Have no doubt, even if new Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians is somewhat similar to former coach Ken Whisenhunt, changes will be made. There are players that no longer fit on this team and under the new schemes that Arians and his coaching staff are bringing in.
One player that might get swept out of town is a guy Cards fans have grown to love. From the sounds of it, Anthony Sherman, fullback for the Cardinals, may be looking for a new job.
In his first interview after being hired as head coach, Arians had this to say to the Doug and Wolf Show on Arizona Sports 620:
"A fullback that plays 15-18 plays a game better be a core special teams horse. I mean a horse. If he's a horse on special teams, yeah. Now, if I can find a tight end to do that same job, I've got an advantage as a play-caller. When I call two-back offense, but the same two tight ends are in the game, you really don't know defensively if they're going to split out, if they're going to be on the line of scrimmage or if they're going to be in a two-back set. That's kind of the advantage of a two or three tight end system."
It has been common knowledge around the league that fullbacks just aren't utilized as much as they used to be in the glory days of football. Teams are heading towards the spread offense and read option where fullbacks are rarely used. So what Arians is saying is that if he can get a big tight end to do the same job with equal skill, why have a fullback at all?
If Sherman were to be cut in favor of another tight end, he would find a job immediately. There are still teams in this league that use the fullback in their offenses, such as the Baltimore Ravens.
But I don't think that will happen. As Arians said, if his fullbacks are a special teams horse, they may stick around. Sherman is just that. He was made a captain in that phase last year due to how hard he plays on kickoffs and punts. He is always a leading tackler and is unafraid to throw his body into the wreckage.
Sherman also has the ability to catch the ball coming out of the backfield. I could see Arians lining Sherman up as a tight end from time to time even if he isn't very tall. He still catches the ball well and can confuse defenses.
We will see what Arians decides to do. I get the feeling that he will test Sherman in training camp to see what he brings to various offensive packages. He may even call Whisenhunt or former special teams coach Kevin Spencer for some advice.
In the end, I think Sherman remains a Cardinal in 2013.