OK, so I missed a year (darn the lockout!) but with the end of offseason work and with my time off finally arriving, it’s that time. The proper sendoff into that dead area prior to training camp is my educated guesstimate for the starting lineups come Sept. 9 when Seattle visits University of Phoenix Stadium. Defense today, offense tomorrow. We’ll see if these choices come to fruition, although there is a long, long way to go. A lot can change. So, as always, remember this is just an exhibition and not a competition, so please, no wagering:
DE – Darnell Dockett. I’m anxious to see how he performs with a full season of knowing what he’s doing in Ray Horton’s scheme.
NT – Dan Williams. He was playing better when he got hurt. David Carter was solid as a rookie, but Williams is the key here. He needs more consistency. He knows that.
DE – Calais Campbell. New contract in hand, time to build on what he started.
ROLB – Sam Acho. He was better than anyone could have expected as a rookie.
SILB – Paris Lenon. Maybe Stewart Bradley emerges at some point, but Bradley’s time on the bench has been as much about Lenon’s incredibly solid play as Bradley’s own play. Lenon just won’t let anyone dislodge him.
WILB – Daryl Washington. Hard not to see him as emerging star.
LOLB — O’Brien Schofield. He’s itching to be a starter and to prove he belongs. Now’s his chance. He wants to have the same impact Acho did, and the Cards need him to do just that.
RCB – Greg Toler. Yes, William Gay was there this offseason and yes, Gay has a good chance to be the starter. But for some reason, I think Toler finds his way there. Both are going to play regardless.
LCB – Patrick Peterson. Pro Bowl status as return man. Now he needs to make it so as cover guy.
FS – Kerry Rhodes. Remember how Adrian Wilson burned so much in camp last year – before he got hurt – to make up for his struggles the year before? That’s the sense I get from Rhodes, who is still frustrated from last years’ broken foot and I think wants to show everyone how good he can be.
SS – Wilson. One thing you never have to worry about from Wilson is motivation. The boulder on his shoulder draws from different places, but it never goes away. Horton thinks Wilson will be even better this year now that he’s comfortable in the defense.
Offense is up tomorrow.
Tags: Adrian Wilson, Calais Campbell, Dan Williams, Darnell Dockett, Daryl Washington, Greg Toler, Kerry Rhodes, Paris Lenon, Patrick Peterson, Ray Horton, Sam Acho, Stewart Bradley, William Gay
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