Arizona Cardinals vs. Green Bay Packers: 10 Players to Watch
This is the type of organization that any team in the NFL would strive to be like.
They just won the Super Bowl, have a class act QB, and have a great atmosphere, among many other things.
Well, one out of those three would be great.
Two would be awesome.
So...Kevin Kolb, you may want to watch Aaron Rodgers closely.
Why? Because their stories are actually kind of similar.
Rodgers finally got his chance and ran with it.
Let's hope Kolb will do the same.
As for the rest of the Cards, there are several guys worth watching Friday night.
1. Ryan Williams
I mentioned Ryan Williams in last week's preview article, but I'm even more interested in what he can do this week.
He needs to have a good game, not just running the ball, but helping block blitzing players.
This is critical in Arizona's offense.
Look, we know Beanie Wells is going to start the year.
I believe it's just a matter of time before Williams steals the lion's share of touches.
A solid performance against a solid defense tonight should go a long way.
2. Brandon Keith
To me, Brandon Keith is the weak link in a still-shaky line.
If Arizona can get out of the first quarter-and-a-half, or however long Kolb plays, without giving up a sack, I'd call it an accomplishment.
I'd be a little shocked, but it'd be huge.
Either way, Keith has yet to prove to me that he's a solid right tackle. Levi Brown gets more flack, but I can see some talent there.
Still not sure about Keith.
3. Andre Roberts
Much has been said about who will start opposite Larry Fitzgerald to start the year.
I think we've all figured out, at least most Cardinals fans have, that there is no "number two" really.
It comes down to who the Cardinals will use when.
But I think, with a strong showing, Andre Roberts could make a case for more playing time.
He's come on strong since the end of last season, and he's had a strong camp from what I hear.
It'd be really good for the Cardinals to find some consistent option to take some pressure off Fitzgerald.
4. Early Doucet
Early Doucet is in the same boat as Roberts.
Only difference is I think we all know that Doucet can be an even bigger playmaker than Roberts.
We saw it two years ago against the Green Bay Packers.
Hmm. Could Doucet do it again?
It's something to watch.
5. Stephen Williams
The WR battle is one to watch for sure.
And Stephen Williams is one of those guys that has me suckered again.
He did it last season when he broke out during the preseason.
He's tall at 6'6", but so far he hasn't shown he can really use that height (not to mention his decent hands) in a game.
Still, a solid preseason performance would go a long way towards getting him some playing time.
6. Sam Acho
Word out of camp this week is that when Joey Porter sat out during some drills, Sam Acho took his place.
Exciting for Cardinals fans sure, except for the fact that Acho played instead of O'Brien Schofield.
Schofield was supposed to be a breakout candidate this season, but he hasn't really shown up in camp.
Acho, on the other hand, was supposed to take a while to learn the defense as a rookie and with the lockout and all.
If Acho has a great game against the Pack, we could see him on his way to starting later in the year over Porter or Haggans.
7. O'Brien Schofield
Speaking of Schofield...
I'd say he's the Cardinals player who, for himself and the organization, needs a really good game.
The Cardinals pass rush is still an issue, and Schofield is supposed to be part of the cure.
He better show it in Green Bay.
8. Rashad Johnson
Rashad Johnson started off last week, his first chance to shine in the absence of Adrian Wilson, as about as bad as you could.
He played better after that, but boy, he really needs a good game to calm the Cardinals concern about A-Dub.
If he does, I know I will rest easier.
9. Stewart Bradley
Another linebacker that I'm watching against the Packers is Stewart Bradley.
Why I'm particularly interested is I feel like he adds energy to a defense that needs some kind of jolt.
I also love that he has the potential to play outside or inside, so he too could help with the pass-rush issues.
But right now, he's not on top of the depth chart.
If he can have a solid preseason, starting against Green Bay, he could be.
And I think that would be the best scenario for the Cards.
10. A.J. Jefferson
A.J. Jefferson did fairly well last week, I felt like.
He got burned on one play badly, but turned around the next time it was thrown his way and broke up the pass.
He certainly has the skills, and I could see a scenario where he and rookie Patrick Peterson eventually become the starters.
But that chance starts against Green Bay. If he can have another solid game, it could be hard for Toler or Marshall to knock him off the starter's role.