The Cardinals Top-Five Strengths of 09'

After examining the top concerns heading into 2009, it is time to dive into a more positive concept. As reigning NFC champs, the Cardinals proved they can no longer be overlooked as a contender. Heading into the season they will be equipped with elite talent at a variety of positions. This week, Tyson Qualls analyzes the top-five strengths of the franchise.

Rookies…

The Cardinals scooped up a solid class of rookies in this year's draft and it should benefit the franchise for seasons to come.

Beanie Wells was a steal that deep into the first round and Rashad Johnson should provide stellar depth at the safety position. Greg Toler is a project player, but has top-tier speed. Cody Brown could be the long-term answer to replace the aging outside linebackers. His pass-rushing abilities will add another strength to an improving defense. This draft class has an opportunity to contribute right out of the gate and help propel the Cardinals to another impressive campaign.

Quarterbacks…

This position would be ranked higher if it weren't for the age of Kurt Warner and the uncertainty of Matt Leinart's skill level. Warner is a high performance quarterback and barring injury, will lead the Cardinals' offense through another lucrative season. The backup position is a bit weak, however. Leinart has yet to be tested since his recommitment to football. Eventually the Cardinals will have to make the decision regarding his future with the franchise. As Warner continues his career further than expected, Leinart's chances of becoming the franchise quarterback are disappearing. Regardless of Leinart, Warner's talent is the driving force behind one of the leagues most explosive offenses.

Safeties…

The combination of Adrian Wilson and Antrel Rolle will only get better as Rolle gains more experience at the free safety position. As a converted cornerback, Rolle has encountered a few growing pains throughout the transition. Wilson has been a steady force and the face of the defense for seven seasons. With the increased focus on the pass rush, these two should see a dramatic increase in interceptions. The addition of Johnson is just one more strength to add to the mix. If the Cardinals are going to repeat their achievements, the safeties will have to continue to make an impact.

Coaching…

Ken Whisenhunt's drive to remake the franchise has paid off with dividends. The once lowly and disgraced team has shed its loser mentality and started to believe it can win. Whisenhunt will have to continue to pass this tradition on to new players and coaches if he wants to maintain the same high level of competition. Russ Grimm's experience and knowledge should prove for a smooth transition to co-offensive coordinator. After falling just short in last year's Super Bowl, Whisenhunt will need to regain focus on his coaching duties while preparing individual players for a fresh start in the 2009 campaign.

Wide Receivers…

The receivers are the bread and butter of the franchise. Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin are arguably the best one-two punch in football. Steve Breaston stepped up and showed that he cannot be over looked either. Early Doucet is young, but full of potential. This position is easily the strongest aspect of the team. Boldin has once again decided to report to camp and Fitzgerald continues to improve by leaps and bounds. Once the Cardinals are able to provide a consistent running game, the trio of Fitzgerald, Boldin, and Breaston will become virtually unstoppable.


CardinalsSource Top Stories