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For what it’s worth in June, offensive edition

Posted by Darren Urban on June 19, 2012 – 8:35 am

Welcome to Part II of Offseason Lineup Guessing, where speculating is sport. While we already tackled the defense, the offense is today’s target. Again, these are just my thoughts on who will be in the starting lineup Sept. 9 against the Seahawks. So much can change between then and now, with injuries or great/poor play in training camp. So before I sign off for a while for vacation, here we go:

WRLarry Fitzgerald. I’m not sure what else I can even say at this point.

WRAndre Roberts. I think Michael Floyd will play an important role for this team, and Early Doucet will play. But if you don’t know by now the level of confidence the coaching staff has in Roberts with his play after last season, you haven’t been paying attention.

TETodd Heap. Jeff King’s injury changed the dynamic here, and I do think Rob Housler is going to get a lot of time. But right now, I picture Heap as the starter. I also picture it changing as Housler emerges and King gets healthy.

LTLevi Brown. This was set in stone the moment the Cards decided to bring him back after they could have let him float away once they cut him. How he performs will be one of the intriguing storylines of the season.

LGDaryn Colledge. His chemistry off the field with interior linemates Adam Snyder and Lyle Sendlein is undeniable. Hopefully that carries over to the field.

C – Sendlein. Not only the anchor of the line, but has matured into true leader.

RG – Snyder. Cards confident he fits perfectly into what they are trying to do.

RTJeremy Bridges. Will Bobby Massie start this season? I can definitely see it. Will it be for the opener? I just think Bridges won’t make it easy. Let the debate begin.

FBAnthony Sherman. He has the right temperament for the position. This spot will also be used for a second tight end, in which case, I’d say King.

RBBeanie Wells. There is really no disputing this one, although Beanie needs to get healthy quickly. Ryan Williams is going to play a major role, though.

QB – The $64,000 question, isn’t it. Right now, I’m going with Kevin Kolb. As I have said many times, I totally can see a scenario where John Skelton starts. Anything now is a pure guess, because it’s going to come down to preseason games. But Kolb is my thought for now.

That’s it for now. It’s something to chew on for a month. Training camp will be here before we know it.


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52 Responses to “For what it’s worth in June, offensive edition”

  1. By DontTakeLoses on Jun 19, 2012 | Reply

    Good stuff. Agree every position. These rookies will push: Floyd, Massie. If they break thru, watch out! ;)

    Go Cards.

    PS: We’re up to 5 season tix with twins and 3rd on way, those 3 were/will be born into life long season tix. Red Blooded. I’m “only” holder since 89.

  2. By Patrick Eagan on Jun 19, 2012 | Reply

    I think it would be smarter choice for the cardinals to go with kevin kolb as the starting qb. There’s no doubt in my mind he is the better qb.

  3. By Travis on Jun 19, 2012 | Reply

    Watching NFL live last night on ESPN, they had an interesting bit on the Birds’ QB situation. By breaking down what transpired last season while Kevin was under center vs. What John did in the latter part of the year, there is no question that the D was playing better when we went 7 of 9. You have to look at the life in the offense as well. The guys certainly seemed to respond better when John was hurling that thing around. Don’t you think that the positive attitude that was present when he was in there could have a profound effect on the D as well?! I mean, it’s easier to get the defense to ratchet up their efforts when we have a legit chance on winning the games. Just a thought…
    I can’t say enough about how proud I am that we went out and got Kolb, he was the best available option. We just might have gotten a stud in Skelton, I don’t want to see him get bumbled around with no opportunity to build confidence(a la Leinart), how can we expect these guys to grow if they are constantly worried about being benched for trying to make a play?

  4. By Bruce on Jun 19, 2012 | Reply

    Thanks Darren. Have a nice vacation. I think you’re right about Kolb. Coach wants him, and I think we all do. He just needs to go to the next level. Keep Skelton as a plan B this year. Trade him to a QBless team next year. GO CARDS!!!!!!!!!

