GLENDALE AZ - SEPTEMBER 26: Runningback LaRod Stephens-Howling #36 of the Arizona Cardinals returns the opening kick-off for a 102 yard touchdown against the Oakland Raiders during the NFL game at the University of Phoenix Stadium on September 26 2010 in Glendale Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the Raiders 24-23. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Update: To give the poll more time, I bumped it up to the top and added Paris Lenon by popular demand. I slipped my mind but his play has been truly surprising, especially after many fans disliked the signing.
In continuation of our ROTB midseason awards, we'll move on to one that may be more competitive, since the Best Rookie award has been a one horse race thus far. I thought about doing a most improved player award, but it's hard to measure the stats halfway through the season. The Biggest Surprise award should go to someone that has significantly improved since last season up until this point, or to one that has truly surprised you by their play. Here are the nominees:
LaRod Stephens-Howling - If you haven't been surprised by LSH's play so far this season, than clearly you had high expectations for him. He's blown past his seventh-round status since last season and has been one of the best kick returners this season. Should he improve his play on offense, he'll become one of the most valuable players on the team.
Kerry Rhodes - Most fans were excited to see Kerry Rhodes in an Arizona Cardinals uniform this season, especially in the fashion in which he joined the team. After Antrel Rolle departed, Rhodes was acquired in a trade days later. Halfway through the season alone, he's made all of us forget about Rolle. He's also been a big play machine while providing great coverage in the secondary.
Daryl Washington - Not only has Washington been the best rookie of the year, but he's been a huge surprise. It wasn't clear what to expect out of Washington after he was drafted in the second round, especially when he started on defense through the first seven games. He's provided solid play at linebacker as well. For the future, he gives fans something to look forward to.
In a season that has been filled with disappointment, it's difficult to be surprised by many players. These three truly stood out to me however. If you feel anyone else should be added, just leave a comment listing who and why and me or someone else will add him to the poll.
Who is the Arizona Cardinals biggest surprise player so far this season?
LaRod Stephens-Howling (103 votes)
Kerry Rhodes (59 votes)
Daryl Washington (57 votes)
Paris Lenon (15 votes)
234 total votes