Cardinals News NFL: Arizona Cardinals are expected to have a quarterback competiton between Sam Bradford and Josh Rosen.



Arizona Cardinals 2018 Season Preview




Chris Ransom follow @DraftUtopia Posted on 8/11/2018.


Arizona Cardinals Free Agency Recap


Arizona signed New York Giants guard Justin Pugh as a right guard. They also signed Andre Smith and deicded to play him at right tackle after Smith kicked inside to right guard with the Bengals in 2017. On defense, Arizona added Jamar Taylor from Cleveland to compliment Patrick Peterson.



Arizona Cardinals Draft Recap


The Arizona Cardinals ended up with three potential starters with their first three picks. Quarterback Josh Rosen, Arizona's first round pick out of UCLA could be the week 1 starter for the Arizona Cardinals. Christian Kirk their 2018 second round pick out of Texas A&M may end up being the number two receiver behind Larry Fitzgerald. Michigan center Mason Cole is expected to start at center despite being a third round pick thanks to the season ending injury of AQ Shipley. If David Johnson gets injured again, then Fordham running back Chase Edmonds will take over as the starting running back.




Arizona Cardinals Quarterback Summary: It's pretty obvious that this quarterback competition in Arizona comes down to whether the Cardinals want to start the veteran Sam Bradford or the rookie Josh Rosen. Mike Glennon is expected to be the third stringer. Bradford is the favorite to win the starting quarterback job in Arizona. Rosen won't go down without a fight and he's gonna push Sam Bradford to the limit. In the event that Bradford sucks as a starter or gets injured, Rosen will take over and he will not relinquish the starting quarterback job once he gets that opportunity to lead this franchise.


Arizona has a good staff when it comes to developing quarterbacks. Bruce Arians and Tom Moore are gone. Mike McCoy takes over as offensive coordinator and Byron Leftwich got retained as the quarterbacks coach so if he can develop Josh Rosen into a franchise quarterback, then Leftwich may end up being an offensive coordinator in a few years.


Arizona Cardinals Running Back Summary: David Johnson is an awesome pass catching running back who is back from a season ending injury in 2018. Chase Edmonds, a rookie running back out of Fordham will take over as the starting running back if Johnson goes down again. Kirby Wilson is taking over as the running backs coach and he's one of the best running backs coaches in the NFL.


Arizona Cardinals Wide Receiver Summary: Arizona has Larry Fitzgerald as their main go to guy. They have other receivers like Brice Butler, J.J. Nelson, Chad Williams, and Christian Kirk competing for two starting wide receiver spots. Arizona is deep at wide receiver, but who wins those jobs will determine how good this team is since I really believe Kirk can come in there and win the number two receiver job right out of the gate. Kevin Garver is one of the best wide receivers coaches in the NFL. Garver helped Fitzgerald make the Pro Bowl four times in the last six years.


Arizona Cardinals Tight End Summary: Ricky Seals-Jones is now the starting tight end on Arizona. He showed some promise at tight end last year after being a former wide receiver at Texas A&M. Ricky Seals-Jones was also teammates with Christian Kirk at Texas A&M. Jason Michael, the Tennessee Titans tight ends coach heads to Arizona and considering Michael had success with Delanie Walker, that may translate in Arizona too.


Arizona Cardinals Offensive Line Summary: D.J. Humphries did well at left tackle last year after transitioning from right tackle to left tackle. Left guard Mike Iupati can be deadly when he's healthy. A.Q. Shiply may be out for the year, but it may not matter if Mason Cole, Arizona's 2018 third round pick wins the starting center job. Right now Cole is the favorite to win that job. Justin Pugh is expected to start at right guard. Right tackle is the most vulnerable area on this offensive line with Andre Smith starting at right tackle. Smith started at right guard for the Bengals last season and struggled in that area immensely. Arizona has Will Holden the tackle they drafted out of Vanderbilt for depth as a backup right tackle behind Andre Smith. Ray Brown was the Carolina Panthers offensive line coach for the past seven years. Brown should impliment more of a run blocking scheme that aligns with what the Panthers operated. Don't be surprised if David Johnson becomes the focal point of this offense at running back with him healthy in a contract year.


The Cardinals will be one of the worst offenses in points scored, yards per game, and passing yards per game if Sam Bradford starts. I feel like they will be a top 15 offense in several different categories once Josh Rosen is named the full-time starter though.