  5. By Ben on Jun 19, 2012 | Reply

    D. Urb,

    Have a great vacation, you deserve it. Seems like this off-season we got a lot in depth looks into the team than past years. Thanks for always being human in your posts and not just doing talking points or PC responses.

    Where you going? Out of the country?

    P.S. Will we still get ZOOM videos or other little nuggets of information while you are gone or are we going to be in the dark and be relegated to the message board?

    GO CARDINALS!!! I like the way this team has come together, now lets win some games!!!

  6. By Mr Robles on Jun 19, 2012 | Reply

    Do you think Housler will be used as a Wide out too? As for kolb being the starter im all for it I hope he does well but deep down inside I hope Skelton becomes an awesome QB for us. Thing that really bother’s me is Kolb’s health condition to many cuncussions.

  7. By cardsmac on Jun 19, 2012 | Reply

    What percentage of fans would say were booing Kolb at fan fest?

  8. By Dave on Jun 19, 2012 | Reply

    There are a lot more variables here than on defense, but I agree overall with this snapshot for now. I just wonder what Floyd, Housler, Williams and Skelton show in training camp.

  9. By walt on Jun 19, 2012 | Reply

    I think you nailed it . Let the season begin. Go Cards !!

  10. By iammattyoung on Jun 19, 2012 | Reply

    I think that Massie takes the job at RT going into the season. Bridges is good, but he has a clear ceiling, which he often doesn’t even reach. The big knock on Massie is that he’s a bit underweight, but as far as I can tell by scouting reports, he’s actually just as massy as Bridges right now (see how I did that?). While Whiz likes to make rookies “work for it”, I think that Grimm has a bit more creative license over the O-line than respective coaches in other units, and he seems to really like Massie already. I think it’s his job to lose in camp/preseason.

    Floyd will definitely have to wait for his, and do his time on special teams. I think that it’s only right, as the far more talented Peterson would’ve had to wait a least a few weeks had Toler not gone down.

    All I can say about the QB situation is that Kolb will have no excuse not to light it up in pre-season. He had half of last season to just study film and get to know the playbook. He has a security blankets in Heap and Fitz. I know preseason is just preseason, but if he can’t do it against vanilla defenses, and the success of our QB is going to come down to improv, Skelton’s simply better at the jazz.

  11. By Peter in Canada on Jun 19, 2012 | Reply

    Darren –

    I guess I’m one of those who just hasn’t been paying attention. Maybe it’s a matter of geography.

  12. By dean bower on Jun 19, 2012 | Reply

    I cant wait!

  13. By sackman on Jun 19, 2012 | Reply

    QB-I think you mean the 64 Million dollar question! I think you are right on with your quesses. However, I don’t think Cardinal fans are going to have much patients with Kolb if he doesn’t perform well. I do think Skelton will take over by week 5. I hope Kolb proves me wrong. I prefer Skelton, just as I said before, John is much bigger and take hits, he reads the pocket much better than Kolb. I only think what will put him over the top is he needs to learn how to run with the ball when he is flushed out of the pocket, he is like Big Ben he is hard to take down. The last 2 seasons I noticed that when he was flushed out of the pocket he would try to squeeze the ball between 2 defenders when if he would of ran he had lots of green ahead of him he could of gotten positive yards. Make teams scared of your running abilities and maybe receivers will be more open to catch the ball. Skelton makes the O line better. Kolb makes the O line look bad in my opinion, because of his pocket awareness. I do believe that is why our O line looked better the second half of the season.

  14. By cdubbbbbbb on Jun 19, 2012 | Reply

    Most fans really arent sold on Andre Roberts. Ill admit that Im not completely sold on him. He is a very hard worker and his dedication cannot be questioned… that shows in his improved route running (which is ridiculous how good he has become in that area), and his competitiveness on the field. But his hands arent the best and for some reason his skills dont translate to production. I like him alot and think he can become a very special player, but it just seems that Doucet has been more productive so far.

