On Tuesday, the Arizona Cardinals will begin their voluntary Organized Team Activities. Based on the huge turnout for the veterans’ first voluntary workouts, this series of practices should be well attended also.
Here’s three things to lookout for this week at OTAs:
1. With Brian Hoyer off the roster, Arizona is down to three quarterbacks – Carson Palmer, Drew Stanton and Ryan Lindley.
Although there’s no quarterback controversy on this team – head coach Bruce Arians put the weight of No. 1 squarely on Palmer’s shoulders – let’s see how Palmer does this week with his new teammates and how many reps Stanton and Lindley get after Palmer gets his in with the first team.
2. Arizona has a wealth of talent at the running back position, with Rashard Mendenhall, Ryan Williams, William Powell, Alfonso Smith, Stepfan Taylor and Andre Ellington.
Williams possesses all the physical skills needed to be a top-flight back in the NFL, but he’s had an injury-plagued career so far, which is shadowing those skills.
Williams looked pretty good in the first session of workouts. He had the same level of cut and burst he’s displayed in the past.
With five other guys chomping at the bit for starting time, Williams will have to remain healthy this season and show the coaching staff he’s worthy of being the featured back in Arians’ offense. That continues this week.
3. The Cardinals did a very good job of addressing the whole situation surrounding Daryl Washington, and the hole he created at inside linebacker with his offseason troubles.
They took linebacker Kevin Minter in the second round of the NFL Draft. He’s got experience at middle linebacker and he seems to have the drive and determination to be a starter.
The team also brought back linebacker Karlos Dansby, who cut his teeth with the Cardinals for the first six years of his career.
Dansby’s play seemingly hasn’t dropped off since he left the Valley. He had 332 tackles in his three seasons in Miami. He should man one of those inside linebacker spots until Washington returns.
It’ll be interesting to see how this new group of linebackers comes together this week and what defensive coordinator Todd Bowles has up his sleeve with them in the early going.