The football side of the building is quiet, and soon too will be this blog as I take some much needed down time. But first, as is the annual tradition, I'll give my educated guesstimate on who the Cardinals will have in the starting lineup when they face the Chiefs in the regular-season opener on Sept. 11.
This is fluid of course; the center position in particular feels like an unknown. But it's a fun exercise this time of year, when things are quiet and speculation is about all we have. And remember, the starting lineup is just the first play; situations and packages dictate the bulk of playing time.
Friday, I’ll post my defensive thoughts.
Quarterback – Kyler Murray. We wait to see about the contract, but regardless, he'll be the first thing everyone is looking at and will remain that as long as he's the Cardinals' QB.
Running back – James Conner. There should be a fun battle to watch to see what other running backs emerge with roles, but Conner is top dog.
Wide receiver – Hollywood Brown. Brown would be here regardless, but the suspension of DeAndre Hopkins makes his role that much more important to start the season.
Wide receiver – A.J. Green. This isn't to imply Rondale Moore will be limited. No, this is about how I see that first play lining up, and with two tight ends in my crystal ball, it makes more sense for the bigger Green to be on the field. I still think Moore's numbers will ultimately be greater than Green's this season.
Tight end – Zach Ertz. The Cardinals are anxious to have a full season of Ertz, who is probably the best tight end the team has had since moving to the desert.
Tight end – Trey McBride. Lot of questions about Maxx Williams for now, so the Cards might need their rookie early in the season.
Left tackle – D.J. Humphries. Roller-coaster season last year but, playing for a new contract, Hump has it in him for big things.
Left guard – Justin Pugh. He said he might try center, and that could still be the play here, but I'll guess he's at left guard at the beginning.
Center – TBD. As we await clarity on the Rodney Hudson situation, I'm going to straight guess that the Cardinals' starting center isn't on the roster yet. It could still be Hudson. It could be Pugh. I'm thinking we won't know for a while.
Right guard – Will Hernandez. Justin Murray is still around, but I'm thinking the free-agent signee will be in the lineup.
Right tackle – Kelvin Beachum. Maybe Josh Jones can finally make a push here, but Beachum just keeps holding on to the job and I don't think that will change.