    Could it be lack of experience holding him back? The QB situation? The way he is used?

    Any insight Darren?

  15. By AlexU on Jun 19, 2012 | Reply

    Andre Roberts definitally deserves to start. That game vs. the cowboys he killed it, and Kolb was QB of that game too, just saying. And $64,000 question? I am lost. Are you missing some 0’s and referring to Kolb’s contract?

  16. By Darren Urban on Jun 19, 2012 | Reply

    Ben —

    RE: Stuff

    There will be things here and there when I’m gone.

  17. By Darren Urban on Jun 19, 2012 | Reply

    Mr. Robles —

    RE: Housler

    I think Housler may be split wide sometimes, yes.

  18. By Darren Urban on Jun 19, 2012 | Reply

    cardsmac —

    RE: Kolb

    I think the story was blown out of proportion.

  19. By Darren Urban on Jun 19, 2012 | Reply

    cdubb —

    RE: Roberts

    I think the coaches see him do things on video that most fans don’t notice.

  20. By Darren Urban on Jun 19, 2012 | Reply

    AlexU —

    RE: 64000 question

    Ahh, youth.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_$64,000_Question

  21. By Chuck 1 on Jun 19, 2012 | Reply

    Have an enjoyable vacation,

    When can we expect to see your first post after your vacation?

  22. By Darren Urban on Jun 20, 2012 | Reply

    Chuck 1 –

    RE: first post

    Knowing me, you won’t have to wait until after.

  23. By clssylssy on Jun 20, 2012 | Reply

    Looking better but have hesitation with the obvious, i.e., that we will lose important games because we go with a weak QB. Given Kolb’s past injuries, the Cards are probably the only team in the league that would even make such a gamble when the rest of the team holds so much potential. The Commissioner and the NFL gives a lot of lip service to “player safety” but Kolb has been plagued with injuries including at least two concussion (I believe the magic number is 3, last I read), one of them so serious that he by his own admission still “wasn’t right” until weeks after the regular season ended and he returned to Texas; he is a ticking time bomb to be joining other NFL players in their concussion suit against the league. John stepped up and showed he is able to lead to read the field, lead the team under pressure and finish the job AND is working for rookie pay. I don’t dislike Kolb but think he is too fragile to take the hits and be effective. Maybe if they didn’t have to pay so much the team could start a “Drew Brees QB fund”…LOL…he would be a great fit with our players and would be a “second coming” of Kurt Warner! Whoever, starts, the important thing is that we not only win ALL of our Division games but also some other important road games! We can do it…LET THE GAMES BEGIN! GO CARDS!

  24. By John the Draft Guy on Jun 20, 2012 | Reply

    Wow. Not that many Skelton fans coming out against you.

    I think the secret to the season is not who starts at QB but who will finish. If we have a switch during the year, that means we have issues at the QB spot. Just can’t win without stability there. Whoever is the starter, they must play well enough to hold on to the position all year. Coach Whiz must be patient enough to stick with the starter. The last thing we need is another 2010, with the QBs rotating in and out.

    What a disaster it would be if Peter King is right and Lindley takes over at some point. Not a knock on Lindley, but it would mean the other two failed.

    Therefore, this offseason and Coach Whiz’s choice for the starter is crucial to the success of the season.

    Got to believe most fans would be disappointed if Floyd doesn’t start day one. If Roberts was that good, and with the signing of Doucet, passing on a premium pass rusher to choose another WR would be a mistake.

    Roberts will excel in the slot. He can block and beat 99% of the safety/linebacker zones. While Floyds size fits perfectly on the outside and gives the QB another option outside.
    I can’t wait till you see Roberts, Heap, and Fitz clearing out and having Floyd coming back under and having an opportunity to catch a ball and run with it.

    Of course, the QB must get the ball there.

