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Cardinals Mailbag: Redskins Edition

10/10/2014

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 weekend during the season. Make sure to use the hashtag #CardsMailbag.


@joshweinfuss: I think once either Carson Palmer or Drew Stanton gets healthy, they'll regain the starting job with Logan Thomas as their backup while the other continues to recover. But once the stars realign, Palmer will be the starter, Stanton will be the backup and Thomas will continue to be inactive on game days.


@joshweinfuss: It sounds cliche and like coach-speak right out of some coaching textbook but the whole "next man up" motto is really what's kept the Cardinals going this season. The players have bought into it. The coaches have bought into it. Everyone really believes that when someone goes down it's the job of the person behind them to step up and play. A couple of players told me this week that the whole notion of the front seven being in trouble because of injuries is being blown out of proportion. Do I believe that? Not necessarily. I think starters are starters and backup are backups in the NFL for a reason -- starters are more talented than backups. Take the Atlanta Falcons last season, for example. When Julio Jones and Roddy White went down, the passing game suffered dramatically. Why? Because the backups weren't as good as those two. I'm not sure I completely buy into the whole "it's time for the young players to step up" idea, either. Sure, rookies need time to grow and blossom and that happens at different rates for different players, but if a guy wasn't good enough to be a starter in training camp it's unlikely he'll be good enough to be a full-time starter during the regular season. That's where Bruce Arians, Steve Keim, Harold Goodwin and Todd Bowles are good at their jobs. They've taken players who aren't as talented as their starting counterparts and made them fit the scheme well enough to where there's little visible difference.


@joshweinfuss: No. I think defensive coordinator Todd Bowles has proven that it's not about the personnel, it's about the scheme. He did it last year with Matt Shaughnessy and John Abraham (granted they were both talented), and he's done it thus far with Frostee Rucker, Kevin Minter and Larry Foote. He will continue to do it with the absences of Shaughnessy and Calais Campbell.


@joshweinfuss: Let me answer your last question first: Yes. As for your first question, it's very possible Palmer could be a backup depending on how his arm feels and how his treatment Friday in Denver goes. I wouldn't be surprised if Arizona keeps three quarterbacks active if both Stanton and Palmer are cleared.


@joshweinfuss In one word: No. It's not a situation that'll fit him well. He needs to go somewhere with some semblance of a talented and productive offense, and that's not the Oakland Raiders. Secondly, I think he'll get more offers than from just the Raiders this offsesaon.


@joshweinfuss: I think it's safe to say safety Tyrann Mathieu isn't quite back to full strength, both mentally and physically. But the biggest difference is that he's not getting the reps he needs to get back into the type of shape he was in last season and I don't see him having an impact like that until he's on the field on a regular basis.