CHICAGO - AUGUST 28: Stephen Williams #14 of the Arizona Cardinals flips the ball after scoring a touchdown as Charles Tillman #33 of the Chicago Bears gets up during a preseason game at Soldier Field on August 28 2010 in Chicago Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
The search for 53 will continue as early as today with the Cards expected to make their first cut of five. Although the deadline is the 8/31, why not get it it over with and ease some troubled minds. One player making a name for himself is undrafted rookie Stephen Williams. He has been called everything from a Beast to a Beast. Me personally, I think of him as a Beast. There is no other way to describe him, although Beast would work if you're fishing. Even Fitz has taken notice of the rookie's qualities calling him "the Playmaker". If that isn't a compliment and a glowing endorsement, I don't know what is.
But Williams is not the only rookie vying for a roster spot. The battle for the third (or second if you believe the rumors) QB spot is a battle between two promising candidates, John Skelton and Max Hall. Week four will display very few starters for even fewer minutes as it is used to let the camp hopefuls get that last hoorah and to impress before the big cut. So who is indeed on their way out this week? Let's look at it position by position.
As of right now we have four QBs and it looks like they will all be staying, for now. I say for now because I just heard the weirdest trade rumor on Fox Sports radio. And I quote, "the Cardinals are in talks with the Redskins about a possible trade involving Matt Leinart for Albert Haynesworth." Now I immediately rushed home to search the web and found nothing so take that with a grain of salt. It is an interesting trade though. It would give us another big guy in the trenches that at this point we don't need. You just have to love rumors.
Prediction: I see no changes at this position.
With five running backs I could easily see one loosing this fight. But Timmy and Beanie should see limited action meaning more time for LSH, Wright and Smith. Even though Beanie hasn't looked his best in the first three games, the coaching staff is well aware of what he can do and will probably not risk his health in an otherwise meaningless game.
Prediction: I see Smith gone until the practice squad signings, but not this week.
With the possible season ending injury to Nehemiah Broughton and the previous cut of Charles Ali, I see the Cards picking up another FB to go into the final game with. Yes, Reagan Mauia is still around and is the only remaining FB, but how much confidence does the brass have in this guy. Because Ali was an injury settlementrelease, he is not eligible to re-sign before October. Another option would be to use one of the TEs as an H-back.
Prediction: One FB will be added.
With our amazing depth at WR, we could lose two WRs and still have eight to go into the season with. Hopefully we won't need to go that route as everyone should be healthy by Week 1. That leaves the question of who could be released without disturbing our delicate chemistry. Well that's easy. Mike Jones and Darren Mougey are the likeliest of culprits, although Ed Gant is making his case for unemployment felt with his lack of big plays and his early suspension.
Prediction: I see two of those three WRs gone before the next game, most likely Mike Jones and Mougey.
This is where it gets a little tricky. We have five TEs and definitely can afford to lose one, but we are down a FB. As stated earlier, with only one active FB currently on the roster, we could use a TE as an H-back. Sadly, the best person for that job is the TE that didn't even play in the last preseason game, Byrd.
Prediction: Byrd flies the coop.
Our starters are set. But Casey Knips has yet to enter a game. Could this be his shot or is it too little too late for this rookie from South Dakota State? Tom Pestock could also be inserted here since he is also a T/G. Who gets cut first?
Prediction: Knips has great size, but not a great chance. Sorry! Well not really.
If Pestock isn't cut as a tackle, he could still likely be cut as a guard. But he will have competition with Jonathan Palmer. Both could actually be gone but then who would play the next game?
Prediction: Everyone is safe for this week.
The rookie David Moosman is likely gone. He has yet to play in a game and has practically no shot to beat out Claxton and Hadnot as the backup.
Prediction: The Moose Man will be grazing somewhere else after the next cuts.
I don't see any movement here with regard to the ends. The starters may or may not play and the backups (Kenny Iwebema and Alan Branch) could get the bulk of the minutes before their backups (John Fletcher and Jeremy Clark) come in.
Prediction: Everyone is safe for now.
With only three (Branch thinks he's an end and B-Rob doesn't count) NTs on the roster there should be no movement here as well.
Prediction: On to the next position.
Without running any schemes and exotic blitzes, no one has really stood out from this group. With that said, I really don't see any movement here as well. The only major trick will be how to handle the O'Brien Schofield situation. If we cut him to later add him to the practice squad, he will surely be snatched up by another team. If we just keep him on the roster, another player will have to be cut for him. If we leave him on the pup list, he will have to then be added to the roster or we are back at option one. With no definite timetable on his return to the field, it is a guessing game at this point. Many believe he will be better than most of our OLBs once he is healthy and puts his weight back on.
Prediction: Maybe we'll cut an ILB.
Gerald Hayes is still injured which means we only have four healthy ILBs. At this point, I don't see any of them walking just yet.
Prediction: Maybe not but I'm sure we could cut a CB.
In the search to find a companion for DRC we stumbled accross Greg Toler, a player no one expects to have a chance to start (insert sarcastic laugh here). In reality many of us were expecting Toler to start at the onset of camp. When he finally got his chance, he didn't disappoint. McBride, Miller and Adams are also capable of logging minutes in a crunch. A CB that hasn't been so lucky is Trevor Ford.
Prediction: Ford drives off into the sunset.
Absolutely no movement here. I believe all five will be around until the next roster move and possibly beyond.
Prediction: There's safety in numbers so on to special teams.
No need to comment here. These guys aren't going anywhere.
Prediction: Have we cut five yet. I lost count.
I can clearly see six players being cut with one of them being replaced by a FB. That is still a net loss of five which is the magic number for the first cutdown. Jones, Mougey, Byrd, Knips, Moosman and Ford are my choices. What are yours?