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Posts tagged with "John Brown"

The Cardinals are clearly hamstrung on offense, and it’s showing up in the numbers.

Coach Bruce Arians loves to throw the ball deep, but with injuries to key linemen D.J. HumphriesMike Iupati and Alex Boone as well as speedsters John Brown and J.J. Nelson, it’s just not possible.

Instead, the Cardinals as presently constructed are much more of an underneath team.

In the past, Palmer did seven-step drops with regularity, but this season, his dropback depth of 7.1 yards is the second-lowest in the NFL, half a yard shorter than league average, per Pro Football Focus. There’s no other option at this point, since he’s been pressured an NFL-high 75 times, per PFF, and has been sacked six times in each of the past two games.

Palmer knew he had to get the ball out quick on Sunday against the 49ers, and found his running backs with regularity. Andre Ellington led the team with a whopping 14 targets, catching nine of the passes for 86 yards. Even run-first backs Chris Johnson(three catches, 31 yards) and Kerwynn Williams (one catch for 10 yards) got involved in the passing game.

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With cuts looming, here’s an attempt at how it might look

Among the players that figure to make the Cardinals’ 53-man roster is quarterback Blaine Gabbert (7).
By Saturday afternoon, the Cardinals have to slice the roster down to 53 players from the 89 they had as of Friday morning.

Some will end up on injured reserve. A trade is possible. Most will simply be released. The reality is that of the 53 the Cardinals keep, the vast majority – perhaps as many as 46 or 47 – were locks before the Cardinals even had their first training camp practice.

The 53 Cardinals Saturday won’t necessarily be the 53 Monday taking part in the first practice of the season either. If a player is awarded via a waiver claim, the Cardinals will have to let someone go. It wouldn’t be surprising if the Cards sought someone to add depth to the offensive line or the linebacker corps, especially on the outside.

For purposes of this exercise however, we’re sticking with who is on the current roster, since that’s all we have available.

QB (3) — Carson PalmerDrew Stanton, Blaine Gabbert: Gabbert has been a pleasant surprise since he signed. Stanton is the backup, but Gabbert sticks and is a possibility for the future.

RB (4) — David JohnsonKerwynn WilliamsElijhaa PennyAndre Ellington: With David Johnson and Kerwynn Williams locks, it feels like this comes down to two spots for the remaining three guys. It

would not be a surprise if veteran Chris Johnsonmakes the team over Ellington, and this is probably the most difficult decision the Cardinals have to make. Penny showed a lot running the ball over the preseason, and the hope is that he can fulfill the special teams role of former running back Stepfan Taylor. The pros for keeping Ellington are that he is running as well as he has (and as hard) since his rookie season and he’s the one player best equipped to fill David Johnson’s role if something were to happen to the top back. The pros for keeping CJ2K are his relationships inside the locker room and his superior pass protection. Both have been effective running the ball. Not an easy choice. (Rookie T.J. Logan goes to IR, but he may be back later this season.)WR (6) — Larry FitzgeraldJohn BrownJaron BrownJ.J. NelsonChad WilliamsBrittan Golden: Bruce Arians hinted at a seventh receiver, but that seems unlikely. Aaron Dobson’s speed intrigues, but in the end, Golden is good on special teams, an area Dobson does not help. Rookie Carlton Agudosi makes sense for the practice squad.

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