SATURDAY, AUGUST 17, 2019
CARDINALS TRAINING CAMP UPDATE
*OVERVIEW: The final practice open to the public was a winning day for the defense, including two picks on throws over the middle by Kyler Murray and a pick six of Brett Hundley on the final day of practice. It seemed defensive coordinator Vance Joseph blitzed with more frequency, possibly in response to the Cardinals offense looking clueless against the Raiders blitzes.
*PERSONNEL NOTES: Larry Fitzgerald was away attending the funeral of former Cardinals wide receivers coach Darryl Drake … Robert Alford (reportedly out up to two months with a broken tibia) missed his first practice … Patrick Peterson did not practice and apparently will not with frequency because of the upcoming six-game suspension to begin the season … Charles Clay (off PUP last Sunday got snaps with the starters) … Kevin White (hamstring) practiced for the first time in two weeks … D.J. Humphries and D.J. Foster presumably had the day off (both have been given extra days off following off-season surgeries) … Mason Cole and Hakeem Butler (unknown reasons) also did not practice.
*FIRST UNIT OFFENSE: Kyler Murray … David Johnson … Trent Sherfield (for Fitzgerald), Christian Kirk, Andy Isabella, Damiere Byrd … Charles Clay/Maxx Williams/Ricky Seals-Jones … Josh Mills (for Humphries), Lamont Gaillard (for Cole), A.Q Shipley, J.R. Sweezy, Marcus Gilbert).
*FIRST UNIT DEFENSE: Corey Peters, Rodney Gunter, Zach Allen … Chandler Jones, Jordan Hicks, Ezekiel Turner (for Dennis Gardeck), Terrell Suggs … Tramaine Brock (for Peterson), Chris Jones (for Alford), Budda Baker, D.J. Swearinger.
*PRACTICE OBSERVATIONS: The offense scheme included some snaps with David Johnson and Chase Edmonds on the field simultaneously … The defense showed some 4-2-5 looks with Corey Peters and Rodney Gunter the two linemen and Byron Murphy the fifth defensive back.
*RANDOM STUFF: Peter King was in attendance. He had a one-on-one post-practice interview with Murray and took photos of the Cardinals in-practice fruit break (almost guaranteed to part of his Monday column) … Murray and Murphy stayed after practice for at least 30-45 minutes to sign autographs.
*NEXT – THE FINAL TRAINING CAMP PRACTICE: Sunday from 10:45-12:30 at State Farm Stadium (NOT open to the public).
EAGLES PREVIEW LEFTOVERS
*THE EAGLES SIGNED THE OFT-INJURED CARSON WENTZ TO A FOUR-YEAR, $128 MILLION DEAL (INCLUDING AN NFL RECORD $107 MILLION GUARANTEED): Hopefully he will stay healthy for just the second time in five years (counting college) and hold on to the ball. He has the highest fumble rate of any NFL player during his three seasons with the Eagles.
*MONITOR THE EAGLES FIRST HALF SCORING: The 2017 season Super Bowl champs was second in first quarter points per game and third in first half points per game. The 2018 edition was 31st in first quarter scoring and 27th in first half scoring.
*DOUG PEDERSON PREACHES BALL CONTROL: Last year, they were second league wide with 32:25 time of possession. But, that might change this season if Wentz connects frequently with big-play wideout Deshaun Jackson.
*LOCAL CONNECTION: On Saturday, former Cardinals quarterback Josh McCown ended his brief retirement after backup quarterbacks Nate Sudfeld and Cody Kessler were injured during the Eagles first two pre-season games.
REDSKINS PREVIEW LEFTOVERS
*THE REDSKINS HAVE LED THE INJURED RESERVE STANDINGS IN EACH OF THE PAST TWO SEASONS: The 24 players on IR at the end of last season is believed to be the most for any team in any season.
