Arizona Cardinals must use perpetual disrespect as fuel in 2023

Arizona Cardinals v Denver Broncos
Arizona Cardinals v Denver Broncos / Justin Edmonds/GettyImages

Days ago, the Arizona Cardinals were disrespected when a major outlet snubbed even their best players from a spot in the Top 100 rankings.

I’ve been following the NFL for 29 years (literally since my first memories), and I’ve been following the NFL offseason over the past 21 years. And never, not once, do I ever recall seeing a team so singled out during the offseason in those past two decades. 

Sure, there have been contenders, like the 2016/17 Cleveland Browns, the 2012 Indianapolis Colts (that one “aged well”), the 2009 Detroit Lions, and even the 2003 Arizona Cardinals. But the media treated none of the above like an amateur NFL team to the same extent they’ve treated the Redbirds

Want more fun? Recently, Jared Dubin and Company of CBS Sports divided each team’s Triplets into eight tiers, with Tier 8 serving as the “bottom tier.” But when you add up the number of teams in those eight tiers, you get 31. Because if you read the final piece (link at the bottom of the page), you’ll find Tier 9 labeled the Arizona Cardinals.

The Arizona Cardinals must use disrespect to fuel them

Whether it’s Pete Prisco’s Top 100 (also via CBS Sports), Mike Florio, Jared Dubin and their panel, and anyone I haven’t mentioned, head coach Jonathan Gannon needs to print out copies of their respective pieces and place them onto a bulletin board in the locker room, or at least in some common room at team headquarters. 

That way, the Cardinals can see for themselves what’s been said about them all offseason, all the assumptions made that this will be a terrible football team, and the fact that they’re being counted out over a month before training camp even begins. And they need to use these claims as motivation to go above and beyond in 2023 to prove to the world they’re a least better than they’re being touted.  

Earlier in the summer, James Conner, who, along with Colt McCoy and Marquise Brown comprise the league’s so-called “worst” set of Triplets, already showed signs of embracing underdog status. And to be honest, with the high-octane personality he has, I can also see Gannon doing the same, and hopefully he lets every player who earns a spot on the 53-man roster know about it. 

Use it as motivation. And week by week, the Arizona Cardinals need to prove to the entire NFL universe just how wrong they are in their respective assumptions. 

Source: Ranking NFL 2023 'Triplets,' Part I: Cardinals have worst group, Steelers make slight leap from 2022 by Jared Dubin