Before we begin, here are some items that are intriguing, but didn’t make my top 5 -
How many tackle dummies will Chandler Jones break? See video HERE
Will Patrick Peterson keep the QB challenge going with a new QB Room?
How excited should we be with our young offensive trio of Johnson (with a new deal), Rosen, and Kirk?
Will our starting O-Line be intact for the start of the season?
The Actual List
What will the QB depth chart look like after camp?
Coach Wilks has made it very apparent going into camp that Sam Bradford is the starter, and the battle will be between Josh Rosen and Mike Glennon for the QB2 slot in the depth chart.
I could not be happier with Wilks making this clear. I think our current situation is ideal for a young QB coming into the league, and we need to appreciate the fact that our future quarterback has the chance to sit back and learn. We have seen the nightmare story too many times – where NFL teams rush the process and trick themselves into thinking a guy having potential means he’s ready. They throw their young QBs to the wolves, then wonder why their high draft pick didn’t pan out.
This situation is even more exciting to me because Rosen gets it. He understands the opportunity that lies ahead and sees the value in soaking up as much knowledge as he can while Bradford is the starter.
After the first day of camp, Rosen seemed humble and was very complimentary of the veteran QB saying with Bradford, “…The ball goes where it needs to go… It’s his first year in this offense too, and it seems like it’s been his fourth. I am very fortunate that that is the standard I get to see coming into the NFL.”
Bradford’s knee seems to be doing just fine through non-contact drills (I know, that may not mean too much), as all accounts I have heard point to Bradford being very quick and light on his feet in the pocket. Bradford, known as an accurate passer, has been living up to his reputation thus far.
I know a lot of fans weren’t too thrilled with the Bradford signing, but I think the Cardinals did an awesome job filling a current need, without sacrificing future success. I look forward to seeing Rosen wearing a headset instead of a helmet, and think it will pay dividends in the years to come.
Who will step up to be our WR2?
It’s currently looking like second year wide receiver Chad Williams might be in the lead to take over the #2 WR on the depth chart this season. Williams has raved about the new Mike McCoy offense, and has pointed out that things are slowing down for him this season. Both of these factors have led to an increase in Williams’ confidence heading into camp, and based on reports I have seen, it has shown. Will Williams continue to show improvement and hang on to the #2 spot, or will Christian Kirk step it up in his first NFL camp?
Who will patrol opposite Patrick Peterson?
Similar to the WR situation behind Fitz, the Cardinals have had a glaring need at CB behind Peterson for the past few seasons. There’s also a ‘Williams’ in the mix to fill this need as well. The Cards made a move earlier in the offseason to bring in Jamar Taylor from the Browns, and I would think all signs point to Taylor to be the starter. My only hesitation with this is Steve Wilks has been known to work wonders developing guys in the secondary, and he has had good things to say about the progress of Brandon Williams. Will Taylor be the guy we have been searching for? Or, will the tutelage of Wilks take Brandon Williams from a “project” to a bona fide starter?
Will we really have a ground and pound offense?
New Offensive Coordinator, Mike McCoy has been vocal about building the offense around the guys he has, and not forcing them into a system that doesn’t suit their skills. I love this, and hope it’s true. We have also heard Coach Wilks talking about utilizing a ground and pound style offense. I also love this. What I question is, can you combine both of those statements, and have it still be true? Will our current roster really be able to successfully run the ground and pound style?
We still have a lot of pieces from the Arians era, and there wasn’t a lot of downhill, “smash mouth” football being played with Arians calling the plays. A lot of our offensive players have been praising the McCoy offense so far, and we have already seen some success in camp. Take the first play of the first day of training camp – David Johnson lined up behind a fullback and broke off what looked to be a 40-yard TD run. I hope this is a sign of what’s to come this season.
Will our special teams continue to embarrass us?
I’m honestly not sure if we can count the number of game-changing blunders the Cardinals’ special teams units had under Arians. Whether it’s missed FGs, missed tackles, or muffed punts, special teams was without a doubt the Achilles heel of the Cardinals for the entire Arians era. Despite being consistently ranked near the bottom of the league in just about every special teams category, Arians refused to relieve former Special Teams Coordinator Amos Jones of his duties. Now we will finally see if Jones really was the problem, and if new coach, Jeff Rodgers can right the ship.
What are some of the things you wish to see the Cards answer during camp?
Leave your thoughts in the comments section.