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2014 ARIZONA CARDINALS FOOTBALL PREVIEW

June 26, 2014
INDIANA SPORTS PAGE



2014 Arizona Cardinals football preview

Arizona Cardinals (2005 - Pres)

 

There is no doubt the Arizona Cardinals are headed in the right direction under second-year head coach Bruce Arians and general manager Steve Keim. Keim has done an excellent job in the draft and free agency while Arians is a trusted head coach and very respected by the players. Arizona went 10-6 last season but failed to make the playoffs. The biggest issue for the Cardinals is they play in the same division as Seattle and San Francisco. In any other division Arizona would be considered a sure fire playoff team. Arizona will make a run again this year thanks to their defense and an improved offense. 

Carson Palmer is back at quarterback after throwing 22 interceptions last year but Coach Arians likes his toughness and despite Palmer being 34 can throw the deep ball. The Cardinals upgraded their offense of line to help protect Palmer who was sacked 41 times last season. Arizona signed free-agent left tackle Jared Veldheer to a five-year deal hoping he will protect Palmer’s blindside. Jonathan Cooper, the teams’ top pick a year ago, will be moved to left guard after missing the entire season with a broken leg. Many feel Cooper has Pro Bowl potential. The biggest question mark on the line will be at right tackle where the Cardinals lost Eric Winston to free agency. 

Arizona’s running attack will be left up to second-year pros Andre Ellington and Stepfan Taylor. Ellington averaged 5.5 yards per carry and has the potential to break loose for a touchdown every time he touches the football. The downside Ellington is he cannot handle a heavy workload game in and game out. Taylor will be the inside rusher and that could keep Ellington to 20 and fewer carries per game.  

Longtime receiver Larry Fitzgerald has been the number one target for many years but don’t be surprised if Michael Floyd becomes Palmer’s number one target in 2014. Floyd had more receiving yards then Fitzgerald last year and Fitzgerald who will turn 31 this year is not the receiver he once was. Arizona lost receiver Andre Roberts to Washington in free agency and then signed Ted Ginn, who had 36 receptions and five scores with Carolina.

 Arizona Cardinals (2005 - Pres)

There is no doubt Arizona has one of the best defenses in the NFL. Overall, they ranked sixth in total defense, number one in rushing defense and allowed just over 20 points per game. Coordinator Todd Bowles returns a dynamic group including and Darnell Dockett, Calais Campbell, Patrick Peterson and Antonio Cromartie. Campbell is expected to have a monster year if they plan on blocking him one-on-one because of his size at 6-8 300 pounds. Docket had an excellent year in 2013. Nose tackle Dan Williams was the 26th selection in the 2010 draft and is never really lived up to his potential but is still good enough to clog things up inside. 

Peterson and Cromartie are to the top shutdown corners in the NFL. They will be joined by safety Tyrann Mathieu who is coming back from a knee injury but should be ready for the beginning of the season. Arizona added more depth to the secondary by drafting Washington State safety Deone Bucannon.  Bucannon has good size and can cover opposing teams’ tight ends. Many are comparing Bucannon to former Cardinals safety Adrian Wilson. 

If there is an area of concern on the defense it is at linebacker where Karlos Dansby defected for Cleveland. The other big issue involves inside linebacker Daryl Washington who may be suspended by the NFL for part of the season because of off field issues. Filling the void at linebacker will be John Abraham, Kevin Minter, and Matt Shaughnessy.

 Arizona Cardinals (2005 - Pres)

The Cardinals have as much front-line talent as any team in the NFL. The problem is they play in the toughest division and there’s not a guarantee that this team will make the playoffs even if they win 10 games again this year. Carson Palmer will have to be more consistent and cut down on the interceptions. It will be hard to imagine Arizona being able to overtake both Seattle and San Francisco in the division so their only hope may be as a wild-card team. If there’s any motivation, the Super Bowl this year will be held at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale.


SCHEDULE:

 

