Welcome to the Total Sports Blog’s NFL Training Camp Previews. Up until the start of the NFL season, we will continue to preview each team, and predict their records. The chances that we predict any of these records to be right drastically decreases when Joe is writing the preview.
Today’s team is the Arizona Cardinals (NFC West)
2013 Record: 10-6
Passing Leader: Carson Palmer 4274 YDS 24 TD 22 INT
Rushing Leader: Rashard Mendenhall 687 YDS 8 TD
Receiving leader: Michael Floyd 1041 YDS 5 TD
Leading Tackler: Karlos Dansby 114 Tackles
Sacks Leader: John Abraham 11.5 Sacks
Int Leader: Karlos Dansby 4 INT
FA losses: RB Rashard Mendenhall, WR Andre Roberts, OT Eric Winston, G Daryn Colledge, ILB Karlos Dansby, ILB Jasper Brinkley, CB Antone Cason, S Yeremiah Bell, KR Javier Arenas.
FA signings: RB Jonathan Dwyer, WR/KR Ted Ginn, TE John Carlson, OT Jared Veldheer, C Ted Larsen, CB Antonio Cromartie
- Round 1, Pick 27 : Deone Bucannon, SS, Washington State
- Round 2, Pick 52: Troy Niklas, TE, Notre Dame
- Round 3, Pick 84: Kareem Martin, DE/OLB, North Carolina
- Round 3, Pick 91 : John Brown, WR, Pittsburg State
- Round 4, Pick 120: Logan Thomas, QB, Virginia Tech
- Round 5, Pick 160: Ed Stinson, DE, Alabama
- Round 6, Pick 196: Walter Powell, WR, Murray State
After starting last season 3-4, the Arizona Cardinals finished strong at 10-6.
Carson Palmer was brought in to replace the failed Kevin Kolb. Palmer added veteran leadership and a calming presence that the team had been badly missing since the days of Kurt Warner.
While Larry Fitzgerald has been the man in Arizona for years, youngster Michael Floyd ended up leading the team in receiving yards and may surpass the aging Fitzgerald as the team’s biggest receiving threat.
Andre Ellington will head into the 2014 season as the clear-cut number one running back in Arizona and if he duplicates his season from last year (5.5 YPC), all Cardinals fans and many fantasy football owners will be happy with this offense.
The Cardinals have an emerging offense, combined with veteran leadership and young talent, that certainly makes for an interesting combination and one that could be a lot of fun to watch.
Also, do not overlook 2nd round draft pick TE Troy Niklas from Notre Dame. He may be another young weapon added to this potentially potent mix.
The defense will certainly take a few steps backwards.
LB Karlos Dansby is now in Cleveland, LB Daryl Washington is suspended, DT Darnell Dockett is out for the season.
However there is some good news.
Still in the backfield is CB Patrick Peterson and CB Antonio Cromartie is now in the fold in Arizona, despite having a down year with the Jets last season. First round pick Deone Bucannon and Tyrann Mathieu will be the safeties, both are young, talented, and will get chances to prove they belong in the NFL.
The Cardinals will put up big points but their defense will also give up big points. They don’t have an incredibly difficult schedule, but playing the 49ers and Seahawks twice each does not help. I think the losses on defense will be too hard to overcome and the Cardinals take a minor step back this season.