  25. By fightingbird on Jun 20, 2012 | Reply

    Hey Darren,thanks for the info.you give,It keeps us going in the off season.We are from N.C. and are Cardinals fans so all the info.we can get is great.Ive been trying to get my wife to move to Arizona because she has a sister that lives in Tuscan which is a captain in the fire dept.Last sept. we visited her and I was at the opening game against Carolina and it was a dream vacation plus a win to, well it was great.In all I hope you have a vacation as good as that one,again thanks for all that you do.

  26. By in fitz we trust on Jun 20, 2012 | Reply

    kolb looks so small standing next to skelton lol maybe hes a few yards behind him i dunno… but tonight nfl network will show “top 100″ #21-11…. i wonder if fitz will fit in there, or if he makes the top 10…….. darren whats the deal with wells?? i mean, i know hes been battling that knee injury ( seems like his entire career ) but details have been vauge…. i hope its nothing major, but to me it seems like we might have seen the best of beanie if he cant get 100%…. im pretty sure hes not getting 1000 yards again with ryan williams back there, its gonna be interesting how the running game transitions this year.

  27. By AndyStandsUp on Jun 20, 2012 | Reply

    Have a nice vacation.

    Until the epees meet again.

  28. By clssylssy on Jun 21, 2012 | Reply

    I read an article on The Bleecher Reports about coaches who were “under the gun” this year with Coach Whisenhunt being one of them needing a spectacular season to hold onto his job. They gave him 30% chance of keeping his job with the Cards. While I recognized the Bleecher Reports is little more than a tabloid rag, and they obviously know little about the Cards, it is still a bit unsettling to consider that now we seem to have found a coach like Whiz, we might loose him. I know there are no guarantees in this business but how stable do you see our coaching staff ? It’s bad enough that our players are lost to free agency each year and we don’t seem able to establish a consistency in the team but how do you see the life expectancy of our coaching staff (figuratively speaking)?

  29. By AZ Cardinals Rock on Jun 21, 2012 | Reply

    I know everybody is still hanging on every word about the QBs but I am more worried about the O line. I love all three of the “young bloods” we picked up in the draft and Snyder was also a steal. Without the benifit of pads, can you get a feel for the new guys and how you think the line will shake out?? Even Joe Montana would have a hard time with only a two count before being hit.

  30. By johnnybluenose on Jun 21, 2012 | Reply

    there has been a little talk about floyd doing some special teams work, which i assume means he will be doing some tackling on kick-offs and punts. i think fitzgerald played on some special teams as a rookie but i don’t think it’s wise to put at risk a player who could be a very valuable offensive threat, not to mention that floyd is also being counted on to take some of the pressure off fitzgerald. i do understand that special teams are important and i do not want to suggest that only marginal or easily replaced players should be doing those jobs …. but i would question putting floyd out there.

  31. By Darren Urban on Jun 21, 2012 | Reply

    clssy —

    RE: Hot seat

    In all honesty, it’s Bleacher Report.

  32. By Scott H on Jun 21, 2012 | Reply

    Although I want Roberts and Doucet to be significant contributors, I think it will be a disappointment if Floyd is not passing them both on the depth chart by late in the season. But, hey, whatever. If ANY of these guys can become Anquan Boldin this year, then let’s give that man the ball. A lot.

  33. By Scott H on Jun 21, 2012 | Reply

    Darren –

    I agree with you about Fitz. I’ve run out of words to describe his greatness. But, really, what else needs to be said? I think he is, quite simply, the best WR to play this game since Jerry Rice. With his superb physical conditioning and durability, he is gonna play for a long time, just as Rice did. And if he continues to produce over a long career at the same levels he has produced to this point…honestly, he could be mentioned in discussions of the greatest WR ever. He IS that good. And with that said, I’m done. Time to just sit back, watch, and enjoy.

  34. By Sport245245 on Jun 21, 2012 | Reply

    Here’s wishing you a great vacation. Thanks for what you do. Can’t believe in little more than month, training camp begins. Can’t wait to get up there for a week or so. Take you time going, but hurry back.

  35. By Eazy E on Jun 22, 2012 | Reply

    WR- Andre Roberts???

