2 - Kyzir White, ILB
There are two reasons Kyzir White must make a sound impression in Week 1: a) he’s the centerpiece of the defense, and b) no other full-time starter knows head coach Jonathan Gannon’s and defensive coordinator Nick Rallis’ style better. It’s up to White to lead the defense until everyone is on the same page, and that must start the moment he takes the field this Sunday.
We saw little of White during the preseason, but we already had an inkling of what he was capable of before he even stepped onto the field as a member of the Arizona Cardinals. White showed us a small sample size in Preseason Week 2 vs. the Kansas City Chiefs, and that role must expand in Week 1.
If White brings energy and leadership all game, then it will collectively benefit the Cardinals defense. Pundits all over the NFL universe expect the Redbirds to toil through 17 tough outings this year, but White is one player who could throw a dent into that mentality early and often.