Needless to say the optimism is very low here in AZ. So much so that on one of are Sports talk radios they ask the question "What Steeler will get the first sack against the Cardinals." I laughed but decided that I should write about the only other team I know about as good as the Pittsburgh Steelers and that is the Arizona Cardinals.
I know I am a week early but I want to discuss the next game in week 8 against the Arizona Cardinals. Why? Well in AZ here it is all I am hearing about because the Cardinals are on a bye week and about to hit their tough part of the season.
Arizona Cardinals 1-4 Week 7:bye
It is safe to say that on their bye week the Cardinals will game plan for the Steelers and have the coaching tools to do so. Ken Wisenhunt and Russ Grimm were former assistant coaches for the Steelers offense and should know the Bruce Arians- Ben Roethlisberger offense well. If they don't then Ray Horton should who was the Steelers defensive back coach last year. If Kolb was smart Horton would be his best friend for the next to week cause no one in this organization can understand Dick LeBeau's defense better.
QB: Kevin Kolb- Kolb came to AZ and was immediately touted as the savior of the franchise again. I am not saying I don't believe in the guy but he will need better OL play to get there. Many forget that Kolb has roughly 11 starts to his name and is still learning this offense because of the Lock Out. He hasn't learned to trust his receivers except for Larry and bales out of the pocket quickly. Kolb so far has a tendency of looking straight for Fitz if not there then going straight for the check down. This maybe a hard match up for Kolb becuase I see him getting hit often.
RB- Chis "Beanie" Well- The former first round pick had been playing poorly and getting injured in the first couple years of his career. This year Well either had an epiphany or pulled his head out his ass cause he is playing good. He is a big back who is now looking for contact and probably has the best stiff arm in the league. Wells can only go so far without needing O-line help and there won't be aide coming his way often.
WR- Larry Fitzgerald- Larry is beastly, he is a great route runner, has the best hands in the league and is basically unable to be defense in the jump ball situation. Fitz is good for usually 2 "How'd he catch that?" plays a game and if Kolb gets time Ike may be in trouble. He can out jump any DB and is smart. Outside of Fitz the Cards have very little. Andre Roberts is there next guy but he is a second year player and nothing amazing (Why they let Breaston go is beyond me)
OL- Best- Darelle Colledge LG- You know that pop I keep saying Ramon Foster doesn't have? Colledge has this he is a very good run blocker especially drive blocker and he is also pretty good in pass blocking. Easily the best O-linemen on the Cards roster.
Worst- Levi Brown- This former 1st round pick out of Penn State was the starting RT in the Superbowl in '08. He is now at LT where he doesn't belong. He gets beat very easily and Jason Worlids should be licking his chops. Brown has slow feet and plays very high. Jared Allen abused him and I think any Steeler his way will be very happy on pass downs. He is in his last year of his contract with a huge 1 year team option that won't be executed. Brown is an average RT maybe a better OG but as bad as Jonathan Scott at RT The only thing Brown can do is run block he is a mauler.
DT- Dan Williams is last years first round pick that can't keep his fat ass in shape. He has poor conditioning and no push when he is in the game. However David Carter the 6th round pick out of UCLA has played great in preseason and in snaps in this year. Horton loves this rookie and he is the older brother of Steelers rookie OLB Chris Carter.
DE- Calias Campbell and Darnell Docket- Campbell can be very good or very bad I guess it depends on his mood. Could be a factor on that D-line and could be a great player if focuses on consistency. Dockett is an amazing 4-3 DT as a 3-4 DE I think he is pissed about his roll and doesn't try on every play because of it. When he is in the mood he is the best Dl on the team and Pro Bowl caliber when he is not he plays patty cake with an O-linemen.
LBs- This group has one good player Darelle Washington ILB. He is basically the Cardinals Lawrence Timmons. However Stewart Bradley hasn't been able to learn the Horton defense. Porter and Haggans are super old can get to the passer at all. Sam Acho a steal in the 4th round may see some time like this kid a LOLB but we all know the comlexity of this defensive scheme takes a while to learn.
CBs- Patrick Petersen is for real. He is an electric returner and a good DB. However this scheme is very complicated and there are many mental errors he makes. He can struggle with the smart vets but he has the speed to cover Wallace. Wallace will need to do double move cause Petersen bites a lot. A.J. Jeferson is a 2nd year player with all the measurables to succeed in the defensive scheme but he is young and this system is hard and has many mental mistakes. This secondary is a year or two away from being really good.
Safeties- Kerry Rhodes is pretty good a FS. In the right spots a lot and plays pretty smart. Adrian Wilson should not be in the league any more. He can't cover anyone and with his injury his tackling is horrible. I think the Steelers need to use Heath Miller and Wes Saunders against him and if they do they will have a huge day.
Overall the Cardinals fans basically are waiting for Matt Kalil out of USC. This LT is a beast and was so much better than Tyron Smith that Smith had to play RT. Smith last year went #10 overall and has played very well for the Cowboys when healthy. The fear hear is that the Cardinals are going to be just good enough to not get Kalil. Don't count the Cards out of this with a bye week and knowledge of our systems but it will have to take a horrible outing by the Steelers offense for a loss cause the Cards can't stop anyone.