    No Darren, Floyd should be passed him by the opener. Flody is just better.

    LT- Levi Brown (Unfortunately)

    Should have kept him on the market, we already saw what Levi is, a bust at LT and a half-decent RT, that’s it!

    RT- Jeremy Bridges

    I’ve always liked him and he can play. Massie could start depending on how Bridges plays and how he plays himself, but like Darren said, it won’t be a cake walk.

    QB- Kevin Kolb

    No way he beats out Skelton the way he played last year. He would have to get a hell of alot better than that. Skelton beats him out.

  36. By Louisville Card on Jun 22, 2012 | Reply

    Hi Darren,

    I hope you’re having a great vacation. This question is way off topic, but I’ve been following the Drew Breese contract talks. If he doesn’t sign his tender in the next three weeks he’ll sit out this year and be a free agent next year. With all the trouble the saints are in this year it would seem like a perfect year to take off. I know you’ll say the saints will keep him, but for the sake of off season hypothetical’s…. If he were available next season would the Cards have the cap room to go after him seriously, or would they be in the same boat they were in this year with Peyton? Really attractive but without the money to seriously make it happen?

    I think both qb’s we have are serviceable with the talent that they’ve put together, but neither one will ever be a Breese or Peyton and until they’ve found their Breese Whiz will always have a qb controversy. Which I’m sure he and the organization would do anything to end, but there just hasn’t been any good options with where they draft or in free agency with the cap space they have.

    Just curious of your thoughts, could they have gotten lucky missing on Peyton if they get Breese next year?

  37. By cardsalltheway on Jun 22, 2012 | Reply

    It’s about time. I don’t think Michael Lombardi has much confidence in the “public.” I know I’ll be able to better assess Ken W’s plays and when QB’s(miss open receivers), defense coverage(blows it) etc…Transparency is a good thing Mr. Lombardi. I think he prefers the public not having access to what he probably already had – so typical.
    ‘NFL opens Pandora’s Box by offering All-22 tape to public’

    http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d82a0b2d8/article/nfl-opens-pandoras-box-by-offering-all22-tape-to-public?module=HP11_content_stream

    ” With the NFL allowing fans to view the All-22 film this season, I have a feeling there is going to be plenty of first-guessing in every NFL city after every game all season long.”

    This is going to be a fun season!

    “And therein lies the problem with All-22 tape becoming available to the general public, particularly when it comes to passing plays. Someone will be open and many fans will assume that the quarterback did not make the right read or was locked onto another receiver. Yet in reality there is a progression on every pass play — based on the coverage — that a quarterback must rely on to determine who gets the ball. What might appear to be open on the All-22 might not be on the progression.”

    Yeah right Mr. Lombardi, QB’s are NOT machines. It is possible to throw to a wide open receiver instead of the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd read and fans are just to expect QB’s to do so as I’m sure coaches expect the same.

    “The viewer must know the coverage and understand the principles of the coverage — what looks like man at times can really be matchup zone — before determining whether the quarterback really missed a potential target.”

    Yeah we know Mr. Lombardi, sheeesh!

  38. By Darren Urban on Jun 22, 2012 | Reply

    Louisville —

    RE: Brees

    Brees is going to be a Saint. I’d bet my house on it.

  39. By John S on Jun 23, 2012 | Reply

    Easy-E I agree with everything you said 100%. I thought the same thing when I saw Andre Roberts.. i was like WHAT?? I think Darren has let this coaching staff rub off on him. Why make such a big deal about these draft players then have the attitude well lets stick with the same mediocre thing we had last year. Yea Kevin Kolb… hahaha. Well he should be 100% better now he is having a “full” off-season and now knows the offense as good as anyone… right??

  40. By Darren Urban on Jun 23, 2012 | Reply

    John S —

    RE: Rubbing off

    Read what I wrote in the post above. It is a prediction of who will start, and in some cases, why, like Roberts. Yes, the staff has “rubbed off” on me — how else am I going to have accuracy on such things? My opinion doesn’t mean anything. People want to have an idea what is going to happen. Try not to shoot the messenger.

