For what it’s worth in June, offensive edition

Posted by Darren Urban on June 15, 2010 – 6:55 pm

OK kids. Here is part two – The Final Chapter — of my starting lineup blog guesses. Today is the offense, after I offered up the defense yesterday. There seems to be less in flux on the offensive side of the ball, so these are my thoughts of who will be on the field when the Cards go against the Rams in St. Louis Sept. 12:

WR – Larry Fitzgerald. Fitz had a big year with touchdowns but his yardage shrunk. With Anquan Boldin gone, I’d expect Fitz to look for more of everything.

WR – Steve Breaston. Breaston has proven he can be a good receiver in this league. Assuming Early Doucet stays healthy, the Cardinals will still be in good shape at wideout.

FB – Nehemiah Broughton. The position is open, but the Cards liked what they saw from Broughton late last season once they signed him. They will need a bruiser to help in what is expected to be a more prominent run game.

RB – Tim Hightower. Ahh, the most “controversial” of the starting calls. Will I be shocked if Beanie Wells is starting in St. Louis? No. Could Hightower start Game One and then have Wells move in? Sure. Might they stay Hightower-Wells all season as last year? Yes. Have I mentioned before it doesn’t matter? I am feeling pretty good in saying Beanie will have more carries and be the leading rusher. The other details are window dressing.

TE – Ben Patrick. This is a hunch. They like how Anthony Becht blocks, and I believe Becht will again play a role. I think Patrick would have been in a better spot last season had he not been suspended to start the regular schedule. Patrick can catch, Becht can block. A better, pretty interesting question is whether Dominique Byrd, Stephen Spach or even Jim Dray can find a way into the mix. But that’s for a blog on another day.

LT – Levi Brown. Since the day he arrived, Levi said he felt better at left tackle. Now he gets his chance to show it. Along with more running – the part of the game he is better at – the Cards hope Brown really blossoms.

LG – Alan Faneca. I know coach Ken Whisenhunt didn’t guarantee anything when Faneca signed, but he’s going to be in the lineup and he’s going to be at left guard. The guy has made nine straight Pro Bowls.

C – Lyle Sendlein. I don’t know if Rex Hadnot can slip in here, but Hadnot was playing guard this offseason with Ben Claxton running second team. Again, Sendlein has always been a favorite of Russ Grimm. I think that makes an impact.

RG – Deuce Lutui. Here is the upset pick (and remember, this is my gut – not necessarily because I know it to be true). Reggie Wells will have a good chance to hold on to this spot and Lutui must prove he is a) in decent shape and b) not too far behind after missing all the offseason work. But Lutui is a guy this team wants around long-term and someone they were pleased with the second half of the season.

RT – Brandon Keith. This is what they have been grooming Keith for the past two seasons. Herman Johnson may have a spot on the line in the future, but this is where they see if Keith is ready. Considering how little Keith has played, I think that confidence level is remarkably high.

QB – Matt Leinart. Derek Anderson may be sitting in the background (yes, I’m playing off the photo below) but this is Leinart’s job to lose and his team to lead. No reason to hash and re-hash everything we’ve already said. We’ll see what happens. But Leinart will get his chance to show what he can do after his Warner tutelage.

OK, that’s wraps it up. Catch you all in a couple weeks.

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

  1. By bobF on Jun 15, 2010 | Reply

    It’s gonna be so lonely without you here Darren. Have fun and I’m looking forward to training camp.

  2. By mike b on Jun 15, 2010 | Reply

    awwwwwwww no special teams??? well actually we probably know.
    Punter: Ben Graham
    Kicker: Jay Feely
    KR: LaRod Stephens-Howling
    PR: Andre Roberts (probably)
    LS: Leach: no competition here….
    thats basically it maybe Muhtadi may find his way here but I see Williams or Robinson at NT here……..

