Found August 27, 2013 on Fox Sports:
The Arizona Cardinals had the worst offense in the NFL a year ago. After a 4-0 start, the team lost 11 of 12 to finish 5-11, leading to the firing of coach Ken Whisenhunt after six seasons that included a run to the Super Bowl in 2008. Enter Bruce Arians, the 60-year-old veteran of two decades as an NFL assistant who parlayed his successful stint as interim coach last year in Indianapolis into a full-time head coaching gig in Arizona. Arians and new general manager Steve Keim, promoted after Rod Graves was fired, overhauled the roster, bringing in quarterback Carson Palmer, running back Rashard Mendenhall and a host of others. Arians joked about teaming with the 33-year-old Palmer. ''This is a cowboy movie,'' he said, ''with two old guys, this is our last rodeo in the desert.'' Arians has an impressive pedigree when it comes to quarterbacks, working with the likes of Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger and Andrew Luck in his years as an NFL assistant. Now he will try to improve the fortunes of Palmer, who put up big numbers a year ago for Oakland but many of those yards came with the Raiders trying to come from behind in games en route to a 3-13 season. Arians has placed his stamp on the team already, calling out players publicly at times, lacing his critiques to players with profanity and making clear his lack of tolerance for mental errors. He has an ''accountability sheet'' that lists players who made mistakes or otherwise ran afoul of the coach and shows it to the entire team. No one, not even star wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, is exempt. Still, rebuilding is no easy task, especially in the tough NFC West. Here are five issues facing the Cardinals: 1. CAN PALMER BE A WINNER? Carson Palmer has put up some impressive numbers in his 10-year NFL career. Last season, the former No. 1 draft pick threw for 4,018 yards with Oakland, but many of those yards came with his team trying to come back in games, and the result was a 3-13 season. It was the third time Palmer has topped 4,000 yards passing, but his team didn't have a winning record in any of those seasons. In fact, Palmer is 54-68 as a starter. Palmer is well aware that any success for the Cardinals is tied to what he does. ''That's the game in this league,'' he said. ''I'm used to that. I've been playing quarterback my whole life so I'm used to the pressures that come with the position, the good, the bad. Obviously the quarterback plays an integral part of every team's success.'' Arizona had four players start at quarterback last season. Palmer has called Arians' offense the most challenging he's had, and he repeatedly has touted his receivers - Fitzgerald, Andre Roberts, Michael Floyd and Rob Housler. ''We have smart football players on this offense,'' Palmer said. ''Combine that with athleticism and speed and experience. You look at a guy like Larry's experience and his catches and his touches in games, I'm as excited and as optimistic as ever.'' 2. KEEPING CARSON UPRIGHT: The Cardinals gave up an NFL-worst 58 sacks last season, and Palmer isn't exactly the most mobile of quarterbacks. If he goes down to injury, the job would fall to Drew Stanton, who hasn't thrown a pass in an NFL game since 2010. Suffice it to say, keeping Palmer upright is very important. Plans for an improved offensive line took a major hit when first-round draft pick Jonathan Cooper, the starting left guard, broke his left leg in the third preseason game. Cooper might be able to come back late in the season, but in the meantime Arizona will shift Daryn Colledge back to left guard after planning to move him to the right side. Paul Fanaika, out of the league last season, is tentatively scheduled to start at right guard. Levi Brown, out all of last season with torn triceps, is the left tackle, with late signee Eric Winston on the right side. Lyle Sendlein is back at center. ''It's a big setback because we all feel bad for Cooper,'' Colledge said of the injury, ''but the guys in this locker room are going to say it's no setback because we want to plug a guy in and keep rolling.'' 3. MULTI-PURPOSE PETERSON: The more that Arians saw what kind of athlete Patrick Peterson was, the more he wanted to use the cornerback and punt returner on offense, too. Peterson says that interest has grown to some 60 plays in the preseason. If Peterson doesn't get the ball on a handoff, he'll catch a pass, maybe even throw one or at the very least be a decoy that opponents must have to worry about. Peterson said people shouldn't worry about him getting too much to do. He says he's the best-conditioned athlete on the team and no one is going to argue with him. He also says that he's a cornerback first and foremost. But, as Arians said, ''He's an ascending offensive player.'' 4. CHANGES ON DEFENSE: Defense was a bright spot for the Cardinals through their misery a year ago, and coordinator Ray Horton (now with Cleveland) was a finalist to replace Whisenhunt. But there have been plenty of personnel changes on the defensive side, especially with Pro Bowl inside linebacker Daryl Washington suspended for the first four games for violating the league's substance abuse policy. Karlos Dansby returned to his former team to play at one inside linebacker spot, with Jasper Brinkley the other and second-round draft pick Kevin Minter a backup as well as a player on special teams. Jerraud Powers will play opposite Peterson at cornerback. Both safeties, longtime Cardinal Adrian Wilson and Kerry Rhodes, are gone. Rashad Johnson, who started much of the time a year ago, is at strong safety with Yeremiah Bell coming in at the other. Up front, the Cardinals are unchanged with Calais Campbell, Darnell Dockett and Dan Williams. Sam Acho is back at outside linebacker. Lorenzo Alexander and John Abraham, the active leader in career sacks with a whopping 122 including 10 last season, will play the other outside spot. 5. HOW SWEET IS THE HONEY BADGER? The Cardinals took a chance on Tyrann Mathieu and drafted him in the third round. Mathieu, out of football last season after being kicked off the LSU team due to marijuana troubles, has impressed the coaches. He figures to see plenty of action in the Cardinals secondary. Arians calls him ''a lovable kid.'' --- AP NFL website: --- Follow Bob Baum at

