Drafting Backwards - The Defense

Harry

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Well, I’ve been trying to figure out what’s going on with the Cards’ player acquisition. Normally a GM comes in, sizes up the holes and targets the best possible players to to fill those spots. Even though the Cards had numerous holes, it was conceivable that with the right acquisitions and a rapid Murray & Ertz recovery the Cards might contend for a playoff spot. This team wasn’t radically different from the team that recently made the playoffs.

Instead the Cards let some of their best players leave with no real effort to retain them. They lost Watt but they could have taken the best pass rusher in the draft. They brought back most of a marginal O-line. What long term openings have they filled with impact players?

On the defense if Baker stays the safeties are fine. The CBs look tragically thin. LB is a bit of a conundrum. Who plays where and what can the LBs offer? I think we’re looking at a 4-3. ESPN has White in the middle flanked by Simmons and Gardeck. I don’t see Gardeck as more than a stop gap. I like Simmons if he’s focused on rushing the passer and TFLs. He will need to improve when it comes to diagnosing plays. If he fails we’ll see Ojulari get his chance. Is Gardeck sturdy enough to handle TEs in the running game? I think this side is the weakest. I wonder if Thomas could play out here. Which one of the Corners can cover a TE? My answer is none! Who even starts at CB?

On the D-line ESPN is projecting Collins and Ledbetter at DE with Lawrence and Fotu inside. Lawrence has been fragile and Fotu easily maneuvered out of the way. Neither collapses the pocket. Stills can collapse a pocket, but needs to be built up to anchor. Sanders can rush the passer at DE and is improving against the run. Thomas played well outside against the pass and the run. He improved consistently as the year progressed. He needs to continue to do so. Both these second year players could take big steps forward, but that’s asking a great deal. The line is a huge question mark and coupled with the weak CBs the defense figures to have trouble getting off the field. Other teams figure to regularly runout the clock if they need to do do. As the defense gets more exhausted, this group likely consistently fails in the second half.

This defense was built to lose (tank). It was constructed with future depth from backups and developmental players. It is designed that with a power offseason next year comprised of impact free agents and a quality draft, it is a playoff level defense with exceptional depth. Instead of an impact offseason in 2023, the Cards will attempt to win in 2024.
 

Stout

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I agree with everything but your conclusion. We're leaving ourselves with too few many holes to fill next year. We'd have to crush the draft, spend more money than is healthy in FA but somehow it works to have that good of a defense next year.
 

Dayman

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The allocation of resources on the defense is crazy.

- The total salary cap hits for the defense are half of the total salary cap hits for the offense.

- Budda and Jalen account for roughly 32% of the defensive salary cap hits this year.

- Budda and Jalen's combined cap hit is around $22 million. The cap hit for the other 29 guys signed on defense is $47,273,297 ($1.6 million per player).

- The combined cap hit for all of the active DEs and DTs on the roster this year is $11,808,877. JJ Watt's cap hit last year was $15,900,000.

- The cap hit for the entire CB room is $1.35 million more than Rock Ya-Sin just signed for this year in Baltimore.

- This offseason, the defense lost 61% of its sack production from last year and essentially only replaced those players with BJ Ojulari and Carlos Watkins..

- Dennis Gardeck has the 4th highest cap hit on defense.

- We still have the 5th most cap space in the league.

Rebuilding year or not, this is all pretty bizarre.
 

SissyBoyFloyd

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One just has to keep reminding oneself that we are the Cardinals. We aren't and have never been a regular playoff caliber team. We are one of the league's also-rans. Say it with me now: We are the Cardinals! Mediocrity is what we strive for, and we are pretty good at it.
 

kerouac9

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People confused about what's happening need to look at how the Houston Texans have conducted themselves the past three-plus seasons. That's the blueprint.

I don't think Monti trusts anyone in the personnel department to make good evaluations. I'm guessing they're all gone by the time school lets out. Monti's only one guy and he's had a lot to do this offseason, what with all the tampering and everything.

I think we use the summer to retool our personnel department, allow the roster to lay mostly fallow, provide STH with a sub-optimal product, and try to be mediocre in 2024.
 

