But after a week of action within the franchise, the team is once again surrounded by multiple questions. The ROTB Writing Staff took their swing at three of these.
Don't forget to answer the questions yourself in the comments below!
1) What do you think of the Levi Brown trade?
Khodder: I like the fact we got rid of the salary and we get some compensation in return, but that position is only going to get worse this season. There is a good reason Sowell went undrafted our of ole miss. There is a reason he struggled to find playing time at RT behind Winston Justice and Jeff Linkenbach in Indianapolis last season. He is just not a good offensive tackle. Heavy Feet, slow in his pass set. In his only extended action of last season he got absolutely man handled by Paul Kruger and earned Kruger a lot of money.
It benefits the team long term as long as they can find someone to play the position in 2014 without being forced to commit a top 20 draft resource to the position, but the short term play at Left Tackle is only going to go down hill.
Cdeveau: I've never been a fan of Levi at LT. I never understood why coaching personnel could never see the Levi wasn't a LT. My reaction, yay! It takes away any reason the Cards have to not get better at the postion by any means necessary. Bummed a 1st round pick turned into one or more late round picks though.
Alex Mann: I like the logic... But I think it's too early to cut ties with him. Yes Sowell is in the wings but there is no denying Brown is (at least without seeing Sowell play) our best LT. FA is a likely place to acquire our future LT. There has been talk that Brandon Albert is a likely target for us, and of course there is the draft. Steve Keim did say that Brown was not living up to expectations on the field, and that a change had been considered week one. We all know Brown was never Keims guy, he pushed for us to draft Peterson instead, so getting rid of Brown was probably easy for Keim.
D.L. Parsons: Fan-freakin'-tastic! Glad the Cards were able to get SOMETHING for him. Good luck to Ben Roethlisberger. You're going to need a good chiropractor. John Skelton, Kevin Kolb, Derek Anderson, et al, wish you the best. Good thing you are good at scrambling. Because you will be. Levi Brown will turn you into a larger imitation of Colin Kaepernick...on the flip side, who is taking his place? He'd better be good, quickly. Or else Cards fans will have the next guy's name poised on their lips to spit, just like before...
Jesse Reynolds: It makes me nervous because I don't know what we have in Sowell and the FO has basically said Potter isn't starter material. Hopefully Sowell plays well.
Robert Norman: Great move. He was a below average LT being overpaid and had no future with the team. Use Eugene Monroe as a barometer. He's one of the better left tackles in the league and was worth only several late round draft picks. Since rumors were already circulating about him being cut by at least the end of the year the trade is a positive for the Cardinals just because the cap hit should be less and the Cardinals have another chance to, at the least, improve depth which has been essentially this year. Interesting if the Steelers use Brown as a guard and he ends up improving like Leonard Davis with the Cowboys. However, the Steelers' offensive line is in a much dire position so I doubt that will occur.
Randy Fields: Fan-freakin-tastic. This just shows that even at 2-2 Keim and BA are fighting to rebuild the roster and improve the team to be a winner. They're moving and shaking like this team has never moved and shakes before. I know some will disagree but the season will only get better from here by changing out Levi. I hope some day he gets his chance to play Guard as there's a chance he'll be very good at it.
2) Despite getting the win, the offense had a lackluster performance for most of Sunday's game. What do you think the main problem is?
Khodder: Carson Palmer and playcalling. We refuse to run the ball, we refuse to put the ball into the hands of Andre Ellington in the run game and we load up on Palmer to the point where he has to do everything. Palmer's decision making in the redzone has been dreadful all season long and it really came back to bite on Sunday throwing a lofted pas into double coverage with an open receiver over the middle.
We need to run the football more and with more consistency. We need to make opposition defensive lines think about run rather than pinning their ears back and rushing the passer. If we run the football more, there are very beneficial flow on effects that could help this team a great deal on offense.
Cdeveau: QB accuracy, not protecting the rock, offensive line performance and too many penalities.
Alex Mann: Mental errors. Arians has stressed it, Palmer, Goodwin, Fitzgerald, and even Keim. Yes the O-Line has been allowing too much pressure and that is certainly a factor, but those drive killing penalties, running the wrong routes, and running through the wrong gap, are the main causes of the ineffectiveness on Offense.
D.L. Parsons: Actually, the playcalling is the number one problem. How do you play for an ENTIRE HALF and not throw the ball to Fitzgerald? Is Palmer checking out of those plays called for Fitzgerald? D. Revis is very good, but to allow the defense to shut out your top receiving threat is just uncalled for. Look how he got open on the TD catch. Arians has boasted that he thinks he's the best playcaller. He has NOT proven that yet this season. Secondly, Arians MUST make a change at RB. Why not give Ryan Williams a shot? The staff has already given up on him. If he gets hurt (again) just cut him and move on. Or else give more carries to Ellington, my personal choice. The team needs to establish a run game. That will cut down on the number of potential hits Palmer takes each game. Right now, Palmer's intermittent inaccuracy can be traced directly to his "crawling skin" feeling from the left side of the formation. With Levi gone, this should clear up. Sowell better be instantly good.
Jesse Reynolds: Carson Palmer struggles under pressure. His stats without pressure are excellent but under pressure he seriously struggles. Hopefully Sowell helps Palmer out here.
Robert Norman: Penalties. The dead ball penalties, like offsides and illegal formation, are totally unacceptable. Those can destroy field position and are entirely in the Cardinal players control.
Randy Fields: Penalties and the lack of protection. I'm looking forward to seeing some TE help at LT this weekend and Housler getting heavily involved.
3) Rumor has it that Daryl Washington may have further punished by the league, possibly receiving another suspension for next season. In a worst case scenario, do you think the Cardinal should cut ties with him?
Khodder: It all really depends on the situation and what the truth is. It also depends on Daryl's attitude to the situation. I would say no at this stage, and from a pure "business of football" standpoint you cannot cut a player of the quality of Daryl unless you are facing losing him for a season or longer.
Long story short, tentative answer would be no, but we need this thing to play out before we can really get a good idea of what the situation is.
Cdeveau: What's worst casae scenario? Indefinately banned? He's talented, and we all know talent gets you a longer rope than normal. If his punishments turn his ability to play consistently then I say explore all options, but be mighty careful in making that determination.
Alex Mann: No. Simply. D-Wash is our second best defensive player, and our best man in the front seven. He has a much longer leash since we can consider him one of he best inside backers in the NFL. I do however, stand by my statement that no punishment will be handed down by the team, police, or the NFL.
D.L. Parsons: Let's take the D-Wash situation one step at a time, shall we? Give the man his legal dues. He is innocent until proven guilty, correct? To us on the outside, he looks/sounds guilty as hell. However, we don't know the whole story yet. Plea bargains and horse-trading abound in the legal system. There may yet be a nice solution that allows everyone to save face and get on with life. Yes, talented people get a longer leash. But they also, usually, get that leash yanked harder if found guilty...
Jesse Reynolds: No, he's too damn good and if he stays clean and out of trouble all year we should extend him.
Robert Norman: I'm not sure I really see the reason at this point. If he is found guilty the situation definitely changes, but let's first see how he plays next week against the Panthers.
Randy Fields: Washington is a great player and he's going to get an opportunity to play now while he goes through the legal system. Innocent until proven guilty.