Cards Mailbag: Improvement possible

June, 21, 2014
Jun 21
12:00
PM ET
Welcome to #CardsMailbag, a weekly installment that allows you to ask me questions about the Arizona Cardinals throughout the week via Twitter @joshweinfuss:. I'll answer them every week during the offseason. Make sure to use the hashtag #CardsMailbag.
@joshweinfuss: It will to a point. I think having Kevin Minter there will definitely make up for something that the Cardinals will lose without Karlos Dansby and Daryl Washington. He's a thumper and, although it may take him a little while to do this, I think Minter will eventually intimidate some players from going over the middle. And it's not like having Minter and whoever else starts next to him will be push overs. They'll still fill the middle but Minter & Co. just won't be able to cover the type of ground Dansby and Washington did, which will leave Arizona susceptible to speedy backs and bigger tight ends who can get off the line of scrimmage. @joshweinfuss: In theory, I think it's an entertaining idea but I don't think it makes sense for a couple of reasons. Arizona isn't desperate for outside linebackers, at least not yet, and they'd have to pay Justin Houston a lot of money. He's holding out of Chiefs' camp because he wants Kansas City to pay him. With how Arizona does business, I don't see them paying top dollar for that position when they were able to have a pretty good showing by guys like Matt Shaughnessy and John Abraham, both of whom don't command the price tag that Houston will. @joshweinfuss: As I like to say, anything's possible, but I don't see this happening. Ryan Lindley has had a good camp but I doubt he'll overtake Logan Thomas. Bruce Arians trusts Drew Stanton with the offense should Carson Palmer go down more than Lindley, so that'll keep Stanton as the backup as long as Arians is here. @joshweinfuss: It's progressing, let's say that. He's better than he was, but he has a ways to go, and he'll openly admit that. A large part of Jonathan Cooper' rehab now is getting himself right in between the ears. He's trying to regain the confidence he lost after breaking the leg, which is easier said than done. He went through a period early in the offseason when he wasn't sure how much he was able to do but as practice progressed, he saw that he could lean on defenders and move better than even he anticipated. But, as Arians said during minicamp, Cooper isn't back to the guy they drafted just yet. There isn't anything Cooper can't do physically but he's not strong enough in that leg to be ready for Week 1 just yet. He thinks that'll happen by time he reports for training camp. @joshweinfuss: According to the stats, he's in the top 2/3 of quarterbacks. I think he's better than that, but I'd put him on the high end of the top half of the league. There are guys like Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisberger, Andrew Luck who hold their position as the best quarterbacks in the league. But there's another group that Palmer may fit into at times but generally is among with quarterbacks like Cam Newton, Colin Kaepernick, Russell Wilson, Matt Ryan, Matthew Stafford and Philip Rivers. That's 12 names right there, leaving Palmer 13th at best. I think he's better than guys such as Nick Foles, Tony Romo and Jay Cutler. But there are days he looks worse than all them and there are other days he looks like a top 5 quarterback, but I'd say he's in the top half for sure. 

Josh Weinfuss

ESPN Arizona Cardinals reporter

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