Confidence, questions and concerns from Week 1 of Cardinals camp
Thursday is the first off-day of Cards Camp. Taking a look back at the first week of fall, here is what I’ve seen that should bring confidence, questions and concerns to Arizona Cardinals fans.
CAMP CARDS CONFIDENCE
1. Palmer’s knee
After the 2014 season spiraled due to Carson Palmer’s torn ACL, the next concern became the Cardinals quarterback’s return from his second ACL rehab. Although signs looked great in OTA’s and mini-camp, there was no way to know what the future held. Then, in the first week of camp, defensive back Tyrann Mathieu completely blew-up running back Kerwynn Williams in team drills. Both players fell into Palmer’s left leg. Carson went down. Carson got up slowly. Carson realized he’s fine — and so did we.
2. Tyrann is back
He’s everywhere. He’s everywhere, fast. He can’t get enough football. He thrives on competition. The element he brings is “Troy Polamalu-esque.”
3. The DB’s as a group
The Cards offense went five-wide. Five-wide works in the NFL because few teams have five cornerbacks that can match five NFL-quality receivers. The Cards defense lined up Patrick Peterson, Jerraud Powers, Mathieu, Tony Jefferson, Deone Bucannon and the brains of the operation, Rashad Johnson. I’ll take that dime package against anybody.
CAMP CARDS QUESTIONS
1. Michael Floyd’s health
If I wrote this two days ago, the wide receiver would be in the previous category. He was having a great camp. His intensity haad improved. The way he went about his job improved. His route-running was far more precise. Floyd blocked downfield like it was his passion and not because it’s his job.
Now, after he required hand surgery Thursday, it’s two questions that we don’t know the answer to: When will he return? And how rusty will he be when he does?
2. LB Sean Weatherspoon
Everyone in the NFL knows the guy can play, yet the question is, “Can the guy play?” It sounds the same but it’s not. When healthy, Weatherspoon isn’t an elite MLB, but he’s pretty high up in the next tier. The guy can play. Weatherspoon never seems to be healthy, so the answer to “Can he play?” becomes “not today.”
CAMP CARDS CONCERNS
1. The Center
Wolf was right to bring it up. It appears Ted Larsen and A.Q. Shipley are quality NFL back-ups. If either starts, that really creates stress for both of the guards, Palmer, the coaches, the fans and the rest of Western Civilization.
2. DC James Bettcher
Bettcher is only here because there’s been no game action for him to be evaluated upon. Any rookie coordinator in the NFL is a concern. Bettcher did say at practice Wednesday that team drills at Cards Camp aren’t scripted like most teams, so he’s calling a defense just like he’d do in a game. If he’s trying to match wits with Bruce Arians and then getting feedback from him after the fact, Bettcher will be fine, in time.
3. QB Logan Thomas
OPINION: Logan Thomas had a good practice on Monday.
FACT: The Cardinals have had five practices.
I didn’t see what Arizona saw in Thomas while he was at Virginia Tech. I didn’t see what Arizona saw last year. I haven’t seen what Arizona saw this year. I want to be wrong. I’m pretty sure I’m not.