Our friends from Revenge of the Birds help review the Arizona Cardinals offseason.
We’ll continue a series of opponent preview posts for the New Orleans Saints opponents in 2019. Next, we’ll take a look at the home of the 2019 #1 overall pick, Kyler Murray of the Arizona Cardinals. Our friends over at Revenge of the Birds took some time to give us Saints fans the scoop on the up-and-coming team.
Week 8 in New Orleans
Notable free agent additions:
Jordan Hicks, Darius Philon, J.R Sweezy, Robert Alford (Added D.J. Swearinger on waivers at end of 2018 season as well)
5 wins - Over. - but not by much. I think the offense has a chance to be highly effective, but it could take a couple of weeks to get into a flow. That means a bit of leaning on the defense early while the offense gets in a groove. The problem is, the meat of the talent on the Arizona Cardinlas schedule is in November and December, so that offense better be really, really good if they want to put up a big number of wins in 2019. I think they go 6-10, while being a team on the rise the backhalf of 2019.
Most exciting rookie:
Umm. Really? Kyler Murray is going to determine where this franchise is headed. He’ll be the key to the success of Kliff Kingsbury and the reason Steve Keim keeps his job. There has never been a more important draft pick for the Cardinals than Kyler Murray. To say fans are excited is an understatement.
Position battle to keep an eye on:
There are only two starting positions up for grabs, which may not be a great thing for a team that won only three games last year. That is center, where A.Q. Shipley seems to have a leg up on the man that replaced him last season, Mason Cole. Yet, Cole is covering at left guard for an injured Justin Pugh, so it may be Shipley’s position already. The next one is that of cornerback. While Robert Alford will start at one corner, the team really wants veterean Tramaine Brock to be good enough to keep rookie second round pick Byron Murphy in the slot. There is an interesting jockeying for the number three and four wide receivers for the Cardinals, as Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk are locked into the top two spots. Rookie receivers KeeSean Johnson and Andy Isabella seem to be pushing veteran Kevin White and second year player Trent Sherfield for those third and fourth spots.
Biggest storyline heading into training camp:
Will the Cardinals gamble on Kliff Kingsbury and Kyler Murray pay off? Their offseason plan was completely unheard of. Firing a first year head coach for a college coach who was just fired. Trading a top ten pick from the year before and using the first overall pick on a sub six foot quarterback? What the hell are they thinking? Yet, every day, the legend of Kyler Murray seems to grow.
Under-the-radar storyline heading into camp:
Vance Joseph’s redemption. The hot head coaching candidate three years ago flopped in Denver. He didn’t have much help offensively, but he didn’t do himself many favors. Now, he’s basically the head coach on defense, being given full autonomy on that side of the ball while Kliff Kingsbury tries to fix the worst offense in the NFL.
Notable injuries heading into training camp:
None yet… Knock on wood.
Obscure player on the 90-man roster that will be a preseason star (and likely later cut):
Drew Anderson will get a lot of reps at quarterback and people think he has a nice chance to make the practice squad. He’s going to fit into the Kliff Kingsbury offense nicely and get a big chance to put up meaningless preseason stats.
The success of the Cardinals in 2019 will all turn on how steep the learning curve is for Kyler Murray. Even still, this is a game that - on paper - the New Orleans Saints should be able to handle.
So what says you, you unbiased Saints fans? Can the Saints take care of business against the Cardinals? Vote in the poll. Explain in the comments. And make sure you also check out DraftDividends.com, a website for a new book I’m writing currently titled Draft Picks and Dividends: A Fantasy Football Player’s Guide to Understanding the Stock Market.