Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
As of today, the 2014 NFL pre-season is just four days away.
But while we wait for football season to finally begin, the ROTB Writing Staff took their shot at answering three questions surrounding the Cardinals franchise.
Don't forget to answer the questions yourself in the comments below!
1) Who is one player that will have a lot to prove in the upcoming pre-season?
Alex Mann: There's a lot of guys... Particularly the guys on one year deals... However, my pick is Ryan Williams. This is probably his last chance to prove that he's got what it takes to play in the NFL. If he can't prove it this season, I find it hard to believe he would find a team after.
AndyStandsUp: The guy, to me, that needs to step it up is Dan Williams. Former regime pick that IMO, hasn't lived up to first round status with Lumpkin, Carter, and Scott lined up behind him ready to take his slot. I'll hedge a little that he should be okay from the Turk, but I could see a possibility that he could be let loose. Jamell Fleming is also supposedly walking a tightrope and his injury doesn't help.
Randy Fields: Ryan Williams, he's got a tag of being fragile and it's going to be hard to shake that tag. Just seeing him in the twitter photo from camp the other day with ice on his knee freaked me out. This is his last chance to prove he can be a 1/2 type RB, and if he blows it he might be in a Tim Hightower situation where he'll get a chance somewhere else because of his talent but be one injury away from calling it a career. Whether by his choice or not.
Jess Root: There are a couple. One is Ryan Williams because he has to prove he can stay healthy. Another is Levi Brown because he is coming back from injury, and he has Nate Potter catching up to him.
2) In your opinion, who should the Cardinals start as Punt/Kick Returner?
Alex Mann: At punt, it's solidified as Patrick Peterson it seems. However, the kick return game isn't so solid. Right now I'm going to go with the guys who are our two best players with the ball in their hands. Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu.
AndyStandsUp: Peterson is the ordained PR but if Arians wants to lessen the load he could go with Mathieu or Arenas. Javier could also claim a 53 man ticket by winning the KR job, which in turn would guarantee McCann team-less and Ellington a slight possibility for Practice Squad. Arenas holds so many roster spots if kept and opens so many if released. Interesting guy to watch in preseason. Alex Mann: At punt, it's solidified as Patrick Peterson it seems. However, the kick return game isn't so solid. Right now I'm going to go with the guys who are our two best players with the ball in their hands. Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu.
Randy Fields: Punts, I'm going Patrick Peterson, but even then I'm starting to prefer that he have his main duties be on Defense only. I know he hasn't been injured, but I don't want to risk our CB1 in this pass heavy league. KR - I think Gill might get a chance and he might be something special. This could be his lock to make the roster.
3) Are there any "surprises" that you foresee sneaking on to the final 53 man roster?
Alex Mann: Kory Sperry... I put up my piece about the Offensive roster and put him over King... With King sitting out with his knee issue, Sperry has been reportedly having a really good camp, so says Bruce Arians. Sure we don't have that "blocker" but DC Jefferson is a big guy, who has been hyped for his blocking, but at the same time it has been said he needs to work on it. At 6'6 I have no doubt he can become a solid blocker, and be a good receiver.
There are so many close positional battles in my mind that it's hard to decide before preseason begins. Fanaika has to be an early favorite, especially with the Colledge injury. I like Mike Gibson
to make the team to be the jack-of-all-trades that Snyder and Ohrnberger were last season. And the final WR on the team will be tough. I throw blinded snake eyes on Taylor/Dillard.
Randy Fields: I don't know who yet, but I think it's going to be on the O-Line. It has so many moving parts right now, I see a major upset and one big surprise for making the roster. Let's just see how it turns out.
I already said on the podcast that I think that Alex Gottlieb
could find his way on. Colin Parker
might be another surprise.