I was already impressed with the rookie season that Sam Bradford had for the St Louis Rams, but then word came down yesterday that they had hired the Denver Broncos former head coach Josh McDaniels and that made me even more concerned about my beloved Arizona Cards. With a very vanilla offense Bradford was able to break some of Peyton Manning’s rookie records. I can only imagine what he will be able to do with an actual offensive mind. (On a side note, I am not sure what Cleveland was thinking when hiring Shurmur. Decent year, but that was a brutal offense.)
This only leads to more problems for the Cardinals since the signing of Jim Harbaugh is about to totally legitimize a team with a ton of talent. Now that they have an actual head coach that is driven by play book and planning rather than raw emotion I can see the Rams and 49ers battling for NFC West Titles for the next few years.
Unfortunately for the Cardinals, they don’t even have their 2011 quarterback on the roster. If they pick him up in the draft it will take him a couple of years to develop and if they go through free agency the chances are they will get someone who is past his prime, i.e. Marc Bulger or Donovan McNabb. The best case is probably a combination of both. Pick one in the draft and one in free agency. Keep in mind though, the higher the draft pick, the more pressure will be on the organization to play that quarterback and it could be another toxic situation.
I have been an Arizona Cardinals fan since they moved here to the valley in 1988 and still have those nightmares of all of those bad seasons. I know that we have all enjoyed the ride that they gave us over the past few years and I truly hope that we see those days again soon, but with the current landscape of the NFC West I have a harder time seeing it now then before. Good luck Cards. I will be cheering for you and living out every up and down of next season with you.