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You've Got Mail - Chargers Week

Topics include leadership, positional needs and Rosen's future


The Cardinals are coming off a brutal loss against the Raiders, and now travel to Los Angeles this weekend to play the Chargers. As always, if I didn't get to your particular question, I likely answered one similar. The link to send questions in for next week's mailbag is here.

On to your questions.

Unless you are implying there will be no veterans on the roster -- which isn't going to happen -- of course there will be. Corey Peters will be around next year. Chandler Jones will be around next year. I believe Patrick Peterson will be around, and Josh Rosen won't be a rookie anymore and he's already taken on some leadership right now. Look, it isn't good right now. That's not up for debate. But each year is a different year. By the time we get to training camp next season, none of the players are going to give a rip about 2018, because it'll be 2019, it's own unique season.

From MikelReay Rios via

"With the rest of the season looking bleak, if the Cards end up with one of the two top picks, what do think the chances are that they trade down so that they can get more picks for offensive linemen?"

Well, I think there is definitely a chance the Cardinals, since they have their quarterback, would love to trade down for more picks. There would have to be players teams want to trade up for, of course. Now, will it be for more offensive linemen? I don't think that's a lock. We have to see what the Cardinals do on the line in free agency, and where they might be picking. The OL isn't the only spot they need to upgrade.

From Alan Ferrell via azcardinals:

"How can you have one of the better running backs in the NFL and not have the offense not run through him? The pass-happy offense with a rookie QB is not the answer. Johnson should be touching the ball 25-30 times per game. When he does you give the team a better chance to win ballgames."

So yeah, about that.

Johnson had 26 touches against the Raiders, 28 against the Chiefs. Against the Raiders, Rosen had 20 pass attempts (and one sack). If you can't see the offense is going through Johnson now, I can't help you.

From what I was able to watch, I thought Cunningham held up well, with the caveat that the Raiders do not have a very good defensive line (and the Chargers have a much better one, especially with Joey Bosa having returned.) Coach Steve Wilks said there is a chance Cunningham could play right tackle.

From Julie Campana via

"My ranking of team needs for talent infusion, in order, is OL, DL, WR, LB, TE. How would you rank positional needs?"

You have a good list there. I think I would adjust the order heading into the offeseason and given importance in what Wilks wants to do. 1. Offensive line. 2. Linebacker. 3. Wide receiver. 4. Defensive tackle 5. Tight end. 5a. Cornerback.

It comes down, for me, to a very simple thing: Stopping the run. The rest I think the Cardinals have been OK with. But the one thing the Cardinals have done the past few years is stop the run, and the consistency in that regard this season has been absent. It may be about personnel, it may be about execution, it may be about learning a new scheme (or maybe all of the above), but far too often the run game has killed them.

From Seth Maddox via

"Were the details of Steve Keim's and Steve Wilks' four-year contracts/extensions from this summer made public? Are those contracts typically fully guaranteed."

If you are asking about dollar amounts, no. But in terms of guarantees, deals for GMs and head coaches are always guaranteed.

Clearly, Gresham shouldn't have gotten the flag Sunday (and I would love to know from the officials exactly what the reason was they threw the flag, since when I watched the replay, it did not look like the flag came out when Gresham pulled the Raiders defender off Larry Fitzgerald but only when Gresham and a Raider started pushing and shoving afterward.) But this is the risk-reward with having Gresham, because that's one of the main reasons he's on the roster: That fire he brings to the field, that intensity, that nasty mentality that teams like to have in a player or two. The problem is, when Gresham sees red, sometimes he can't do anything else but go too far -- and that's an issue.

From Garth Short via

"How confident is everyone about Josh Rosen becoming a successful NFL QB? After watching Monday night's game it was obvious that both Patrick Mahomes and Jared Goff had something that Josh doesn't. WHEELS. I do understand that Goff wasn't very good as a rookie and with better coaching, improved considerably. Also, Tom Brady and Dan Marino couldn't run, but they were two of the all-time greats. So are we pretty sure Rosen is our QBOTF?"

Truthfully, you are all over the map here. So you are dismissing Rosen because he isn't the same runner as Mahomes and/or Goff is, but that doesn't matter, but he's not as good as those other guys, although both those other guys aren't rookies.

Rosen is the QB of the future until he isn't. And halfway through his rookie season, on a team with a lot of holes on offense, is not the time to think he's not going to be it. It really is amazing to see our culture seep to this point, that after seven starts we must have a definitive answer whether Rosen is the answer. I don't know. No one does. I've seen enough good things to have hope. I'd like to see him in a better situation in terms of offensive line and wide receiver corps. But here we are. Let's have this play out a bit, shall we?