BirdGangThing

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I think we use the summer to retool our personnel department, allow the roster to lay mostly fallow, provide STH with a sub-optimal product, and try to be mediocre in 2024.
I think that's exactly how it's going down and I hope to possibly be in Playoff/Wildcard contention in 2025
 

MadCardDisease

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People confused about what's happening need to look at how the Houston Texans have conducted themselves the past three-plus seasons. That's the blueprint.

I don't think Monti trusts anyone in the personnel department to make good evaluations. I'm guessing they're all gone by the time school lets out. Monti's only one guy and he's had a lot to do this offseason, what with all the tampering and everything.

I think we use the summer to retool our personnel department, allow the roster to lay mostly fallow, provide STH with a sub-optimal product, and try to be mediocre in 2024.

That is exactly what is happening.
 

az jam

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I think they can be competitive for a playoff/wildcard spot in 2024. This is the NFL and there is parity from the schedule, the draft, free agency and the salary cap. Teams turn it around yearly. The key is the QB along with a smart GM and decent HC. 2023 is definitely a rebuild year and one for Monti to make a major assessment of the players, staff, scouting departments etc. He will bring in his own people like he has already done with David Sears. I'm not saying it will definitely happen in 2024 but I do think they can be a very competitive team.
 
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Goodyear Card

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It's not only not addressing the holes in the roster, but the off-season additions we have made have little chance of making any impact. We desperately need IOL help, and we sign a free agent OT who totally sucked last year and drafts an OT at #6. We need DL and he drafts and signs LBs. I don't follow the NFL as closely as many of the other posters, but I find it difficult to believe no one was available that could improve our DL.

I think we all agree 2023 will be a disaster and are hoping for a great draft in 2024 but how many rookies make an impact in their rookie year. In reality 2025 is our first chance to be competitive.

Is this what MO and JG told MB, we would suck for two years and have a chance to compete in year three.
 

BritCard

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"We could sign some guys to fill the ever expanding holes and make a playoff push" is Keim's mantra and exactly why we lived in perpetual mediocrity.

I do not understand how after years of complaining about how Keim operates people are calling for more of the same.
 

Stout

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The allocation of resources on the defense is crazy.

- The total salary cap hits for the defense are half of the total salary cap hits for the offense.

- Budda and Jalen account for roughly 32% of the defensive salary cap hits this year.

- Budda and Jalen's combined cap hit is around $22 million. The cap hit for the other 29 guys signed on defense is $47,273,297 ($1.6 million per player).

- The combined cap hit for all of the active DEs and DTs on the roster this year is $11,808,877. JJ Watt's cap hit last year was $15,900,000.

- The cap hit for the entire CB room is $1.35 million more than Rock Ya-Sin just signed for this year in Baltimore.

- This offseason, the defense lost 61% of its sack production from last year and essentially only replaced those players with BJ Ojulari and Carlos Watkins..

- Dennis Gardeck has the 4th highest cap hit on defense.

- We still have the 5th most cap space in the league.

Rebuilding year or not, this is all pretty bizarre.
But, but there's a plan!
 

Stout

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I think they can be competitive for a playoff/wildcard spot in 2024. This is the NFL and there is parity from the schedule, the draft, free agency and the salary cap. Teams turn it around yearly. The key is the QB along with a smart GM and decent HC. 2023 is definitely a rebuild year and one for Monti to make a major assessment of the players, staff, scouting departments etc. He will bring in his own people like he has already done with David Sears. I'm not saying it will definitely happen in 2024 but I do think they can be a very competitive team.
We didn't need to do nearly what we had to do this year to set ourselves up for a run next season. Waaaay too many holes heading into 2024.
 

Stout

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"We could sign some guys to fill the ever expanding holes and make a playoff push" is Keim's mantra and exactly why we lived in perpetual mediocrity.

