With one game played, we all have a better understanding of which positions have thin depth, high competition and which players need to play a good game against the San Diego Chargers. (LA Chargers? Nope don't like it.)
The 24 year old from Adams State looked good last week against the Chiefs while his fellow young cornerbacks struggled throughout the game. After Bethel, who is pushing for the CB #2, there is no other proven cornerback on the team. With Legree failing to impress last week, Brooks best chance is to maintain consistency.
The 2nd and 3rd defense was absolutely ripped apart last week by Chase Daniel & Co. With Weatherspoon injury-prone depth is essential at this position. Minter looked good, but I want to see more.Kenny Demens, Alani Fua, Edwin Jackson, Glenn Carson or Andrae Kirk. Two of these players have a huge opportunity to step up and get some attention.
Ellington looked explosive and with the starters playing the first quarter I want to see more before I believe he's 100%. It's the historical Cardinals fan in me.
More importantly, Chris Johnson will get some basic reps and David Johnson will play some of the second and all of the third quarter. The Cardinals need a running game if they want to win and Ellington cannot carry the load (see what I did there?) by himself.
I know most people think the Sowell/Humphries is more important, but they're wrong. Humphries is a rookie and should be struggling and as long as Sowell doesn't make mental mistakes he'll start in absence of Massie.
Larsen is far more important. Though he is named the starting left guard he has a lot of competition. Earl Watford is the direct threat, but remember Arians loves versatility. A.Q. Shipley could easily slide over and start at guard with Sendlein becoming the center once more. Ted Larson has no room for mistakes.
The complete opposite of the CB battle, there is insane competition at wide receiver for the 5th roster spot. Shipley caught everyone's eye with his great 56 yard return. By all reports he was making good catches in practice all week. If Shipley can prove himself consistent on special teams and as a receiver he may vault over an underwhelming Jaron Brown and Brittan Golden.
Gunter is the player who is most like Corey Peters, whereas Ta'amu and Xavier Williams reflect what Dan Williams brought to the table last year. Most likely, you see all three getting equal playing time all season, but Gunter obviously has been showing enough that Arians and Bettcher trust him to start.
I'm excited to see how he performs.
Thomas looked good last week. He stepped up in the pocket under pressure and threw quite accurately whereas his competition, Phillip Sims, was prone move out of the pocket at the slightest of pressure. Thomas hasn't received nearly the amount of criticism from Arians as in previous years. This offseason may be Thomas' turning point.
Of course that's what we all said last year.
Who else should we be paying attention to in today's game?