Gibberman: Let the games begin
The misery of another boring, forgettable NFL preseason has come to end for the Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals went 0-4; these games do not count, that doesn’t matter. In 2008 the New England Patriots, Baltimore Ravens, and Indianapolis Colts, went 1-3 or worse. The Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Seattle Seahawks went 3-1 or better. That being said the Arizona Cardinals coming off their shocking Super Bowl run are giving Cards fans reasons to start getting a little worried.
Kurt Warner looked a lot like the quarterback that played for the New York Giants in 2004. Warner threw zero touchdown passes, had three fumbles, and three interceptions. The first team offense did not look in-sync, Coach Whisenhunt did say after the Denver preseason finale if Warner and the crew were left in the game longer they would have found their rhythm. If Warner does not protect the football in the regular season the offense is not going to be able to find their rhythm and Whiz will not have that excuse to fall back on.
All world rookie cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie showed signs that he has taken a step back. If Cromartie succumbs to the sophomore slump the Cardinals secondary looks a lot more mediocre. DRC was supposed to take that next step into the elite crop of corners joining Champ Bailey, Nnamdi Asomugha, Darrelle Revis, Charles Woodson, and Cortland Finnegan. One thing that scares me about Cromartie is how the coaches keep saying he relies on his talent too much. That to me means he is not spending as much time in the film room as he should be, the special players have the talent and they put in the work. Rodgers-Cromartie should know not only where he needs to be positioned on calls, but where every other player in that secondary is supposed to be. Dominique should be learning to make plays with his head not just his god given talent.
First-round pick Chris “Beanie” Wells needs to stay healthy. Tim Hightower and Jason Wright do not cut it at the running back position. Wells has the potential to be the game changer out of the backfield to compliment all the weapons on the outside. If the Cardinals are able to get Hightower 12-15 touches, Wells 8-10 touches, and Wright 2-4 touches that would keep all the running backs fresh and give defenses different looks to worry about. Beanie is the key because he is the most talented out of the three.
After being negative for a minute there, the Cardinals are still the front runners to win the NFC West. They have the most talent on offense and defense. Last year the Cardinals looked awful in losses to the Philadelphia Eagles, New England Patriots, and the Minnesota Vikings. Coach Whisenhunt was able to get the Redbirds to flip the switch during the playoff run last year. The preseason is over, the regular season is here, time for Ken Whisenhunt to get the Cards to light the bulb again.