  3. By card62 on Jun 15, 2010 | Reply


    Thanks and have a great vacation.
    I agree with your starting line-up and if not game one shortly after game one.
    I just do not know if Lyle S. keeps his job the entire season, but he could keep his job all season if we trade linemen before the season begins..I know you are on the inside so your comments on Grimms thinking on Lyle S are much more accurate than my thinking, but if the Cardinals truly wish to run the ball and dominate I think we need more of a mauler at center like Rex or Duece or Reggie. Injuries of course also could impact our line..
    I do not know much about Brandon Keith so I will look forward to a future story on him and I will watch him closely in the preseason for if he wiffs Leinart could be dead. I totally agree with your thinking on Beanie and Tim and just want them both fresh for the playoffs. I think both of them will have their best seasons in 2010 and combine for 2,600 total yards from scrimmage..

  4. By Mikey on Jun 15, 2010 | Reply

    Offense looks pretty good.

    Hey Darren, this is probably a stupid request, but is there any chance of getting/ is there any point to doing up, a similar list for Special Teams? Ben Graham is an Aussie and im from Australia so im always interested to see what sort of support he will have. Plus who will be on punt/kickoff returns interests me.

    Cheers, and have a great holiday!

  5. By darrenurban on Jun 15, 2010 | Reply

    Mikey —

    Obviously, Graham, who should have been in the Pro Bowl, will be the punter. It’s too early to tell on some of the return game. I’ll get to it down the road.

  6. By Skiptim on Jun 15, 2010 | Reply

    Dang skippy he should have been in the pro bowl. He tied Andy Lee’s record of 42 punts inside the 20 in a regular season. Only difference is, Benjamin Graham did it in 89 punts, whereas when Andy Lee set the record, he did it in 105 punts. Just imagine if Graham had 105 punts last season, he would have shattered that record…

  7. By R Robles on Jun 15, 2010 | Reply

    We Look Great Either Way Even Wells Can Play Right Tackle.Im Hoping We Kick Major Butt This Year Smash People Especially Are Division.

  8. By OLdude on Jun 15, 2010 | Reply

    Excuse me! Mr. Urban(e) you have forgotten the projected cheerleaders!!!!

  9. By brad oneill on Jun 16, 2010 | Reply

    i am with oldude i was really hoping you would reveal something on the cheerleaders! he he he.

    Team looks good to me i am so saving my pennies for sunday ticket right now.

    and ben graham was awesome clutch punts all season long. i hope they are paying that guy good money. and i really hope he doesnt get a chance to break the record this year but if Matt and company falter we are in good hands.

  10. By Gage on Jun 16, 2010 | Reply

    Will it be onrea jones or andre roberts? I am really excited about Roberts. And Onrea Jones is so much talent. I have been saying “watch out for this kid” since last training camp, but will Kenny keep all these recievers?

  11. By darrenurban on Jun 17, 2010 | Reply

    Gage —

    Roberts must prove himself. Doucet had a hard time beating out Urban, if you remember.

  12. By Beauchamp on Jun 16, 2010 | Reply

    thank you for tolerating us CARDINAL addicts on this website. I’m sure I’m not the only one that sweated like a mule in the Sun Devil’s stadium loving the Cardinals for certain players like Jake the Snake and Q when he was brand new on the scene and we were ecstatic when we drafted Fitzgerald. It is something surreal for Whiz to have taken this team to a whole nother level. Like I told Mike Bidwill when I saw him the last time GREAT JOB CARDINALS!!!! We’re finally a winning team for more than one year and with one more year each yr under Whiz lets add one more win this year. 11-5 I think we can. Remember Beanie was hurt through most of Camp last year and he started slow. If he plays like he did against seatle late and detroit from day 1 and hightower breaks off 50 and 70 yard runs like he did last yr we’re gonna be monstrous!

  13. By ben on Jun 16, 2010 | Reply

    Thanks for everything D, get a good vacation in, were going to need you come training camp!!!

  14. By Joe-B on Jun 16, 2010 | Reply

    I believe in Leinart.

