With the 2018 NFL season just around the corner, and training camp coming up fast, we begin to look at the Arizona Cardinals roster.
How does it set up?
How do players fit in the new schemes that Steve Wilks and company will run?
The biggest question marks seem to be easy to identify, but what about players that much is expected from?
Could some of those who have performed well in the past let down under a new regime?
Here are three players who could disappoint in 2018.
Deone Bucannon: This is a bit unfair to Deone, who is still playing out of position, but feels like he could be getting a new lease on life under Wilks and defensive coordinator Al Holcomb. Moving Deone out of the middle and letting him use his athletic prowess to create mismatches against offense is the key to success.
However, there are two things that could lead to problems. This is another new position for Bucannon to learn. He’ll be manning the weak side linebacker spot and be asked, if Wilks brings over his Carolina philosophy, to do more than just run and chase.
Which leads to the other reason Deone could disappoint... He’ll be constantly compared to the Thomas Davis, the dynamic, playmaking linebacker who has thrived as the WLB for the Panthers for years.
How will Bucannon do in his new role?
Patrick Peterson: Mitch did a great job of explaining why Peterson is do for a big year and I tend to agree.
However, the evidence we have thus far of Peterson playing mainly zone is less than thrilling. Now, that’s not to say that Peterson won’t take off, again I think he will, but the change in responsibility and what is expected could take some time and make 2018 tough.
Markus Golden: Yes, three defensive players, but that is the side of the ball many, myself included, are expecting to have the least fluctuation.
Except, with a new coach, a new scheme and new responsibilities, the Cardinals defense could be a much different animal, especially early, in 2018.
That’s why Golden falls in here as well. He is coming off an ACL tear, he never had great athleticism to begin with, instead relying on a motor that didn’t quit along with strength at the point of attack that made him a terror on the field.
Now, he’ll be asked to do things a little different, while also working his way back in slowly as a contributor.
How will Golden and his knee react to the changes?
While I don’t expect any of the three players above to be bad in 2018, I do think there is a good chance that they could disappoint in 2018.