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You've Got Mail: Preseason Week Versus The Chiefs

Topics include Monti's involvement, injured rookies, and Kyler's future

Clement catch mailbag 0815

The Cardinals began the preseason with a lot of Tune, better-than-expected pass rush, and the thrill of a last-second win -- which still feels good even when it doesn't count in the standings. You know what else feels good? A mailbag. Questions have been edited for length and clarity. You can send in a question for a future mailbag here.

From Eisele Sylvia:

"Hey Darren. I was out at the Red and White Practice and had a great time. I saw that Monti was actually really involved, talking to players, talking to coaches. Do you think Monti appears to be a much more involved GM than most? Also, I couldn't hear the comments made by JG or Michael prior to practice (when they gave Budda his Pro Bowl jersey). Is there any way you guys could post the long form video of that please?"

I can't promise anything on the video; we have moved pretty far past that moment. As for Ossenfort, it is clear he is someone that likes to be in the thick of practice. He did it all offseason and training camp was no different. I can't speak to GMs other than the ones that have been here over the years, but Ossenfort definitely was down on the field all the time whereas Steve Keim would usually watch practice a few rows up in the stands.

From Chris McKinney:

"Darren, can the Cardinals afford Dalvin Cook? It would be a great add to Conner. Run run run until Kyler returns."

Could the the Cardinals have afforded Cook? Yes. Were they ever gonna sign him? No, for a variety of reasons. He's wanted more money than the Cards would be willing to pay. I also think Cook would be your No. 1 and that would marginalize Conner, and in the current situation, I think the Cardinals are happy with Conner as No. 1. I wouldn't expect any splashy signings right now. Monti Ossenfort has a plan, and it's looking long-term, and I think that includes rolling over a bunch of cap space to 2024. Besides, it was all moot Monday when Cook agreed to sign with the Jets.

From Art Pozza:

"I like the draft and free-agent decisions of Monti Ossenfort. I'm worried that some of the promising rookies will end up on the practice squad. I'm scared that we are going to lose some good players."

Right now, I could see every single draft pick landing on the 53-man roster. I think that says a lot about both the picks and where the roster stands at the moment. But cutdown period will be fascinating, both in how the Cardinals construct the 53-man roster but also who they hope to get on to the practice squad and also who they might claim on waivers from other cuts. They will be third in line for waiver claims, and it won't surprise me if there are a few guys they grab. If that happens, they would have to clip the corresponding number of players off the 53.

From Tom Cowley:

"What is your take regarding all the players currently listed as unable to play -- PUP and otherwise -- so early in camp practice? Seems to me as an old fan, this is awfully early for rookies to be sitting out. I do not mean the players who have been rehabbing since last year. These guys were pushed as super candidates to be starters and now they sit. How come?"

Tom, guys get hurt. For the rookies, Ojulari hurt his knee in the offseason. Garrett Williams tore his ACL last year. Myjai Sanders isn't a rookie but looks like he broke his hand or thumb in one of the first practices. As for the other guys sitting, Jonathan Gannon isn't being specific with injuries but they are indeed injured. I'm not sure what to tell you otherwise. It's not like they are sitting because they are lazy or something. There are reasons for it.

From Jon David Lair:

"Are the Cardinals expected to play any starters in any of there preseason games, and if so, how long?"

Obviously, your question came after last week's 'bag, so you know the vast majority of starters played in the first preseason game and I would expect them to do the same -- if not a little more -- against the Chiefs. Gannon did say that there will be a chance there will be players who will not play at all in the preseason. To me, those candidates are James Conner, D.J. Humphries and Budda Baker. Maybe Hollywood Brown. And I do not expect Zach Ertz to play in a game at this point either, but we will see.

From Zach Maus:

"Urbz! It's been well over a year since my last submission, last year was awful and there's no point in spewing negativity your way here in the mailbag! This year doesn't look to be much better but none the less we powered/will power through. As the self proclaimed biggest Cardinals fan all the way in NE Ohio I figured I'd pitch a few of my positive takeaways this offseason bullet point style then hit ya with a random question at the end.

  • Monti seems legit. I know it's early but what he did on draft night was magical and the media team did such a fantastic job capturing the behind the scenes for that event. Everyone involved with that deserves a pat on the back.
  • Love Gannon's energy. His K.I.S.S. approach to a lot of questions is hilarious, optimistic that he'll be the guy for a long time.
  • It FEELS like Kyler could be back sooner than later. Definitely not Week 1 but I just got a feeling he'll be taken off the PUP before the start of the season.
  • I know Rondale carries that coveted second-round draft pick status, but at some point I feel it becomes clear that slot role should be Greg Dortch's to lose. Dortch's story is awesome and his talent is evident.

Random Question: I know this obviously isn't your department, but maybe you know someone who knows when the Cardinals will release their new jerseys in the Nike Elite form. I was hoping to grab one of the new style before Arizona travels to Pittsburgh for the game I'll be at this season. Thank you for the mailbag as always!"

Zach, I'm not sure what kind of jerseys you seek. The new ones have been on the market for awhile -- at least the red and the white ones; the black ones still are to come, hopefully soon -- so you should be able to find them online pretty easily.

From Mari Moore:

"How committed are you guys to Kyler Murray and his future with the Cardinals? I'm a huge fan of our team and our QB."

By "you guys" I assume you mean the football team, because rest assured I am not in any way part of the decision-making process nor does anyone on that side of the building come looking for my opinion. Murray is the team's QB. He needs to rehab and get back on the field and everyone goes from there. Predicting things long-term at this point means little pretty much for anyone on the roster. In a perfect world, Murray returns to health, plays well, and yes, the Cardinals have the QB they wanted for many years to come.

From Matthew Stroh:

"It's only preseason I know and honestly there was a lot -- like Dave and Wolf said -- that the coaches can use to teach but YEAH we played well. It's the first preseason game and there's a lot of football to play but YEAH. The only worry I have is I feel like the third-string offensive line guys didn't do that well. What was your favorite part of the preseason game? What player would you pick surprised you the most? Thank you Darren for your time and everything you do."

I think if what the third-string offensive line is your biggest concern, you'll be OK. I like the fact that the operation seemed pretty clean -- not a lot of penalties, no issues with getting the play in and off. As for the player that caught my eye the most? I think it was the whole pass rush. These guys had felt the heat about what was expected, and that whole group made it uncomfortable for Russell Wilson early in the game. That is part of the defense the Cardinals need to excel.

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