The outside linebacker position is where the biggest weakness lies for the Arizona Cardinals. Both Sam Acho and O’Brien Schofield are talented and young but combined for just 11 sacks last season. These numbers are hard to interpret and either of these two has a chance to be a legitimate starter. O’Brien Schofield must improve his game, as Joey Porter is on the decline.
If you’re a football fan, you know how much optimism Larry Fitzgerald gives the Arizona Cardinals. The team finished 8-8 last season after rallying from a 1-6 start. They won and lost games in dramatic fashion. Now, with the offense struggling and a lackluster defense, it’s hard to believe they can turn things around in the next couple of years. Fitzgerald’s body language, while not indicating hopelessness, is indicative of his despair.
After a stellar college career, Fitzgerald is about to reach a huge personal milestone. With four more wins under his belt, he will become only the 10th team in NFL history to reach that mark. This is a huge achievement for the franchise, which has existed since 1920. Fitzgerald is only two games away, however, from his tenth consecutive 1,000 yard game. What will Fitzgerald do when he retires?
One of the most important things to note about the Arizona Cardinals’ offense is the way that they involve Larry Fitzgerald. Without a big corner like the Seahawks, Vince Wilfork, and Chandler Jones, the Cardinals offense will struggle to create pressure. They have to be creative in order to make the most of this talent. Fitzgerald has the potential for being a major factor in this team’s success this season.
While this season wasn’t great for Fitzgerald, the team is optimistic about his future and will continue to build on his success. Fitzgerald can keep the Arizona Cardinals competitive with a healthy Carson Palmer, and a talented offensive team. Just like last year, he can be counted on to bounce back in 2013.
Earlier this month, the Cardinals released running back Beanie Wells. Wells was benched after fumbling against the Chicago Bears. He said he intends to audition for other NFL teams. After four injury-plagued seasons with the Cardinals, Wells’ time with the team seemed to be over. Wells believes he will play Sunday. While he hasn’t played in nearly four seasons, he has shown he has talent to play in the NFL.
Wells signed with the team in 2009, the day after the NFL Draft. He competed with fellow running back Tim Hightower for the starting running back position. In August 2009, he was carted off of practice due to an ankle injury. In August, Wells made his professional debut against the Green Bay Packers. He ran for 46 yards on seven carries with two touchdowns. After six months of memory and speech problems, Wells sought medical attention and was signed to the Arizona Cardinals.
Although Wells has had a rough past, he showed signs of grit last season despite his injuries. He should be able handle two hundred and forty five carries this season. Wells is an underrated back, but he can be a top two or three back. If he is healthy, he could be the Cardinals’ starting right back in 2012.
Beanie Wells, also known as “Monster-Mash”, looks like the NFL’s next great running back after a stellar preseason. With his crisp, powerful running style, Wells looks set to join the elite group of running backs. Early projections show Beanie in the top five for rushing touchdowns. Wells received the nickname from an Akron suburb sports writer.
Ryan Williams, the second-round selection of the Arizona Cardinals in 2011 NFL draft was not available for the preseason. The Arizona Cardinals had hoped to use Williams as a backup for Beanie Wells, an injured running back. However, Wells is expected to miss the rest of the season after suffering a turf toe injury. This could give Williams the opportunity to emerge as the Cardinals’ back of the future.
He was forced to miss the entire last season due to a knee injury. The injury also cost him most of his sophomore season at Virginia Tech. He now has five games in the NFL. He will not return to the NFL until his third season, in addition to missing time. Although his injury has cast doubts on his future, Arizona is still at 4-1 and leading the NFC West. Williams is one of the few bright spots for the Cardinals’ offense, but the situation hasn’t been smooth.
While his recovery time is still unknown he has already exceeded his injury limit of six week. In a press conference on Aug. 22, Williams revealed that his injury hasn’t prevented him from practicing. Williams, despite a rough start, is now back in Arizona Cardinals’ starting lineup and will be able prove his worth as the team’s leading running back. With this news, many people will be looking for ways to keep Williams on the field.
Despite Williams’ injury history, the Arizona Cardinals did not trust Williams during training camp. The team fired his agent, Malik Shareef, and hired Eugene Parker. The new agent was a great fit. Williams’ health is more important that his football skills. There is nothing worse than playing for the wrong coach or in the wrong place. If he doesn’t play well, Williams’ career may be over.
The Arizona Cardinals signed Russ Hochstein, a long-serving defensive tackle, to a one year contract. Hochstein, who turns 33 this October, played college football at Nebraska and was drafted in fifth round of 2001 NFL Draft. Hochstein played for the Buccaneers two seasons, starting in 2002. He replaced Mike Compton blesse who left for Detroit in mid-season. In 2008, Hochstein signed with the New England Patriots, where he played for seven seasons, winning two Super Bowl rings. The Cardinals released Hochstein during the final cutdown period of the season.
The Cardinals have a need to bolster their offensive line, which has been struggling this season. Keeping the quarterback upright and protecting the quarterback has been a major issue. Hochstein, a 11-year veteran, will likely play guard. However, he played most of last season as a right guard. The Cardinals are hoping to get something more out of Hochstein. A spokesman for the team did not disclose the terms of the deal.
Hochstein sustained an injury during his six-year Broncos career. He was not available for free agent, so he was cut in the final rounds. The Cardinals released Hochstein in the final round of the free agency process. Hochstein signed with the Kansas City Chiefs a year later and now plays for them. Hochstein will replace Rodney Hudson on the offensive line, as he is out with a knee injury. Ryan Lilja will be moving into center, and may be able play tackle in a pinch.
The Arizona Cardinals should be 7-9 last season. Their offense was terrible and their point differential was negative. Their roster is almost unchanged, but three quality rookies have been added. The offense line is much more talented than last season, and Kolb can put it together, the Cardinals might make the playoffs. So, what can the Cardinals expect this year? Let’s take a look!
Last season, Richard Marshall was a key part of Ray Horton’s defense. He was named defensive MVP by Horton after accumulating 78 tackles and three interceptions. A versatile player who played a variety of positions, Marshall was efficient at pass coverage and run defense. He also proved to be a valuable player in the passing game. But why was he cut from the Arizona Cardinals? Here are his reasons.
Marshall’s lack of experience was a third factor in the Cardinals decision to cut Marshall. With Greg Toler and Patrick Peterson returning from knee surgery, the team was looking to add value at safety. They also lost Crezdon Butler and A.J. Jefferson, but both players are still productive. Arizona signed William Gay, a veteran safety, in free agency. The former Pitt player was a disciple of Dick LeBeau and will provide veteran depth to the defense. Marshall and Gay both are 27 years old but both have safety experience. Although Gay had fewer tackles or interceptions than Marshall’s, both players are capable and capable of playing safety. Both have shown themselves to be solid defenders.
The Arizona Cardinals’ pass defense has seen a significant improvement over the past season. The passing defense is stronger because of increased pressure. Peterson, the fifth overall pick in 2011, resembled a shutdown corner. Although his early career was difficult, he made it to the end. He will be able shadow the No. 1 receiver in his second year. The Arizona Cardinals will have to make significant investments in their secondary defense.