Around the NFL  

 

Training camp preview: Cardinals' culture all the rage

Print

Training camp is quickly approaching, which means it's time to preview the most exciting part of the summer. Over the next month, Around The NFL's Conor Orr will break down all 32 teams and give us something to look for in late July.

Today, we take a look at the Arizona Cardinals. Click on the tabs above to see other NFC West camp previews. For the rest of the NFL, click here.

Training camp report dates: Rookies July 25, veterans July 28.

Training camp location: University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Arizona.

Stream the Amazon Original Series "All or Nothing: A Season with the Arizona Cardinals" on Prime Video.

Offseason in a nutshell: Until they post a losing season under SuperCoach Bruce Arians, the Cardinals will float in that beautiful, hazy stratosphere that certain NFL teams reach. No decision is a bad one. Every move made is such a classic [Pick name: Arians/Belichick/Carroll/Gettleman] move. So trading for troubled but massively productive defensive end Chandler Jones? Great. Bringing back Chris Johnson and "All Or Nothing" star Red Bryant? Even better. Cutting ties with former first-round pick Jonathan Cooper instead of moving him to center? Why not? An NFL team's culture is good until it isn't, and right now, the Cardinals are riding quite high.

Player to watch: Wide receiver Michael Floyd. Widely believed to be the next wide receiver to get paid, Floyd hopefully will spread his wings this offseason and truly declare himself as the Cardinals' most consistent pass catcher. Larry Fitzgerald isn't going anywhere, but Floyd can be dominant -- and the Cardinals are waiting for the next-level, top-10-in-production type of season to take hold. Sometimes, you can see it coming early on in training camp.

THREE BURNING QUESTIONS:

1. Will Evan Mathis put this offensive line over the hump?

The Cardinals had some of the most underrated offensive linemen in football last year, but adding an experienced guard in Mathis -- one who should have been named in NFL Network's "Top 100 Players of 2016" -- unquestionably puts Arizona in new territory on paper. The team now pairs Mathis with perennial Pro Bowl guard Mike Iupati and rangy, powerful tackles Jared Veldheer and D.J. Humphries.

2. Will Matt Barkley play his way onto a different NFL roster?

This team is cautious about its quarterback choices -- especially after seeing how bare the cupboard can get beyond Drew Stanton -- so is there a reason to let Barkley go? Quarterback movement is fascinating late in the preseason, and it's one of the ways teams can immediately get better before the start of the regular season. Look for the former would-be first-round pick to try to stake his claim on a backup spot somewhere else, even if he might be better served working another year under QB guru Arians.

3. Will Bruce Arians give us what we want in camp?

Inside-run periods are understandably limited during training camp due to injury, but we can hopefully get a sneak preview of this offensive line thudding against rookie first-round pick Robert Nkemdiche, Chandler Jones, Calais Campbell, Red Bryant, Frostee Rucker and the rest. Goodness gracious. There might not be a better intra-squad matchup this summer.

Way-too-early season prediction: Like we said before, the Cardinals have one of the best cultures in the NFL -- until they don't. Arians doesn't seem to be going anywhere, and this team is good enough to win another 13 games this season.

Print

Fan Discussion