I do not understand how after years of complaining about how Keim operates people are calling for more of the same.
Straw man argument. Nobody wants to do the same thing Keim did. That is simply inaccurate and you know how inaccurate is. Just because you believe the long-term foundational moves some here are espousing are impossible doesn't mean you're right, and it certainly doesn't mean people are trying to be short-sighted.
 

az jam

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We didn't need to do nearly what we had to do this year to set ourselves up for a run next season. Waaaay too many holes heading into 2024.
Disagree, we really won't know that until after free agency signings and the draft in 2024 plus what players may actually be productive this year and end up being keepers. You may be right but way too early to make that predication. The bottom line for me is being optimistic on 2024. It could be an exciting team.
 

eastcoastDave

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Cards will stink this year. Given the schedule, they would have smelled up the NFL if all their draft picks started from Day 1. But, what I like is that there seems to be a plan in place and the former guy is no longer making draft picks for guys no one has ever heard of who played at colleges no one’s heard of. Better days are ahead. Maybe not this year or next, but I feel strongly that in year 3, the Cardinals will be playing for a championship.
 

BritCard

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Straw man argument. Nobody wants to do the same thing Keim did. That is simply inaccurate and you know how inaccurate is. Just because you believe the long-term foundational moves some here are espousing are impossible doesn't mean you're right, and it certainly doesn't mean people are trying to be short-sighted.

The argument in this thread is that we could have signed some FA's to fill more holes and maybe made a playoff push. It's literally right there in the first paragraph and then people are agreeing with it including yourself where you say "I agree with everything but your conclusion".

That's literally Keim talk.
 

Stout

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The argument in this thread is that we could have signed some FA's to fill more holes and maybe made a playoff push. It's literally right there in the first paragraph and then people are agreeing with it including yourself where you say "I agree with everything but your conclusion".

That's literally Keim talk.
Okay, I glazed over that part when reading the long OP. Good catch. My bad. I will revise to say I disagree with that part as well, because in no world where we not far separated from the playoff team and in no world were we competing for the playoffs. I'll definitely give you that one, my friend. I'd say 99 posters out of 100 aren't saying this and are more realistic.
 
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Harry

Harry

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The point is to tank. That means better draft positions and an easier schedule. Keim was all about short term contracts to plug holes in the dike. Winning now! Ossenfort instead has signed a support cadre and a handful of potentially developable players. The NFL is not kind to on-the-job-training. They will make mistakes that cause losses. Losses is what Ossenfort wants. Hopefully some will grow into useful players by the time the real action starts.
 

kerouac9

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The point is to tank. That means better draft positions and an easier schedule. Keim was all about short term contracts to plug holes in the dike. Winning now! Ossenfort instead has signed a support cadre and a handful of potentially developable players. The NFL is not kind to on-the-job-training. They will make mistakes that cause losses. Losses is what Ossenfort wants. Hopefully some will grow into useful players by the time the real action starts.

Tanking will provide better draft position but the easier last place schedule is an artifact of a history long past. Just three of the Cards' games are determined based on the previous year's standings, and it's only matched up against the similar placement in the division.

It's pretty generous to view this free agent class as "a support cadre and handful of potentially developable players." The one-year contracts almost universally applied suggest that anyone who breaks out based on the greater opportunity provided with a club uninterested in competing for wins will result in a free agent loss more than a long-term piece.
 

Stout

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Tanking will provide better draft position but the easier last place schedule is an artifact of a history long past. Just three of the Cards' games are determined based on the previous year's standings, and it's only matched up against the similar placement in the division.

It's pretty generous to view this free agent class as "a support cadre and handful of potentially developable players." The one-year contracts almost universally applied suggest that anyone who breaks out based on the greater opportunity provided with a club uninterested in competing for wins will result in a free agent loss more than a long-term piece.
Generous isn't the right word. Erroneous or overly optimistic would fit better.
 
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Harry

Harry

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Tanking will provide better draft position but the easier last place schedule is an artifact of a history long past. Just three of the Cards' games are determined based on the previous year's standings, and it's only matched up against the similar placement in the division.

It's pretty generous to view this free agent class as "a support cadre and handful of potentially developable players." The one-year contracts almost universally applied suggest that anyone who breaks out based on the greater opportunity provided with a club uninterested in competing for wins will result in a free agent loss more than a long-term piece.
Three games can swing a season.
 
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