Ask Odegard: Should Clayton Tune Replace Joshua Dobbs?

Joshua Dobbs laid an egg in his first start with the Cardinals. Below average would have won the game, but he was putrid.

How short should the leash be with rookie Clayton Tune waiting in the wings? That was the main topic in this week’s mailbag.

The questions:

“Could we see Clayton Tune playing against the Giants? I mean it’s football not rocket science.” – Clark Snitko

“Dobbs had two good drives in four quarters. You still think he should be playing again next week?” – AngryCardsFan

“When will Tune get his shot?” – La Ocho BBQ

Kyle Odegard: I agree with everyone that thinks Joshua Dobbs was a special kind of awful against the Commanders. Not only did he have a lousy yards per pass attempt and lose two fumbles, but he could have easily thrown two picks.

That being said, I don’t envision Clayton Tune seeing the field for several weeks – if at all – and here’s why: After the Giants game, the Cardinals face the Cowboys and 49ers back-to-back. They have arguably the two best pass-rush groups in the NFL, and Tune can’t process quickly enough to handle it.

Week 5 against the Bengals is the earliest I’d envision him playing.

“Who’s ceiling is higher Dobbs or Tune?” – Jo

“Will Dobbs get better with more practice or is this his ceiling?” – RB

KO: There is no question Tune has the higher ceiling because we don’t know what he is yet at the NFL level. But he also has a much lower floor.

And, yes, Dobbs can be better as he gets more acclimated to the offense, but there’s a reason he’s been a fringe NFL guy for a few years. Not enough talent.

“Can I play qb for cardinals next game?” – Ricardo Szajubok

KO: Will you jump on a fumble instead of trying to pick it up? Then you’re hired!

“Can you explain why the defense outperformed expectations?” – Eric

KO: The biggest surprise was the defensive front, obviously. Guys like Dennis Gardeck and Victor Dimukeje made some big plays. I’m going to tap the brakes on this group because there is no long track record of success for any of them, but it was certainly an encouraging start.

I do believe the secondary can be above average, though. We all know what Budda Baker and Jalen Thompson can do, and K’Von Wallace looked like a real find in the opener.

Marco Wilson and Kei’Trel Clark held up quite well outside, and now have a pretty good matchup against a suspect Giants pass-catching group. 

Do I think the defense can sustain that season-opening performance? No. But if a few guys can keep this up, it will be a positive development.

“Where on earth was Greg Dortch?” – Jayco

KO: I like Dortch, but I think it’s pretty easy to see that Rondale Moore has an extra gear that The Tortch can’t match.

“Would you keep Kyler and trade either the Cards or Texans top-3 pick for Justin Jefferson?” – CactusJacc

KO: Justin Jefferson is awesome, but I’m not trading a top-3 pick for him. The issue is that you need to turn around and give Jefferson a market-rate contract at something like $30 million per year. He is worth it, but it would be much better to have Marvin Harrison, Jr. on a rookie deal for five seasons.

There is a small chance Harrison busts, but the salary discrepancy is too great to make that deal.

“Thoughts on paris johnson debut , did we make the right pick ? I feel it was a good start” – Charles Mendoza

KO: Definitely a nice debut. Had some issues in the run-game, but his pass-blocking was impressive. The kid is so graceful for his size. Not only did Monti Ossenfort get Houston’s first-round pick during the draft, but I think he also found a franchise left tackle.

“Do the Cardinals have a chance to beat the Giants?” – Fritz Lieneman

KO: I think they do. And this is the last winnable game for awhile. I wouldn’t be surprised at an 0-9 start if they can’t beat New York.

“When do you think Kyler comes back? Week 5. We would be 1-0 if we had him yesterday.” – TC

KO: Week 5 is probably pushing it since there would be so little practice time. A couple weeks after that is realistic, and yes, he will be a huge boost upon return.

“What’s your win prediction for the Cards after game 1?” – Eric

KO: I’ll stick with 4-13.

“After (Sunday), where do you realistically see this team ending? Defense looked amazing. Offense had highlights but playbook seemed limiting due to who was back there. I imagine it opens up week 6 when K1 comes back” – Little Badger

KO: The defense played over its heads against an inexperienced quarterback. I can’t imagine it continues to excel against the likes of Dallas, San Fran and Cincy, but we will see. 

I liked what I saw from Hollywood Brown and Rondale Moore. If they are healthy when Kyler gets back, the offense could be decent, though not great.

I’ll give Arizona a small bump after Week 1 but it’s still a small sample.

“How many years do you think we’d have to trade back with our pick and the Texans pick to get all 32 of the first rounders in one year?” – Kevin Donoho

KO: Kevin, why would you do this to me. You know I’m going to try to figure this out.

So if they end up with the Nos. 1 and 2 overall picks, that would get them six first-rounders over the next three years. They’d have to keep trading down in the first to accumulate more, but if they don’t ever plan on picking until they get all 32, I think it’s doable by 2029.

“How long will it be until an offensive touchdown is scored by the cardinals” – Truman

KO: They are getting one on Sunday, babyyyy!

“Which 3 players are trending up. And 3 players trending down. Or defensive scheme comparisons from last season to this one.” – A. Rodriguez

KO: Trending up: K’Von Wallace, Rondale Moore, Dennis Gardeck.
Down: Joshua Dobbs, D.J. Humphries, James Conner.

I liked the scheme in Week 1, but I also liked the scheme under Vance. Happy with both.

“The O is bad – we all knew it would be. But the Commanders reckon to have a very good D. Did they make a poor performance look abysmal?” – Puff Melville

KO: Maybe a little. The Cardinals may have been more conservative than usual on offense because of the pass-rush, but I think they would have been conservative either way because of Dobbs. The offense may get a touch better but not much.

“What are the chances, obviously *very* early days, that Arizona can sneak into playoff seed #7 after Murrays return? This seems like an extremely solid foundation to build off of, defense can keep us in enough games to be 2-5(ish) until Kyler comes back.” – Jayco

KO: They have 30/1 odds to make the playoffs, if that helps.

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“Which draft pick will the cards lose if the commish decides to punish them for the burner phones.” — Antonio Angelo

KO: A mid-to-late rounder is my guess.

“If Colt McCoy played (Sunday) do Cards win? If so, can we all agree McCoy was cut because he could actually win some games which would jeopardize franchise changing 1st overall pick?” – AZReaper

KO: They probably do, because I don’t think he could have possibly been any worse than Dobbs. But, no, the staff legitimately feels like Dobbs is the better option to win games. They wouldn’t have given up a fifth-rounder if that wasn’t the case.

“Was the poor offensive play calling because drew petzing didn’t have trust in dobbs, or should we be concerned this was his ceiling of play calling? Also, if it was because his lack of trust, when will he open it up?” – RippleFex

“Why is the play calling the same as last year?” – Copter

KO: I actually liked the play-calling. Good mix of standard plays and creative ones. Look, there isn’t going to be much opening it up with Dobbs at the helm. Once Kyler is in there and comfortable, we can fully judge Petzing. (That 3rd-and-15 bomb was a brutal call, though.)

“Did the Cardinals perform relatively well or do the commanders suck ass?” – Hugh

KO: They definitely performed better than expected, but yeah, I have major questions about Sam Howell, just like I did entering this game. We can be optimistic for now and give the Cardinals the benefit of the doubt, but it’s plausible the Commanders do, in fact, suck ass.

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