Aug 5, 2012; Canton, OH, USA; Arizona Cardinals running back Alfonso Smith (46) is tackled by New Orleans Saints defensive end Will Smith (91) during the first half of a preseason game at Fawcett Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-US PRESSWIRE
The first preseason game is now in the past and football season is finally getting starting. After a loss in which the team didn't play well it is easy to jump to a conclusion, however it is only one preseason game with four more to go.
While much of the focus of the game was on the starting players, the battle for roster sposts was happening in the latter half of the game between the low draft picks, UDFAs and last year practice squad members.
Several young players stepped up big last night and showed that they deserved an opportunity to compete for a roster spot, more after the jump.
One of the best performances last night came from UDFA Laron Byrd out of LSU. Byrd had 4 catches on 6 targets for 54 yards. His impressive size and speed combination was too much for the New Orleans Saints to handle.
On the defensive side of the ball Blake Gideon from Texas had an INT and flashed in coverage. Late round picks from Texas seem to be great investments from the Cardinals with Lyle Sendlein and Sam Acho both former Longhorns becoming starters.
The best performance of the night goes to former UDFA Alfonso Smith. Now entering his third year with the Cardinals, Smith ran for 46 yards on 8 carries with a TD against the first and second team defenses of the Saints. Smith averaged a solid 5.2 yards-per-carry and broke a long run for 22 yards.
If these players can maintain this level of the play, the position battles at our deepest spots will get even more convoluted.