X

Have feedback / suggestions? Let us know!

NFL Arizona Cardinals

Previewing the Arizona Cardinals’ 2014 Training Camp

1 of 21
NEXT

Previewing the Arizona Cardinals' 2014 Training Camp

Arizona Cardinals minicamp
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Training camps are getting ready to kick off around the NFL, and the Arizona Cardinals are no exception. The team is loaded with young talent, but training camp will go a long way toward determining how that talent works together. Can the Cardinals take the next step in 2014? We will find out that and more in training camp.

Schedule

Arizona Cardinals helmet
Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Schedule

Arizona Cardinals helmet
Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

The Cardinals report to training camp on July 25. The first practice is July 26, while the team’s first preseason game takes place on Aug. 9 against the Houston Texans. The team will wrap things up with their final preseason contest against the Cincinnati Bengals on Aug. 24.

Quarterbacks

Arizona Cardinals quarterbacks
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Quarterbacks

Arizona Cardinals quarterbacks
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Carson Palmer is the clear starter in Arizona going into 2014. he will be looking to prove he can still be an above-average starter while working to do away with the turnovers that plagued him at times in 2013. Right now, it appears that Drew Stanton has the backup role locked up, while Logan Thomas should beat Ryan Lindley out for the No. 3 spot.

Running Backs

Andre Ellington  (1)
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Running Backs

Andre Ellington
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The Cardinals have an exciting young running back who could really be a great player in Andre Ellington, but the situation behind him is troubling. Stepfan Taylor, Jonathan Dwyer and Robert Hughes will all battle for playing time behind Ellington.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd  (1)
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The receiving corps for the Cardinals looks like it could be one of the best in the NFL. Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd should remain a dynamic duo on the outside, while newcomer John Brown looks like he will take over slot duties. The tight end spot is a four-way battle between Rob Housler, John Carlson, Jake Ballard and rookie Troy Niklas all competing for snaps.

Offensive Line

Arizona Cardinals offensive line  (1)
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Offensive Line

Arizona Cardinals offensive line
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

The Cardinals made major improvements to the left side of their offensive line this offseason, but the right side remains a concern. Jared Veldheer comes over from Oakland to man the left tackle spot, while guard Jonathan Cooper returns after missing his entire rookie season due to injury. Lyle Sendlein is a solid center, but Paul Fanaika and Bradley Sowell are major question marks on the right side.

Defensive Line

Arizona Cardinals defensive line  (1)
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Defensive Line

Arizona Cardinals defensive line
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

The Cardinals have an above-average defensive line going into 2014. Calais Campbell has become one of the NFL’s best defensive ends, while veterans Dan Williams and Darnell Dockett round out the rest of the defensive line. Behind Campbell and Dockett, two young talents in Kareem Martin and Ed Stinson will be looking to make an impact.

Linebackers

Kevin Minter  (1)
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Linebackers

Kevin Minter
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The linebacking unit once looked like a strength for the Cardinals, however, it is now one of the weaker units on the roster. Without Daryl Washington or Karlos Dansby in the middle, Kevin Minter will look to play a bigger role, while Larry Foote will be asked to man the other inside spot. The outside looks marginally better with John Abraham and Matt Shaughnessy.

Defensive Backs

Patrick Peterson
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Defensive Backs

Patrick Peterson
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Cardinals’ secondary has the potential to be one of the best in the NFL in 2014. Patrick Peterson might just be the best cornerback in the league, while Antonio Cromartie was a solid signing to man the other side of the field. First-round selection Deone Bucannon could be a special player at strong safety, while Tyrann Mathieu will be looking to be productive returning from an injury.

Special Teams

Arizona Cardinals special teams  (1)
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Special Teams

Arizona Cardinals special teams
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Longtime reliable place kicker Jay Feely returns in 2014, and he should be as solid as ever. Dave Zastudil will be the team’s punter, while Mike Leach will handle long-snapping duties. Ted Ginn, John Brown and possibly Patrick Peterson will all be competing to handle return duties.

BIggest Camp Battle: Tight End

Troy Niklas Notre Dame
Andrew Weber- USA TODAY Sports

BIggest Camp Battle: Tight End

Troy Niklas Notre Dame
Andrew Weber- USA TODAY Sports

As I said earlier, the tight end spot in Arizona is up for grabs with four players all looking to cement themselves as starters. Jake Ballard, John Carlson, Rob Housler and rookie Troy Niklas are all competing for snaps, but this is a battle I see Niklas winning, as his talent is too great for him to waste away on the bench.