The Arizona Cardinals head into the new season with a growing list of concerns. What will ail the team as they go forward? In the first segment of a two-part series, Tyson Qualls plays Devil’s Advocate and brings to light what could go wrong in 2010. Next week, look for the second part as AZRedReport.com discusses the optimistic side of the team’s future.
The Sound of Matt Leinart Choking Echoes through the Desert:
Leinart has yet to prove his dominance at the premier level of the sport. His lackluster decision making skills, both on and off the field have haunted his small amounts of progress.
The four year veteran has never played an entire season nor thrown more touchdowns than interceptions. Now that Kurt Warner is out of the picture it is highly unlikely that he will be able to take over the reins. With the added loss of Anquan Boldin, the USC grad will have even fewer targets when it matters most.
Beanie Wells Falls Victim to the Sophomore Slump:
The dreaded second season slump has hampered even the best athletes. Wells had a breakout season in 2009, but it will be a hard task to avoid a second year let down.
Again, the loss of Warner and Boldin will allow defenses to focus other places, one of those certainly being the running game. Leinart does not have the same ability to read defenses as Warner did and it will provide opportunities to successfully stack the box against Wells.
The injury bug could also be lurking as Wells had trouble staying healthy during his collegiate career.
The Defense Can Now Focus on Fitzgerald:
The strong presence of Boldin has given Fitzgerald the benefit of less intrusive coverage. Now that Boldin is sporting a brand new Ravens jersey, it will be interesting to see how the Batman of the offense responds without his Robin.
Will he be able to fend off three defenders instead of two? Is Leinart confident enough to make the necessary throws? Steve Breaston and Early Doucet must mature, and quickly. Without their increased capabilities the Cardinals’ offense suddenly becomes a “one trick pony”.
As Ken Whisenhunt starts training camp, he will find many familiar faces gone. The desks that once held Karlos Dansby, Antrel Rolle, Boldin, and Warner are now empty. The new additions have enormous shoes to fill and the task may prove too daunting for the likes of Cody Brown, Leinart, Breaston, and Kerry Rhodes.
Questions or Comments? Contact Tyson Qualls at firstname.lastname@example.org, Follow him on Twitter with @tysonqsports, or on Facebook
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