After reading this article http://bleacherreport.com/tb/dcntS by Josh Weinfuss, it made me think about the current state of the Arizona Cardinals. The story to me only reiterates what most of us true Cardinals fans already know.
As we slowly creep up on the start of free agency, which is March 11. So many prognosticators have their own opinion on what the Redbirds should do in the offseason to get over the hump in the now brutal NFC West division. Many of these suggestions are all well documented and perhaps to some degree very accurate. For those of us following closely, the common theme is the Cardinals need to continue to upgrade the offensive line, more specifically at left tackle. We also hear that we need to upgrade the tight end position and possibly a speedy receiver (outside) that will compliment Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd, to take the top off the defense. In fact we have heard the deep threat receiver suggestion straight from the sources mouth, Bruce Arians.
On the other side of the ball prognosticators have said that we need an upgrade at the safety position to cover the premiere tight ends that are becoming so prevalent in the NFL these days. We’ve been also told that we need an upgrade at OLB; someone who can complement the aging John Abraham and get to the quarterback.
As mentioned previously, these are all very valid arguments and I do agree with many of them. In fact I have recently written an article about all these suggestion. However, ultimately after the terrific ending to the season for the Cardinals and coming close to making the playoffs. To me it is really easy to see that we should not focus so much on who the Cardinals need to pursue in free agency and/or the draft. The focus should be on retaining some of our own soon to be free agents. Not to say we should not continue to upgrade at every position, which is always the case and it is what makes a great team.
However, ultimately the Redbirds should and need to concentrate on trying to keep the players that helped them win 7 out their last 9 games. As we all know, there is nothing like team chemistry or continuity on a ball club.
In the last nine games we saw them really come together as if a green light came on throughout the whole organization. So, to me why would you mess around with team chemistry at this point.
In the last nine games we saw Carson Palmer (in his first year under Arians) start to understand the offense. We saw Left tackle Bradley Sowell, right tackle Eric Winston and the rest of the offensive line come together. We saw the receivers start to gain chemistry with Palmer.
On the other side of the ball, it pretty much goes without saying what the mighty D did towards the end of last season. As they ended up ranked number one against the rush and number six in overall defense.
Let’s hope the Cardinals understand this and do all they can to keep the current talent together and see where this can take us into next season and beyond, which I truly do believe they will.
In my opinion, the future for the Cardinals is exciting and very promising. They are in great shape to patiently look for the best player available for the right price and not reach for anyone that is on their board. For instance, if in the upcoming draft that left tackle, speedy receiver or tight end is the best player on their board then they should take him. But if not then just take the best player available on their board.
We have been hearing a lot of talk about left tackle Brandon Albert in free agency. As intriguing as this really sounds, in my opinion, for the right price yes but do not over pay for his services. I really think Bradley Sowell did a very decent job towards the last half of the season. shouldn’t we not be more patient with him and see how much more he can improve before we give up on him just yet. From the sound of coach Arians, I believe he wants to see just that from him. He recently has mentioned “the improving Sowell is going to get stronger.”
Bottom line, let’s continue with what now second year GM and head coach has started and continue to see the growth that is starting to take place. Let’s continue to have patients with the current roster and just patiently add pieces that fall to us in free agency and the draft and not over spend and/or reach for a player in the draft. If we do this, I believe we will soon be in a path towards a Super Bowl run. Do you agree?