  15. By Jesse Robles on Jun 16, 2010 | Reply

    WERE GOING TO BE SICK!!!!!! LETS GO CARDS!!! NFC WEST CHAMPS BACK TO BACK TO BACK!!! (Hopefully) Our DEFENSE needs to be way better and more consistent, I just want to see Joey Porter in a CARDS Jersey smashing people, smash mouth football needs to happen this year, IS IT FOOTBALL SEASON YET!!????

  16. By Canada eh on Jun 16, 2010 | Reply

    OLdude, tehehehe.

  17. By Scott H on Jun 16, 2010 | Reply

    It amazes me that so many people are speculating that Fitz may struggle without having Boldin on the other side when Fitz actually has quite a history of coming up big ( even huge, at times ) in games in which Boldin did not play! Have you not seen the same? I loved Boldin dearly and I never wanted him to leave, but i think his departure could actually open the door for Fitzgerald to reach new heights across the board. I think if ANYTHING will stifle Fitzgerald this year, it will be the emergence of Beanie Wells and a running game that the team will lean on significantly if it is successful. But Fitz will not be stifled by the absence of Boldin. Those who have truly followed this team know that.

  18. By georgiebird on Jun 16, 2010 | Reply

    Your guesswork is as good as anyone else. As a guy who is on the scene, you should bring a little more to the table. Like young guys in your position trying to make it to the next level, you are so afraid of getting on the wrong side of the team or it’s players. Mostly all your comments are very calculated and at the same time very boring.

    By the way, I’m not blaming you- it’s a good career move and most of the people on this site seem to eat up what you say or what you don’t say.

  19. By darrenurban on Jun 17, 2010 | Reply

    Georgiebird —

    Well, I suppose you could tell me what I am or am not saying. Sorry I don’t entertain you. Let me know what I have held back on to avoid whatever it is I am avoiding. You want me to say, what? Derek Anderson is going to usurp Leinart’s spot in camp because Matt will be an epic fail? You want me to say Paris Lenon has no chance to stave off Daryl Washington? What? Tell me. I’d love to know your insight. I’m not going to write something I don’t believe just to spice things up. There is no “more to the table” in June. Decisions aren’t made right now. That’s why coaches have the depth chart the way they do.

    As for being a “young guy,” I’ll be 40 in August and have covered this team for a decade. I’m quite comfortable with how I cover things. It’s funny; when reporters go find controversial storylines, many times fans scream the media is just trying to cause problems from the team. When the information isn’t that exciting or out of the ordinary, then we’re “calculated” and not doing our job.

  20. By OLdude on Jun 17, 2010 | Reply

    SEE! I TOLD YOU SO! If you’d a just done a little “cheerleader” blurb then Goergiebird couldn’.t have accused you of being “boring” and then brad o and I would have been happy and you could have salvaged your career! lol …..just remember Darren, a little sex and manufactured controversy (especially during the “dog days”) goes a long way!! Have a great Vacation sir and tip a margarita for me

  21. By BigRedFan on Jun 17, 2010 | Reply

    Keep doing your thing Darren….AFTER vacation!

  22. By Nikko on Jun 17, 2010 | Reply



  23. By Nateinseattle on Jun 17, 2010 | Reply

    Well said Darren… love your stuff and I have always valued your insight and look forward to your return and more info on the situation at TE and the secondary specifically. Go CARDS…CAN’T STAND THE WAIT!

  24. By Chris B on Jun 17, 2010 | Reply

    Darren, you’re on vacation. Quit working.

  25. By Andre on Jun 17, 2010 | Reply

    Wow, good to see some FIRE! in Darren. Not to say you didn’t have any. You do a great job and all of us know it. Those high school drama queens in the media can shove it.

    It’s funny about the “media” these days. It’s no longer journalistic and you have morons who like to stir the pot like some high school clicks. That’s not journalism, that’s gossip and deserves to be in those dinky tabloids. What an utter loser you have to be to stir up controversy, when there really isn’t any, to “get ahead”.

