Cards Mailbag: Training camp is over
@joshweinfuss: This is a tough question but I think in the long run, Kevin Minter will be the bigger loss because Arizona doesn’t have the depth at linebacker to replace him. With Darnell Dockett's season ending before it started because of his ACL injury, the Cards have a more-than-viable backup with Frostee Rucker and enough depth to keep fresh legs flowing on the defensive line, especially with all the fronts defensive coordinator Todd Bowles can throw out there. Behind Minter is Kenny Demens, who played in just two games last season. Lorenzo Alexander has been playing more outside linebacker recently but the Cardinals signed veteran Desmond Bishop, who has looked good but has played just four games in the last two season because of injury. If Minter is out for a long time with the pectoral injury, it'll be a devastating blow to the middle of the Cardinals’ defense.
@joshweinfuss give us your surprise under and over performers for the upcoming season! Thanks— Eamon Fitzgerald (@eamonfitzgerald) August 20, 2014
@joshweinfuss: If Jaron Brown stays on the roster, I think you’ll see him over-perform because of his ability to get jump balls. There are also the mainstays such as Michael Floyd, who should top his 1,041 yards last season. I think John Abraham will underperform compared to last season because of how long it’ll take him to get into game shape as well as the fact that teams have plenty of tape on him in Arizona’s defense.
@joshweinfuss: The offense will be the reason Arizona wins the Super Bowl -- if it gets there, of course. The defense will take some time to find itself in the wake of not having Dockett, Daryl Washington and Karlos Dansby, so the offense will have to put eat a lot of yards and score a lot of points early in the season to keep Arizona on a path to the playoffs.
@joshweinfuss Do you feel John Brown has locked up third down duties, and if so, Cards will use enough 3 WR sets for him to be used?— NFL Wildcard (@NFL_wildcard) August 22, 2014
@joshweinfuss: I know you meant third wide receiver duties and no I don’t. He won’t be the Cardinals third receiver, that’ll be Ted Ginn. I think John Brown has earned the fourth receiver spot, however. And to use him, the Cardinals will have to go to a lot of four- or five-receiver sets. When he’s on the field, expect him to be used as a slot receiver going across the middle or out wide to take the top off the defense.
@joshweinfuss Do the Cards keep 6 WR's?— sacred reich (@SacredReich) August 22, 2014
@joshweinfuss: This is the toughest question heading into cuts, which start Tuesday. The Cardinals will easily keep four -- Larry Fitzgerald, Floyd, Ginn and John Brown -- but that fifth (possibly Jaron Brown) or sixth (possibly Walt Powell) will be tough unless Jaron Brown makes such an impact on the coaching staff and Powell emerges as a special teams option. The fifth receiver can easily be Powell because of his special teams play, and since Brown has played well and has put more than enough on tape, he could also be traded for a bigger need.
@joshweinfuss how will dockets injury truly impact the defense, with leadership?— SecoreH-Town (@Jsecore) August 23, 2014
@joshweinfuss: I think Dockett’s injury will hurt the defense in the locker room as much as on the field. While he can be physically replaced, I think his ability off the ball, especially in Bowles’ single-gap scheme, will be missed. But he was the heart and soul of not just the defense but the locker room. That’s why head coach Bruce Arians said he’ll keep Dockett on the sideline during games, just so Cardinals can keep benefitting from his leadership and spirit.