  41. By cardsalltheway on Jun 23, 2012 | Reply

    “Ryan Williams is going to play a major role, though.”
    College football along with NFL preseason and practice are thus far the only peaks of Ryan Williams career. It is everyone’s fantasy that he can and will play a major role with the big boys on Sundays in the NFL. Until I see it, I’m not getting too excited nor will I expect much. Can he run/catch the ball or get 10 touches in more than 1 given Sunday and survive?

  42. By cardsalltheway on Jun 23, 2012 | Reply

    I forgot to add block to run/catch. I’d be satisfied with running and catching for some RB’s but I don’t think that is enough for Ken W. If R. Williams can’t block or misses blocking assignments(causing you know who to go down with another oopsy daisy), I expect Ken W. to let us fans know all about it like he did with Beanie Wells etc…Perhaps that will be the excuse we hear this year as to why R. Williams isn’t playing?

  43. By johnnybluenose on Jun 24, 2012 | Reply

    darren. i think louisville card brings up a valid and interesting point about brees taking the year off so that he can be a free agent next year. the atmosphere in new orleans doesn’t seem too great and brees certainly seems pissed off at how he has been treated by ownership. he can do without a salary for a year and probably make it all back when he signs elsewhere. sure, brees will miss playing football for a year but manning missed last year and brady missed all but one game a few years ago and they survived. and brees seems to me to be just stubborn and ornery enough to force the issue in saints land. you know more than i do but if it were me, i wouldn’t bet my house on brees staying put.

  44. By Corgon on Jun 25, 2012 | Reply

    No question. Under Whiz, Floyd needs a miracle to be a first week starter, but I’m also sure he’ll have catches from day1 and think he’ll be starter sooner than half way. If the staff can use his skill set the right way, that will be a great help for any of our QB’s. He could be a top target in the Red Zone and in the 4-5 receivers plays after Fitz.
    I’am so excited!! :)

  45. By clssylssy on Jun 25, 2012 | Reply

    I was looking everywhere to buy a #19 John Skelton jersey but find NONE to be found. They have Dansby, Rolle, Leinert, Boldin, James, Anderson,Rogers-Cromarti, Emmit Smith… but no John Skelton. Hmmm…at this time of year, given the fact that he at least made the team last year, one would think he would at least be among those the jerseys for sale! My grandson and my daughter’s boyfriend both are wanting Skelton jerseys and I would like one myself? Hmmm…wonder if this is some kind of message about who our QB has already been decided upon? Any idea about where I could find a Skelton jersey? If not, might have to go back to #16 Plummer….the old standby and family favorite?

  46. By Scott H on Jun 25, 2012 | Reply

    Geez…Leinart jerseys are readily available but NONE to be found for Skelton??? Skelton may not be a household name but he is certainly a lot more relevant than Leinart at this point. Leinart jerseys will still be on the discount racks 10 years from now.

    Then again, I doubt the NFL shop is churning out Kevin Kolb jerseys, either at this point…like the rest of us, they have no clue right now. Yet ANOTHER reason why Kurt Warner should have kept playing. Damn…just when I thought I was over it!

  47. By Richard S. on Jun 26, 2012 | Reply

    I live in the Bay Area and since I believe Leinart is now a Raider, I guess I could dye my Red Cardinal Leinart Jersey Black and sell it. I wanted a Dockett jersey in the game I came to years ago (Leinart’s first start against KC), but all the Dockett jerseys were gone, so I got a Leinart one. Oh well, my Musial #6 Cardinal shirt will always be good.

  48. By William Barry on Jul 16, 2012 | Reply

    Floyd will have a breakout year, and Doucet will play much better than originally thought.

  1. 4 Trackback(s)

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  4. Jul 6, 2012: Word From the Birds Blog | One breakdown of the offensive line
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