*DMV PRODUCT DWAYNE HOSKINS IS THE FOURTH REDSKINS FIRST-ROUND QUARTERBACK SINCE 2002: The other three were Patrick Ramsey, Jason Campbell and Robert Griffin III.
*REDSKINS OWNER DANIEL SNYDER IS ONE OF SEVERAL NFL OWNERS WHO HAVE SUPPORTED DONALD TRUMP: Snyder’s reported multiple donations include $1 million for Trump’s inauguration celebration.
*LOCAL CONNECTIONS: Former Cardinal Adrian Peterson is considered the starting running back (and will remain that way with Darius Guice still not cleared for contact) … Former Cardinals first-rounder Dominque Rodgers-Cromartie is the fifth corner and expected to make the Week One roster … ASU alum JoJo Wicker is on the Redskins roster as a defensive tackle but is not even listed on the 75-man team depth chart.
SCROLL DOWN FOR RECENT POSTS
IN MONDAY’S SPORTS ZONE
(THIS PLAN IS TENTATIVE AND SOMEWHAT SUBJECT TO CHANGE)
*AT THE TOP OF THE SHOW, THE INTRODUCTION OF THE PIPELINE
*AT 9:15, THE LOCAL ROUNDUP: A Cardinals-Raiders rewind, including Kliff Kingsbury Meets The Press and a Dbacks-Giants rewind
*AT 9:30, THE 18TH ANNUAL SPORTS ZONE/BOB KEMP FOOTBALL CONTINUES: with the Oregon schools and Tyson Alger who covers the Ducks for The Athletic and Steve Gress of the Corvallis Gazette Times
*IN THE FINAL SEGMENT OF HOUR NUMBER ONE – THE NATIONAL ROUNDUP: topped Headed Across America, From The Scoreboard and the Daily Personnel Report
*AT THE TOP OF THE 10:00 HOUR, IT’S LAST CALL AND THE BOTTOM LINE
*AT 10:15, THE INTERACTIVE ROUND WITH PHONE CALLS AND TWEETS
*AT 10:30, OUR NEXT-TO-LAST FANTASY BASEBALL SEGMENT OF TE SEASON: with Michael Rathburn of Rotowire.com
*IN THE FINAL SEGMENT OF THE SPORTS ZONE: Today In Rock History
*ONCE AGAIN, INTERACTIVE ACTION – PHONE CALLS (602-260-10-60) AND/OR TWEETS (@SPORTS ZONE 1060 OR TWITTER.COM/SPORTS ZONE 1060) AT 10:15
18TH ANNUAL SPORTS ZONE/BOB KEMP FOOTBALL PREVIEW
NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE (10:30 SEGMENTS)
TUESDAY, JULY 16: Buffalo
WEDNESDAY, JULY 17: Miami
THURSDAY, JULY 18: New England
FRIDAY, JULY 19: New York Jets
TUESDAY, JULY 23: Baltimore
WEDNESDAY, JULY 24: Cleveland (moved from July 25)
THURSDAY, JULY 25: Cincinnati (moved from July 24)
FRIDAY, JULY 26: Pittsburgh
TUESDAY, JULY 30: Houston
WEDNESDAY, JULY 31: Indianapolis
THURSDAY, AUGUST 1: Jacksonville
FRIDAY, AUGUST 2: Tennessee
TUESDAY, AUGUST 6: Denver
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 7: Kansas City
THURSDAY, AUGUST 8: Los Angeles Chargers
FRIDAY, AUGUST 9: Oakland
TUESDAY, AUGUST 13: Dallas
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 14: New York Giants
THURSDAY, AUGUST 15: Philadelphia
FRIDAY, AUGUST 16: Washington
TUESDAY, AUGUST 20: Chicago
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21: Detroit
THURSDAY, AUGUST 22: Green Bay
FRIDAY, AUGUST 23: Minnesota
TUESDAY, AUGUST 27: Atlanta
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 28: Carolina
THURSDAY, AUGUST 29: New Orleans
FRIDAY, AUGUST 30: Tampa Bay
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 3: Los Angeles Rams
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4: San Francisco
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 5: Seattle