Arizona Cardinals Defensive Line Summary: Arizona is moving to a 4-3 defense. Chandler Jones is playing 4-3 right end. Markus Golden is currently on the PUP list, but should be ready for week 1 as the 4-3 left end next to Chandler Jones. Arizona has Corey Peters and Robert Nkemdiche starting at 4-3 defensive tackle. Head coach Steve Wilks and defensive line coach Don Johnson will do their best to get the most out of this defensive line which is transitioning from the 3-4 to the 4-3 defense.


Arizona Cardinals Linebacker Summary: Deonne Buchannon is now the 4-3 right outside linebacker for the Arizona Cardinals. Haason Reddick is the 4-3 left outside linebacker on this team. Arizona still lacks an effective 4-3 middle linebacker with two mediocre inside linebackers in Josh Bynes and Scooby Wright competing for the starting middle linebacker job.


Kareem Martin is a backup 3-4 right outside linebacker with Jarvis Jones as a backup 3-4 left outside linebacker. Reddick is a backup on Arizona's depth chart right now, but he could easily start when week 1 arrives.


The Cardinals have two coaches that can coach their linebackers. Defensive coordinator Al Holcolmb specializes in developing linebaackers. Arizona kept Larry Foote who specializes with developing inside linebackers as a former player himself.


Arizona Cardinals Defensive Backs Summary: Arizona only has one quality cornerback at field cornerback with Patrick Peterson. They brought in Jamar Taylor to compliment him. The Cardinals have Budda Baker finally starting at strong safety and Antoine Bethea moving over to free safety.


David Merritt Sr. takes over as the defensive backs coach in Arizona. I feel like this is a downgrade considering David Merritt Sr. is known for developing linebackers more so then defensive backs.


Arizona could have a good secondary, but the front 7 will need time to transition. I expect a top 15 pass defense along with a top 15 team in sacks, and a defense that is near the bottom of the league in every other category.



Arizona Cardinals Special Teams Summary: Phil Dawson is Arizona's new kicker with Andy Lee at punter. You got D.J. Foster set to be a kick returner. and Patrick Peterson as a punt returner. The rest of Arizona's special teams needs work. Amos Jones is an effective, but not great special teams coordinator.




Arizona Cardinals Worst Case Scenario: Arizona goes 1-15 with all these adjustments. As a result they are the NFL's worst team in 2018.


Arizona Cardinals Best Case Scenario: Arizona goes 8-8. They don't quite make that leap to the NFL Playoffs. At the same time, they show immense promise for the future.


Arizona Cardinals 2018 NFL Schedule


Week
Date
Opponent
Time
Cable Network
Result
Week 1
September 9
VS
4:25 PM EST
FOX
L
Week 2
September 16
AT
4:05 PM EST
FOX
L
Week 3
September 23
VS
4:25 PM EST
FOX
W
Week 4
September 30
VS
4:05 PM EST
FOX
W
Week 5
October 7
AT
4:25 PM EST
FOX
L
Week 6
October 14
AT
1 PM EST
FOX
L
Week 7
October 18
VS
8:20 PM EST
FOX
W
Week 8
October 28
VS
4:25 PM EST
FOX
W
Week 9
Bye Week
Week 10
November 11
AT
8:25 PM EST
FOX
L
Week 11
November 18
VS
4:05 PM EST
FOX
W
Week 12
November 25
AT
4:05 PM EST
CBS
L
Week 13
December 2
AT
1 PM EST
FOX
L
Week 14
December 9
VS
4:25 PM EST
FOX
W
Week 15
December 16
AT
1 PM EST
FOX
L
Week 16
December 23
VS
4:05 PM EST
FOX
L
Week 17
December 30
AT
4:25 PM EST
FOX
L


Arizona Cardinals 2018 Projected Record (6-10): Arizona goes 6-10 this year. I had them at 6-7 before losing their final three games in December. This team has a lot of talent and the ability to compete long-term is there. Steve Wilks needs to put the foundation in place and have Josh Rosen as his guy before we talk about the Arizona Cardinals as serious NFC West contenders. The big reason I ddjusted my record from 7-9 to 6-10 is because Josh Rosen is cussing in practice sessions and he's not mature enough to start right out of the gate.








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