In the preseason, losses mean absolutely nothing in the grand scheme of things, but there are personal losses during the game as players on both squads are getting their last interview to make the team.
Arizona Cardinals drop their final preseason game to the Titans 26-23 losing on a last-minute touchdown drive by the Titans.
Arizona has a few positions that have a log jam of guys that are scrapping it out on the field for final spots on the 53-man roster.
Across the NFL on Tuesday this week, 864 players will lose their dream of playing in the NFL as a career, at least until next year, unless they are picked up and placed on practice squads throughout the league.
The competition between wide receivers Andy Isabella and Greg Dortch has turned into must-see tv, both players for the third straight game have posted almost equal performance numbers.
Both receivers finished the preseason with 14 total catches.
Andy 14/226 with a long of 74 yards in last night’s game, Dortch 14/168/1td but also had his long in the punt return game of 55 yards in the first game.
This is a very difficult decision for the Cardinals on cut-down day, wondering, do they keep more than six Wide receivers on the final roster? Or do they cut one of the two talented Receivers that have put plenty on tape to get snatched up in waivers?
It will be hard to see Dortch and Isabella clear waivers after the display of performance on tape, across a league where slot receivers are like the bow of tying groups tougher and make them special.
The journey for Andy Isabella has been one of great disappointment during his first three seasons in the NFL, and that disappointment was not all his fault.
The Cardinals are notorious for getting players and not placing them in the proper position to be effectively used on the field, they have not always used guys to their strengths to perform at their best.
Isabella has been lost on the bench because a scheme that the team was supposed to run (air raid) didn’t work out as planned coming from a College coach in Cliff Kingsbury.
The suspension of DeAndre Hopkins has created this great opportunity for Isabella and Dortch to both get reps that they probably otherwise would not have gotten, and now one or both could be on the team’s 53 and play significant roles at least the first six weeks.
Dortch on special teams would seem to be the overwhelming leveraged in this competition, as he has covered kicks and done a good job with field position.
Maybe Andy was trailing in this competition by a small margin, the team actually put him on a few punt returns in the last preseason game, to see if he could produce and make up the small gap that separated the two.
Or maybe the special team’s element will be the separator of the two players, but one thing is for certain, either one of these guys hit the waiver wire and they will not be Cardinals any longer.
So which guy is most valuable?
Andy Isabella could perhaps be traded for a piece the team really needs like a starting cornerback, Isabella was a second-round draft pick with high expectations, and his skill set was as such in the draft.
His issues on the field the first three seasons were his route running, not knowing the playbook, and his catching the ball primarily with his body rather than his hands and his confidence was very low.
All those categories of issues have now been erased and we are starting to see the receiver that was drafted so high a few years ago.
Greg Dortch has been a staple in trying out for this team for the last three seasons, and each year has gotten better and better.
His skill set has caught up to his experience in the league, being on practice squads has allowed him to groom his talents and add more confidence and of course the opportunity opening up at the receiver position, Dortch is on a mission to get on a roster this season.
This can be both a good and bad situation to have as an organization, but one would hope the team would make the right decision, as they have failed to do so much in the past.
Having so many weapons on the offensive side of the ball can make this Cardinals team very dangerous to match up against, (that is of course) if Kingsbury can tie the bow together and make this thing another NFL special group.