Young football teams have a lot to prove, and the 2023 Arizona Cardinals find themselves in that crowd. They are adopting new systems on offense and on defense, and it’s also looking more and more like the Redbirds will be rolling with Colt McCoy to begin the season.
We did see a couple of surprises in last week’s preseason win over the Denver Broncos in the defensive line and the subsequent pass rush. But it was just one game, so the Cards need to show us they can consistently bring pressure and unnerve opposing quarterbacks.
Finally, we received good news on the injury front for the second week, this time with tight end Zach Ertz returning. Will he and EDGE rusher BJ Ojulari be ready to contribute as at least role players come Week 1?
As you can see, there is a lot that the Cardinals need to prove before the games start to count. Let’s look at each issue individually.
4 things the Arizona Cardinals must prove
1 - Mastering new systems
With new systems in place, the Cardinals need to show us they’ve mastered them and that they know what they are doing when Week 1 of the regular season vs. the Washington Commanders rolls around. Last Friday, we saw more ups than downs, so that’s a much-needed step in the right direction. But with the starters receiving more playing time this week, we will get a better look of where they currently stand in the new-look offense and defense.
Another upside is that the new offensive and defensive systems are tailored more around the players as opposed to tailoring players to fit a specific system. If the Cardinals play well vs. the Kansas City Chiefs starters, then they should give us confidence that they should hit the ground running in Week 1.