This offseason, there are plenty of roster battles taking place both in training camp and during the preseason games for the Arizona Cardinals. We all know about the quarterback issues and the tug of war going on there, but it goes far beyond that.
After the jump, take a look at some of the contests I have looked at and get my prediction as to who gets the edge when the Cardinals take on the Chiefs later tonight.
Let's start with the obvious one. John Skelton will start the game, while Kevin Kolb will come off the bench behind him. Kolb will probably play through his rib contusion (as he should), but we will have to see how it affects his playing style. Kolb absolutely needs to have a rebound game and for that, I think he gets the edge tonight.
It is doubtful that Beanie Wells plays and Ryan Williams is listed as questionable, but if he plays, look for him to show everyone why he was drafted so high and why he is deserving of that #1 job. Behind him, Alfonso Smith, William Powell and Thomas Clayton are battling for one spot, as LaRod Stephens-Howling is a lock to make the roster. Personally, I like Smith in this race, especially after showing some good skills against the Saints.
Jeremy Bridges is the expected starter at right tackle to start the season against the Seattle Seahawks, but Bobby Massie is not going to go away without a fight. This was a guy that could have gone either in the first or early second round of the draft. He has the skills, but being that he is a rookie, he's going to make mistakes. If he can polish his raw talent, he will make a push. Still, due to coach Ken Whisenhunt's reluctance to start rookies, the edge goes to Bridges.
Andre Roberts started the Saints game as the #2 wideout and I expect him to do the same against the Chiefs. But once again, there is a rookie that will push for his job. Michael Floyd has the skills and talent to be the #2 guy right away, but, again, he's a rookie. Early Doucet could also make a run at the job, but I just don't see him getting it. At this point, I give the lead to Roberts, but he's not out of the woods yet. He will need to show that he can take pressure off of Larry Fitzgerald.
Daryl Washington has one of the 3-4 inside linebacker spots wrapped up. We know that. But across from him, there's still a question mark. Paris Lenon might not play after hurting his ankle in Canton, so Stewart Bradley may get the start. If he can go out and show something similar to what he did last week, the coaches will gain more confidence in him. I actually like Bradley to possibly win the starting spot by week one, especially if Lenon is still nursing a bad ankle.
Across from Patrick Peterson, the second starting corner remains unknown. William Gay started in that role last week and seemed to play so-so, but an average performance isn't going to win that job with all the depth at the position. Jamell Fleming, Greg Toler and A.J. Jefferson want to start, too. Despite coming off of his ACL tear, I like Toler to win this job. I think he is a perfect fit for Ray Horton's scheme and he has the experience and physical ability to be very good.
What do you all think? Who wins these competitions in your eyes? Tell us in the comments section.
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