The Cardinals finally have a game to play.
The preseason opener will start a week that will feature two games and a week in San Diego, plus a couple of practices against the Chargers. First though come the Raiders, which will be a typical preseason matchup -- a handful of snaps for the main vets, and then a training ground for the inexperienced.
Some thoughts as we head into the first game:
-- Yes, you are going to watch D.J. Humphries at right tackle, which is how it should be. But I think I'm more interested in Brandon Williams at cornerback. Humphries is important, but he at least already played four preseason games a year ago. He's done this. Williams not only is a rookie but he's still only about a year into playing the position. Plus, it just feels -- at least to me -- that his performance will end up playing a larger role in the outcome of this team than Humphries.
-- That doesn't mean Humphries isn't one to watch (or isn't important for the outcome of this season.) He's already a pretty good run blocker, and he's shown a want-to that was missing a year ago. I'm not saying Humphries is ready to be an all-pro, but I think as a replacement for Bobby Massie, he will be fine.
-- Some other new (and returning) players I'll be watching: CB Alan Ball, CB Harlan Miller, G Antoine McClain, all the ILBs not named Kevin Minter -- that's a wide-open battle -- TEs Troy Niklas and Ifeanyi Momah, and WR Chris Hubert.
-- Matt Barkley is going to get a lot of playing time. We'll see if he can leave an impression.
-- And as always, let's just not have anyone get too banged up.