Arizona Cardinals Sleeper Team To Watch in 2013?

The Arizona Cardinals will face many inevitable challenges in the upcoming 2013 NFL regular season. Aside from the arduous task of trying to compete with the two of the league’s top projected preseason Super Bowl contenders—the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks—the Cardinals also have to find a way to take things to the next level on offense after finishing 28th...

Rashard Mendenhall Expected To Be Ready For Week 1

Cardinals tailback Rashard Mendenhall (sprained right knee) won't play in the final preseason game, but is expected to be ready for the opener, barring any setbacks, according to Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic.Fantasy Spin:Mendenhall is trying to bounce back from a terrible 2012-13 season when he produced just 182 yards in six games. Meanwhile, rumors around Phoenix are...

2 Ryans among Cardinals fighting for roster spots

The starters won't play much in Arizona's final preseason game on Thursday. Quarterback Carson Palmer might not play at all. Instead, the attention shifts to players fighting for a handful of spots still undetermined on the 53-man roster. The group includes the team's two Ryans - quarterback Ryan Lindley and running back Ryan Williams. Both have something to prove...

Rob Housler Diagnosed with High-Ankle Sprain

Cardinals tight end Rob Housler has been diagnosed with the dreaded high-ankle sprain, according to coach Bruce Arians.Fantasy Spin:The 6-foot-5 Housler is a candidate for a breakout season as new quarterback Carson palmer is quick to utilize tight ends. A high-ankle sprain, however likely means he won't be ready for the season opener.

New offense, physical tools create opportunity for Housler

TEMPE, Ariz. Scroll through the litany of preseason stories on Cardinals tight end Rob Housler and youre likely to encounter some version of this statement: Dropped far too many passes in 2012. Then you remember the dropped touchdown on Saturday against San Diego and the dropped ball on the only pass thrown his way the previous week against the Cowboys and you nod your head; a willing...

Darnell Dockett Has A Strong (And Weird) Admiration For Oprah

Cardinals defensive end Darnell Dockett uploaded this Instagram video over the weekend and in it he professes his love for Oprah in just about the strangest way possible. I really hope she saw this. [Hot Clicks] Article found on: Next Impulse Sports

NFL Rookie Arizona Cardinals Ronnie Yell

(source feed provided no summary content for this entry)

Cardinals DT Darnell Dockett is in love with Oprah Winfrey

Arizona Cardinals defensive tackle Darnell Dockett posted a video on Instagram proclaiming his love for Oprah Winfrey and her body.  He posted the video with this as the comment, “I love me some thick ass Oprah!

Finishing the Preseason: What to Watch For

  Thursday concludes the preseason for the Arizona Cardinals as they take on the Denver Broncos at Mile High Stadium.  The final preseason game is the last chance for many NFL hopefuls to prove they have what it takes to be on a roster.  Teams are currently at 75 players entering the last week of preseason following the first round of cuts.  Starters will likely be seen in street...
NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.