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 6: Arizona (Friday before Week #1)
MONDAY, JUNE 24: TOP 25 PREVIEW (10:15)
TUESDAY, JUNE 25: ACC (11:30)
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 26: Big 12 (11:30)
THURSDAY, JUNE 27: SEC (11:30)
FRIDAY, JUNE 28: Big Ten (11:30)
PAC 12 CONFERENCE (ALL 9:30 SEGMENTS)
FRIDAY, AUGUST 16: California + Stanford
MONDAY, AUGUST 19: Oregon + Oregon State
TUESDAY, AUGUST 20: Washington State +Washington
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21: Colorado + Utah
THURSDAY, AUGUST 22: UCLA + USC
FRIDAY, AUGUST 23: UA (the day before its season opener at Hawaii)
THURSDAY, AUGUST 29: ASU (the day of its season opener vs. Kent State)
BOTTOM LINE ARCHIVE
THURSDAY, AUGUST 15, 2019
RAIDERS 33, CARDINALS 26
*THE LEAD: It’s hard to imagine that any NFL first unit offense and defense played worse during the first two weeks of any pre-season game than the Cardinals did tonight. The Cardinals finally left the field, trailing 26-0 while being outgained 231-12 after Murray was tackled for a safety to conclude the Cardinals fourth possession.
*FIRST UNIT OFFENSE: Kyler Murray … David Johnson … Larry Fitzgerald, Christian Kirk, Trent Sherfield, Damiere Byrd … Maxx Williams/Ricky Seals-Jones … D.J. Humphries , Mason Cole, A.Q Shipley, J.R. Sweezy, Marcus Gilbert.
OFFENSE STUFF: The first team offense managed 12 yards on 15 plays in four possessions (the last a safety when Murray was sacked at the goal line) PLUS two false start penalties on Murray and a delay of game penalty, which is also likely on the quarterback … David Johnson lost a fumble that was nullified by a Raiders penalty … After Fitzgerald, Kirk, Sherfield and Byrd, was KeeSean Johnson, Pharoh Cooper, Andy Isabella, Chad Williams and Hakeem Butler (Johnson and Butler had zero offensive snaps until the fourth quarter). Isabella caught a 59-yard touchdown pass from Charles Kanoff with 2:49 remaining … Brett Hundley was impressive in the two-minute offense for a second consecutive week … T.J. Logan, possibly on the roster bubble, lost a fumble that was overturned by replay … Seventh rounder Josh Moss was the backup left tackle instead of Rees Odhlambo who was bad in the first pre-season game.
*FIRST UNIT DEFENSE: Corey Peters, Rodney Gunter, Zach Allen … Chandler Jones, Jordan Hicks, Dennis Gardeck, Terrell Suggs … Tramaine Brock, Patrick Peterson, Budda Baker, D.J. Swearinger,,Byron Murphy (nickel).
DEFENSE STUFF: The first team defense, over the past two weeks, has allowed two touchdowns and a field goal in three possessions … Byron Murray, judged by the response of the coaching staff, was responsible for the wide open touchdown pass on the opening possession … Backup linebackers Pete Robertson and Tanner Vallejo continued to make plays. Vallejo left in the fourth quarter with an injury.
*SPECIAL TEAMS STUFF: Zane Gonzalez made both his field goals (22 and 45 yards) … D.J. Foster, likely to make the team because of special teams, made an excellent tackle after an Andy Lee punt.
*PERSONNEL NOTES: Starting corner Robert Alford (lower leg) did not play after going down in Tuesday’s outdoor practice. Kliff Kingsbury said Alford will miss a “significant amount of time.”
