We all know the 2014 Arizona Cardinals will be a different team than the one that finished the 2013 season, though no one knows quite how much things will change.
But with free agency and the draft on the docket, there will be plenty of opportunity for the team to try and make the necessary moves to go from a 10-win team that missed the playoffs to one that not only makes it to the postseason, but goes on a deep run, too.
And NFL.com's Adam Schein, for one, is really curious to see what the Cardinals do.
In a piece going over teams to watch this offseason, Schein places the Cardinals second.
I was not surprised that Larry Fitzgerald restructured his deal to give the Cardinals flexibility this offseason. He's a great teammate, committed to doing whatever he can to help Arizona win games -- and he still gets paid in the form of a bonus. Last Friday, on my SiriusXM Radio show, "Schein on Sports," team president Michael Bidwill succinctly summed up his feelings for the perennial Pro Bowler: "Larry Fitzgerald will be a Cardinal for life. Period."
The Cardinals missed the playoffs despite winning 10 games, including a victory over the Seahawks in Seattle. 'Zona is dangerously close. This seemed like a team that could've made a run in the postseason, what with its swarming, play-making defense.
Coach Bruce Arians changed the culture. General manager Steve Keim did a brilliant job improving the talent.
I expect some offensive tweaks from Keim, like drafting a quarterback at some point in the first three rounds.
The idea that the Cardinals are "dangerously close" has to be music to fans' ears, though at the same time the NFL is a year-to-year proposition and there's no way of knowing if a previous year's success will translate to the next.
However, Schein's greater point tends to speak to the general optimism surrounding the team early in 2014, and it's up to the Cardinals to do well in the coming months and upgrade the roster to keep the good vibes coming.