Arizona Cardinals rookie head coach Kliff Kingsbury is nervous to face off against the Detroit Lions in their season opener and he should be. Here’s why …
The Detroit Lions kick off the 2019 season in Arizona against the Cardinals on Sunday, September 8th. The Lions will be bolstering one of the best defenses in 2019 and there is a very real chance that their offense can be a formidable unit as well.
After finishing the 2018 season as the league’s 10th ranked overall defense, the Lions have upgraded their defensive line and secondary for 2019. The linebacker room appears to be improved as well. The defense is now what head coach Matt Patricia envisioned. They are bigger, faster, and stronger. The defense appears to be fired up and extremely hungry.
2018 was not kind to the Lions offense. Quarterback Matthew Stafford played with an injured back, wide receiver Golden Tate was lost to a trade before the deadline, and wide receiver Marvin Jones was placed on injured reserve along with running back Kerryon Johnson. Former offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter’s play call predictability didn’t help either.
2019 ushers in a new offense for the Lions under a trio of proven coaches. Detroit hired offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, running backs coach Kyle Kaskey, and quarterbacks coach Sean Ryan. This offense should be much improved with a healthy roster and fresh coaching staff that has brought in more talent at various positions. You had better believe that they want to bounce back in a big way after their dismal outing in 2018.
With all the vast improvements that Detroit has made throughout the offseason, I can understand why teams would be uneasy to play the Lions. Even so, these are not the reasons that the Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury is nervous to face the Detroit Lions. Believe it or not, Kingsbury is actually nervous because of a practice squad player that the Lions have recently signed.
On Wednesday, September 4th the Detroit Lions signed nearly unheard of quarterback Chad Kanoff to their practice squad. Kanoff was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Cardinals in 2018 out of Princeton.
The young quarterback spent time on Arizona’s practice squad and active roster last season. He also spent the 2019 training camp in Arizona before he was cut, but why would this make Kliff Kingsbury uncomfortable?
When asked if Kanoff could inform the Detroit Lions of anything that the Cardinals could be trying to do in a conference call with Lions media, here is what Kingsbury had to say according to MSN.com …
"“Pretty much everything. Whatever he says is exactly what we’re going to run in the game. That’s tough for us.”"
The first-year head coach did not sound too enthused that the Detroit Lions had signed his former quarterback. Kingsbury is certain that this game against Detroit just got increasingly tougher because of this signing alone. Now, Kingsbury isn’t wrong here, but I’m here to tell you, Kanoff is not the Cardinal’s biggest problem.
The signing of Kanoff is definitely a plus for the Lions in this regard. There is no doubt about that, but I can assure you that Kingsbury and the Cardinals have plenty more to be scared of regarding this Detroit squad. This defense is going to be ferocious and the offense has plenty of potential to do significant damage in 2019.
Kingsbury and the Cardinals faithful should be much more than just nervous when these Detroit Lions come to town on September 8th. If they aren’t already, Arizona should be downright frightened by this new and much-improved Lions’ franchise!