*RANDOM STUFF: Antonio Brown was in uniform and participated in pre-game, but did not play in the game … The Hard Knocks crew (reported to be 30 folks) was very visible on the Raiders sideline with tbeir Hard Knocks Crew t-shirts … Brown, after the game, had a midfield chat and photo session with Fitzgerald followed a lengthy conversation with Murray who played with Brown’s cousin, Marquise, at Oklahoma.
*NEXT GAME: Saturday, August 24 at Minnesota, 10 am
*NEXT PRACTICE: Saturday from 1:00-3:00 at State Farm Stadium (last practice open to the public).
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 14, 2019
GIANTS PREVIEW LEFTOVERS
*ELI MANNING CAN’T THROW THE BALL DOWN THE FIELD, AT LEAST WITH EFFICIENCY: His completion percentage on deep throws the past three seasons is 39 percent and last season his average completion traveled just 5.3 yards in the air (25th in the league).
*MANNING’S INEFFICIENCY RESULTED IN TOO MANY FIELD GOALS: Last season, the Giants settled for field goals on 18.5 percent of their offensive possessions, fifth most in the NFL.
*A LONG TIME AGO THE GIANTS WERE KNOWN FOR OUTSTANDING LINEBACKER PLAY: The Giants, after bypassing Josh Allen for Daniel Jones in April, have not drafted a linebacker in 35 seasons since Carl Banks in 1984.
*LOCAL CONNECTIONS: The Giants have become Cardinals East – former defensive coordinator James Bettcher and former players Antoine Bethea (starting free safety), Markus Golden (listed as a backup), Kareem Martin (starting ahead of Martin), Elijah Penny (almost no chance to make the roster at running back), Olsen Pierre (backup defensive end) and Ronald Zumort (possible special teamer) … Also, Chandler High School alum Paul Perkins (probably on the wrong side of the roster bubble at running back).
TUESDAY, AUGUST 13. 2019
COWBOYS PREVIEW LEFTOVERS
*THE COWBOYS WERE THE CLOSE GAME KINGS IN 2018: They finished 8-2 in games decided by seven points or less.
*EZEKIEL ELLIOTT IS THE MOST VALUABLE COWBOY: Elliott has led the NFL in yards per games in all three of his seasons. He has averaged 101.2 yards rushing per game. Jim Brown, the greatest football player ever, is the only player to average over 100 yards rushing per game in his career (104.3 yards per over nine seasons).
*DAK PRESCOTT’S INEFFICIENCY IN THE RED ZONE COST OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR SCOTT LINEHAN HIS JOB: Prescott finished 30th in red zone ranking, ahead of just Lamar Jackson and Blake Bortles among the 32 quarterbacks who started the majority of games. The Cowboys scored just 24 touchdowns and kicked 16 field goals in 50 red zone possessions.
*LOCAL CONNECTION: Jon Kitna is the Cowboys quarterbacks coach after spending last season as the head coach at Brophy Prep.
MONDAY, AUGUST 12, 2019
AFC WEST PREDICTIONS AND SCHEDULE NOTES
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS: The schedule is much more difficult than last year’s 12-4 regular-season slate, including a seven-game stretch capped by road games at Tennessee and against the Chargers in Mexico City PLUS December road games at New England and Chicago before the regular-season home finale against the Chargers.
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS: The Chargers have just one road game against a 2018 playoff team, but remember, the Chargers have now home games with the fans of their opponents dominant the crowd in the 27,000 seat Dignity Health Sports Park.
DENVER BRONCOS: New coach Vic Fangio’s team plays seven games against teams with 10+ wins and the second half includes a stretch of just two home games from November 3 to December 21 with the home games against the Browns and Chargers.
