardinals were the frontrunners in the division due to the Seahawks constant dominance earlier in the decade and the fact that the Cardinals used to be god-awful. It looks like this year will be another feeling out process for USC stud turned dud Matt Leinart at quarterback. He was given the shot before as Warner sat the bench, but did not get the job done. Now, who knows if Leinart’s learned anything? I guess we will find out soon enough.
Beanie Wells and Tim Hightower will be there to provide the team with a solid running game, which they will need more of this year since one of their all-pro receivers has flown the coup and betrayed his own species (referring to Boldin’s signing with the Ravens). They still have Larry Fitzgerald and Steve Breaston.
We’ll see if newly inked Joey Porter can have an impact on the defensive end on a team that has a couple of standout individual defenders but not very good team defense, as evidenced by last year’s scorefest against the Packers in the playoffs.
I will be generous in their record for this year due to the fact that their is no standout within their division. They will go 7-9, maybe a win better.
By Josh Delp of the Sports Fan Blog Network
The Arizona Cardinals and former Cleveland Browns quarterback Derek Anderson have agreed to a two-year contract worth $7.25 million, a source told ESPN.com Wednesday.
The source said the deal includes $3.25 million guaranteed, and with incentives would max out at $18.25 million.
Anderson would compete with current Cardinals quarterback Matt Leinart for the starting job.
Arizona’s deal for Anderson came on the heels of free-agent quarterback Charlie Whitehurst telling San Diego Chargers management earlier Wednesday that he will sign a one-year restricted free-agent tender offer. The development will allow the Chargers to begin trade talks on his behalf, a source told ESPN.com’s John Clayton.
Whitehurst has indicated he prefers to go to Seattle, according to a source; at one time, Whitehurst, who is a restricted free agent with third-round compensation, was considered a possibility to connect with the Cardinals. Because the Seahawks don’t have a third-round choice, the Chargers and the Seahawks would have to work out a trade.
Click here to read the full article – By of ESPN.com
When it comes to important issues, the NFL rarely organizes a parade, but it does a fine job of making its way to the front after one has started.
That was the case when the league was pushed to hire more minority head coaches and general managers. And it’s true now with the discussion about head injuries.
But it’s better to participate in the parade, even if you’re a late entrant, than to close the office drapes and pretend it’s not happening.
The league faces an inherent problem in protecting players from the long-term effects of head injuries: the players themselves. The Cardinals could serve as a case study this season.
Last week, quarterback Kurt Warner agonized about whether he should be honest with the team’s medical staff and tell them about the symptoms he was feeling a week after suffering a concussion.
Warner admitted he “wrestled” with the question as he was making his way to the meeting to decide his availability to play Sunday. He ultimately decided not to play.
Click here to read the full article – By Arizona Republic
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