Tomorrow night, the preseason ends for the Denver Broncos and the Arizona Cardinals. Actually, it may be past midnight when the game ends. Either way, the Broncos will fly home from Glendale, Arizona and finalize their 53 man roster.
The 4th preseason game will likely hold little interest for the casual fan, since NFL teams typically rest their starters during this last preseason contest to protect them from injury. This game is for the players fighting for a roster spot and they will be playing for their livelihoods. You wouldn’t want your starting Quarterback taken out for the season by a potential scrub and neither would any head coach.
Still, the fan who is interested in the backup situation and trying to figure out who the last few roster spots are going to, will be tuning in to this game. I’m sure there are plenty of die hard fans who will watch the game just because, "It’s Football Baby!"
For those of you spending the evening watching the Broncos backups go up against the Cardinals backups, here are a few things worth noting.
With less than two weeks until the season opener, Cards Coach Ken Whisenhunt hasn’t named his starting Quarterback, leaving Kevin Kolb, John Skelton and the rest of the team in limbo. One would think Larry Fitzgerald should be informed as to who will be throwing the ball to him this year. Kolb is better in practice, while Skelton has been better in the games, so it shouldn’t be too difficult a decision for a professional head coach should it?
To make matters worse, Whisenhunt won’t play either one tomorrow night, choosing instead to go with rookie Ryan Lindley, a sixth-round draft pick out of San Diego State.
Another development is the Arizona Offensive Line. Starting Left tackle Levi Brown suffered a season-ending torn triceps tendon last week, forcing a shuffle along the line. Right Tackle (and former Bronco) D'Anthony Batiste had just won the starting job on the right side. He just inherited the Left Tackle spot and will be replaced on the right by 4th round pick Bobby Massie. Bronco fans know that Batiste didn’t last with the Broncos or Redskins and now he’s in one of the most important positions on an NFL team. Most rookie Tackles, especially those drafted outside of the 1st round, will struggle in their first year in the league. Don’t expect that to change with Massie.
Suffice it to say, the Cardinals will be scouring the waiver wire for Tackles. They are anorexically thin at the position after Levi Brown's injury and need the help.
One player worth watching, is Running Back William Powell. The Cards preseason leading rusher with 231 yards on 33 carries, Powell is vying for the 4th RB spot behind Beanie Wells, Ryan Williams and LaRod Stephens-Howling. He should beat out Alfonso Smith and Javarris James even though his production has come against second and third teamers.
Another rookie to keep an eye on, is Wide receiver Michael Floyd. The 13th overall pick has had a decent training camp and the Arizona coaching staff is high on him. Floyd has only caught 3 balls for 19 yards during the preseason, but the 6-3, 225 kid out of Notre Dame has the same size as Larry Fitzgerald and with an All-Pro mentor, should get a lot of opportunities to excel.
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