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SCOUT'S HONOR: Cardinals' preseason report card

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Offense

We know the can pass the ball, but they must now prove they can get a ground game going. has some tools to be a solid runner, but must show that he can be durable. This would really help keep defenses honest. They have the combination of and through the air. But former Charger is a key at tight end. He could add some balance within the passing game if he maintains some consistency. Jones has the athletic tools to attract attention over the middle of the field. They have solid talent across the offensive line, but must come together as a unit. will be a stud inside entering his second season. The key is getting consistency from talented left tackle .
Grade: C+

Defense

The have drafted several defensive lineman over the past couple years - but they still have a lot of holes to fill within this defense. The run defense should be more adequate as the younger players gain experience, but they have a long way to go. Rookie (if he actually signs) could make a huge difference at some point. The pass rush remains in dire straits. is their top perimeter threat - but he's coming off a knee injury and is only an above average type player. He relies on his motor more than anything else. brings some credibility to the secondary at cornerback. He has the speed and ability to make plays in coverage. But they could have trouble after that unless puts all his tools together. And has adequate skills and is much better suited to a reserve role. Unfortunately, he's a starter in Arizona. Look for another piece of the puzzle to emerge at strong safety with . He's a great athlete with the tools to make an impact. He'll make a lot of plays for the .
Grade: D

Special Teams

has the ability to become a solid place-kicker for the long-term, provided he doesn't sustain any more injuries by celebrating simple 30-yard field goals. The return units, with and Arnold Jackson, pose a threat to opposing teams.
Grade: B-

Coaching

Dave McGinnis is the right man to lead Arizona towards long-term stability. But the organization must be patient with him. He's a darn good football coach who sees the whole picture. He's brought energy and a needed direction on the field.
Grade: B+

Intangibles

The received no favors from the schedule makers. They will have a tough fight ahead of them this season. Facing San Francisco and St. Louis twice each season isn't a friendly scenario either.
Grade: D

The Outlook

Arizona could fall a little in the win-loss column this season, but a foundation is gradually building. They just have a lot to overcome with this tough schedule. Hopefully the defense can establish a foundation this season to build from next spring.
Grade: C- Brian DeLucia is a respected college and pro personnel consultant around the NFL. Formerly a consultant with Rivals.com, and currently an editor for Pro Football Digest.com, Brian heads into his third season with FOXSports.com providing commentary around the NFL and NFL Draft.
Tagged: Cardinals, L.J. Shelton, Thomas Jones, Leonard Davis, Adrian Wilson, Kyle Vanden Bosch, Wendell Bryant

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