Alexander may be headed to the desert

Prior to the season, critics said the Cardinals would be fine offensively but their defense would keep them from winning very many games. Well the opposite took place in 2004.

If you had a chance to watch the Arizona Cardinals play, you would have noticed their need for a running game.

With two future pro bowl wide receivers and a solid third wideout, the Cardinals are in desperate need of a premiere running back to open up the passing game.

This offseason, Seattle Seahawks running back Shaun Alexander will become an unrestricted free agent. Prior to the Seahawks game in Arizona this season, Alexander reportedly spoke to a few Cardinals players about talking to the Red Birds following the season.

If the Cardinals can build their offensive line, whether it be via free agency, the draft or by trade, and sign a running back like Alexander, their offense will be something to fear next season.

This season, Alexander rushed for 1,696 yards and 16 touchdowns. Alexander also caught 23 balls this year for 170 yards and four touchdowns making him the 10th player in NFL history to have 20 or more total touchdowns in a single season.

An addition like Alexander and the Cardinals will be on the map. The team many will predict to win the NFC west next season. Josh McCown will have the opportunity to develop into the quarterback he has shown signs of.

With the correct play calling and a running game, receivers Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin should have no problem catching 80 balls for over 1,000 yards each next season. They are that good.

It will be interesting to see how Dennis Green approaches the teams needs after a 6-10 season in his first year as the head coach of the Cardinals. He has said that they will play a role in free agency.

Expect to see a lot of players lose their jobs, even the unexpected. After all, Green has a plan in his head and if his players aren?t willing to abide, they can clean out their locker and look for employment elsewhere. Just look at what he did with Pete Kendall, the anchor of the Cardinals offensive line.

There are plenty of needs to fulfill on both sides of the ball in order for the Cardinals to compete and play football in January of next year. But with the addition of a player like Alexander, a few solid offensive lineman and another stud linebacker, it will be the start of a future contender. A team capable of winning it all.

The Cardinals? Winning it all? That?s something many believed would never happened. But the pieces are beginning to come together. And if Green has a plan, expect to see the Cardinals make some noise as soon as 2006, which just so happens to be the same season their new stadium is on schedule to open. What a way to christen a new home.


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