I had the opportunity to pick the brain of Scott Allen, the lead writer over at Raising ‘Zona and get his take on Sunday’s Buccaneers-Cardinals game. We both exchanged a set of questions, you can read my responses to his over on Raising ‘Zona by clicking right here. Or even troll on over to Fansided’s Cardinals blog and scout the enemy even more. Scott doesn’t think the Bucs are the NFC’s best team. His Cardinals might not agree though because they’re tossing on their alternate jerseys and blacking out. Correct me if I’m wrong, but you don’t black out for just anyone…
1.) Is Max Hall a legitimate answer at quarterback or is he a place-holder until the Cards can find the next franchise guy?
That is the million dollar question. He’s only played six quarters so far and has not led the team to an offensive touchdown yet, unless you want to count his fumble on the 1 yard line against New Orleans that was picked up by offensive lineman Levi Brown and run into the end zone. I think Hall is the only answer right now. As for the future, we’ll see. How he plays against Tampa this week and over the course of the next couple of games, which includes a game in Minnesota next week, will go a long way in telling if Hall is the guy or a placeholder for the 2011 QB.
2.) At 3-3, do you view the Cardinals as a team taking a step back as they try to replace key players or a team that just hasn’t clicked yet?
A lot of people see the Cards in “transition”. I think certain aspects of the team can be defined as in transition, like the offense. As far as defense goes, over the past two weeks, the defense has been better than it was at any point over the past couple of seasons. I think the Cards schedule is in their favor. Six of their last 10 games, including the game against Tampa, are at home and have only three games left on their schedule against teams with a record of .500 or better (Tampa, Seattle, and Kansas City). They have the chance to win games while trying to get everyone on the same page.
3.) You pretty much swapped Karlos Dansby for Joey Porter (obviously different positions but both are defensive leaders) how is the defense looking and do you miss Dansby’s leadership? Does Porter have anything left in the tank?
Porter has definitely been a vocal leader pretty much since day one of training camp. Porter called out a teammate for allowing an offensive player push him around in a fight. He called a defense only meeting after the blowout loss in Atlanta. As far as on the field, he looked pretty good against Seattle. He recorded a sack. There is still a little worry there won’t be the consistency we saw with Dansby, but that is to be expected. I think Porter is just fine for now.
4.) What young player has excited you the most this season?
Several young players have had flashes of brilliance, but the one that seems to be most consistent is second year running back/kick returner LaRod Stephens-Howling out of Pittsburgh. The man has speed and can find holes on kick returns where there don’t appear to be any.
5.) The Cardinals rank 29th in scoring and last in yards offensively, what is at the root of the offensive woes?
Plain and simple, the change at the quarterback position has drastically changed the look of the offense. The Cards still are looking for an offensive identity. Luckily they’ve been able to maintain a .500 record or better all season so far while doing it.
Scott’s Prediction: Arizona 20 Tampa Bay 17