Football! Sure, it's preseason football but still fans finally get to see their team in action and the players finally get to hit someone else.
During practice it's often hard to determine who is a camp all-star and who is going to be a true NFL player.
Who's number 2? So far through training camp Jerraud Powers has been the number 2 CB but after tonight it looks like Justin Bethel could make moves to be that outside guy pushing Powers back to his better position of slot CB. Starting the game Bethel ran step for step with Jeremy Maclin, one of the fastest WRs in the league. Later Bethel made a big play knocking a ball loose right before the end of the first quarter on what was a first down and a big game. Overall his tackling proficiency was apparent and he looked good in coverage allowing only one catch to Jeremy Maclin.
Breaking the mold? Seth Cox made the way too poignant remark on our history of second round picks in his most recent article but maybe a player has broken the mold. While it was only a few snaps, Kevin Minter stood out in the run game and was in on a nice stuff with Corey Peters. Behind him the ILB position had some nice plays but overall looked bad with several missed tackles and bad coverage throughout the game. Cardinals really need Sean Witherspoon to get healthy to see what this group has because the 2nd and 3rd units were torched by Daniels and the KC offense.
Secondary has potential. Several good players are going to get cut from the Cardinals secondary. Last years practice squad hold over Jimmy Legree made several plays as well did camp stand out Cariel Brooks against the Chiefs starters. I can see why coaches have felt confident about the CB room on the top half, however the second half the of unit though did not look good and were carved up by Chase Daniels.
Center of attention. A.Q. Shipley or Lyle Sendlein? After 1 game it looks like Shipley may hold on to the position for another week. On the opening drive Shipley did well in protection and was effective on the goal line run. Sendlein looked like his solid self. Holds up well in pass protection and does well enough in the run game.
Where is the rush? It may be another season with blitzes being the source of the Cardinals pass rush. Kareem Martin had a big hit on Daniels and had some nice pressures and Lorenzo Alexander was close to a sack but couldn't bring down the willy Alex Smith. Lamar Woodley didn't pop out to me at any time. We may see some reshuffling of pass rushers next week behind Alex Okafor as the pressure from the edges wasn't getting it done.
Who's in the running? Andre Ellington looked like the Juke Ellington of yesteryear, but behind him the position looked shaky. Kerwynn Williams started slow with the 1st team but gained steam with the 2nd team but finished the night with an ugly 2.9 YPC. Stepfan Taylor looked like a guy who may lose his roster spot if Chris Johnson is signed.
QB battle. Both Logan Thomas and Phillip Sims looked comfortable. Thomas, who played some behind the backup line and some behind the third string line, got better protection than Sims, who had to run away from sacks. Sims struggled with completions, but it was more his receivers. Thomas had an interception that should have been a catch because of Jaron Brown and an incompletion that should have been a touchdown because of Brittan Golden.