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Sunday, July 20, 2014
Cards Mailbag: Who'll make a splash?

By Josh Weinfuss

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 #cardsmailbag with Ellingtons size which other RB will be used for short yard situations or is AE capable of muscling through?

— David Camarena (@PaNdAsTr0nAuT7) July 17, 2014
@joshweinfuss: I think Andre Ellington is capable of being a short-yardage workhorse, but I don't see Cardinals coach Bruce Arians using him there all the time. I think Ellington will certainly get the call on a few occasions, but I can see Stepfan Taylor and Jonathan Dwyer getting more of the short-yardage carries. And don't be surprised if Robert Hughes -- if he ends up making the roster and staying healthy -- will be responsible for some of those situations as well.

@joshweinfuss Who's your Pre-Camp player that you feel will surprise the majority of #BigRedNation and make the Week 1 Roster? #CardsMailbag

— Andrew Maples (@Dmaples03114) July 17, 2014
@joshweinfuss: Larry Fitzgerald. I'm kidding. There's not really one player that'll be a major surprise, but I think someone to watch is undrafted rookie offensive lineman Anthony Steen out of Alabama. He wasn't able to practice for the first half of training camp because he was recovering from shoulder surgery, but the coaching staff still signed him and kept him on the roster, which, to me, was more of a testament to his tape at Alabama than anything else. And even after he began practice, he hasn't been cut yet, so that's proof Steen has been able to play at a high level post-surgery.

@joshweinfuss Larry Foote? Can he cover? Minter is more of a thumper. Who plays nickel LB? LB is the defensive mystery.

— sacred reich (@SacredReich) July 17, 2014
@joshweinfuss: You are right, linebacker is the defensive mystery. Larry Foote can cover, but not at that the speed that Daryl Washington or Karlos Dansby can. When the Cards signed Foote, Arians said he can't be a three-down player. Age is starting to catch up to the 34-year-old Foote. If Arizona wants to go with someone who is younger, then it'll take a good look at Kenny Demens, the second-year LB out of Michigan.

@joshweinfuss which undrafted rookies have caught your eye or the coaches?

— Edgar Valenzuela (@edgar_gumby) July 18, 2014
@joshweinfuss: There have been a handful of undrafted rookies who've caught my eye. Guard Anthony Steen, linebacker Glenn Carson, kicker Chandler Catanzaro and linebacker Jonathan Brown really stand out.

@joshweinfuss Palmer is raving about the O's improvement how improved is it from 2nd half of last year and could it be a top 10 offense?

— David Camarena (@PaNdAsTr0nAuT7) July 18, 2014
@joshweinfuss: It's yet to be seen how improved it is from the second half of the season because Arizona hasn't taken the field yet, but I think it's safe to say it will be vastly improved for a few reasons: The Cardinals had a whole offseason to review the tape -- their tape -- of the offense and learn from their mistakes; much-needed pieces were added to improve the offense, from a stout left tackle to a few tight ends that fit the offense better to a veteran third receiver; and because the experience of seeing the offense evolve will help Arizona build on last year. Can it be a top-10 offense? With a new anchor on the left side protecting quarterback Carson Palmer, his sacks should go down, and with better tight ends the offense can run smoother. So, yes, I think it can crack the top 10 this year.