The Arizona Cardinals have undergone a large turnover on the roster on offense, and had a big turnover from a philosophical standpoint on defense.
Yet, one thing that Cardinals fans have continually wondered aloud about is the lack of investment at cornerback and safety depth.
Bleacher Report’s Justis Mosqueda agrees:
The Arizona Cardinals have lost a lot of defensive assets over the last few years, including defensive coordinator James Bettcher. This year, their secondary will miss hybrid defensive back Tyrann Mathieu, who played 1,053 snaps on defense in 2017, and cornerback Tramon Williams, who had a bounce-back season.
This is something that has been talked about quite a bit.
The Cardinals let two known commodities in Mathieu and Williams go and in turn brought in Jamar Taylor.
Now, Mathieu’s role would have been more defined under Steve Wilks and in Al Holcomb’s defensive scheme we assume, but that is a lot of snaps lost and Mosqueda agreed.
Budda Baker, a second-year player who played just 48.4 percent of defensive snaps last year, will likely be on the field for every snap that he’s healthy for. At cornerback, Williams’ replacement is still a question mark.
The Tramon Williams conundrum is one we’ve talked about as well.
Losing Williams and having to scramble for a replacement, eventually trading for Jamar Taylor, was tough.
2016 third-round pick Brandon Williams or the recently traded for Jamar Taylor have to be the clubhouse leaders to fill in for Williams, but there is no must-start cornerback on the roster other than Patrick Peterson. Either way, the loss of a starting cornerback, an every-down safety-slot hybrid and a defensive coordinator, with no proven replacements, is a recipe for disaster.
I disagree with the last part of the statement from Justis. While the Cardinals definitely could have some growing pains defensively, if they struggle or have a disasterous season, it won’t be crazy, simply because the amount of change coming.
They had to address the offense first, they had nothing but spare parts before the 2018 offseason.
Now, they have a car, who knows how it will run, but they have a car that looks like it will run.
Defensively, that may have to wait a year while they figure out the offense first.