The Arizona Cardinals by Monday have to eliminate nearly one quarter of their team to get to the NFL mandated 53 players (plus Practice Squad guys). It ain't going to be easy at least with certain positions, IMO.
Wide Receiver, Tight End, Cornerback, Safety were a few of the slots that supposedly were in flux and with the preseason closing game of a Cards 32- 24 win, things, at least to me, seem just as murky for the back end of the roster as before the game started.
Just to start at WR, for example:
The trio of Jaron Brown, Kerry Taylor and Charles Hawkins seemed destined for the fourth receiver spot. Mike Thomas and Dan Buckner on the inside looking out.
Buckner is gone and probably Thomas, despite the late TD catch. He had snaps at PR but was given no chance with the mile-high altitude kicks. I like his versatility, but I assume his late start on the team will cost him a job.
Meanwhile Brown, Taylor and Hawkins keep plugging away. The exuberance of youth over Thomas' experience will probably outweigh in the end. With that being said, the diaper threesome is a candidate for the Practice Squad, excluding Taylor. But like Cardinal broadcaster Ron Wolfley commented, all Taylor does is catch the football, which seems like a positive to me. Brown had the 55 yard TD. Hawkins dropped an easy one early, then made a tough crowd catch. The WR cuts are going to be tough.
Tight End continues to be a sore spot, literally. Rob Housler is the shooting star incumbent, Jim Dray is the nondescript guy lurking in the shadows (despite dropping first quarter pass) and Jeff King wants to be in the next Casper movie. (Cardinal beat reporter Darren Urban has King not making the roster.) Korey Sperry ("milk truck loose in the secondary") made a few nice catches, and newcomer Quinn had a nice lead -in block for the Ryan Williams touchdown. And D.C. Jefferson continues to be the most up-and -down player (holding call twice, both on nice Andre Ellington runs) then the very next play had a nice first down catch. His new nickname for me is "YoYo". Agree with Urban in that you don't want to expose him to the waiver wire.
On the defensive side, CB and S are probably the positions up for grabs. Will it be 10 defensive backs making the squad or 9? Does the team go heavier on the CB or Safety?
I liked what Curtis Taylor did, maybe saving a spot. he caused a fumble on the opening drive with a undercut to the receiver, though the Broncos recovered. Tony Jefferson did absolutely nothing IMO, to not make team. He fared well, to my eye, with coverages and blitzes, while Antoine Cason was beat at least once.Second hardest spot for cutdowns to read - and I guess an AJ Jefferson trade is possible.
Justin Bethel struggled. Whiffed as the gunner on the first punt return. dropped a possible INT, penalty on a punt return and beaten on an outside route when he jumped inside. Don't know how close he was to the "Turk" to begin with, but last night wasn't a good one.
Cuts to the 53 man squad are going to be painful and sliver-thin.
Wonder if the Turk likes avocados?