2006 record: 5-11
Head Coach: Denny Green (Fired)
Offensive Coordinator: Todd Haley
Defensive Coordinator: Clancy Pendergrast
Pro-Bowl: Anquan Boldin (WR) and Adrian Wilson (S)
The Cardinals had a very good offense this year. Well, throwing the ball that is. After Arizona signed Edgerrin James alot of people, including myself, thought that the Cardinals could make a run at the playoffs and possibly even a division title. But of course James had an extremely disappointing season with just 1100 yards and 6 touchdowns. This down season snapped a personal streak of 2 straight seasons with at least 1500 yards and was coming off a career high of 13 rushing touchdowns. Now all the fault wasn't on Edge, the Cardinal's offensive line was horrible. In my opinion probably the 2nd worst in all of football. It wasn't all bad for Arizona though, 1st round pick, Matt Leinart had a solid season and looks like he will improve even more this offseason. Matt did have one of the best WR duos to throw to. Anquan Boldin had a great season, catching 83 balls for 1,203 yards and 4 TDs. Larry Fitzgerald had 69 receptions, 946 yards and 6 touchdowns even though he did miss 3 games. Once they fix their offensive line the Cards offense will be very explosive.
Arizona's defense could use alot of work. They do have a young nucleus of good, young players but they still need another safety to compliment Adrian Wilson, another outside linebacker to go along side Karlos Dansby and Gerald Hayes, another defensive tackle that could help Darnell Dockett and then a coverage cornerback. Karlos Dansby had his best season so far in his 3 year career, with 80 tackles, 2 forced fumbles and he racked up 8 sacks(2nd on team). Hayes led the team with 93 tackles and had 3 interceptions. Antrel Rolle snapped back from only playing 5 games last year to playing in all 16 this year. He was 2nd on the team with 84 tackles, 1 interception and 10 defended passes. Now onto the lone Pro-bowler on defense, Adrian Wilson. Wilson had 82 tackles, 4 interceptions, 5 sacks, 7 defended passes and 1 defensive touchdown.
Neil Rackers went from the best kicker in the game last year to just an average kicker this year. Rackers hit 95% of his field goal attempts last season and just 75% this year. The big problem with Neil was from 50+ yards where he only hit 1 out of 7. He should bounce back to his 2005 form, so no big worry there. Scott Player is still the only player in the NFL that wears the 1 bar facemask, but he did set a career high in punt average with 44.9. On returns the main man was J.J. Arrington, he piled up over 1500 yards and 1 touchdown. Nothing is expected to change in any department here.
Arizona holds the 5th pick in this year's draft. I'm sure their ideal pick would be Joe Thomas, the offensive tackle out of Wisconsin. But he may not get past Detroit with the second pick. If Thomas isn't on the board then look for Arizona to take DT Alan Branch(MICH) or DE Jamaal Anderson(ARK). Look for them to add depth at cornerback, outside linebacker and another safety to take over for Robert Griffith, who may retire in a year or two.
Positions that need to be looked at:
1. Offensive line
2. Defensive tackle
4. Outside Linebacker
Their biggest need on the offensive line is going to be left tackle, with in all likely hood, the departure of Leonard Davis. Davis is expected to file for free-agency soon and that would add yet another huge hole on the Arizona offensive line. They probably should draft an OT and an OG. I would recommend going after Joe Thomas(WISC)...of course, Levi Brown(PSU), Joe Staley(CMU) or Justin Blalock(TEX).
Don't look for them to draft a defensive tackle until round two, unless of course Thomas is off the board. Potential 2nd rounders are Justin Harrell(TENN), DeMarcus Tyler(NC ST) and Marcus Thomas(former FLA).
I think they only need a nickel type cornerback for right now. Antrel Rolle was great this year(but he didn't cause enough turnovers) and Eric Green played well too. But it just seems like they are lacking when it comes to DBs. Look at David Irons(AUB), Fred Bennett(S.CAR) and John Talley(DUKE). Talley is great at getting interceptions(7 this season) and a good tackler.
Like I said earlier, Dansby is great and Hayes is great but they need someone to replace Orlando Huff on the outside. I think these guys would fit in real nice, Earl Everett(FLA), Tony Taylor(UGA), Stephen Nicholas(SFLA) and KaMichael Hall(GT).
Although Robert Griffith is nearly 37, I don't think he's going to retire due to a nice season this year. But a replacement would be nice. I could see them looking at Josh Gattis(WAKE), Michael Johnson(ARI) or Sabby Piscitelli(ORE ST).
I'm going to say it, just like I did last year. The Arizona Cardinals are going to come in at least 2nd place in their division and win at least 9 games. There, it's on record now.
Saturday, February 03, 2007
2006 record: 5-11