I have not heard one negative comment, reaction or analysis of the move the Cardinals made to bring in former Mesa Mt. View Toro and Arizona State Sun Devil Todd Heap. Having him is a big boost to the offense. He can also show young Robert Housler what to do to be one of the better tight ends in the entire NFL.
The strange thing with the move is that now the Cardinals have drafted a tight end, signed a veteran pass catching tight end and also a solid blocking/pass catching combo tight end. The Cardinals hardly ever used their tight ends before now. Based on the moves, you would have to imagine it was based on talent rather than philosophy, especially considering the fact that coach Ken Whisenhunt was a tight end in the NFL and coached them.
The moves also cause me to believe that the offense will look much different this year.
I'm not ready to say that the team is going to morph into a power running offense. I think the personnel and formations will be different than in the past. I think it will look a little more traditional.
I think the only four receiver sets that they will run will be with either Heap or Housler moved out wide. I expect to see more double tight end formations. The two receiver sets will be more common, either with two tight ends or two backs.
I especially am led to believe there will be more two back formations because Tim Hightower was traded. Either the coaching staff is convinced that Beanie Wells has developed enough in pass protection, something they did not trust him with AT ALL last season (as evidenced by his five pass blocking assignments the entire season in 2010), or to alleviate that, there will be another back (like fullback Anthony Sherman) to take care of pass protection in the backfield.
The offense can still be pass heavy, but it will come out of different formations. With Larry Fitzgerald on one side, Todd Heap in the middle of the field, perhaps Braylon Edwards out wide on the other side and a running back combo of Beanie Wells and Ryan Williams, you have yourself a possibly potent offense for Kevin Kolb to run.
If anything else, balance will be a common theme.
If this is indeed what happens, don't be surprised to see four TEs on the opening day roster -- Heap, Housler, Jeff King and the winner of the Jim Dray/Stephen Spach/Stephen Skelton battle for number four. That would also mean the team might carry as little as four wideouts. That would be Fitz, Andre Roberts, Early Doucet and then one or two out of the mix of Chansi Stuckey, DeMarco Sampson, Stephen Williams and Max Komar.
Does anyone else have any thoughts on the matter? Have any of you thought of this? Fire away with the comments.