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ESPN analyst Merril Hoge: Cards can use last year’s struggles this year

2014 was a season Arizona Cardinals fans and players alike want to forget. A promising start was followed by injury after injury and ended with a disappointing loss in the first round of the playoffs against the Carolina Panthers.

Some on the team have stressed that 2014 will stay in the past, but one NFL analyst thinks the team should embrace that struggle.

“What happened last year is one of the biggest plusses going into your next year because all of this experience that you’ve created with adversity and injury,” Merril Hoge, analyst for ESPN told Bertrand Berry Thursday on Off the Edge with B-Train on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “You can see that week one. This defense is as complex and versatile as any and as scary as any.”

This was a point Cards quarterback Carson Palmer also brought up to the media Wednesday.

“We have some experience doing it, like you said, going through those situations last year,” Palmer said addressing Andre Ellington’s injury. “I think more than anything we are deep, well-built, well-constructed. One guy goes down and there isn’t a tremendous drop-off; it’s a different skill set maybe.”

Hoge is also a big fan of Palmer and the Cardinals’ offense citing Palmer’s ability to forget about bad plays.

“They are thinking about one thing when they go into the huddle,” Hoge said. “Attack, attack, attack and attack. When you do that and you have the confidence…”

In fact, Hoge disagrees with any pundits who dont’t believe in the Cardinals.

“I think the Cardinals will be in there in the end without a doubt.”

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