With training camp set to start at the end of July, what are some of the biggest questions the 2021 Arizona Cardinals will have to answer?
This year’s training camp for the Arizona Cardinals is less than a month away and there are several questions on the minds of the team’s fan base. However, two of them seem to stand out the most.
Whether Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury will be on the hot seat or not seems to be one of the biggest questions people have as the 2021 season quickly approaches.
Entering his third year in the NFL, Kliff Kingsbury carries a 13-18-1 record as a head coach. After failing to lead Arizona to the playoffs in the 2020 season after a red hot start, the young coach will certainly need a deep playoff run during the upcoming 2021 campaign if he wishes to stay employed by his current team.
Albeit the Cardinals missed the playoffs last season, there was a significant improvement on both sides of the ball, especially for Kingsbury’s offense. In 2019, Arizona ranked 21st in total offense. But In 2020, the numbers spiked, as the Cardinals finishing sixth in the league in total offense.
But even a “Hail Murray” in Week 10 against the Buffalo Bills wasn’t a big enough prayer to send the Cardinals back to the playoffs for the first time since 2015.
Another miss in 2021, and Kingsbury might soon find himself looking for another employer.
Will all the new faces help the Arizona Cardinals become a contender?
One of the other top questions that continues to frequent discussions between Arizona fans these days has to do with all of the new players the team added to their roster this offseason. Will they make a difference in 2021?
The Cardinals won the J.J. Watt sweepstakes earlier this year, as the veteran defensive monster chose Arizona as his next landing spot. But the biggest concern about him is whether he still has enough left in the tank to contribute or not.
The 32-year-old brings leadership, experience, and 101 career sacks to the desert. But in addition to that, he also brings his health concerns, as Watt has battled the injury bug in recent years. Should he remain healthy, he makes a great complement to the returning Chandler Jones, who looks to bounce back from a season-ending injury in 2020.
The Cardinals also bolstered their roster by making some other splashes this offseason. They traded for perhaps the best center in the NFL in Rodney Hudson to anchor their offensive line. A much-needed piece as the primary goal is to keep Murray upright next season.
Arizona also brought in veteran cornerback, and Super Bowl 49 hero, Malcolm Butler, this year to fill the void left by a departed Patrick Peterson. In addition to the signing of Butler, incoming Cardinals rookie linebacker Zaven Collins will be paired inside with freak athlete Isaiah Simmons, a duo that should dominate for years to come.
Adding key pieces to help Arizona defensive coordinator Vance Joseph was a great plan from Cardinals general manager Steve Keim, as the team will look to dominate on both sides of the ball next season.
These, along with a few other questions, will need to be answered should Arizona want to compete in the vaunted NFC West in 2021. The answers are soon to come, as the upcoming season is just on the horizon in the desert.