Cardinals broadcaster Dave Pasch bullish on team’s roster
Aug 4, 2015, 9:09 AM
With the Arizona Cardinals right in the middle of their first full week of training camp, there is no shortage of optimism surrounding the team locally.
An 11-win 2014 campaign which ended in a playoff loss to the Carolina Panthers was nice, but the Cardinals have loftier goals this season — a Super Bowl victory.
Cardinals play-by-play announcer Dave Pasch has been with the team since 2002, and believes that this roster is the best that’s been assembled in the desert in that span.
“It’s hard to say after three days of camp and one practice in pads, but I look at the top-end talent,” Pasch told Doug and Wolf Tuesday morning on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “You could make the argument that there are eight to ten players at the top end that are Pro Bowl-caliber players on this roster — and then you have depth.”
Quality depth is certainly one of the ingredients most Super Bowl contenders possess, and the Cardinals do have it all over the field after a productive free agency period, a well-regarded draft and the return of several key players from injuries.
“There are some positions where there are question marks — tight end and some depth at defensive back, corner specifically,” Pasch said. “But just think about some of the names that are on this roster. You’ve got the best left side of the offensive line that I’ve seen in 14 years, and probably the best offensive line overall.”
That left side consists of 2014 free agent signing Jared Veldheer, who excelled in his first year with the Cardinals. The tackle anchored the offensive line and was named the team’s Most Valuable Player following the season. This past offseason, the Cardinals upgraded the left guard position by plucking Mike Iupati from division rival San Francisco, giving him a five-year, $40 million deal.
The excitement on offense isn’t limited to the line, according to Pasch.
“You’ve got Carson Palmer, who before the injury, was playing great. You’ve got Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd and John Brown,” he said.
“On defense, you’ve got Patrick Peterson, Calais Campbell and I’m going to throw Tyrann Mathieu in there as well,” Pasch stated. “I know he’s coming off the injury, but I think those three guys right there, those are cornerstone players.”
While the Valley is very bullish on the Cardinals’ roster, the optimism isn’t shared by everyone. In June, Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus and ESPN.com ranked Arizona 24th in the NFL based on the talent level on the current roster.