OAKLAND RAIDERS: This is the most unfair schedule FOR ANY TEAM in years – the toughest overall (based on last year’s winning percentages), an NFL most 30,000 air miles, seven games against teams with 10+ wins and five straight away from home from September 15 to November 3.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 11, 2019
CARDINALS TRAINING CAMP UPDATE
*OVERVIEW: The Cardinals were back in pads for the afternoon practice that did not include Larry Fitzgerald, Chandler Jones or Patrick Peterson (presumed days off) and Marcus Gilbert (out for a second day – reason undisclosed) … The session including individual blocking drills, including tight ends and running backs against outside linebackers, plus the standard offensive line vs. defensive line matchups.
*PERSONNEL NOTES: Budda Baker was a full participant after leaving Saturday’s practice early with a leg issue … Byron Murphy (foot) was participating during 11-on-11 portions for just the second time in nine days … Andy Isabella (knee) returned to 11-on-11 drills for the first time in 10 days … D.J. Foster (knee) returned after sitting out on Saturday. The medical staff has limited the usage of Foster who is returning after 2018 knee surgery.
The Cardinals activated Charles Clay and Brandon Williams off the PUP list. Kliff Kingsbury said both will be eased back in. Neither practiced on Sunday.
*FIRST UNIT OFFENSE: Kyler Murray … David Johnson … Trent Sherfield (for Fitzgerald), Christian Kirk, KeeSean Johnson, Damiere Byrd … Maxx Williams/Ricky Seals-Jones … D.J. Humphries, Mason Cole, A.Q Shipley, J.R. Sweezy and Korey Cunningham (for Gilbert).
*FIRST UNIT DEFENSE): Corey Peters, Rodney Gunter, Zach Allen … Brooks Reed (for Jones), Jordan Hicks, Dennis Gardeck, Terrell Suggs … Tramaine Brock (for Peterson), Robert Alford, Budda Baker, D.J. Swearinger.
*RANDOM OBSERVATIONS: Brock taking Peterson’s spot might mean that Brock, and not Murphy, will be the replacement in Week One for Peterson when he begins the six game PED suspension. On Sunday. Brock intercepted a rare errant Murray pass that likely would have been a pick six on game day.
*LAW AND ORDER: Another day, another arrest.
Cardinals executive vice president and COO Ron Minegar was arrested on suspicion of DUI in Chandler late Saturday night, according to a police report.
Minegar’s arrest occurred hours after the organization announced they had released starting defensive lineman Darius Philon following his Friday night arrest on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon for allegedly pointing gun at a dancer in the parking lot of a Scottsdale strip club in May.
Minegar’s arrest was 13 months after general manager Steve Keim’s DUI, which led to jail time and a one-month suspension by the Cardinals.
*NEXT PRACTICE: Monday from 10:50-12:50 at State Farm Stadium (open to the public).
SATURDAY, AUGUST 10, 2019
CARDINALS TRAINING CAMP UPDATE
*OVERVIEW: The no-pad practice included two Kyler Murray interceptions – the second play of 11-on-11 by Budda Baker on a deep ball and later a sideline toss to Patrick Peterson that likely would have been a pick six in a game.
*PERSONNEL NOTES: Baker, after the early pick, sustained a leg injury that forced him to leave practice … Josh Shaw (shoulder) was injured during Thursday night’s pre-season game and will miss 1-2 weeks, according to Kliff Kingsbury … Byron Murphy (foot) was an individual drill participant, but did not take part in 11-on-11 portions.
Starting offensive tackles D.J. Humphries and Marcus Gilbert did not participate, presumably, having the day off. The assumption is they will be return on Sunday when practice is expected to include pads … Starting left guard Justin Pugh (shoulder) remains out. He has now been out one week with a shoulder injury that was originally expected to sideline him for a couple of weeks, according to Kliff Kingsbury.
Kevin White (hamstring) remains sidelined and has already been ruled out of next Thursday’s game against the Raiders. His chances of making the Week One roster appear slim … Andy Isabella (knee) was an individual drill participant, but did not take part in 11-on-11 portions. He was also the first player on the field catching passes long before the official start of the practice (fellow rookie Hakeem Butler should think about joining Isabella on the field early).
