The Arizona Cardinals came into the 2011 season hoping that with a few new additions to the team, a new defensive coordinator and a new mindset, they may be able to return to their winning ways and get back into the playoffs. As all Cardinals fans know, this simply has not been the case. The team is currently sitting on a record of 3-7 with little hope of reaching the postseason.
Not only have some of the new additions underperformed, but some players that were on the roster in years past have not lived up to expectations either. Let's examine some of these players and see what they have (or haven't) done to be recognized as such disappointments to the team.
You may have seen my post earlier this month regarding some of Bradley's downfalls and his performance so far. As of late, Bradley has earned some more time on the field, but he is still not living up to the hype he received when he signed his free agent contract with the Cardinals. Most people feel he should be starting at inside linebacker by now, but Paris Lenon still occupies that role. Bradley has failed to comprehend the 3-4 scheme that Ray Horton utilizes and has been relegated to special teams for most of his time on the field. He has the ability to be a very good player, but his presence has not been felt so far.
We have been over and over the struggles of Kevin Kolb as the new starting quarterback for the Cardinals. Some people even feel that his play has been so poor that John Skelton should be starting over him. He has only played in seven games this season after having to sit out the past three with a turf toe injury. During the games he played, he has thrown 8 TDs, 8 INTs and has completed 56.8% of his passes. He has also fumbled the ball seven times and lost three of them. Kolb struggles to stay in the pocket and deliver the ball to his receivers at times and the offense has struggled to score while he has been in command. He has openly admitted that he does not have the playbook down 100% yet, which could be a big reason for his poor play. With a better understanding of the playbook and improved footwork, Kolb will get better, but he has been disappointing as the team's new QB so far.
Cardinals fans were rejoicing the day they found at that Ken Whisenhunt and Rod Graves decided to bring free agent tight end Todd Heap into the fold. Heap, the local Mountain View High and ASU product, has only played in five games this season, starting two of them. He has been out with a hamstring injury for numerous weeks, making no contribution since he played against the Giants in week 4. He has 13 receptions for 150 yards, but was expected to be a much needed safety net for Kolb and a big red zone target for the Cardinals. If he doesn't come back and show why the team picked him up in the first place, I am not so sure he will return to the team next year.
After the Cardinals were unable to negotiate a deal with numerous free agent wide receivers, Ken Whisenhunt announced that he was going to let his young guys have a chance to fill the role of being the number two receiver, namely Andre Roberts. So far, this looks like it was not the greatest of decisions. Roberts has struggled to become a big contributor in the passing game, allowing defenses to stack players on Larry Fitzgerald. Roberts has 25 catches for 294 yards so far, but we have seen most of these come in the past three weeks with Skelton under center. Kolb and Roberts have been unable to develop a rapport and the team has struggled because of that. Early Doucet has emerged as the better receiving option due to Roberts' poor play. He drops too many passes and he fails to gain separation from opposing cornerbacks far too often.
There really isn't much I can say about Levi. Since being drafted fifth overall in the 2007 draft by the Cardinals, Brown has been a consistent turnstile on the offensive line. Pro Football Focus ranks him as the worst pass blocking left tackle in the NFL. He has shown flashes of being a good run blocker, but has been inconsistent at that as well. He allows multiple sacks and incurs numerous penalties. He will not be back with the team next year.
Porter started the first six games of the season as the team's ROLB and was only able to collect one sack during that time. Since rookie Sam Acho has taken over, he has created three sacks and one forced fumble. Porter has been out since week 8 after having his knee scoped. His age shows as he attempts to create pressure on the opposing quarterback. He does not have the quickness or the strength to take on top tier offensive tackles and he fails to disengage from blocks to make plays. Porter is another player that I highly doubt will remain with the team past this season.
Now it's up to you, fans. Who do you think has been the biggest disappointment on the team in the 2011 season? Vote in the poll and leave your comments below.