Since I started blogging – and it's only been the summer of 2007, so a couple of years – I have taken the time, just before going on vacation, to forecast the starting lineup here in June that will take the field for the regular-season opener. This year will be no different. I'll do offense today, and I'll post the defense tomorrow. Again, these are my educated guesstimates for when the Cards take the field against the 49ers in Glendale Sept. 13. They, of course, don't take into account any (gasp!) injuries in the preseason. Hopefully, there won't be any. Obviously, some spots are complete no-brainers, but then, I never claimed this job was rocket science:
QB -- Kurt Warner. Really, this will be the first year since Matt Leinart arrived that the position won't create a circus. In 2006, Leinart was the shiny rookie and Warner, not thrilled the team took a QB in the first round and knowing his leash would be short, found out exactly how short early in the season. In 2007, Leinart was the man and still a huge national story – until Warner started sharing time when Leinart clearly wasn't grasping the offense well enough. Last year, there was the camp battle that left everything crazy for most of camp. Can we take a breath now?
RB – Tim Hightower. Yes, Beanie Wells is the No. 1 pick. Yes, Beanie is assumed to be the starter at some point. But I don't see Wells being handed anything. Hightower is determined to hold on to the starting role. And as for No. 1 picks, after watching DRC's situation last year, I am guessing Wells will get the go-slow treatment too, especially after missing all the OTAs.
FB – Dan Krieder. Ultimately, I'm not sure how much of a role the fullback will play.
WR – Larry Fitzgerald.
WR – Anquan Boldin. He's still not going to be happy. But he'll produce.
TE – Stephen Spach. I would've said Ben Patrick before the suspension. We'll see if Spach can come back from the knee surgery. With tight end so wide open, however, would anyone really be surprised if it were Leonard Pope, Anthony Becht, or, at this point, even Dominique Byrd?
LT – Mike Gandy.
LG – Reggie Wells.
C – Lyle Sendlein.
RG – Deuce Lutui. Maybe Brandon Keith can push him, but I think Lutui hangs on, keeping the continuity of the line.
RT – Levi Brown.
We'll see how it pans out. I'll post my thoughts on defense tomorrow – before vacation really kicks in and the blog has a short hiatus.