The game against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday will be a perfect testing ground to see whether this offensive strategy can work.
However, this strategy never materialized. With Todd Haley as the offensive coordinator, two all-pro wide receivers (Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin), and Kurt Warner taking the reins as the quarterback for the Cardinals, the pass became king — and the rushing game became an afterthought.
Interestingly, even with Boldin, Haley, and Warner gone, Whisenhunt has still relied more on the pass than the run during the last two seasons. Part of the reason for this was due to Beanie Wells being injured a lot and playing at less than 100%, but one would have thought that there would have been a lot fewer first down passes and a lot more of an attempt to get the ground game established.
I expect things will change this year. Look for the Cardinals to run first, and throw a lot fewer passes, in their games this year. With two major weapons at running back (Beanie Wells and Ryan Williams), a superb blocking fullback (Anthony Sherman), a solid situational runner (LaRod Stephens-Howling), and a rookie who showed great promise in the preseason (William Powell), the Cardinals have an arsenal of weapons in their running attack this year. They should try to use these runners to maximum advantage
Yes, the Cardinals will want to get the ball to Larry Fitzgerald. However, there is a much greater chance for Fitz to get more easy catches — and also get more touchdown passes — with a strong rushing game that will keep the defenses honest. It will also be easier for an admittedly shaky offensive line to protect the quarterback if the Cardinals throw fewer passes.