After the first unit offense was absolutely steamrolled by the Titans' defense, the Arizona Cardinals are entering their final preseason game against the Broncos with plenty of question marks. They still have yet to decide who their quarterback will be, the offensive line still requires some adjustments and the defense, even though it looked pretty good, will need some tinkering as well.
You may have caught my final 53-man roster predictions the other day. But after watching the last game, I, much like the Cardinals, have some adjustments to make.
First of all, I noted in bold that John Skelton would probably be the starting quarterback once the team plays the Seattle Seahawks in week one. Now, I am not so sure. Kevin Kolb actually played really well, aside from the two ugly interceptions he threw. If he can control the turnovers and continue to move the ball downfield, he still has a shot at being the starter. I also think the team wants him to win the job, so he has that on his side as well.
Then we can look at the offensive line, the second most volatile unit on this football team. D.J. Young did not work out at left tackle and I had him listed as the starter entering the regular season. That will not be the case, unless the Cardinals want their quarterbacks to get train wrecked. At this point, I still think the team MUST sign a free agent or pick up a cut player, but D'Anthony Batiste might be their best option currently on the roster. That's a sad, sad thing. If Batiste shifts to the left side, I see rookie Bobby Massie getting the call at right tackle.
At cornerback, I thought Greg Toler would be able to take the starting job across from Patrick Peterson, but his knees are still too much of an issue. William Gay played pretty well against the Titans and I think he retains his starting job. On top of that, there are two players in the secondary that might not even make the team.
With the emergence of Justin Bethel, James Sanders might have become expendable. Bethel has been solid on special teams and if he can play even a shred of safety, Sanders might not make the cut. The other player that has their job in jeopardy is former starter, A.J. Jefferson. Mike Adams is still extremely productive on special teams, despite his comparably small size. Jefferson will need to show that he can contribute in that facet of the game if he wants to remain a Cardinal.
Lastly, I think Steve Skelton has an outsider's chance at becoming the team's fourth tight end. He caught six passes on Thursday night and looked good as another receiving option for the team. If he were to make it, Jim Dray, a good blocking tight end that has been with the team for a few years, would be the odd man out. Him dropping some wide open catches against the Titans didn't help his case, either.
It seems that this last game against the Broncos may prove to be more pivotal than we all originally thought. The Cardinals still have plenty of personnel decisions to make before the regular season beings -- both on offense and defense and in all sections of the depth chart.