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Arizona Cardinals: The Biggest Winners and Losers of Preseason So Far

KANSAS CITY, MO - AUGUST 10:  Free safety Kerry Rhodes #25 of the Arizona Cardinals makes a tackle against the Kansas City Chiefs during the first half on August 10, 2012 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)
Peter Aiken/Getty Images
Jesse ReynoldsContributor IAugust 15, 2012

Thus far, the Arizona Cardinals' preseason games have not gone as fans hoped. The team has struggled, and some reactionary individuals are already dismissing the season as lost.

Before everyone hits the panic button, remember this is the preseason with the Whisenhunt regime. Under coach Ken Whisenhunt, the Cardinals have gone 0-4 twice and have an overall record of 7-14 in the preseason. Generally, the Cardinals have not played well in these practice games.

Coach Whisenhunt has iterated many times to the media that the preseason is just a test. While many fans hate the excuse, it is true that the Cardinals are running "vanilla" schemes.

While this doesn't justify the team's play, it does indicate that the coaches want to see if the team can execute the basic offense and defense without the help of a game plan.

From the press conferences with Whisenhunt, it appears the coaches are more concerned with the tape than the results.

Following the coaches' lead, we turn to the tapes to see who is doing well and who is struggling so far.

 

Winners

LaRon Byrd (seven receptions for 87 yards through two preseason games)

Byrd has been a huge surprise considering the Cardinals' depth at wide receiver this year. If Byrd continues to play like this, he is going to easily capture the last wide receiver spot on the roster.

Alfonso Smith (17 carries, 86 yards and one touchdown)

Smith is in a precarious situation. With Ryan Williams and Beanie Wells possibly retuning against the Oakland Raiders, the amount of snaps available to Smith will be limited.

So far, he has done a great job taking advantage of the extra reps.

 

William Powell (19 carries for 123 yards and one touchdown)

Against the Saints, Powell did poorly, rushing the ball 10 times for 31 yards. Powell saved his hide by breaking a 67-yard run to pad his stats and his case for a roster spot.

 

Stewart Bradley (Nine tackles, two for a loss, one sack and two passes defended)

Playing in place of injured Paris Lenon, Bradley has been playing very well for the Cardinals. He has been a disruptive force and could potentially be poised for a comeback season.

 

Losers

Kevin Kolb (2-9, 25 yards, one interception)

After a long wait, many fans were anxious to see if Kolb would perform to the lofty expectations set out for him. So far, he has done nothing to give the fans hope.

 

Michael Adams (three tackles)

"Money" Mike has been a popular player among many Cardinal fans. His undersized nature and tenacious play inspired many. Sadly, it seems Adams' time as a Cardinal is coming to an end.

Adams played badly last game and may see second-team reps this week against the Raiders.

 

Jeremy Bridges (two starts)

Bridges may have played himself out of a position this weekend. Throughout Cardinal land, new sources have been talking about Anthony D'Batiste taking over for Bridges at the right tackle spot (per ESPN.com).

Bridges is a solid player, but he shouldn't be starting. Someone taking his job because of superior play is a good thing.

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