Aug 24, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals running back Andre Ellington (38) fends off a tackle by Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Wallace Gilberry (95) during the first half at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
1. A Plethora of Young Talent
The most exciting thing about the 2014 Cardinals in undoubtedly the youth of the team. Michael Floyd, Patrick Peterson, John Brown, Tyrann Mathieu, and Andre Ellington are all 25 or under and all have shown the ability to play at an elite level. Seeing how those guys develop and how they contribute to the team should keep everyone watching the Cards this season.
It’s more than just the big name guys though. Kevin Minter, Deone Bucannon, Troy Niklas, Alex Okafor, and other young players all have the potential to be valuable pieces of the team, now and in the future. Any of them could breakout big time, which would help the Cardinals immensely.Watching this young group develop should be a lot of fun in the season, because it is a sign of good things to come. Whoever eventually replaces Carson Palmer, ideally a younger QB that can be a long-term answer, will have a great group around him.
The simple fact that the Cards have several players who are already major contributors with little experience helps greatly. All of those guys above are or could possibly reach elite status, and they are all good young men who are willing to .work hard and are hungry for success.
This roster has a great balance of veteran wisdom and young explosiveness. If those elements can output consistent on-field results, the Cardinals will once again be a team the rest of the NFL world must pay attention to in 2014. With so much breakout potential, the Cardinals are capable of going very far if they play their cards right.