2014 Arizona Cardinals Football Schedule

Date   Opponent Time/TV Tickets
Saturday
Aug. 9
Texans Houston Texans (Preseason)
University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, AZ
8:30 p.m. ET
TV TBA
Buy
Tickets
Saturday
Aug. 16
Vikings at Minnesota Vikings (Preseason)
TCF Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, MN
8:30 p.m. ET
TV TBA
Buy
Tickets
Sunday
Aug. 24
Bengals Cincinnati Bengals (Preseason)
University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, AZ
8:00 p.m. ET
NBC
Buy
Tickets
Thursday
Aug. 28
Chargers at San Diego Chargers (Preseason)
Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, CA
10:00 p.m. ET
TV TBA
Buy
Tickets
Monday
Sept. 8
Chargers San Diego Chargers
University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, AZ
10:20 p.m. ET
ESPN
Buy
Tickets
Sunday
Sept. 14
Giants at New York Giants
MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ
1:00 p.m. ET
FOX
Buy
Tickets
Sunday
Sept. 21
49ers San Francisco 49ers
Universityof Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, AZ
4:05 p.m. ET
FOX
Buy
Tickets
Sunday
Sept. 28
--- BYE --- ---
Sunday
Oct. 5
Broncos at Denver Broncos
Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Denver, CO
4:05 p.m. ET
FOX
Buy
Tickets
Sunday
Oct. 12
Redskins Washington Redskins
University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, AZ
4:25 p.m. ET
FOX
Buy
Tickets
Sunday
Oct. 19
Raiders at Oakland Raiders
O.co Coliseum, Oakland, CA
4:25 p.m. ET
FOX
Buy
Tickets
Sunday
Oct. 26
Eagles Philadelphia Eagles
University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, AZ
4:05 p.m. ET
FOX
Buy
Tickets
Sunday
Nov. 2
Cowboys at Dallas Cowboys
AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX
1:00 p.m. ET
FOX
Buy
Tickets
Sunday
Nov. 9
Rams St. Louis Rams
University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, AZ
4:25 p.m. ET
FOX
Buy
Tickets
Sunday
Nov. 16
Lions Detroit Lions
University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, AZ
4:25 p.m. ET
FOX
Buy
Tickets
Sunday
Nov. 23
Seahawks at Seattle Seahawks
CenturyLink Field, Seattle, WA
4:05 p.m. ET
FOX
Buy
Tickets
Sunday
Nov. 30
Falcons at Atlanta Falcons
Georgia Dome, Atlanta, GA
4:05 p.m. ET
FOX
Buy
Tickets
Sunday
Dec. 7
Chiefs Kansas City Chiefs
University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, AZ
4:05 p.m. ET
CBS
Buy
Tickets
Thursday
Dec. 11
Rams at St. Louis Rams
Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis, MO
8:25 p.m. ET
NFLN
Buy
Tickets
Sunday
Dec. 21
Seahawks Seattle Seahawks
University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, AZ
8:30 p.m. ET
NBC
Buy
Tickets
Sunday
Dec. 28
49ers at San Francisco 49ers
Levi's Stadium, Santa Clara, CA
4:25 p.m. ET
FOX
Buy
Tickets



ROSTER:

 

Active

 

