During this offseason, we the fans are stuck looking at old highlights and clips from games past wondering what the Cardinals could do next season once the lockout is over. The quarterback controversy remains, but now a "problem" concerning the depth chart in the secondary has risen to the forefront.
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is a surefire talent if he can continue to give the effort and energy that we saw back in 2009 when he made the Pro Bowl. Patrick Peterson will be a shutdown corner and a great return man if he can replicate what he did as a Tiger in Louisiana.
As we have discussed this tandem, one man has gone overlooked. Greg Toler did a fantastic job last year after moving into the starting lineup once Bryant McFadden was traded back to the Steelers. Can the Cardinals truly afford to make him a #3 guy and a nickel corner or should he remain a starter?
The cornerback position is one that the Cardinals can finally say they have depth in. With Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Greg Toler, Michael Adams (if he returns) and now Patrick Peterson, Arizona has the talent and the man-power to contain opposing receivers.
The Cardinals just decided to draft Patrick Peterson with the fifth overall pick in May, so Ken Whisenhunt is now faced with a dilemma. Will he go with the raw talent of Peterson to start opposite of DRC or will he go with a more experienced player like Toler?
DRC had an off year last year, so is there a possibility that he continues that trend? If so, we could see a starting cornerback duo of Peterson and Toler. After all, looking back to an older story, some people believed that Toler could be a better player than DRC in the long run.
I actually think this guy will be a better CB
than DRC in the long run…he may not get the amazing interceptions, etc but he will tackle, make solid reads, compliment DRC on the opposing side, and most of all READ the field. We need him to step it up hard this off season!
What if he were to compliment PP21 instead? It is possible given the fact that we all know Cromartie is not a guy that is known for making a big hit to cause a fumble or exert any more energy than is absolutely necessary. Toler, at times, is a polar opposite and his energy will be needed on the defensive side of the ball.
I think Punisher's comments from over a year ago (before the dismal 2010 season) were warranted. The most intriguing part was the last sentence, stating that Toler needed to work hard in the offseason. Obviously, he did just that, as he was able to secure a starting role with the team.
Something Andrew602 said over a year ago that still remains true today is this:
Toler brings a combination of size, speed, and agility to a secondary that desperately needs someone to step up and play along side Cromartie. He doesn't shy away from contact either, a fearlessness that is welcome on Billy Davis' defense.
The only difference is that it is now Ray Horton's defense, which puts even more emphasis on hard hits and the blitz. This type of play could work favorably for Toler.
I think that Toler will be a starter through at least half of the next season. Whisenhunt will stay true to his beliefs of not starting rookies unless he has no other choice, whether that is through injury or poor veteran play. We really do not know what we have with Peterson yet and DRC needs to regain the trust of the fans and the organization.
So when thinking that Peterson could be the next Deion Sanders or that DRC will have a breakout season and return to Hawaii, don't forget about the solid play of Greg Toler. A guy with that type of talent and work ethic should never be overlooked.