DARIUS PHILON WAS NOT ON THE PRACTICE FIELD, BUT HE IS OUT OF JAIL: Philon was arrested Friday night on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon for allegedly pointing gun at a dancer in the parking lot of a Scottsdale strip club. Reportedly, he was held without bond on Friday night before being released on Saturday on $5,000 bond. Kingsbury, when asked on Saturday morning, said the Cardinals have reported the allegations to the league and the organization is not allowed to add any further comment.
*FIRST UNIT OFFENSE: Kyler Murray … David Johnson … Larry Fitzgerald, Christian Kirk, KeeSean Johnson, Damiere Byrd … Maxx Williams … Rees Odhiambo (for Humphries), Mason Cole (for the injured Pugh), A.Q Shipley, J.R. Sweezy and Korey Cunningham (for Gilbert).
*FIRST UNIT DEFENSE: Corey Peters, Rodney Gunter, Zach Allen (for Philon) … Chandler Jones, Jordan Hicks, Dennis Gardeck (for the injured Haason Reddick) … Terrell Suggs, Patrick Peterson, Robert Alford, Budda Baker, D.J. Swearinger, Tramaine Brock (for Murphy).
*GENERAL STUFF: The majority of the snaps in the Thursday pre-season opener included a tight end – Will that be the case when the regular-season begins?
*NEXT PRACTICE: Sunday from 3:30-5:30 at State Farm Stadium (open to the public).
FRIDAY, AUGUST 9, 2019
RAIDERS PREVIEW LEFTOVERS
*JUST WIN BABY (OOPS): The Raiders have finished above .500 ONE of his last SIXTEEN seasons … And. Jon Gruden’s last winning season as a coach was 2007.
*JON GRUDEN HAS CLEANED HOUSE: Just nine of FIFTY players drafted by previous general manager Reggie McKenzie from 2012-17 remain on the training camp roster and a few of those may need see Week One with the Raiders.
*THE RAIDERS MISSED KHALIL MACK THAN THEY EVER IMAGINED: The 2018 Raiders were dead last with just 13 sacks last season, 18 fewer sacks than any other team in the league.
*LOCAL CONNECTIONS: Former Cardinal J.J. Nelson has been the starting slot receiver throughout the majority of training camp … ASU Vontaze Burfict was slow and bad last season with the Bengals, but the Raiders are hoping he can be rejuvenated with his former Bengals defensive coordinator Paul Guenther now running the Raiders defense … Valley product Richie Incognito is back after sitting out last season after announcing he had retired. If he makes the team, he will be suspended for the first two games for his latest insubordinate act before his retirement … and Cardinals 2013 first-round draft pick Jonathan Cooper is in the running for a starting guard spot.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 8, 2019
CARDINALS 17, CHARGERS 13
*OVERVIEW: Kyler Murray was accurate during his 10-play debut while the first unit was physically whipped at the line scrimmage in their one drive.
*FIRST UNIT OFFENSE: Kyler Murray … David Johnson … Larry Fitzgerald, Christian Kirk, Trent Sherfield, Damiere Byrd … Maxx Williams … D.J. Humphries, Mason Cole, A.Q Shipley, J.R. Sweezy, Marcus Gilbert.
OFFENSE STUFF: Kyler Murray was six of seven for 44 yards on his only drive which started at his own two against a handful of the Chargers defensive first unit … The left tackle spot had a rough night – Starter D.J. Humphries allowed a sack when third-team Anthony Lanier easily went by him. Backup left tackle Rees Odhiambo was flagged for a pair of holding penalties in pass protection …Brett Hundley’s touchdown pass to Trent Sherfield was perfectly thrown … Ricky Seals-Jones, possibly on the roster bubble, made an excellent catch for 21 yards … Mason Cole played left guard with the first unit and was the center with the second unit … Backup right tackle Korey Cunningham was also called for two holding penalties while attempting to pass protect … Hakeem Butler entered the game on the first drive of the second half and dropped the first pass thrown to him, continuing a training camp pattern.
