Phoenix Cardinals

31 Dec

This is the second team report. We will be focusing on the better teams in the back end assuming the better a team is the more familiarity there is. Numerous off hand comments from the average player at the tourneys I have been to suggest that these teams are still not as well know.

Phoenix Cardinals
Overall team rank:20
Fair matchups: Dal, Atl, Jets
Other Matchups: Pitt, NO, Cle, TB

Biggest Strength: Safties
Biggest Weakness: slower wr’s

Phoenix Offense

Phoenix is an average team which features depth in the skill positions. The backups all have a chance to contribute thanks to conditioning. Johnny Johnson is the best weapon on offense.


This one is a toss up. I prefer to start Rosenbach. Timm has 19 ms and 44 pc. Unfortunately he also has a dismal 31 ps. The backup Tom Tupa is quite popular and is used as often as Rosenbach. He has the standard 13 ms, 44 ps but only 38 pc.


Johnny Johnson is the star of the backfield with 50 ms. He also has great depth behind him with three 38 ms running backs. This gives the option of using several different play books as Phoenix.


Roy Green is the star of the receiving core. He is the second fastest player on offense at 44 ms. Ricky Proehl’s 69 rec leads the team but he only has 19 ms. Ernie Jones is a better option at wr. The tight ends are slow and do not have much hp. Starting one of the surplus rb’s at tight end is a better option that Reeves.


Al Del Greco has 19 KA which means his range sucks. His arrow is also faster. Kick off returns are average but punt returns should be above average with McDonald’s 56 ms translating to the punt returner.

Phoenix Defense

The Phoenix defense has great players at all three levels. The key players are at safety but there are other defenders worth noting. The DL is above average with 50 ms Freddie Joe Nunn. Both Freddie and 56 ms LB1 Ken Harvey have 19 int. The rest of the DL is average at best and the rest of the LB core is horrible.

The CB’s are below average but that is balanced by two great safeties. Lonnie Young features a 69 rs far above his 44 ms. This fact and his 56 int makes him cat quick and dangerous on interception returns. Below him at DB4 is Tim McDonald. Tim has 56 ms, 56 int, and 56 hp. These two combined make it a challenge for the low level qb’s in the bottom tier to consistently complete passes.

Suggested Lineups/Playbooks.
The nice thing about Phoenix is that you can use either a one back or two back approach against the teams in the fair matchup section. I’d be a little careful about play actions if the other team has a great DL. Both the Center and Right Guard on Phx have 38 hp. With the offensive balance most of the common playbooks should work. Run and shoot and various two back looks.


For a two back playbook all that is needed is to switch Johnson and Sikahema. Naturally Tupa is interchangeable with Rosenbach if you feel more comfortable with 44 ps.

Playing against Phoenix

The key thing to keep is mind that in most match ups the Phoenix safeties are going to have an edge on the QB. Only QB Browns has more pc than the int of these two DB’s. The good news is these two need to condition up to good or excellent to force jj int’s on the 44 pc qb’s like Aikman.

Therefore you should expect to throw an incomplete pass if it is in coverage or if you throw it deep down the field. Defeating PHX is a test of your running game, short passing game and ability to get yards with the qb on the ground.

When on defense the PHX passing game can be taken advantage of due to the lack of speed. If Rosenbach is in that gives a defender more time to get to the ball. Most likely a person playing on offense with Phx is running the same game plan as to beat PHX. Short passes to open wr’s, run plays and getting a maximum from the qb on the ground.

Unlike Atl there is no game plan based on a weakness in PHoenix’s defensive alignment. This is the advantage of any team with good safeties. Also it is not a good ideal to underestimate Ken Harvey. His speed will enable him to break up plays in the backfield and provide decent coverage on top of the safeties.

Phoenix is a team that is about balance on offense and great safeties on defense. If you can get the job done on defense and be conservative on offense than this is a great team to use.

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