The talk of the offseason has been the improvements in the offensive line and running the ball better. After a season in which they were 31st in rushing in the league, something had to happen.
The addition of Mike Iupati and Jonathan Cooper to the starting lineup should help. Andre Ellington is healthy. They drafted a running back in David Johnson.
The Cardinals want to run the ball more and better this season.
In fact, head coach Bruce Arians talked about the running game and how ideally it would go on offense.
He said, "you would like to stay in the 50/50 range and let the fourth quarter dictate" how much the running game is used.
That is interesting because hardly any teams run the ball that much anymore.
Arians was asked about how much a backup running back would play and how many carries he might get behind Ellington.
Arians said it would depend on "who has the hot hand."
"Sometimes a backup has the hot hand that day and you stick with it," he explained. "And there's a time with that third guy with some fresh legs to maybe pop in there. It's always a feel thing."
But that doesn't mean Ellington will get less of a workload. Arians "still want(s) Andre to have in the neighborhood of 20 touches a game, whether it's run or pass."
Health will be the biggest thing. Ellington was not healthy all last season and ended up on injured reserve. Can he avoid that again and be able to play all 16 games? Can he be an impact player the way his was in 2013?
He should be and the running game should be effective if all goes as planned.