  26. By Peter in Canada on Jun 17, 2010 | Reply

    I personally like your stuff, and the way you get back to posters. It is June and one can only really state the obvious because no job was ever won or lost in June. OTA’s are meaningless except for getting into better shape and building team spirit. Maybe Washington will beat out Lennon and start but it won’t at the earliest until the pre-season is done. Same with Leinart. Success can only be measured after the fact; his opportunities behind a strong offensive unit have been so limited that nobody can say with real assurance how successful he will be. The Tennessee game didn’t show much because the plays that were called were very conservative. Avoiding turnovers seemed to be the main concern. I hope Leinart does well because if he doesn’t and a change has to be made the season may be lost. My bold prediction is that next year you have a good chance of being 41. Have a good holiday.

  27. By CardsFan876 on Jun 17, 2010 | Reply

    You guys should be thankful for the insight Darren is providing us. Stop complaining…or better yet do it on the messageboard.

    Keep up the great work Darren!

  28. By darrenurban on Jun 17, 2010 | Reply

    Everyone —

    I want to make sure everyone knows, I don’t begrudge Georgiebird, or anyone, their opinion. I can handle the criticism. As long as it’s reasoned, he has a place to say what he wants.

    Now, that doesn’t mean I won’t fire back … 🙂

  29. By cardattac on Jun 17, 2010 | Reply

    Thats right D!!! Have a good vacation my man…. Thanks for stopping by to say hi to us. GO CARDS!!!! I’m gonna sit and watch my CARDS 2008 DVD over and over again just cuz I can’t wait…. Man I’m jonesin pretty bad!! LOL I’ll be ok

  30. By georgiebird on Jun 17, 2010 | Reply

    The group has spoken and they all seem to enjoy your style of reporting. While I stand behind my views, I have to admit from the feedback that you have been a Godsend to our fellow Cardinal fans.
    I have been a Cardinal fan since 1960- their last year in Chicago. I chose the Cardinals because that was the nick-name of my High School team. I remember being at the Yale Bowl during the great Cardinal years of the mid-seventies and watching Jim Bakken field goals win three close games.
    On several occasions in the 1980’s at the Loews Glenpoint Hotel in New Jersey, a friend of mine who knew Lee Nelson (Card db) would arrange for me to meet Cardinal players such as Neil Lomax, Benny Perrin, Stafford Mays, Elois Grooms, Pat Tilley among others. It was quite a thrill.
    So after 50 years of Cardinal fandom- sometimes my thirst for Cardinals’ info goes overboard and maybe it did in this case.

  31. By darrenurban on Jun 17, 2010 | Reply

    Georgiebird —

    Well, anyone who has stuck with this team since 1960 deserves props. We can agree to disagree, but this franchise needs fans like you.

  32. By Jimmy on Jun 18, 2010 | Reply

    Media in any form shouldn’t aim for sensationalism, but accuracy, unfettered by the need to increase readership etc etc…

    But anyway, that is a powerful looking o-line, and we have two backs who run with power and agression. Centre does seem to be the weaker aspect of this line, llye us solid and smart but doesn’t have the beef to really dominate good DTs… Still, with good playcalling from
    Whiz we can pound some teams this year, whilst still having a couple of stud wideouts. Matt has weapons, and I have ever increasing faith he can be the man to conduct his subliminal symphony…

  33. By Peter in Canada on Jun 20, 2010 | Reply

    Georgiebird – You do indeed deserve a round of applause. Those last years in Chicago and the first couple in St. Louis were pretty dreadful. In those years we could only get the Browns games on TV. I still remember Jimmy Brown havng career seasons in just the two games per year against the Cards. I was usually out doing something else long before half time.

  34. By MJA in VA on Jun 26, 2010 | Reply

    I heard Ron voice over on the NFL Network us the term “Sub Zero” I believe in reference to Matt Leinert’s coolness under fire. I would like to suggest that become a title used often in reference to Leinert. The disrespect I believe the Cardinals are getting is because of the great “unknown” of Matt Leinert. I Believe in Wisenhunt and If he thinks Leinert can do it, that’s good enough for me. I feel we should push the “Sub-Zero” early and often (Ron) both on the blog and on the NFL Network. Feedback?

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