The Arizona Cardinals may have enjoyed a better record than they attained in 2023 had they made some better decisions. We talked about how they could have rolled with someone other than Joshua Dobbs numerous times, most notably Gardner Minshew, who nearly led the Indianapolis Colts to the playoffs this season.
But there were a few more beyond questionable decisions that haunted the Cardinals in 2023, and they involved either moving players around to specific positions, or not playing them enough despite their mid-to-late season productivity. Had the Redbirds put their 11 best on the field on offense, specifically at the skill position units, the passing game may have improved early, whether Dobbs or someone else lined up at quarterback during the season’s first half.
Arizona made quite a few bad decisions in 2023
1 - Sliding Zaven Collins to edge
Making such a decision can and should be a mystery for those in the Red Sea, considering how well Zaven Collins played during his sophomore campaign at linebacker. Sure, Collins had the build and the traits to make a potential position switch to edge rusher, but this one fell into the, “don’t fix it if it isn’t broken,” category, and Collins’ play wasn’t broken.
He logged triple-digits in combined tackles, and double-digits in tackles for loss, so was by no means in dire need of a change. Besides, could you imagine how well he would have paired with Kyzir White in the middle? There is no way opponents would have gashed the Cardinals defense on the ground to the same extent.
To make matters worse for the Cards, Collins didn’t play well at the position, totaling 3.5 sacks and six quarterback hits. He also finished fourth on the team in the former and third in the latter, which were more than underwhelming numbers for a former first-round pick.