The Arizona Cardinals finished the season with a 3-13 record in 2018 and ranked 32nd in the NFL in passing yards, rushing yards and rushing defense.
Their record landed them the No.1 overall pick in the NFL Draft and numerous changes were made to their coaching staff after the season ended.
With many unknowns heading into the 2019 season, there is good reason to think the Cardinals won’t dramatically improve.
Cardinals defensive tackle Corey Peters made an appearance on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s Bickley & Marotta saying otherwise, discussing how he feels about this year’s team. He said he believes the Cardinals can go from worst to first, despite what the media thinks.
“I think the sky’s the limit,” Peters said Wednesday. “We have the roster that is capable of making it from a worst to first type situation.”
Peters thinks the Cardinals have a shot with the playmakers on defense and said the offense is on a clear path with the additions from the draft to help Kliff Kingsbury’s system.
One of the biggest unknowns is quarterback Kyler Murray and the new offense. Murray went first overall in this year’s NFL Draft and Peters said he is excited to see how his talent translates in the NFL.
“I think he is special,” Peters said. “[He has] incredible arm talent, as well as his feet.”
Offensively, the Cardinals ranked dead last in the league in almost every category. The hiring of Kingsbury as their next head coach led the team to develop a whole new offense, which included drafting Murray and three new wide receivers to rebuild their roster.
The Cardinals saw a decline on defense as well. Despite the Cardinals being ranked fourth in passing defense last season, the team placed 26th in overall defense.
The loss of Patrick Peterson for the first six games of the season is a big blow for the Cardinals defensively, but Peters said that they will treat it like any other injury and have a “next man up” mentality when the season begins.
The Cardinals did try to make strides in bettering the defense this offseason. They signed seven-time Pro Bowler Terrell Suggs to a one-year deal worth up to $7 million and linebacker Jordan Hicks to a four-year contract worth $36 million.
In January, the Cardinals hired former Denver Broncos head coach Vance Joseph as their new defensive coordinator and revamped much of their defensive coaching staff.
The Cardinals also drafted cornerback Bryon Murphy out of the University of Washington 33rd overall and Zach Allen, a defensive end out of Boston College, No. 97 in the third round.
After ranking last in the league in rushing defense, Peters said he hopes a fresh start can turn around the defense’s struggles against the running game.
“I’m looking forward to starting fresh and getting back to the run defense the way we’ve done it since I’ve been here,” he said.