3 big questions for the Arizona Cardinals entering training camp 2019

The Cards are looking to rebound from 2018
Posted at 9:37 PM, Jul 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-24 17:03:56-04

The mission to erase last year's 3-13 season begins at State Farm Stadium this week.

The new-look Arizona Cardinals will open their 2019 training camp on Wednesday with a team walk-through, followed by their first full practice Thursday. Here are three major questions facing the team as they open camp. (Go here for the Cardinals' complete training camp schedule.)

1. Is Kyler the real deal?

For the third straight season, a Heisman Trophy winner is set to start at quarterback for the Cardinals. It was Carson Palmer in 2017 and Sam Bradford (remember him?) last year, and it'll be rookie Kyler Murray this year.

The No. 1 overall pick in April's NFL Draft has already been responsible for enhanced national attention for the Cardinals, and that attention will only ramp up as training camp gets underway. Will the dual-threat QB out of Oklahoma open camp, and preseason play, by giving Cards fans hope that he can be every bit as good as new head coach Kliff Kingsbury thinks he'll be, both on the ground and through the air? The answer to that question largely depends on the answer to the next one.

2. What about the new-look offensive line?

Murray will be playing behind an offensive line that was a mega liability for the Cardinals last season. The Cards didn't really address this issue in the draft, apparently believing they did enough in the offseason (signing former Seahawks guard J.R. Sweezy, trading for former Steelers tackle Marcus Gilbert) to solidify this unit.

Injuries played a significant role in the Cards' O-line struggles last year, beginning with center A.Q. Shipley's season-ending ACL tear in training camp. The Cards are hoping for better luck this year, as the new-look line consisting of Sweezy and Gilbert, along with returners D.J. Humphries, Justin Pugh and Shipley (or Mason Cole) will be called upon to protect their prized QB. The Shipley-Cole battle at center will be especially interesting to watch during camp.

3. Who will fill in for P2?

In May, the NFL dropped a bombshell on Cardinals fans by announcing perennial Pro Bowl cornerback Patrick Peterson will miss the first six games of the regular season for violating the league's substance abuse policy and attempting to cover it up. So, what will the Cards' starting cornerback unit look like during Peterson's absence?

Veteran Robert Alford, whom the Cards signed to a three-year deal in February, will presumably be a starter. Second-round pick and Scottsdale Saguaro High School alum Byron Murphy could be the other, or free-agent signee Tramaine Brock could fill that role. P2 has big shoes to fill, to say the least, and the Cards will be hard-pressed to find someone to them for a significant portion of the season -- but that mission begins this week in Glendale.