We reached the full saturation point of offseason workout coverage when Kliff Kingsbury was asked about helmet visors and Kyler Murray was peppered about questions about the nickname of the offense, which he called “offense”.
But despite all the overanalyzing of every morsel of news that came out of OTA’s and mandatory minicamp, there were two players that I felt flew under the radar.
One player on each side of the ball who will have a fairly significant impact on whether the team excels or struggles on offense and defense.
Today, Ill give you my Offensive X-Factor and next week Ill do the same for the Defensive X-factor.
To me an x-factor is a player whose contributions are likely to dwarf the attention and coverage they receive leading up to the games.
For example, Kliff Kingsbury and Kyler Murray are not x-factors as we’ve had more words written about their first offseason together than the Game of Thrones ending.
The Arizona Cardinals 2019 offensive x-factor is: Chase Edmonds.
The Cardinals are very likely to run quite a few 4 WR sets in Kliff Kingsbury’s rookie year. After Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk, who would you trust most if you had to pick a pass catcher to make a big play?
It’d be David Johnson.
I think Johnson will be used heavily as a receiver this year, partially born out of necessity and partially born out of creativity. Some of that will be out of the backfield but some of that will be when he’s lined up outside as a receiver.
That would leave Edmonds in the backfield more often than we expect and given Kingsbury’s heavy usage of RB’s in his college system, I’d expect Edmonds to get 10-15 touches per game.
Johnson will still be heavily featured but given the question marks at receiver, the Cardinals would be wise to get both of their RB’s on the field at the same time in as many different ways as possible.
Edmonds flashes of explosiveness last year and his noted improvement in catching the ball so far this offseason could make him a major x-factor for the Cardinals offense this year and given the Cardinals major question marks at WR, they’re gonna need him.