Cards Mailbag: 2nd week of camp begins

August, 3, 2014
Aug 3
2:30
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 training camp. Make sure to use the hashtag #CardsMailbag.

@joshweinfuss: As it stands right now, I think it's a close race. Jay Feely has the experience of a 14-year vet who's had plenty of big kicks, but Chandler Catanzaro has a bigger foot and is a cheaper option. Catanzaro has more of an upside long term than Feely does. But what might win the job for Catanzaro is his ability to place kickoffs in the end zone, something Feely struggled to do at times last year. With the kickoffs starting at the 40-yard line, it's almost necessary and expected for every kick to end up either being booted out of the end zone or deep enough to where teams have to settle for a touchback. Catanzaro's leg is strong enough for that. As for rookies who are standing out besides wide receiver John Brown, I think all the draft picks have impressed at some point. Walt Powell is making a name for himself with his speed. Ed Stinson and Kareem Martin will have major roles as backups on the defensive line as well. Linebacker Glenn Carson, an undrafted free agent, is working as the backup long snapper.

@joshweinfuss: Darren Fells has looked good, but he won't be winning a job over Rob Housler any time soon. Fells will likely be on the practice squad again until he's smoother as a receiver and route runner. Remember, he just started playing football a couple years ago, so his progress is pretty incredible. But he still has work to do.

@joshweinfuss: Well, if John Brown's teammates' words mean anything, he's doing great. And it's pretty obvious from our standpoint on the sideline. He's as fast with pads on as without them, which is what a lot of coaches and players were waiting to find out. The next step is to see how he does against live defenses, which won't occur until the preseason starts Saturday.

@joshweinfuss: Short answer: No. Jonathan Cooper has been struggling to get back in the groove he had last year coming out of North Carolina as a rookie, and the Cardinals have noticed. In Saturday's practice, he split time with Earl Watford at left guard, the first sign that there's been an issue with Cooper's game. It'll take him some time to grow back into the player he entered the league as.

@joshweinfuss: I think that's the safe bet. Tyrann Mathieu has said that Week 4 is his goal, and I think it would be the best option for him at this point for the earliest he can return. He recently started making football moves, which is significant progress, but he needs to be able to be fluid and confident in his moves before he can return to the field.

@joshweinfuss: I think Bradley Sowell may end up getting squeezed out of the rotation with Max Starks' addition. Sowell lost the battle for the starting right tackle job to Bobby Massie and was playing as his backup until Starks came along. Now, Sowell is playing with the third team. While his ability to play left and right tackle could keep him on the roster, Starks is capable of playing both positions also. And with Starks already running with the second team, it's more likely he'll be the swing tackle.

@joshweinfuss: The pros are that he can begin going through drills and getting back into football shape. He'd be able to rejoin his teammates and continue building that bond with them. And he'd be able to start working into the defensive rotation, practicing any new plays or schemes, instead of just watching them on film. There is one major con, however: He may not be ready to practice, and knowing that it's tough for these guys to slow down once they hit the field, he could reinjure himself and set himself back for months and potentially miss the whole season. 

Josh Weinfuss

ESPN Arizona Cardinals reporter

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