When training camp rolls around for the Arizona Cardinals, there will be some fierce position battles. In particular, there will be a numbers game with the defensive line and outside linebackers. But head coach Bruce Arians said the numbers game might not be that big an issue.
"It'll be interesting in the defensive line and outside linebackers, the number that we keep," he told reporters. "It may be we go short another position.
"We're going to keep the best 53. If that's eight defensive linemen or nine defensive linemen or six outside backers, we'll keep the best players and get roles for everybody."
Of course he has to say that. At the same time, he is the same coach who has said on multiple occasions they will only keep eight offensive linemen and dress only seven on game days.
The concept makes sense, but with the Cardinals playing a three-man defensive line, he's crazy to think we believe the team will keep nine defensive linemen They'll keep a maximum of seven. They'll keep five outside backers, at the most.
This talk is more about giving hope to players who are just on the outside.
Yes, they will keep the best 53, but what position do you short? Two QBs? That's a possibility, but they are trying to develop young guys. They need that third QB.
It's possible they keep an extra guy at one of the positions. The idea of keeping the top 53, no matter the position, is noble. But when you have to fill a roster, it is unrealistic. These position battles will be fierce, and when cuts come around, there will be defensive linemen who end up with jobs elsewhere because they were really good, but not quite good enough for the Cardinals this year.