#NamePos.Ht.Wt.AgeExp.College
55 Abraham, John OLB 6-4 263 36 15 South Carolina
94 Acho, Sam OLB 6-3 257 25 4 Texas
97 Alexander, Lorenzo OLB 6-1 244 31 8 California
86 Ballard, Jake TE 6-6 275 26 4 Ohio State
35 Bauman, Zach RB 5-7 196 21 R Northern Arizona
59 Benard, Marcus OLB 6-2 256 28 5 Jackson State
28 Bethel, Justin CB 6-0 190 24 3 Presbyterian
64 Blake, Philip C/G 6-3 310 28 2 Baylor
73R Brandon, Cory T 6-7 324 26 1 Oklahoma
13 Brown, Jaron WR 6-2 205 24 2 Clemson
12 Brown, John WR 5-10 179 24 R Pittsburg St. (KS)
45 Brown, Jonathan ILB 6-1 240 22 R Illinois
36 Bucannon, Deone S 6-1 208 21 R Washington State
81 Buckner, Dan WR 6-5 215 24 1 Arizona
93 Campbell, Calais DE 6-8 300 27 7 Miami (Fla.)
89 Carlson, John TE 6-5 248 30 7 Notre Dame
56 Carson, Glenn ILB 6-3 238 23 R Penn St
7 Catanzaro, Chandler K 6-3 208 23 R Clemson
44 Clayton, Keenan ILB 6-1 230 27 4 Oklahoma
61 Cooper, Jonathan G 6-2 312 24 2 North Carolina
31 Cromartie, Antonio CB 6-2 210 30 9 Florida State
54 Demens, Kenny ILB 6-1 242 24 1 Michigan
53 Dickson, JoJo ILB 6-1 245 24 1 Idaho
90 Dockett, Darnell DT 6-4 290 33 11 Florida State
60 Draheim, Tommie C 6-4 309 25 1 San Diego State
20 Dwyer, Jonathan RB 5-11 229 24 5 Georgia Tech
38 Ellington, Andre RB 5-9 199 25 2 Clemson
65 Estes, John C 6-2 293 27 4 Hawaii
74 Fanaika, Paul G 6-5 327 28 5 Arizona State
4 Feely, Jay K 5-10 208 38 14 Michigan
85 Fells, Darren TE 6-7 281 28 1 California-Irvine
11 Fitzgerald, Larry WR 6-3 218 30 11 Pittsburgh
15 Floyd, Michael WR 6-3 225 24 3 Notre Dame
50 Foote, Larry ILB 6-1 239 34 13 Michigan
75 Gaston, Bruce DT 6-2 308 22 R Purdue
19 Ginn, Ted WR 5-11 185 29 8 Ohio State
10 Golden, Brittan WR 5-11 186 25 2 West Texas A&M
80 Hardy, Andre TE 6-6 245 27 1 Cal-State Fullerton
84 Housler, Rob TE 6-5 250 26 4 Florida Atlantic
2 Hrapmann, Danny K 5-9 164 25 1 Southern Mississippi
39 Hughes, Robert RB 5-11 235 25 2 Notre Dame
22 Jefferson, Tony S 5-11 212 22 2 Oklahoma
33 Johnson, Orhian S 6-3 211 24 1 Ohio State
26 Johnson, Rashad S 5-11 204 28 6 Alabama
62 Larsen, Ted C/G 6-2 305 27 5 North Carolina State
82 Leach, Mike LS 6-2 235 37 15 William and Mary
46 Legree, Jimmy CB 6-0 187 23 R South Carolina
14 Lindley, Ryan QB 6-4 230 25 3 San Diego State
96 Martin, Kareem DE 6-6 272 22 R North Carolina
70 Massie, Bobby T 6-6 316 24 3 Mississippi
32 Mathieu, Tyrann S 5-9 186 22 2 LSU
23 McCann, Bryan CB 5-11 185 26 5 Southern Methodist
95 McCloud, Anthony DT 6-2 313 24 1 Florida State
51 Minter, Kevin ILB 6-1 245 23 2 LSU
87 Niklas, Troy TE 6-6 270 21 R Notre Dame
57 Okafor, Alex OLB 6-4 260 23 2 Texas
16 Ozier, Kevin WR 6-2 200 23 R Arizona State
3 Palmer, Carson QB 6-5 235 34 12 USC
69 Palmer, Kelvin T 6-4 302 23 R Baylor
34 Parmele, Jalen RB 5-11 225 28 4 Toledo
21 Peterson, Patrick CB 6-1 219 23 4 LSU
17 Pope, Kelsey WR 6-0 198 22 R Samford
76 Potter, Nate T 6-6 300 26 3 Boise State
83 Powell, Walt WR 6-0 187 22 R Murray State
25 Powers, Jerraud CB 5-10 187 26 6 Auburn
73 Renfrow, Justin DT 6-6 310 24 R Miami
98 Rucker, Frostee DE 6-3 280 30 9 USC
63 Sendlein, Lyle C 6-3 308 30 8 Texas
43 Sermons, Brandon CB 5-11 190 23 R UCLA
91 Shaughnessy, Matt OLB 6-5 285 27 6 Wisconsin
52 Sims, Ernie ILB 6-0 233 29 9 Florida State
79 Sowell, Bradley T 6-7 315 25 3 Mississippi
5 Stanton, Drew QB 6-3 243 30 8 Michigan State
71 Steen, Anthony G/C 6-3 309 24 R Alabama
72 Stinson, Ed DE 6-3 287 24 R Alabama
66 Ta'amu, Alameda DT 6-3 348 23 3 Washington
27 Taylor, Curtis S 6-2 212 28 3 LSU
30 Taylor, Stepfan RB 5-9 214 23 2 Stanford
42 Thigpen, Damien RB 5-8 180 22 R UCLA
6 Thomas, Logan QB 6-6 250 22 R Virginia Tech
47 Tracy, Adrian OLB 6-2 248 27 3 William & Mary
67 Tupou, Christian DT 6-2 300 25 2 USC
68 Veldheer, Jared T 6-8 321 27 5 Hillsdale
37 Walters, Anthony S 6-1 207 25 4 Delaware
48 Washington, Todd CB 5-11 196 22 R Southeast Louisiana
78 Watford, Earl G 6-4 295 24 2 James Madison
41 Whitley, Eddie CB 6-0 188 24 1 Virginia Tech
92 Williams, Dan DT 6-2 327 27 5 Tennessee
29 Williams, Teddy CB 6-1 207 25 3 Texas-San Antonio
9 Zastudil, Dave P 6-3 220 35 13 Ohio U.

 

Reserve/Suspended by Commissioner

 

#NamePos.Ht.Wt.AgeExp.College
58 Washington, Daryl ILB 6-2 230 27 5 TCU



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