Top-5 Cardinals Concerns of 2009

As the Cardinals return for the 2009 season, they have a few key issues lingering over the franchise. Teams defeated in the Super Bowl are notorious for sub-par follow up campaigns. Management needs to focus on making certain players happy and the veterans are getting another year older. Here are the Top-5 concerns standing in the way of another successful season in the desert.

5. The mental anguish of losing a Super Bowl...

Succumbing to defeat in a Super Bowl can be devastating to a team and often leads to disappointing seasons following the big game. The Cardinals must focus on putting the past behind him and recharging for another playoff run.

Since 1999, only the 2006 Seattle Seahawks made the playoffs after suffering a Super Bowl defeat. However, they did lose to the Pittsburg Steelers, so luck may be on the Cardinals' side. Ultimately it will be up to Coach Ken Whisenhunt to erase the painful memories of their last NFL game.

4. The lack of talent at TE...

This position is clearly the weakest position on the roster. Leonard Pope has yet to live up to expectations and Ben Patrick will spend the first four games suspended by the NFL. Stephen Spach is still recovering from knee surgery and may not be able to compete at full speed until after the season starts. If the Cardinals are going to have any success at this position they must turn to new additions Anthony Becht or Dominique Byrd. Ideally it would be Pope stepping up and finally reaching his potential, but it may be time to admit that is not imminent.

3. The experience, or lack there of, at running back...

The draft selection of Beanie Wells was a great move by the franchise. Unfortunately, he does not have the opportunity to learn behind an experienced veteran. With the release of Edgerrin James, Wells will have to face the NFL without a helpful guide. James undoubtedly contributed to the success of Tim Hightower during his rookie year and Wells could use that same benefit. Last year's running game did not take off until the playoffs and was inconsistent at best. For the Cardinals to take the NFC West for the second straight season, the running backs must mature at an extremely fast pace.

2. The attitude of Anquan Boldin...

This is one of the most repetitive stories in the NFL. Boldin is obviously upset with his situation, but continues to play at a high level anyway. If the Cardinals do not address Boldin's contract his patience may run out. If Boldin's discontentedness drags on for another season it will take a toll on the morale of a team already shaken by a Super Bowl heartbreaker. Either trade Boldin or rework his contract. Leaving his situation in limbo in an unnecessary risk that could easily backfire on management.

1. The health of Kurt Warner...

Warner must be protected if the Cardinals are going to have any chance at overpowering the NFC. At age 38, Warner ability to play a full season rests with the blocking skills of his front line. If Warner cannot finish the season, can the Cardinals rely on Matt Leinart to live up to his potential? As the season approaches, Cardinals fans will be watching every step of Warner to make sure that his body is up for another run at being the underdog.


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