Training camp has wrapped up and the preseason has officially begun for the Arizona Cardinals, with their Week 1 matchup vs. the Denver Broncos now under 48 hours away. The Cards saw some good and bad things over their stint in camp, and it gave us insight to what we can expect heading into the first preseason game.
Of course, we have a quarterback competition on our hands between Colt McCoy and rookie Clayton Tune, and that will spill over into the Denver game. We will also see a pair of fan favorite pass catchers take centerstage, and a running backs competition that is once again heating up. Let’s take a deep dive into what you can anticipate for tomorrow’s game.
3 things to look for in Arizona Cardinals first preseason game
1 - Colt McCoy to start
This is a quarterback competition, and Colt McCoy will be fending off Clayton Tune for the entirety of the preseason (bold prediction: he won’t). Clearly, it also means McCoy won’t just see reps on Friday, but he must make the most of them if he plans on starting in Week 1.
It will be interesting to see how the 36-year-old fares, and if Tune can further close the gap tomorrow night. While I’m not going to get bold and claim Tune will play with the starters, he could further make his case if he enjoys a good performance with the Second Team.
2 - Marquise Brown’s status uncertain
Throughout camp, we didn’t see much of Marquise Brown, and that trend should continue into the Denver game. However, Brown will be good to go in Weeks 2 and 3, so he will get some in-game reps before the regular season kicks off in September.
Therefore, you can expect to see some fan favorites like Michael Wilson and Greg Dortch getting some extended playing time early tomorrow night. Both players have contrasting skill-sets, so they should be interesting to watch if they are on the field together.
3 - Running back competition
The bad news is that newly signed running back Marlon Mack is out for the year with a torn Achilles, necessitating competition for the RB2 to heat up once more. As we have said many times at Raising Zona, there is little to love about the backs lining up behind James Conner on the depth chart, so maybe someone will seize the opportunity in the game.
Don’t anticipate Conner to receive much, if any playing time, but you can anticipate the other five backs on the roster (the team just signed Stevie Scott) to try and seize the opportunity and prove they can be the guy. That competition will start tomorrow, and the hope is that one of those backs will immediately set themselves apart from the others.
Source: New era notes: Colt McCoy expected to play vs. Broncos as training camp breaks by Tyler Drake, Arizona Sports