On Sunday, I'm going to get hit. Sure. Not like Cardinals' combatants, who will be in full football gear for the regular season opener at St. Louis. But I will most definitely get bumped, shoved, brushed, duped and mocked. That's life on the sideline as the pencil neck sideline broadcast guy.
It's inevitable and unavoidable. You get your pen hit out of your hand. Your notebook smacked to the ground. And beware sideline denizens like the punter, kicker and long snapper, who like to joke they're aiming for you during warm-ups.
If it's deemed you've wandered too close to the bench area, then look out for the hit ‘n run forearm shiver. And fear the final moments of a big win when your headphone volume leaves you unaware (cue the Jaws impending doom sound effect) of what's coming next. Namely – ice, smelling salts, snowballs, rolls of athletic tape, or the proverbial fountain of fluid from a water bottle at long distance.
All in great fun, mind you. It's absolutely nothing like the damage that the Cardinals' defense figures to exact upon opponents this season. At least, that's what the players report will happen starting against the Rams.
Hard to believe, but every single defensive player that I've talked to over the past month says the Cards' defense will be more attacking and more aggressive. More so than last season when the Cards were known as an ultra-hostile defense under former defensive coordinator Ray Horton.
Uh, how so? Well, here's where it gets murky. See, typically, teams don't like to reveal much about their defensive game plans. All I can glean from numerous conversations is that the Cards will blitz more often. The Big Red defense will blitz with greater frequency in more varied ways and from multiple formations.
In other words, more reason to watch closely when the training wheels come off training camp for good on Sunday. If the Cards bring their A-game, then it might play like a B-movie - "Attack of the Big Red D."