*FIRST UNIT DEFENSE: Corey Peters, Rodney Gunter, Darius Philon … Chandler Jones, Jordan Hicks, Dennis Gardeck, Terrell Suggs … Patrick Peterson, Robert Alford, Tramaine Brock (nickel) … Budda Baker, D.J. Swearinger.
DEFENSE STUFF: Jordan Hicks forced and recovered a fumble to end the only drive that the first team defense spent on the field … Backup outside linebacker Pete Robertson, who played for Kliff Kingsbury at Texas Tech, carried his noteworthy training camp play into the first game, including a touchdown on a fumble return.
SPECIAL TEAMS STUFF: Zane Gonzalez nailed a 55-yard field goal with plenty to spare to temporarily halt some concern after his rough day last Saturday during the Red-White practice … Trent Sherfield made an immediate tackle in punt coverage (in addition to punt coverage). He is almost certain to be on the Week One roster.
*PERSONNEL NOTES: Byron Murphy (walking boot in right foot) and Kevin White (mystery injury) were among those out.
*RANDOM STUFF: The first team offense and defense each played one series. The majority of the Chargers starters making the trip were on the field for two series … In the post-game, Larry Fitzgerald and Ken Whisenhunt embraced at midfield and posed for a photo.
*NEXT GAME: Thursday, August 15 vs. Raiders, 5:00, at State Farm Stadium
*NEXT PRACTICE: Saturday from 1:00-3:00 at State Farm Stadium (open to the public).
BRONCOS PREVIEW LEFTOVERS
*THE BRONCOS HAVE BEEN BAD SINCE WINNING THE SUPER BOWL TO CONCLUDE THE 2015 SEASON – zero playoff appearances, a 20-28 record and now four head coaches with the hiring of Vic Fangio.
*THE OFFENSE LAST SEASON SNAPPED THE BALL AT THE SECOND HIGHEST RATE IN THE NFL (EVERY 26.6 SECONDS): However, that did not translate into points (20 ppg) which was 24th leaguewide.
*THE RUN DEFENSE MUST IMPROVE: In 2018, the Broncos were 21st in rushing defense (119.2 yards) and a far worse 31s in rushing plays of minus yards or no gain (14.3%).
*LOCAL CONNECTIONS: UA alum Will Parks begins his fifth season with the Broncos and started three games a year ago at safety in addition to providing effective special teams snaps … Former ASU offensive line teammates Sam Jones and Quinn Bailey are competing for roster spots. Jones has not distinguished himself since being a sixth-round pick in 2018.
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 7, 2019
CHIEFS PREVIEW LEFTOVERS
*THE CHIEFS ACCOMPLISHED AN ALL-TIME FIRST IN 2018: They become the first ever NFL team to score at least 25 points in every game and averaged a league best 3.25 point per drive.
*THE DEFENSIVE STILL WASN’T GOOD ENOUGH: The Chiefs allowed 26.3 points per game (next to worst in the NFL) and an average of 39.57 yards per drive (worst in the league).
*GET USED TO WATCHING THE CHIEFS IN OCTOBER: Three of their four games in that month are on national television – Sunday night home games against the Colts and Packers and a Thursday night road game against the Broncos.
*LOCAL CONNECTIONS: Tyrann Mathieu is wisely expected to play more frequently close to the line of scrimmage for the Chiefs to take advantage of his elite blitzing and tackling skills. The Cardinals far too often left Mathieu in coverage, easily his weakness … Former Cardinal Anthony Sherman remains the Chiefs starting fullback. Sherman was drafted during the Ken Whisenhunt era but was traded because Bruce Arians’ scheme did not require a fullback … Defensive lineman Xavier Williams, another former Cardinal, is fighting for a roster spot. If he is cut, the depth-shy Cardinals should try to bring him back.