Friday, February 1, 2013
Arizona's passing offense
By Tim Kavanagh
There are a number of key parts necessary to have a successful passing attack -- including qualified players at QB, WR and on the offensive line as well as a wise coach calling the plays -- and the Cardinals now have two of those four categories covered (with a talented bunch of wideouts and new HC Bruce Arians). So what should we expect out of this group in 2013?
Arians spoke with ESPN NFC West blogger Mike Sando on Friday, and had some interesting comments regarding what he envisions in his first campaign. Regarding the evaluation of alleged starting QB Kevin Kolb, Arians admitted, "We haven't even started yet. I'm looking forward to meeting with Kevin and we'll cross that bridge as soon as we have to. I've seen enough film to know that he is good enough, but we have to protect him a lot better. When he is healthy, he has had some good moments. He has had some not-so-good moments. We have to protect him better, run the ball better."
Improving the pass protection will be an ongoing theme this offseason. After all, the QB can't find his open receivers downfield when he's flat on his back. But the Colts didn't have the world's greatest offensive line in 2012, and Andrew Luck was able to engineer a vertical passing game. Will the Cardinals adopt a similar tack? "You look at what you've got, but I do like to throw the ball vertically up the field. Once you get an established running game, you can hit big shots up the field off your play-action passes. With the receiving crew we have, we would be crazy not to put the ball upfield."
Nevertheless, it would not be a surprise to see the team upgrade along the offensive line so that Kolb -- or anyone else that's brought in or developed -- has a better chance to show what they've got. There are some interesting players set to hit free agency, but the big move could happen on opening night of the draft, when Texas A&M's Luke Joeckel, Alabama's Chance Warmack and CMU's Eric Fisher may be under consideration if they're still on the board at No. 7 overall.