The Cardinals’ first game is Friday night against the Raiders, so that means the first depth chart of the season was put out today. As always, it’s a preseason depth chart, and there is a ton of wiggle room in what it says and what happens once the games start and who plays on the field.
“It’s (in) invisible ink,” coach Bruce Arians said, laughing. “It ain’t even in pencil.”
That said, it’s always interesting to take a look at where the players are at this point.
— On offense, there is nothing really wacky. The starters, given what Bruce Arians has said about both A.Q. Shipley and D.J. Humphries, are as expected. Perhaps the only notable thing is that, as of now, tryout rookie Chris Hubert — who has flashed multiple times in practice — is ahead of veteran Brittan Golden at one of the wideout positions (behind Fitz and Jaron Brown.)
— On defense, even though Ed Stinson has been with the first-unit much of the offseason and camp, it is Rodney Gunter listed as a starter with Calais Campbell, and the now-injured Corey Peters as the starting nose tackle. Given the depth at the defensive line, the rotation will show starting means little since so many guys will be moved in and out.
— Brandon Williams, the rookie, is the starter at cornerback opposite Patrick Peterson. That’s not a surprise since Justin Bethel has been hurt for so long. Bethel hasn’t been on the field to play since the NFC Championship, although he should be close to a return.
— At safety, something to watch. The starters are the injured Tyrann Mathieu, and he is backed up by Tony Jefferson. The strong safety starter right now is listed as D.J. Swearinger, ahead of Tyvon Branch. Before the offseason, you would’ve thought Branch or Jefferson would be penciled in there, but it is Swearinger right now. As much as the Cards have had to figure out their cornerback situation, their safety spot — especially with rookie Marqui Christian making strides — is pretty strong. There might have to be a tough choice made there too, especially once Mathieu is considered healthy.
Here’s the whole chart:
Tags: Brandon Williams, Brittan Golden, Chris Hubert, D.J. Swearinger, depth chart, Ed Stinson, Justin Bethel, Marqui Christian, Rodney Gunter, Tony Jefferson, training camp, Tyrann Mathieu, Tyvon Branch
Posted in Blog | 24 Comments »
We’ve talked about, in this space, how the depth chart doesn’t necessarily mean much — especially in the preseason. Lorenzo Alexander was listed as a second-teamer last week, and we know how that turned out. But after Bruce Arians said Earl Watford was going to get a chance to start at right tackle Thursday night and Bradley Sowell was moved to left tackle, Watford then showed up as the first-team right tackle on the depth chart. Bobby Massie was second team, and Sowell was moved to backup left tackle (D.J. Humphries remains listed third-team right tackle).
“I’ve tried to put the negative stuff behind me and just be positive the whole way through, to fight my way and seize these opportunities,” Watford said.
Whether Massie might be unavailable for the start of the season — nothing official has been announced about Massie missing games — is beside the point for now. Maybe this is a one-game thing, but even Arians said that battle between Watford — drafted as a guard — and Sowell on the right side has heated up and then, you start wondering about the numbers. How many offensive linemen are the Cardinals going to keep? If you include Massie, there is a case to be made for 10 of those guys. That’s too many, really.
Watford, meanwhile, has kept his head down and continues to insist he just wants to work. There have been no bold proclamations. He knows, in his third year, he’s running out of time to make an impression to stick around. This camp, he has made an impression. He handled Khalil Mack pretty well Sunday. To see him possibly be a Week 1 starter at right tackle would be something of an upset thinking back to the spring — yet a good story.
“Everyone needs a little confident boost once in a while, right?” Watford said. “It was good to go out there and do well and put myself in this position to hopefully start.”
Tags: Bradley Sowell, Bruce Arians, D.J. Humphries, depth chart, Earl Watford
Posted in Blog | 47 Comments »
The Cardinals released the first depth chart of the 2015 season, with their first preseason game coming Saturday night. As noted at the very top of the chart in the team’s press release, the chart is compiled by the media relations staff. It’s a useful tool, but it isn’t the end-all be-all in terms of what the Cardinals are doing on the field. Reading too much into it can be a mistake.
For instance, Tony Jefferson and Tyrann Mathieu are listed as the starting safeties, while in practice it is Deone Bucannon and Rashad Johnson who have been running with the first unit. In the end, all four get a lot of snaps. Ifeanyi Momah is running first unit at tight end and has earned it — but will he stay there when Jermaine Gresham gets back into football shape? And with so many quality defensive linemen, it probably shouldn’t matter right now that, for instance, Matt Shaughnessy is running third team because that will all be sorted out as preseason games go by. Rodney Gunter is fourth-team in the deep unit — but barring something crazy, he’s going to be on this roster.
That being said, here’s a look at the depth chart:
Tags: depth chart, training camp
Posted in Blog | 17 Comments »
The Cardinals released their first depth chart today. There are no real surprises. Newcomer Max Starks is ahead of Bradley Sowell for second-unit right tackle. John Abraham is still listed as a starter. Tony Jefferson is the starter at strong safety over Deone Bucannon. Ryan Lindley is third-team QB over Logan Thomas. But again, these battles are ongoing and we all know, for instance, Thomas and Lindley are essentially fighting for one spot that is basically even right now.
