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Wednesday before the Broncos

Posted by Darren Urban on September 2, 2015 – 1:49 pm

It’s the fourth preseason game, and there is a short list of the things of which I’ll really focus upon when the Cardinals play the Broncos. Some are about the roster, some are about the lineup.

One of those things is the right tackle start for Earl Watford. It means so much both on the field and with the construction of the 53-man roster, because of the uncertainty with Bobby Massie and the rough camp of rookie D.J. Humphries.

To be fair to Humphries, and Bruce Arians acknowledged it this week, the idea was that Humphries was for the future, not necessarily 2015.

“We were hoping we had a full year to develop him,” Arians said, which speaks directly to the maturity issues Arians has talked about with Humphries, in addition to him being a natural left tackle trying to play the right side.

“But,” Arians added, “there is going to come a time when he’ll have to go out there and he better be ready.”

When you look how the roster is breaking down, and the very real possibility Humphries could be the backup swing tackle on Sundays, you understand Arians speaks the blunt truth. At least Arians added he thinks Humphries, over the last week or so, seems to have come to an understanding of the work ethic needed here. It’s going to take some time on Humphries, but Arians and OC/OL coach Harold Goodwin will work on him. And like Jonathan Cooper, it may take a little while, but there is confidence Humphries will get there.

The other places where I’ll be watching closely as the 53-man roster moves closer to reality (and I will have a post with my guess on that later today.):

— The first game action for running back Chris Johnson and linebacker Sean Weatherspoon after hamstring injuries.

— The last push by three undrafted guys: Inside linebackers Alani Fua and Gabe Martin and cornerback Cariel Brooks.

— And of course, the play of quarterbacks Phillip Sims and Logan Thomas.

— While there are some roster spots that are in the balance, it is the Johnson/Weatherspoon/Watford spotlight that truly affects this team when it comes to playing the Saints in a little over a week. I think the Cardinals have managed to get into a place where if they do not have Johnson or Weatherspoon, they are prepared. I wasn’t sure they’d be able to get to that place with Weatherspoon, but Kevin Minter has had a good enough preseason that they are in a much better place there.

— In case you didn’t see it, recently released linebacker Lorenzo Alexander signed with the Raiders. Happy to see him find a job, and it’s back home — Alexander went to Cal Berkeley.

It’s about time to get the preseason over with, isn’t it?

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Posted in Blog | 6 Comments »


6 Responses to “Wednesday before the Broncos”

  1. By Dr. G. on Sep 2, 2015 | Reply

    Hi Darren – – I look forward to the initial “”53 Depth Chart”” when you get that done. It is a very useful tool for me every year. I just wish the jersey numbers were contained. Thanks again for all your efforts; and yes, ”tis time to rock..!

  2. By Steve on Sep 2, 2015 | Reply

    I would really like to see Weatherspoon flourish in this defense HOWEVER I wouldn’t be surprised if he take himself out of this game and tells the coaches he can’t play because his leg hurts and misses the first 6 games of the season. I like what I have seen from Fua and hope he finds a spot on this roster, same with Brooks.

  3. By Dobie on Sep 2, 2015 | Reply

    I like Sims but it seems Arians favors Thomas

  4. By Andy Kw on Sep 2, 2015 | Reply

    The Raiders picked up a good guy in Lorenzo Alexander. Not only is their offense improving and their defense rising, their ST just got a whole lot better. UDFA Rookie TE Gannon Sinclair signed with the Bears.
    -As for the Cardinals, we need still have a lot of needs at OL, OLB.

    -Prediction for the 53 (with some potential new additions):

    QB: Carson Palmer, Drew Stanton
    FB: Gerald Christian (Surprise, best way to utilize him & to keep 5 TEs)
    RB: Andre Ellington, David Johnson, Chris Johnson, Stepfan Taylor
    WR: Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd, John Brown, Jaron Brown, JJ Nelson
    TE: Jermaine Gresham, Darren Fells, Troy Niklas, Ifeanyi Momah
    OL: Jared Veldheer, Ted Larsen, Lyle Sendlein, Jonathan Cooper, Earl Watford, Bobby Massie, AQ Shipley, Mike Iupati, DJ Humphries

    DL: Calais Campbell, Frostee Rucker, Cory Redding, Rodney Gunter, Ed Stinson, Xavier Williams, Josh Mauro
    OLB: Alex Okafor, Dwight Freeney*, LaMarr Woodley, Kareem Martin, Markus Golden, Shaq Riddick
    ILB: Sean Weatherspoon, Kevin Minter, Alani Fua, Gabe Martin
    CB: Patrick Peterson, Justin Bethel, Jerraud Powers, Cariel Brooks
    S: Rashad Johnson, Deone Bucannon, Tony Jefferson, Tyrann Mathieu
    ST: K Chandler Catanzaro, P Brandon Fields*, LS Mike Leach

    -Have ILB Kenny Demens on speed dial because he will be available, no one will pick him up. The Cardinals like him as a run stuffer.
    -Prepare for the fact that both RBs Kerwynn Williams and Marion Grice will be picked up by teams that want to improve their depth at RB if both don’t make it, that will include Stepfan Taylor if he doesn’t make it either. I can see Kerwynn Williams going to an RB needy team, I don’t think he will clear waivers. Marion Grice flashed potential and so I can see him landing a RB3 spot on another team.
    -I can guarantee, guys like Alani Fua or Gabe Martin will be able to find a new home if they are cut. I have no doubt but both are very well capable of being starters in this league after a couple years.

    Trade:
    -DE/OLB Matt Shaughnessy to NE for a 5th RD Pick.
    The fact that he is versatile and a beast against the run should boost his value.
    -QB Logan Thomas & 7th RD Pick to BUF for a 5th RD Pick
    Rex Ryan loves his read option QBs. I could see them getting this guy.
    -S Chris Clemons to MIA for a 6th RD Pick.
    Lost Louis Delmas and is probably looking for a vet that knows the system. Clemons fits the bill.

  5. By James on Sep 3, 2015 | Reply

    Really!!!! You draft the 21st player overall & don,t expect him to start until next season? I would rather the team cut Humphries than Alexander. Whats up with all these FAs getting the fat paycheck then all the sudden having hard to confirm injurys like pulled hamstrings. Getting a bad feeling here.

  6. By TucsonTim on Sep 3, 2015 | Reply

    Got to be happy for Alexander!

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