Monday, August 20, 2012
Under-the-radar moves revisited: Cardinals
By Mike Sando
Revisiting three under-the-radar moves for the Arizona Cardinals to see how well these June storylines are holding up:
1. Cornerback shuffle. Improved depth at cornerback gave the Cardinals renewed confidence at the position even after losing productive veteran Richard Marshall in free agency. This angle holds up decently even though the competition at right cornerback hasn't been all that fierce. William Gay seems to be holding onto the position. Rookie Jamell Fleming appears on track. Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. singled out Fleming for impressive work during the Cardinals' preseason game against Oakland. The Cardinals would like to see other players step up.
2. Naming John McNulty as QB coach. McNulty moved from receivers coach to replace Chris Miller. The idea was for McNulty to put more emphasis on the fundamentals, helping Kevin Kolb do a better job staying in the pocket and finding receivers. No one expected miracles, but some improvement seemed reasonable. The results have not been promising to this point. Kolb has struggled through the preseason. The quarterback competition between Kolb and John Skelton isn't inspiring much confidence.
3. Re-signing Levi Brown. Forget about this one. The torn triceps Brown suffered against Oakland could end the left tackle's season. I had pointed to Brown's re-signing as an under-the radar move because Brown made strides late last season. There seemed to be some similarities in career trajectory between Brown and San Francisco's Alex Smith. Both struggled and were heavily criticized early in their careers, failing to fare as well as other prominent players their teams could have selected. Smith rebounded last season. Brown appeared headed in the right direction.