Updated Sep 17, 2010 - 10:01 am
Burns: Depth perception of Cardinals receivers
It's the reason they don't put diving boards in the shallow end of the pool. Or why they remind you on your rear view mirrors that "Objects are closer than they appear."
Depth perception can be a tricky thing. Very deceiving. Just ask the Arizona Cardinals.
When it comes to the wide receiver position, they thought they had plenty of it. Anquan Boldin was traded to the Baltimore Ravens; and with good cause. He was a malcontent who wanted/deserved/believed-he-was-owed a pay raise.
The Cardinals employed their own "depth perception" and decided…they didn't need Q. The depth at the position was more than perceived. Perennial Pro-Bowler in Larry Fitzgerald, the vastly underrated Steve Breaston, the Boldin-esqe Early Doucet. They even drafted a receiver in the third round for good measure in Andre Roberts and found a little gold nugget in their pan when they signed Stephen Williams as an undrafted free agent. Besides, with Matt Leinart as the QB, the Cardinals clearly won't throw nearly as much as they did with Kurt Warner at the helm.
But objects are closer than they appear.
Breaston is a stud to be sure. But Fitz is hurting, both in terms of his knee and the synchronicity with his quarterback, you know, the one who is going to throw it around a whole lot more than Leinart. Doucet has a sports hernia and is out for a few weeks. Roberts (who - to be fair - was mainly drafted to return punts) couldn't catch a fish with a ten-foot-wide net in camp. Suddenly, the gold nugget Williams is now your third wideout on game day. I'm a little nervous about that.
Not nearly as nervous as I am about Doucet. Look, I won't play the revisionist history game with you. I saw what Doucet did against the Packers in the playoffs. I believed that his emergence and Breaston's steady-eddie play truly made Boldin one of "The Expendables." But at some point Doucet has to prove to everyone that his availability can keep pace with his ability.
Can Williams go from undrafted rookie wide receiver to the #3 guy in game #2?
If not, the Cardinals might crack their heads open in the shallow end of the pool.