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Arizona Cardinals Seek Help,

Suns Ready For Draft

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With The Loss Of Daryl Washington And The Age Of The Guys Currently On The Depth Chart At Middle Linebacker, This Off-Season Decision Might Be The Biggest Decision Of The Regular Season, Too

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By Wayne Schutsky
Special for Modern Times Magazine

Jun 26, 2014 — As the Cardinals’ offseason hits the midpoint, most of the discussion about the team surrounds the middle linebacker position. Midway through last season, no one could envision that the position would be a question mark, but here we are.

Karlos Dansby’s departure via free agency was always a possibility, but no one thought that Daryl Washington would violate the NFL’s substance abuse policy for a second time, resulting in a yearlong suspension.

Now the team will look to second-year player Kevin Minter and a slew of veteran journeymen to fill the role left by the two Pro Bowl level talents. Coaches still seem high on Minter’s potential, but he is an unproven commodity. Coaches have been less enthusiastic about the prospects for the veterans tasked with filling the other middle linebacker spot.

However, there is still hope. Minter was a second round pick, so the expectations that he is now ready to start are not farfetched. He can succeed if (still a big if) he lives up to his potential.

For veterans Larry Foote, Lorenzo Alexander, and Ernie Sims, there is hope that defensive coordinator Todd Bowles’ defensive scheme will provide a career boost like it did for Dansby. Obviously, none of those players are on Dansby’s level athletically, but they may just be serviceable.

Arizona Rattlers
While the Cardinals may have question marks, the Rattlers appear to have none. With an 83-47 win over the L.A. Kiss on Saturday, the team improved to 14-0 and looks well on its way to another Arena Bowl championship.

Quarterback Nick Davila continued to roll and finished the game with eight touchdown passes, to give him 104 on the season. It was his third-consecutive eight-touchdown game. If he continues on that pace, he could finish the season with 140 touchdowns, good for second most in arena football history behind Blaze quarterback Tommy Grady’s 142 in 2012.

Phoenix Suns
The Suns are hosting a live draft party open to fans at Copper Blues in downtown Phoenix. If you would have told me about this party before last season, I probably would have been even more excited as the team seemed in line for a top-five pick.

Alas, the downside of a having a young, energetic, upstart squad is another late lottery pick. While this seems like a drag, I am much more confident in the Suns GM Ryan McDonough than I have been in previous decision makers, so the pick could still turn into something special.

The franchise has added another wrinkle to the event by giving fans the chance to predict draft picks and win tickets. The contest winner will win lower-level 2014-15 Suns Sixth Man membership for two.

Participants must predict the order of this year’s Lottery picks (i.e. top 14 picks), including the Suns’ selection at No. 14, from a list of 30 total prospects. The contest runs through 3 p.m. today, prior to the start of the NBA Draft at 4:30 p.m.

Any amateur Chad Ford’s can enter on the Suns’ website.

Wayne Schutsky is a senior contributor to Modern Times Magazine.
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