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For what it’s worth in June, offensive edition

Posted by Darren Urban on June 24, 2016 – 2:13 pm

As we maneuver through the dead of the offseason (and I finally get some time off), it’s a chance to survey the landscape of the Cardinals and make predictions about the season opening starters a couple of months from now – like I did with the defense yesterday.

Today, before I disappear for a bit, here is the offensive version, which, given the return of all the skill players, isn’t exactly an exercise in rocket science:

QB – Carson Palmer. As long as he’s healthy and productive, the Cardinals will remain a contender.

RB – David Johnson. The Cards hope that vets Chris Johnson and Andre Ellington stay healthy and contribute to Bruce Arians’ multi-pronged offense. But make no mistake, David Johnson is the running back in this offense.

WR – Larry Fitzgerald. He’s coming of a renaissance season only to be stepping into the will-he-or-won’t-he-retire last year of his contract. Still, he remains the soul of this offense.

WR – Michael Floyd. Also going into a contract year. Had a slightly slow start, but his dominance for a long stretch mid-to-late in the year showed how much of an impact he can really make. Yet another of the weapons that will make this team so hard to defend.

WR—Smokey Brown. Arians said Brown slumped late in the year, so the goal now is for Brown to carry through his talents for 16 games. Avoiding a nagging hamstring injury like the one that bothered him for a chunk of last season would be a good starting point.

TE – Darren Fells. Jermaine Gresham will get plenty of playing time, but Fells quietly had a very solid season last year, and Palmer said he’s shed 20 pounds and looks even better through the spring.

RT – D.J. Humphries. One of the few offensive question marks. All signs point to the 2015 first-round pick starting this season after learning a hard lesson as an inactive player for all 16 games as a rookie. If the Cardinals sign a veteran right tackle as camp opens, all bets are off.

RG – Evan Mathis. The Cardinals signed the Super Bowl champ to a one-year contract hoping he can not only solidify the line but also serve as a mentor – or at least give veteran help — to Humphries.

C – A.Q. Shipley. Eventually, the Cardinals want fourth-round pick Evan Boehm to win this job. But can the rookie learn enough to beat out Shipley by September? I’m guessing it takes a little longer than that.

LG – Mike Iupati. Comes to Cardinals, makes the Pro Bowl, the running game piles up almost 2,000 yards. Probably not a coincidence.

LT – Jared Veldheer. The offensive line overhaul with Steve Keim began with the Veldheer signing back in 2014. The Cards wanted a left tackle anchor. They got one.

OffenseWorth


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Posted in Blog | 16 Comments »


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

  1. By AzDesertRat1953 on Jun 24, 2016 | Reply

    I’d say your dead on Darren, imho, for what it’s worth.

    Come on June 1st.

    GO CARDS!!!

  2. By Scott H on Jun 24, 2016 | Reply

    For me, Humphries and Shipley are the big concerns. Counting on them scares me. A mere year ago, Humphries was a non-factor ( a FIRST ROUND PICK!! ) and we needed to bring back a guy we cut to carry us at center because Shipley wasn’t getting it done. Now, we have them penciled in as starters. I find it scary. Our offense is loaded at every skill position but as we all know, it starts with the guys up front. I hope THESE two guys are up to it.

  3. By creditcard on Jun 24, 2016 | Reply

    Awesome Cards Daily with Harold Goodwin. Growing the coaches as well as the players is truly good leadership.

  4. By Johnny on Jun 25, 2016 | Reply

    Interesting article about Elie Bouka, the young Canadian from the University of Calgary who is trying to make the team as an undrafted rookie. Hopefully he can make it to the practice squad and eventually make the team. It surprises me that the Cardinals even knew about him. On the other hand, the NHL began its annual draft last night and not surprisingly the first player chosen was Auston Matthews, a high scoring forward. And, as some of you likely know, he is not from Canada, nor Russia, nor Sweden nor from somewhere in the USA where hockey has been part of the landscape for generations. No, young Mister Matthews learned his hockey where he grew up in Scottsdale, Arizona. Congratulations to you Mister Matthews and congratulations to all the people in and around Phoenix who are trying to grow the game of hockey.

  5. By Eazy E on Jun 25, 2016 | Reply

    I think Chris deserves to start over David. I know David came on when Chris got injured and starred, but David wouldn’t have had the same impact had Chris never gotten hurt because the man was destined for the pro bowl and maybe even an all-pro team! A.Q. starting is apropos, but Evan and Earl will have something to say about that especially Earl who can play everywhere on the line!

  6. By Eazy E on Jun 25, 2016 | Reply

    Earl coming for D.J. too!

  7. By mitchaz on Jun 25, 2016 | Reply

    Carson Palmer says that the offense has been “tinkering” with some new wrinkles—one of which is the addition of 2 RB sets. It should be interesting to see just how consistently committed BA will be to the running game—and—whether BA will afford Palmer added protections—both cases an effort to keep Palmer healthy over the course of the 16 game season, and hopefully throughout the playoffs.

