We caught up with Seth over at Revenge of the Birds to ask a few questions about the Arizona Cardinals game against the Denver Broncos and also what we should expect from them this season.
1) Tell us about a couple of players from the Cardinals to watch that will be seeing the field this week who you think are future NFL starters.
Robert Nkemdiche is going to see a lot of time on the field this week, at least he is supposed to. After missing nearly all of training camp, he made his preseason debut on Sunday against the Texans and looked like a man amongst boys.
The other players that could see a lot of time in the preseason finale are Justin Bethel and Brandon Williams. The Arizona Cardinals a desperately trying to find a cornerback to line up across from Patrick Peterson, after veteran Mike Jenkins was lost to an ACL tear on Sunday, it will come down to the two young athletes, and which one steps up.
2) Arizona is poised for another shot at a deep playoff run. Who takes the reigns if Palmer can't make it through the season and how do you like their chances?
It will be the Drew Stanton show, except that Drew Stanton has never stayed healthy himself over his career. Now, if Palmer goes down, the Arizona Cardinals will rely on Stanton for as long as he is healthy. His numbers are underwhelming, but his results, 5-3 as a starter for the Cardinals, speak volumes.
3) What areas of the team do you think have improved from last season and why?
The Arizona Cardinals spent the majority of their off season trying to upgrade the pass rush as well as the offensive line.
They traded for Chandler Jones and drafted Robert Nkemdiche, hoping that it frees up Calais Campbell and second year man Markus Golden takes the next step.
On the offensive line, it is about the maturation of D.J. Humphries and how well veterans A.Q. Shipley and Evan Mathis (someone you all know) gel with the entrenched duo of Jared Veldheer and Mike Iupati.
4) What areas of the team do you think have taken a step back and why?
There may be no more concern for the Arizona Cardinals than what the secondary can do. They have two of the best in the NFL in Tyrann Mathieu and Patrick Peterson, but outside of those two, there are questions.
The secondary for the Cardinals in 2015 was unusually close, can they find the same bond in 2016? Also, the elephant in the room is Mathieu, his health and whether or not he can maintain that for a full 16 games, something he has never done.
5) In a dream land GM scenario, what 2 players would you take from the Broncos in order to make your team better?
Von Miller and Chris Harris. While the Cardinals have worked on upgrading their pass rush, there is no upgrade over Miller and what he brings to the field. In Harris, the Cardinals would boast maybe the greatest collection of talent in the secondary in the NFL with a combination of Peterson, Harris and Mathieu, also alleviating one of the biggest question marks.
The only other player to consider is Paxton Lynch. There were murmurs that Arizona was interested in Lynch, but they didn’t have the assets (having already traded their 2nd round pick for Chandler Jones). He would give the Arizona Cardinals the quarterback of the future they so covet. Of course, it could have ended up being a Peyton/Osweiler like scenario with Palmer signing his two year extension, so maybe everything happens for a reason.