TEMPE, AZ - MAY 11: (R-L) Cornerback Jamell Fleming #29, safety Blake Gideon and cornerback Larry Parker #45 of the Arizona Cardinals practice in the minicamp at the team's training center facility on May 11, 2012 in Tempe, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Jess put up a post a couple of days ago regarding Mike Sando's belief that the Cardinals secondary is going to be one to look out for in 2012. They added many pieces to the puzzle and will be getting back some pieces that they didn't have last year.
For starters, Patrick Peterson will improve. Greg Toler is coming back from his torn ACL. Plus, the team added William Gay, James Sanders, Jamell Fleming and Justin Bethel to the team via free agency and the draft.
Before all of that, Richard Marshall packed up his bags to follow Karlos Dansby to join the Dolphins in South Beach. But once all of these players were added, it became more and more apparent that losing Marshall really won't hurt the team that much in 2012.
Marshall's versatility in the secondary cannot be overlooked. Cardinals defensive coordinator, Ray Horton was able to use him in a variety of ways. He played as the nickel corner in the slot, on the outside and even as a free safety at times.
But when Marshall was offered a three-year, $16 million contract with $6 million guaranteed, the Cardinals were unwilling to match it.
It turns out, that may not be such a big deal. Reports coming out of OTAs and minicamps seem to suggest that the team is fully stocked up in the secondary anyhow. Jamell Fleming is an early surprise that is not only physically gifted, but his mental ability is what sets him apart as a cornerback.
As I said, Peterson will improve. It is hard to envision a scenario in which he doesn't. Gay, Toler, Michael Adams, A.J. Jefferson and Marshay Green will round out the rest of the group, which is full of players that all have different skillsets.
I know that I am pretty excited to see what this group can accomplish next season. What about you?