Arizona Cardinals: 5 Things They Must Do This Offseason
We have heard it a countless number of times... the Arizona Cardinals wasted a miraculous 4-0 start and are sliding closer to the basement with each passing week.
Arizona lost to the Atlanta Falcons this past week, pushing their losing streak to six games. Very few expected them to win this game, but the loss hurts considering they held a 13-point lead early on.
We have witnessed poor play and very questionable decisions over the past few weeks. The one positive from this losing streak is that they know what they have to improve on going forward.
There is not much Arizona can do at this point. At 4-6 they should be looking ahead to 2013.
Highlighted over the next few slides are five things the Cardinals must do this offseason.
Add an Offensive Coordinator
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On this episode of MTV’s “ridiculousness,” Mike Miller will be attempting to call plays for the Arizona Cardinals. As harsh as that sounds, some of the calls made this season have been laughable.
Any offense featuring Larry Fitzgerald should not be in second to last in total offense. This team has multiple weapons and would excel if they had a coordinator that catered to their strengths.
Throughout the year there have been times where the play-calling has been just fine. They would go on a streak with a few good calls in a row, but then suddenly abandon the plays that were successful.
It is a must that the Cardinals bring in a new offensive coordinator this offseason. Preferably someone who caters to players strengths, can get Fitzgerald the ball and sticks to what is working.
Decide on Levi Brown
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Arizona tackle Levi Brown was able to somewhat shake off his “bust” label with a solid second half to the 2011 season.
After releasing Brown to open up some salary cap space, the Cardinals would bring him back on a five-year deal worth $30 million.
The 28-year-old was injured during the preseason and his presence up front has been missed. He is out for the year, but Arizona has multiple options when he returns from injury.
They can target a left tackle either through free agency or the draft, or they can leave Nate Potter there. If this is the case, then Brown can play on the right side.
He can play right tackle or they can move him into guard if a tackle is acquired or drafted.
Replace Adam Snyder
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Of all the moves that the Cardinals made during the offseason, this was one of the more confusing ones.
The interior of the offensive line was just fine. Daryn Colledge and Lyle Sendlein had solid seasons and Rex Hadnot held his own as well.
Heading into free agency, the consensus was that this team is in dire need of a tackle. Instead of pursuing someone to occupy the outside, they chose to release Hadnot and sign Adam Snyder.
According to Spotrac, Snyder has a cap hit of $2 million this season. By releasing Hadnot, Arizona saved $1.5 million.
In other words, the Cardinals paid $500,000 to downgrade their offensive line.
Snyder has struggled this year and needs to go during the offseason. Whether they move Levi Brown inside, sign someone or draft someone, it is a must that Snyder is not starting for Arizona in 2013.
Fire Russ Grimm
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Grimm has put together some of the worst offensive-line combinations that you can come up with and has slowed the progression of players such as Levi Brown.
Sure, it is unfair to put all of the blame on him, but he is responsible for a lot of it.
The Cardinals are last in the NFL in sacks allowed this season, were 31st in 2011 and 30th in 2010. Over the past two-and-a-half seasons, they have given up 148 sacks.
I am a firm believer of the theory that a game is won and lost in the trenches. Russ Grimm needs to go if Arizona wants to have any success in 2013 and beyond.
Dump Early Doucet
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The Arizona Cardinals are stacked at the wide receiver position. Larry Fitzgerald is one of the best in the game, Andre Roberts is having a breakout year and Michael Floyd has looked solid so far.
In addition to these three, LaRon Byrd was impressive in the preseason and Rob Housler is really starting to get settled in.
There is a ton of talent on the offense, leaving no room for a player like Early Doucet. He has done a great job of dropping passes and taking away reps from Floyd this season.
Doucet had a strong start to the 2011 season, but since then he has been a cancer to this team. He has a poor attitude and has hurt the Cardinals dearly with numerous miscues going back to last season.