An Annalysis of our offseason

From the message boards. [Not written by me, I just agreed with a lot of it.


Ok, let me first say that at the beginning of the offseason, I thought we were in trouble. But I think that the Cardinals have done a great job so far in dealing with what's happened.

Starting with the obvious:

Kurt Warner's Retirement: Through FA and the draft, we now have 3 great QB prospects (they're all still prospects in my opinion), waiting to prove themselves and show that they can lead the team. Matt Leinart has the knowledge of the offense and played well against Tennessee (defense lost that game), Derek Anderson has a strong arm and a Pro Bowl in his recent past, and John Skelton appears to have a good set of tools to develop into a great player.

Rolle's Paycheck: 12m to a Free Safety... We all knew wouldn't happen. Rolle is frequently out of position, isn't a sure tackler, and was being paid like an elite corner. After he signed with the Giants and got overpaid, the team made a quick trade using only a 4th and next year's 7th for Kerry Rhodes, who should be an upgrade.

Dansby's Greed: Obviously we couldn't franchise him again, and his new contract made him the highest paid linebacker in the NFL. Unless you're Patrick Willis, you don't deserve that. We made a quick move to get Paris Lenon for cheap, a veteran ILB who is a downgrade, but traded up in the 2nd round to get Daryl Washington, the most athletic linebacker in the draft, ready to be taught by Lenon.

Boldin's Trade: After being rumored and discussed for years, Anquan Boldin finally got traded. I, for one, don't care. He had one year left on his contract and it was well known that he refused to re-sign. In the end, Boldin was traded for a 3rd and a 4th. The 4th was used with a 7th to get Kerry Rhodes, and the 3rd got us a new WR, Andre Roberts, who in school got the 1st down in over 60% of his receptions and lead the nation in punt returns, another need we had. Even with him, we still have Larry Fitzgerald, Steve Breaston, Early Doucet (Boldin Jr.), and a few other new names, including our new undrafted signer who's 6'4" (don't remember his name yet, but I think we'll all know it soon). We're still stacked at WR.

Unproductive Outside Linebackers: Simply put, we have a lot of new young players here who have a lot of potential. Until that potential is reached, we have Joey Porter, who if he performs half as well as he did last season, even while seeing limited playing time, will outperform Chike Okeafor's efforts last year. Clark Haggans was solid as well. Behind the scenes, we've got Cody Brown (Last year's 2nd round pick), Will Davis (6th round, 2 sacks in a 3 game span), Stevie Baggs (Leading CFL LB in sacks), and rookie O'Brien Schofield (Graded as 1st round talent with an injury he should recover from this year). All of these guys waiting for their shot and have huge potential.

Lack of talented Nose Tackle: We ran a 3-4 defense without the most important part. The nose tackle helps by drawing a double-team of offensive lineman on him, often leaving one of the defensive ends or linebackers free to reach the QB without being blocked. This position is also the most important part of the run blocking. We got Dan Williams, widely believed to be the best pure NT in the draft, and should have gone in the top 12 picks, but we got him at 26.

Pass coverage problems: As one other player said, addition by subtraction, first of all. Got rid of Bryant McFadden and he didn't even see it coming (because he didn't turn his head around). Greg Toler looks impressive and should play well next season, and we got 2 new CB's on our team from the draft who are low-round picks and raw, but very athletic and only need technique. We'll more than likely get a veteran CB signed while the new CB's develop. I also think that the addition of Kerry Rhodes will help our pass defense, and that Daryl Washington, our new ILB will match up with tight ends well due to his athleticism. Furthermore, with our new nose tackle and pressure-causing linebackers, as well as 2 great defensive ends in Calais Campbell and Darnell Dockett, we should create the pressure up front to make even a developing secondary look like superstars.

Offensive Line: I'm no expert on this, but I do know that Levi Brown is a natural LT, and hasn't consistently performed well at RT. Moving him to LT and putting someone like Brandon Keith, Herman Johnson, or Jeremy Bridges at RT may work out. We would have focused on this position in the draft if the coaches weren't confident in our developing linemen. That being said, we did get at least one undrafted rookie lineman for camp.

Honestly, I think we've done quite well considering the issues we had to work on. The only things I'd say we may not have done well on were our tight ends... I don't know a lot about Dray, but I'm hoping that Ben Patrick's familiarity with Leinart works out.

Also, we still need to get a veteran corner to play (at least in nickle) while our rookies develop. I do think that DRC and Toler should be our top two next season.

<em>This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Revenge of the Birds' (ROTB) editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of ROTB's editors.</em>

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