Early Observations from Arizona Cardinals Training Camp

Andrew NordmeierContributor IIIAugust 1, 2013

Early Observations from Arizona Cardinals Training Camp

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    The Arizona Cardinals have nearly wrapped up their first week of training camp. It has been eventful with player signings, a holdout and injuries cropping up. 

    There has also been talk of a read-option look for the Arizona offense. A defensive player might cross over and play some offense as well. 

    Let's take a look at the early observations coming back from Cardinals camp. Their first preseason game is next Friday at Green Bay

     

Ryan Williams' Injury Woes Continue

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    Running back Ryan Williams continues to have problems with his right knee. In this photo, it's taped up. It's also had a large bag of ice taped to it as he deals with another flare-up in the knee. 

    According to the Arizona Republic, Williams had his knee flare up on him during Sunday's practice. Williams had an MRI done on the knee, which didn't reveal any further damage. 

    In the article, head coach Bruce Arians was quoted as saying this is a make-or-break year for Williams. 

    Williams has played in five of 32 regular-season games in his first two NFL seasons. He needs to find a way to take his talent from the trainer's table to the playing field. 

Jim Dray Battles for a Tight End Spot

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    The Cardinals are looking for more production out of the tight end spot. Rob Housler is set to be the top tight end on the depth chart. The second spot is up for grabs, but Jim Dray is making his case for it, according to the team's official website. 

    Arians likes the type of tight end who can play more of an H-back role. In his offense, Arians will be using formations with two tight ends. This position battle could be one of the better ones to watch during camp. 

    Dray has taken advantage of injuries to Jeff King and Kory Sperry to get more snaps with the first-team offense. Rookie D.C. Jefferson has the versatility Arians prefers at that position. 

    Whether Dray winds up as the second tight end remains to be seen. For now, he has a chance at an important role. 

Offensive Line Competition Heats Up

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    Right tackle Eric Winston signed with the Cardinals on the first day of training camp. Less than a week later, he has taken Bobby Massie's spot on the first unit, according to the Cardinals' official blog. 

    It doesn't look like the end of Massie's time as a starter. It shows that the competition on the offensive line is open and anything could happen. 

    According to Fox News, guard Daryn Colledge missed time with a nerve injury in his lower right leg. It's hard to tell how much more time Colledge could miss. Paul Fanaika is trying to capitalize at the right guard position until Colledge comes back. 

    At left tackle, Levi Brown knows this will be an important camp. According to ArizonaSports.com, Brown needs to show he can be a starter to the coaching staff. Brown is coming back from a torn triceps injury that cost him all of last season. That will put pressure on him. So does having four years remaining on his $30 million deal. 

    The Arizona offensive line will be a battle to watch throughout training camp. 

Patrick Peterson Might Be Involved in the Offense

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    Cornerback Patrick Peterson is one of the better cover cornerbacks in the league. He also returns punts and has run plays out of the Wildcat formation. That was called the "Pat Cat" formation, and it was used for a couple of plays during Arizona's early season win over New England last year. 

    Will he be sneaking into the offense in 2013? He could be, according to Chris Wesseling of NFL.com. 

    The prospects are interesting to see what might happen. Peterson's speed makes him an interesting weapon in the Wildcat or as a wide receiver. 

    This might fade out of the playbook before the season starts, but it is an interesting idea. 

Carson Palmer Won't Run the Read-Option

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    The read-option is a trend in the NFL, but it won't be happening in Arizona with Carson Palmer under center. 

    According to Marc Sessler of NFL.com, Palmer won't be running the option. Palmer doesn't have the speed to be as effective in the read-option. He wouldn't be able to produce results like division rivals Colin Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers or Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks

    Arians said in the article it was used to give the defense a look at it since the team will come across it several times this season. 

    Arizona doesn't have much quarterback depth behind Palmer. That will also reduce the chances of Palmer taking an option run. Backups Drew Stanton and Ryan Lindley represent sizable drops in talent from Palmer.