The opening of Arizona Cardinals training camp is approaching at week’s end, and the Cardinals find themselves preparing to battle in arguably the toughest division in the NFL. While Arizona was quietly competitive last season – narrowly missing the playoffs with a 10-6 record – they seem to have lost more than they’ve gained his offseason with OLB Daryl Washington being suspended for the year and Karlos Dansby fleeing to Cleveland as a free agent.
Considering the Super Bowl champs and improved teams from San Francisco and St. Louis are all within their division, the Cardinals will require their key players such as WR Larry Fitzgerald and breakout running back Andre Ellington to be at the top of their game in order to be competitive again in 2014.
But they can’t do it alone, and the opportunity is there for younger players on this roster to step up and be a factor. Here are 5 players to watch this season that will need to fly high for the Birdgang: