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John Brown Adds Speed Dimension to Arizona Cardinals

July 24th, 2014 at 6:21 AM
By Steve Smith

You can't teach speed as the old saying goes.

San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals, September 13, 2009 from Flickr via Wylio? 2009 Michael Wifall, Flickr | CC-BY-SA | via Wylio

Speed changes the complexion of a NFL game.

Not much was known about wide receiver John Brown when the Arizona Cardinals selected him in the third round of this year's NFL Draft in New York City.

The Pittsburg State product made himself known though during team OTA's. Now training camp beckons for the rookie.

Brown is just 5-foot-10 and weighs 179 pounds. He matriculated at a Division Two school.

However Brown has excellent speed. He'll add another dimension to Arizona's passing attack during the 2014 campaign.

Head coach Bruce Arians has been impressed by what he's seen from Brown so far.

"He's way ahead of most rookies, and coming from a small school, that's unusual," Arians said via azcardinals.com. "It doesn't overwhelm him at all. He learns fast and he can apply it fast."

Let's take a look at his updated scouting report via our friends at nfl.com:

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Arizona Cardinals Special Teams Have a Chance to Be Really Special in 2014

July 23rd, 2014 at 7:04 AM
By Steve Smith

Keep an eye out for Justin Bethel this coming season Arizona Cardinals fans.

'University of Phoenix Stadium, Home of the Arizona Cardinals (3)' photo (c) 2009, Ken Lund - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

He is truly one of the premier players in the NFL.

Arizona Cardinals cornerback Justin Bethel made the Pro Bowl as a special teams player last year.

Head coach Bruce Arians knows how good a special teams performer Bethel is. He also knows what his potential is as a talented cornerback as well.

"He could be our best," Arians told azcentral.com. "He's got all the skill level to be as good as there is."

Could Bethel even be better than All-Pro cornerback Patrick Peterson?

"Including Patrick," he stated. "This kid has an unbelievable skill set and he's starting to get his hands on more balls than anybody out here. The sky's the limit."

That's high praise indeed. However Peterson, Antonio Cromartie and Jerraud Powers are still ahead of him on the cornerback depth chart. We know how good a special teams player Bethel is. Now the Sumter, SC native is making progress towards becoming the best cornerback he can be.

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Arizona Cardinals’ Andre Ellington is Key to Improved Running Back Corps

July 22nd, 2014 at 6:21 AM
By Steve Smith

The running back corps of the Arizona Cardinals should be much improved this season. In order to keep NFL defenses honest, a team should have a solid ground game.

'Cardinals coming at me' photo (c) 2013, Jeffrey Beall - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

The Red Birds are poised to show improvement in that department this coming season.

They averaged 96.3 yards per contest in 2013 and with second-year player Andre Ellington as the lead back this year should improve on that mark this season.

"He's always had a lot of confidence, that's what I like about him (Ellington)," Bruce Arians said via espn.com. "He's got that great smile and he can run real fast — that's a good combination. He's got a little more swagger. He's had success in the National Football League."

The University of Clemson product had a breakout rookie season last year – he led all NFL rushers with a 5.53 yard per carry average. As the backup to Rashard Mendenhall, Ellington rushed for 652 yards and was also a dynamic receiver out of the backfield. He is a home run threat with every carry or catch and opposing defenses must always account for that.

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Part 2: Key Questions Heading into Arizona Cardinals Training Camp

July 21st, 2014 at 6:39 AM
By Steve Smith

Arizona Cardinals Training Camp 2014 opens on Saturday and, as usual, key questions abound.

SDC10440 from Flickr via Wylio? 2009 Clintus, Flickr | CC-BY-SA | via Wylio*

They do for every NFL team at this time of the year.

It's a rite of the summer.

Let's take a look at two important questions that need to be answered as the Red Birds try and improve on a very encouraging 10-6 season last year.

How much will the Red Birds miss linebacker Daryl Washington this year?

A lot.

Washington is suspended for the 2014 NFL season as all Cardinals fans know and he'll be sorely missed on the defensive side of the ball. The TCU product will miss the entire season for violating the league's substance policy for the second time in as many years.

A 2012 Pro Bowler, Washington was a real play-maker on defense as evidenced by his 18 career sacks, six interceptions and three forced fumbles. Combine that with linebacker Karlos Dansby leaving via free agency to join the Cleveland Browns and the pressure will rise for second-year LB Kevin Minter to step up and take up some of the slack.

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Arizona Cardinals Hope Rookie Ed Stinson Can Help Defensive Line

July 20th, 2014 at 9:27 AM
By Steve Smith

Rookie Ed Stinson could be a very important cog in the Arizona Cardinals' defensive front this coming season.

 from Flickr via Wylio? 2008 Seth Page, Flickr | CC-BY-ND | via Wylio

The Red Birds drafted defensive end Ed Stinson from the University of Alabama in the fifth round (160th overall) in the 2014 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall in New York City in May.

Stinson is 6-foot-3 and weighs 287 pounds. He should add some quality depth along the Red Birds' defensive line and is less than a week away from participating in his first NFL training camp.

Let's take a look at his updated scouting profile via our friends at www.cbssports.com:

STRENGTHS: Rookie Ed Stinson possesses an ideal frame for the defensive line with broad shoulders, long (32 3/4") arms, a trim middle and a thick lower half, including wide hips and a big bubble. Powerful. Tough to move at the point of attack. Locks out would-be blockers with good arm extension and impressive strength. Very effective bull-rusher, capable of simply pushing opponents into the backfield. Reads run quickly and slides well laterally, slipping blocks to make plays at the line of scrimmage. Breaks down well against quick athletes and possesses the long arms and strength to rip them to the ground. Played special teams for the Tide, including as a blocker on field goals.

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