With the losses of Kurt Warner, Anquan Boldin, Karlos Dansby, and Antrel Rolle, one offseason move that has gone unnoticed has been the changes with the Cardinals special teams unit.
Long-time kicker and former Pro Bowl-er Neil Rackers became a free agent this offseason and, with Rackers allegedly turning down an offer from the Cardinals because it was too low, the team signed former Jets kicker Jay Feely. Subsequently, Rackers left to battle for the starting spot with the Houston Texans. Rackers led the league last season, making 94.7% of his field goals. Feely only made 83.3%, but made twelve more field goals than Rackers.
The second major change to the Cardinals special teams unit was the removal of Steve Breaston. No, Breaston wasn't lost through free agency, but he was affected by the trade of Boldin. Breaston will play the number two role at wide receiver now and will no longer handle punt return duties. In his place will likely be rookie wideout Andre Roberts. Roberts stands atop the pecking order to return punts after averaging 17.3 yards per punt his last two seasons of college. Breaston averaged just 6.8 last season.
The two players that remain starters are punter Ben Graham and kick returner LaRod Stephens-Howling. Graham was robbed a Pro Bowl berth last season after he landed 42 punts in the opponent's 20-yard line, only had three touch backs, and had a 47-yard punt average. LSH should have a better handle on kick returns next season after averaging 23.8 yards a return and scoring one touchdown his rookie year. The Cardinals bread and butter last season was their success on special teams. With two major changes, can they expect more success or will they falter?