What a year it has been for us Arizona Cardinals fans. Finally, a non losing season since 1998! Wooo! Lol. So the Cardinals finish 8-8. Yeah we dont make the playoffs, but we are vastly improved. Lots of ups and downs this season. So, let me get started on the Cardinals 07 review!
Wha a difference a year makes huh? We go from 5-11 to 8-8 and things seem to be heading in the right direction. Coach Ken Whisenhunt and the coaches he has brought in seem to have made quite an impact. We brought in good depth through free agency in 07. Not star players, but actually good depth. Rod Hood has been one of these players that I have been really impressed with. He might get burned on some plays, but hey most cornerbacks are. But then he will bounce back and make a key play on the next drive.Mike Gandy was a solid pickup at left tackle and I was impressed with his solid play. Terrelle Smith was a key pickup IMO. You dont hear anything about this guy, and thats exactly how a fullback should be. What a great blocker he is and I look forward to seeing more of him.
Kurt Warner had a good year despite some of his boneheadedness. I will get more into that later. Edgerrin James had another good year for us racking up 1,222 rushing yards. He has now had back to back 1000+ rushing yards for the Cardinals and the Cards have accomplished that since 1983 I believe. Calvin Pace REALLY impressed me this year. What a breakout year for Calvin and I do hope they bring him back for next year. Larry Fizgerald had a spectacular year and has earned a spot in the pro-bowl. Anquan Bolind, even when hurt, shows he is one of the best recievers in the NFL and is severely underrated. Steve Breaston... I love the kid! He is such a joy to watch on returns. This kid is special I tells ya!
Ok so enough of my lovefest on some of the Cards players, now its time for my reviews.
Obviously 8-8 is a good season for us, but it didnt get us into the playoffs. It is a step in the right direction though! Honestly this season was excited. The Cardinals had us talking about playoffs right into mid december! I cant remember feeling like that since... 1998! But we have to get rid of these stupid penalties we always seem to be making. Honestly for the past 3 years it has felt that the Cards have been tops in the league in penalties! Nothing is more frustrating than seeing a drive killed because of bonehead penalties.
Arizona, we have tight ends! I was so happy that we finally utilized our tight ends, especially Leonard Pope. Denny Green did absolutely nothing with the kid last year. This year has shown that Pope is a threat in the end zone. And why shouldnt he be? The guy is a giant! All 6'8" of him! Ben Patrick has also been utilized afer Pope's injury as well as Troy Beinnaman(sp?). Although I would love to see some better blocking out of them. It has been average at best.
O-LINE! At times they were crap, and at other times they seemed dominant. Take the first Seahawks game and the Pittsburgh game, and the final game against the Ram. All dominant performances. It is a very young line and they have no real veteran leadership to anchor it... and I will bring that up in just a little bit.
Ok I know there are a lot of studs a corner that are going into the FA market in 08. One of those names is Asante Samuel. It would be great to bring in a shut down corner in 08! The problem is, this guy is going to want a huge payday, much like the 80 mil Nate Clements got in San Fran. The Cardinals have roughly 30 mil in cap space for 08 and I highly doubt we could afford to bring in a guy like Samuel in when we still have to focus on resigning Pace and Dansby and restructuring Fitzgeralds contract. Something will have to give.
having a shutdown corner is great and all, but the guy I truly would like to see in a cardinals uniform is none other than Alan Faneca. My goodness I will squeel like a schoolgirl if this were to come true. I am a sucker for offensive line. I love that power, smashmouth style of football. And my dreams would come true if we were able to land Faneca. He is exactly what this team needs on the oline. Leadership, respect, authority all rolled into one. his young line would learn wonders from a guy like Faneca. Oh how I wish this were to come true, lol. Damn, I just love hard nosed football! I'll take a smashmouth power running game over a high octane west coast offense any day of the week!
Fitz, what a year you had. You are worth every penny you make. But please, restructure your contract! You stand to make somewhere around 18 mil next year due to incentives. Its great! Get paid my man, but restructure it! I hope you stay a Cardinal forever but if you wont be willing to restructure than I see no problem in letting you go. But I hope it doesnt come to that, so get that contract worked!
Neil Rackers... please leave Arizona =(
Bryant Johnson will probably go elsewhere and I think thats a good move. We cant afford to pay him top money when he is a 3rd wideout on this team. He will walk and we have plenty of other recievers to take his place. Breaston, Urban, Morey, you name it. Any of these guys could take that 3rd spot and wont ask for as much money as Johnson will want.
Edgerrin James... could this be your final year here? In all honesty it might be. It will be sad because I really love the guy. I am such a fanboy because he works so hard and he turns etting hit in the backfield into 2 to 3 yard gains. The guy is a real workhorse but its obvious he doesnt fit the system. He has lost a step or two. I really want to see him back, be he stands to make 5 mil next year and the numbers he has produced have been good, but not great. Honestly I think this is a combination of him losing a step and the oline playing poorly. If it were up to me, Edge would definitely be back. Lets see what happens. Could we see a new back in AZ? One that fits a more power styled running system? I hear Willie Parker is a free agent as well... hmmm??? Lol.
Well in my take, its been a great year for the Cards. Yeah they didnt make the playoffs, but they aint the same ol cards anymore. They have shown they can compete and are heading in the right direction. They are a few pieces away from making a run for the NFC West title!