Shuffle The Cards


By PFC Cardinals Writer Kelley Smelser

Fans raise some of the important points, but I don’t think the NFCW is a walk; we have to get better all around to win it this year and even more so into the next 5 years. All 3 foes have had a lot of low draft picks for the last 3 years. NFL parity is not a fluke and the Seahawks and the 49ers have 2 draft picks each in the first round in 2010 as the Rams get the #1 overall! it’s not just the first rounder’s but the position they pick in the later rounds that raises these teams talent grade across the final 53. I don’t think they have sucked as much as most say, we have made them look like they suck at times but with every year their younglings gain experience, The NFCW is primed to be an elite division and we need to get better every year, We have the experienced talent to do so.

QB

Matt Leinart is not a game manager he manufactures, but he does not despise the run game and will play the entire chess match with all the pieces in play each game. He is a great passer but needs the balance to set up defenses and rest the defense and special teams. Cardinals need to outsmart them as a team not outperform them as an individual, no knock on Kurt Warner, but this a big change in amount pressure applied to each unit of the team.

RB

the lack of Run production was purely by play calling and design. Edge did great in the 08 playoffs , we had something good and it took us to a SB when we balanced up in the playoffs. The Bean is a beast that needs 25 carries a game minimum, He needs the chess game within the chess game to get the maximum of his ability, He has 3 distinct RB elite skill sets in one player, and THT is a huge compliment but should not detract from The Beans carries each game.  I just watched Super Bowl  7 and the RB chess game was magnificent, Kick, Morris, Czonka equals one Beanie! They beat them to submission and then changed pace after establishing a pattern. Most won’t understand but some old school scholars will understand my point.

WR

Q was not washed up He is a great NFL WR for years to come, it wasn’t money that was offered( top 5) it was Drew getting and staying in Fitz’s business! Breaston is closer to Fitz’s skill set than Q’s, but Doucett is closer to Q’s. We need to draft and develop a WR but we are in the elite as long as Fitz is around and has a supporting cast. 3- 1000 yard WR’s is great but I would prefer 2 and a 1500 yard RB in a balanced game plan.

TE

Patrick, Spach and Becht are cut from the same cloth I expect the first 2 to come from this competition and don’t think the talent grades drop too much player to player. The key is Byrd to improve his run blocking and stand above all of them as a receiver. He has the skills but must dedicate this offseason to being a better blocker. Byrd will earn a spot and get the passing downs in my opinion.

OL

Our Oline is the best in the NFL, you cannot grade them on traditional methods with  almost 600 pass plays compared to 365 run plays, different animal. Look at winning the POA while protecting an immobile fearless HOF QB. Keeping the sacks in the mid twenty’s with lack of balance is a monumental task. That’s why Levi was sent to the Pro Bowl by Coaches and peers while many fans disrespected him. A replacement here and there will not affect this young veteran line at this point; they are just peaking now and made it to the SB, and the playoffs while developing as a unit. I will enjoy seeing them pushing forward to road grade compared to falling backward to pass block 50% of the time. They will match up with any line around if the scheme is within normal limits.

DL

Darnell Dockett gets a lot of deserved praise for playing well, much of this scheme is designed to free up DD as well it should. Joey Porter will provide competent and hopefully elite pass rush to help the DL. Alan Branch is a beast with wheels, he makes plays far away from the middle but could be better if asked to take care of the NT responsibility first and foremost. Gabe Watson has no range after the knee problems but CC has wingspan quickness and speed. I expect the draft will provide developmental depth and a rookie will have his work cut out to gain playing time.  Look for scheme changes that allow Porter, Adrian Wilson and others equal priority to DD in Pass rushing situations.

LB

The staff is higher on Paris Lenon than anybody else? I must give them the benefit of the doubt, but for all the Dansby love and tackles offenses destroyed our defense in the short passing game consistently. Hayes is a beast in the run game when asked to stop the run the run stops! When schemed away from it doesn’t! We have Cody Brown and Will Davis in development, their first full camp will answer doubts, one of the 2 should earn a lot of playing time. Reggie walker needs pass coverage skills to make up for lack of size; Highsmith , I think is maxed what you see is what you get. We will be better without Chike and Berry who were spent as 3 down LB’s. Haggans should compliment Porter well while he fills these 2 players roles.

DB

Rhodes is a better safety than Rolle, He may be better these next few seasons but as of now, Rhodes is better on my grades. This will help the defense, AW, DRC and McFadden greatly,  McFadden will have a better year this year with a career safety like Rhodes, He needs the help and confidence of being exactly where Rhodes is suppose to be every time. DRC should be 95% developed as long as his health holds up. AW will be able to take more risks instead of babysitting Rolle developing the finer points as safety. We need to draft CB’s, 2 of them. Mike Adams will never hold up full time and Brown is spent. Toler and Johnson will have this year to prove their worth. I’m not sold on either. Corner back trumps all positions in my draft beliefs, these innate abilities are not  developmental  skills and the drop off in talent is the greatest at position after the first tier of prospects, much harder to find than late round QB’s, RB’s or linebackers.