Arizona Cardinals: Will The Secondary Hold Up?
Is anyone concerned about the secondary situation? If so, you’re not alone. There is no need to panic, however, with the new regime there is a need to question where the Cardinals are headed.
For instance, Adrian Wilson, the heart of the team’s secondary, was let go, and Kerry Rhodes is gone too. In comes some new faces, few veterans and plenty of rookies. This mix of one-year deals and lack of experience makes for a unique situation for some and temporary for others.
With Tyrann Mathieu, it’s a complete positional change from cornerback to safety, and some newcomers may be forced to accept different roles. As we get more familiar with new defensive coordinator Todd Bowles system it will be intriguing to see what our secondary does to become as game changers.
A Wilson blitz or interception was never appreciated; it was more assumed. He had his issues in coverage, but his forced fumbles were precious.
The draft was very good, but it did not address safety. Instead, it caused more questions. The ability to be big and play big is two different things but both should come naturally. Peterson has shown it does but for newcomers like Antoine Cason it has not.
His pairing with Peterson is not automatic, as Jerraud Powers has been pushing him in practice for that coveted spot next to Peterson. The reason it is a special spot is because whoever picks up the slack on the opposite side will cash in next year during free agency with or without the team. A nod to GM Steve Keim at this point for his one year contract approach it keeps veterans competitive and giving rookie’s patience.
Speaking of rookies we have two coming from the same college team Oklahoma Tony Jefferson and Javon Harris. It’s rare that you even have college teammates being drafted to the same team in the same year. Both went undrafted, both were starters on a decent Sooner team and both are fighting for a spot.
Kudos to Keim again the ability to bring connections like these and ones like Mathieu’s and Peterson’s are rare. Hopefully for the Cardinals, the patience factor kicks because they are now playing behind Johnson and Bell.
It is no coincidence that the Cardinals have one of the best cornerback groups in years accumulatively speaking. The ability to get to the quarterback will be key this year with a lack of cohesion in the backfield. I believe Bell’s age does not matter but his experience and leadership will be key in a new look secondary?
As for Wilson, I hate to even remember when the Cardinals let Tim McDonald go to the Niners and they won a Super Bowl that year, Adrian is in a similar position with the Patriots. I believe the Cardinals will be fine, but the safe bet would be to be patient.