    Palmer has been raving about Darren Fells—says he’s lost 15-20 pounds and is faster and more explosive because of it—and J.J. Nelson who figures to get a good deal of playing time.

    Impressive too that RB Chris Johnson and TE Germaine Gresham, two key cogs in the system, opted to take less money in order to stay with the Cardinals.

    From week to week, we will likely see different players step up and have big games, depending on what the matchups are. There may be some excellent contributions from Ellington, Momah and Jaron Brown from time to time.

  8. By texascard on Jun 25, 2016 | Reply

    Cards offensive MVP. David Johnson
    Cards defensive MVP. Markus golden

  9. By clssylssy on Jun 26, 2016 | Reply

    I like the idea of the two back attack that we’ve been hearing about & believe that Chris & David would leave our opponents confused and befuddled, especially adding in the receivers and TEs left to content with! In the past, it seems BA has developed something of a mancrush early on for players like Ellington and J Brown and have tried to force them into his vision before they were mature enough only to see their production fall off; I’m hoping we don’t do the same with David Johnson and would rather see the veteran Chris start, easing David in as a closer rather than an every down back to begin with…their diverse skill sets would keep opponents guessing and Chris has shown he is tougher than six boots!
    We have all seen the disasterous results when Carson starts forcing the ball and as I read that John Brown is again spending the break working with him can only hope we don’t see history repeating itself. Also, am wondering what the chances are for JJ beating JBrown out for the 3rd spot, guess training camp will be especially competitive but would bet BA would go with Brown nevertheless.
    I like our new Center because he is really smart and it takes a smart guy to play the position however, it’s complicated and a lot to learn transitioning from college to the NFL. A.Q. has had the time to digest the position so he could be better than many expect…BA seems to think he has developed tremendously in a year so we’ll see when the pads go on.
    Can’t wait for training camp with fingers crossed that all will be healthy. This is going to be a tough year with Green Bay also playing beat the clock!
    I do like your projections Darren.

  10. By Scott H on Jun 26, 2016 | Reply

    clssy –
    When you say you wonder about the chances of JJ Nelson beating out JBrown for the 3rd spot, are you speaking of John of Jaron? If we are talking about JOHN Brown, I gotta say I don’t see that happening. I think John Brown is just too talented and he is more of a complete WR. I like Nelson – and I don’t even consider this a criticism – but I think Nelson is more of a situational player ( I WAS gonna say he is more of a one-trick pony ), built pretty much exlcusively to make big plays deep. Nothing wrong with that. Smoky is kinda built for that, too, but he has shown the ability to catch passes everywhere. AND I think he definitely has better hands. Neither of them are big guys but I just don’t see Nelson as a guy who is going to catch a lot of balls and take a lot of hits.

    Now, if you were speaking of JARON…..Geez, I might feel the same way but until Jaron clearly moves ahead of Nelson, I see more competition there.

    I just love that all of these very talented kids are right here on OUR roster! And they are all BEHIND Fitz & Floyd!

  11. By Jacob Hewitt on Jun 28, 2016 | Reply

    Hey what did I say about fitz would be ranked around
    #20 and I got 26 dislikes I guess I am smarter
    Than y’all Lol

  12. By texascard on Jun 28, 2016 | Reply

    Classy. A twist on your thot. What if jj and smoke were used for the same spot instead of one being in front or behind each other. Maybe they split time. Both having tremendous speed. They must be accounted for near the line of scrimmage and safety must keep an eye on them. But sprinting deep can be very exhausting to speed merchants. So if they could be used in the same fashion to spell each other then the result would be fresher legs into the fourth quarter and more oppurtunities per game for the deep ball (incidently one of the throws that i think palmer does well). Kind of like rolling d lineman in and out of the game. It would open up things for fitz and floyd in my opinion. And make either johnson lethal catching the ball out of backfield by routinely taking the top off the defense.

  13. By clssylssy on Jun 29, 2016 | Reply

    Scott…LOL, I do know my players and the difference between John and Jaron Brown! What sticks w me about John the most is all the drops he had & I dont think he’ll ever be more than a one trick pony, albeit, he pulls off some pretty good tricks! I like Texascards idea of using him & JJ for those special hat trick plays. The smaller receivers are GREAT for speed &special plays but will never be the multi threat of the bigger guys like Fitz & Floyd. Hopefully, with maturity will come better focus and consistency but, I’d take Tyler Lockett any day (and wish we had) over any of the Browns! Overall,I love our receivers just am partial to the bigger guys who are more physical and unafraid to get dirty (as the Badger described Fitz).

  14. By clssylssy on Jun 29, 2016 | Reply

    I know that at times I come off as critical but this team has SO much talent it would be redundant to gush over the obvious! This is going to be probably the best camp ever and the guys we cant keep will be another teams found gold. Just having the time here with such an elite group of players and coaches during OTAs and minicamp, will put them in a class by themselves, what an amazing experience! Camp cant get here fast enough!🏈🎉

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