The first step for the Arizona Cardinals towards the beginning of the 2019 season starts on Friday with rookie mini-camp.
For the Cardinals, it’s a more significant step due to how much they will be relying on their rookies to contribute.
No. 1 overall pick Kyler Murray is expected to be the starting quarterback while names like Byron Murphy, Andy Isabella and Zach Allen should have an opportunity to make an impact from the jump.
With that in mind, 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s Ron Wolfley runs through his 10 points of curiosity for the mini-camp, splitting it up into five on each side of the ball.
1) What personnel group do they come out in the MOST during run-down situations?
Now think about this: run-down defines who you are as an offense. 1st-and-10, 2nd-and-1-to-6, what kind of personnel group are they in A LOT during run-downs?
The way the Cardinals lineup on those downs will reflect if they are a traditional or new-age offense.
2) Does Kyler Murray, or any quarterback for that matter, take snaps from center?
What are you doing in your individual position groups? Well, quarterbacks, they work on their craft like everyone else.
Where the quarterbacks are taking snaps from could be telling.
3) Do they EVER acknowledge short-yardage and goal-line situations by changing personnel groups, getting under center and/or tightening up formations?
One of the traits of the Air Raid is, “we don’t care what down it is. You don’t understand. We’re gonna run our offense even if it’s 1st-and-goal inside the five-yard line. Here we go!”
4) How many RPO’s or zone-reads do they run and when do they use them and what personnel group do they use them in?
The RPO! The run-pass option is coming to Arizona! The zone read is coming to Arizona!
What are you going to do if you’re the young man on the line of scrimmage and you’ve got Kyler Murray and David Johnson meshing up and suddenly it’s a zone read.
What are defenses going to do about that? Once every game you show the zone read just to keep everybody honest.
And it’s not just any zone read, it’s a zone read with a guy that runs a 4.3 or a 4.4.
5) Zone schemes, power schemes or both and how are they used when running RPO’s?
The world of the RPO is totally changed. It’s no longer a situation where you only run the RPO with zone reads.
You can go ahead and run it with a power scheme, you can run it in a two-back. The RPO has evolved.
1) Does the defense work against Kliff Kingsbury’s offense or do they work against Cards?
This could cast some light on how different the Cardinals’ offense will be from other teams.
2) If facing 12 (one back, two tight ends) or 21 (two backs, one tight end) personnel in run-down situations, are the Cardinals in a true 3-4 defense?
If they are in a true 3-4 I will rejoice! I will be so happy!
And if they’re not I’ll be curled up in a corner, picking scabs and flicking them in the air.
3) How many times does Vance Joseph close the middle of the field with a safety, whether playing man or zone?
This shows philosophy. This shows defensive DNA.
4) Who’s talking in the secondary and who’s talking in the box?
Should they be talking? What are they saying when they are talking? Are coaches screaming at them before the ball is snapped, because that means somebody is getting it wrong?
Who did they select to be that guy to talk?
5) Speaking of screaming…my final point of curiosity will be how hard these coaches are coaching the players.
It’s not gonna be like they’re actually getting torched while they’re out there on the field. That’s not what I’m talking about.
You don’t have to coach somebody hard by screaming at them and calling them all sorts of names or using foul language.
What I want to know is when I shut my eyes, what is the noise level like?