With this being so early in camp, my guess is not a lot will change on the chart. It’s meaning increases once we get to the regular season. Regardless, here is the whole thing:
Tags: depth chart, Roster, training camp
Posted in Blog | 24 Comments »
The first depth chart of the regular season — officially unofficial that it is — is out. Yes, the team puts one out but let’s face it, there is nothing making the coaches stay true to it, so as usual, there is a grain of salt aspect that must come with it. That said, Ryan Williams, after everything he went through in training camp, is still listed as the No. 2 running back behind Rashard Mendenhall. Stepfan Taylor is three, Alfonso Smith four, Andre Ellington fifth.
The rest of the chart doesn’t change much. Jim Dray is listed as a starter now with Rob Housler in the two-tight end sets. That’s no surprise. Dray has been the steadiest tight end the Cards have had. New tackle Bradley Sowell is listed as a right tackle, third on the depth chart behind Eric Winston and Bobby Massie. As always, you can view the whole chart here: http://www.azcardinals.com/team/depth-chart.html
— The Cardinals had a handful of jersey number changes too, the most significant being veteran linebacker John Abraham’s ability to go back to wearing No. 55. That comes compliments of fellow veteran LB Karlos Dansby, who will take the No. 56 of the departed Reggie Walker. Also changing were Winston, who takes No. 73 from No. 65, linebacker Jasper Brinkley, who takes No. 52 from No. 54, and safety Tony Jefferson, who goes to No. 22 from No. 36.
— UPDATE: The Cards filled out the final three spots on the practice squad with LB Kenny Demens (cut earlier this week), DT Anthony McCloud (cut by Minnesota) and WR Sam McGuffie (cut by Oakland).
— Don’t forget the first of weekly Tuesday chats today at 2 p.m. The link is right here.
— In case you missed it, here is a photo gallery from Larry Fitzgerald’s trip to Pitt last night to get his No. 1 jersey retired.
Tags: Anthony McCloud, depth chart, Eric Winston, Jasper Brinkley, jersey numbers, Jim Dray, John Abraham, Karlos Dansby, Kenny Demens, Larry Fitzgerald, practice squad, Rob Housler, Roster, Ryan Williams, Sam McGuffie, Tony Jefferson
Posted in Blog | 27 Comments »
The Cardinals have released their first depth chart, and since coach Bruce Arians already explained what would have been the most noticeable move — LB Daryl Washington as third string, as the team prepares to not have him for the first four regular-season games — the rest of it kind of falls in line with how they have been practicing.
“I wouldn’t get too tied up with where anybody is at,” Arians said. “They might me listed as third in one package and be a starter in another package. I’m really not interested in answering a bunch of question where a guy is on the depth chart for this game.”
John Abraham is listed third at WILL linebacker behind Lorenzo Alexander and Matt Shaughnessy, but Abraham will be on the field in pass rush situations. Of that there is no doubt. Javier Arenas is listed as the No. 1 kickoff return man. Kerry Taylor is listed as the No. 4 receiver for now. Arenas and Antoine Cason are the backup cornerbacks to Patrick Peterson and Jerraud Powers. The rest of the lineup filters out pretty much exactly like they have been practicing in base looks on offense and defense.
Again, the whole chart is here.
Tags: Antoine Cason, depth chart, Javier Arenas, Jerraud Powers, John Abraham, Lorenzo Alexander, Matt Shaughnessy, Patrick Peterson
Posted in Blog | 11 Comments »
The Cardinals put out their first official depth chart of the season today. This stuff is fluid given certain competitions, but they have to make someone No. 1 and No. 2 and so on. There are no shocking developments, but:
— Kevin Kolb is listed as the No. 1 QB right now. John Skelton is the No. 2.
— Jeremy Bridges is the No. 1 right tackle over Bobby Massie, and as I have said many many many times, I expect that to be the case for a while.
— With Jeff King still rehabbing his quad, Todd Heap is the No. 1 tight end, Rob Housler No. 2.
— Behind Fitz is DeMarco Sampson and then Stephen Williams. At the other receiver spot, it officially goes Andre Roberts, then Early Doucet, then Michael Floyd.
— William Gay is the No. 1 right cornerback across from Patrick Peterson. Greg Toler is listed as Gay’s backup, with Michael Adams listed as Peterson’s backup.
— Brandon Williams is Sam Acho’s backup, with Clark Haggans as O’Brien Schofield’s backup at OLB. Quentin Groves is behind Haggans.
— With the large roster, the only second team rookies (no starters) are LG Senio Kelemete, FB Jared Crank and Massie. (And the Cards are incredibly unlikely to keep two fullbacks.) T Nate Potter is third-string, Floyd is third-string, S Justin Bethel is third-string and, with the large amount of veteran cornerbacks, Jamell Fleming is technically fourth-string behind Gay, Toler and A.J. Jefferson (although he will be on this roster, no doubt.)
Tags: A.J. Jefferson, Andre Roberts, Bobby Massie, Brandon Williams, Clark Haggans, DeMarco Sampson, depth chart, Early Doucet, Greg Toler, Jamell Fleming, Jared Crank, Jeff King, Jeremy Bridges, John Skelton, Justin Bethel, Kevin Kolb, Michael Adams, Michael Floyd, Nate Potter, O'Brien Schofield, Patrick Peterson, Quentin Groves, Rob Housler, Sam Acho, Senio Kelemete, Stephen Williams, Todd Heap, William Gay
Posted in Blog | 18 Comments »