Yesterday I posted my thoughts on who would be the offensive starters for the season opener against San Francisco Sept. 13. Now we come to the defense. We're going to go with a 3-4 alignment, although from what I understand, what the Cards march out there weekly will depend on the opponent and who is healthy. I don't know how the Cards will attack the Niners, but again, we'll go with the 3-4 to begin with:
RDE – Darnell Dockett. Now that he's on Twitter, I keep thinking back to that "Bull Durham" line, you know, "I'm announcing my presence with authority." Darnell's out there for the world to see. He's not happy with his contract. But he is a heck of a player, who had three sacks in the Super Bowl. He needs to remain disciplined in games, though, with his assignments. I am guessing DC Bill Davis will focus on that.
NT – Bryan Robinson. Gabe Watson could emerge, but I think the steady veteran gets the nod, even though the two will rotate (Notice I am not putting Alan Branch in the mix).
LDE – Calais Campbell. Here's his shot, replacing Antonio Smith. While Davis said it was a wide-open competition, I don't see anyone challenging Campbell – unless he simply doesn't do the job.
ROLB – Chike Okeafor. Davis wants to have a right and left outside linebackers rather than have one move with the tight end. Okeafor has been a steady starter and may get more sacks if he doesn't always have to play the strong side.
ILB – Gerald Hayes.
ILB – Karlos Dansby. His last year? If he doesn't sign an extension, it's going to be tough to see him in Arizona past this season.
LOLB – Clark Haggans. Veteran Bertrand Berry will get a chance behind Okeafor and/or Haggans. September is too early for second-round pick Cody Brown.
CB – Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Pro Bowl this season?
CB – Bryant McFadden.
FS – Antrel Rolle. He'll likely play the slot corner in nickel situations.
SS – Adrian Wilson.
OK. That's something to chew on. I am sure I will end up posting a couple blog entries while on vacation for a week, but down time needs to be (mostly) that. Catch you on the flip side.