The Arizona Cardinals must rebuild the offense to compete with their NFC West opponents.
Larry Fitzgerald and the Arizona Cardinals must wonder what has happened to the NFC West division. Seems like yesterday, but it was 2015, that the Cardinals were 13-3. Since then, Arizona has finished at 7-8-1 and 8-8 in 2016 and 2017, respectively.
The Cardinals defense has finished in the top six in total defense the last three seasons. However, the Arizona offense has dropped from first to 22nd in total offense in the same period of time. Most of all, the NFC West is getting better and Arizona must rebuild the offense in order to be competitive.
Currently, there are many new faces on the roster. In the 2018 NFL Draft, Arizona selected five offensive players and one defensive player. Hopefully, these rookies will be contributors to the offense.
Although it’s debatable, each offense needs a great group of triplets. Remember 2008, the Cardinals had Kurt Warner, Edgerrin James and Fitzgerald? Better yet, back in the day, Jim Hart, Terry Metcalf, and Mel Gray were an elite set of triplets.
Fitzgerald is entering his 15th NFL season. He does not appear to be slowing down. Last season, Fitzgerald accounted for 32 percent of the Cardinals receiving yards. But, there is a huge drop-off in the wide receiving corps after him.
David Johnson is back from last season’s injury. He had a terrific 2016 season by having 2118 yards from scrimmage with 20 touchdowns. Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com reported on Steve Wilks’ remarks regarding Johnson at OTAs:
"“I don’t want to get too excited, but David Johnson looked outstanding,” coach Steve Wilks said after the team’s initial OTA this week."
Fitzgerald and Johnson will make up two of the three spots. The third spot, quarterback, is still a big question. In fact, it’s a huge question mark.
Can Sam Bradford stay healthy to lead the Cardinals throughout the season? Should Josh Rosen be handed the reigns because of his future potential? Mike Glennon and Chad Kanoff will battle for the back up to the back up job.
The Cardinals offensive line needs some tweaking, as well. Football Outsiders ranks the offensive line 17th in run blocking and 26th in pass protection. Winning football starts first in the trenches. Justin Pugh and Andre Smith were free agent signings to bolster the line.
Expectations for the offense needs to tempered because of the new offensive direction by the new coaching staff. Training camp is near and many questions will be answered. It’s going to be an exciting season!