Cards could face major changes next season

The Arizona Cardinals aren’t even a week removed from losing Super Bowl XLIII and already they need to fill both coordinator positions, convince starting quarterback Kurt Warner to return next season and deal with wide receiver Anquan Boldin’s continued unhappiness. Oh yeah, and linebacker Karlos Dansby is also set to become a free agent.

On Friday, the Chiefs hired Todd Haley – the mastermind behind the Cardinals’ dynamic offense in 2008 – to become their next head coach. Not 24 hours later, Arizona fired coordinator Clancy Pendergast, despite his success coming up with defensive schemes to thwart top NFC runners Michael Turner, DeAngelo Williams, Brian Westbrook and Willie Parker in the playoffs.

The loss of Haley is significant because he developed all the game plans and called the plays for the Cards’ biggest strength: their offense. It’s unsure at this point why the team fired Pendergast, but the franchise must have someone waiting in the wings because you don’t make a dramatic move like that without having a game plan in place.

If Arizona can’t re-sign Warner and Dansby, then has to part with Boldin because they can’t appease his contract demands, then we could be looking at a very different Cardinals team than the one that took the field last Sunday in the Super Bowl. By all accounts, the team shouldn’t have much of a problem convincing Warner to return, but Dansby will be a highly sought-after free agent who is only 27 and in the prime of his career.

Boldin’s situation is a different animal. He requested that the team trade him last preseason due to a lack of contract respect, and then threw a tantrum on the sidelines during the NFC Championship Game because Haley replaced him during a pivotal offensive series. Just recently, Boldin said that his relationship with the Cardinals was irreparable. At the end of the day, the team might not have a choice but to cut ties with the underrated receiver and trade him so his situation doesn’t continue to be a distraction.

In order for the Cards not take a major step back, the two coordinators that the team chooses will need to be sound hires. It would be wise for Arizona to then make re-signing Warner and Dansby their next priority, and then deal with Boldin since he’s already under contract and can’t bolt on his own accord. Nevertheless, this will be an interesting offseason in Arizona.

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Ten things to look forward to now that the Super Bowl is over

Click here for six observations on Super Bowl XLIII.

Lucifer himself might as well have created the Monday after Super Bowl Sunday.

Is that extreme? No.

The Monday after the Super Bowl signals the end of another NFL season and that means there is no football on the horizon unless you’re one of the 10 people that watches the Pro Bowl. There are seven months between now and the start of preseason games, which makes me sick to think about. If I could freeze myself for the next seven months and thaw just in time for the 2009 season, I would.

Is that extreme? No.

But fear not my football friends because even though there isn’t any football this Sunday, it doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty to get excited about while looking ahead. Below are 10 things to look forward to now that the Super Bowl is over. (And so that you don’t have to freeze yourself for the next seven months.)

Before you read on, realize that I’m not going to copout and write about how free agency and the draft are things to look forward to. Of course they are, but let’s get more specific here, people.


Read the rest after the jump...

Blogging the Bloggers: The post-Super Bowl edition

SPORTSBYBROOKS informs us that Bruce Springsteen was not paid for his performance at halftime of the Super Bowl. The Boss did have a few shows go on sale this morning. Hmm.

BEAR GOGGLES ON makes the case that Super Bowl XLIII was the best ever.

FANHOUSE says that Kurt Warner will seek a two-year deal worth $18 million. Wow.

TIRICO SUAVE compiled Larry Fitzgerald’s postseason numbers and compared them to the regular season stats of a few “big name” NFL wideouts. In short, Fitz went nuts this postseason.

– According to SPORTSBYBROOKS, several thousand Cardinals fans in Tuscon were treated to a little porn instead of the climax (pun intended) of the big game. D’oh!

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