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Five Good Questions with Revenge of the Birds

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Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

For this week's FGQ I spoke with Jess Root over at SB Nation Arizona Cardinals blog Revenge of the Birds to get the scoop of the Cardinals before the Raiders face off against them on Sunday.

1. How are all the former Raiders working out for you guys? Those being Carson Palmer, Jared Veldheer, Matt Shaughnessy, and Lamarr Woodley. And may as well throw in Jermaine Gresham as well considering he was very nearly a Raider this offseason?

Palmer and Veldheer have obviously been great pickups. Shaughnessy was very, very good for the last two seasons, but might get caught up in the numbers game this year after moving back to the defensive line.

Woodley will be a question. Does he have anything left in the tank and will moving back to 3-4 OLB be what he needed to produce again?

2. The Cardinals defense was as dominant as they come last season. Is that defense still intact?

They were dominant for the first half of the season and fell apart with injuries and lack of offensive production. They return almost everyone, but lost Dan Williams to you all and Antonio Cromartie to the Jets. They also lost DC Todd Bowles. However, the depth added to the defensive line, the return to health of Kevin Minter, who played all last season with a torn pectoral muscle, as well as drafting three players in the front seven, the talent is there.

We have seen a very fast and effective starting defense thus far. If James Bettcher can make good calls, it still should be in the top third of the league.

3. Even with the defense being so great, the Cardinals faltered due to injuries at the quarterback and lack of overall talent on the offense. What have they done to remedy that?

Jonathan Cooper returns. Mike Iupati was added next to Jared Veldheer. Andre Ellington is healthy. Chris Johnson was added and David Johnson was drafted. Jermaine Gresham was signed. Larry Fitzgerald was restructured. They offense is in Year 3. Will the line hold up early with an injury and an expected suspension, and can there be even a minimal running game? That is the question.

4. Give me one under-the-radar player on each side of the ball we should be looking out for in this game.

Watch JJ Nelson on offense. Drafted for his return skills, he is showing up in the passing game. He is only 160 pounds, but he was the fastest man in this year's Combine.

On defense, watch linemen Rodney Gunter and Xavier Williams. Gunter , out of Delaware State, is now a starter after Corey Peters tore his Achilles. Williams went undrafted and the team would be happy with his play if he were their third or fourth round pick.

5. The Cardinals made some news this offseason, hiring Jen Welter as the NFL's first ever female assistant coach. The Raiders are the only organization who can relate in any way, having hired Amy Trask as the first and only ever female executive in NFL history. Though that is quite a bit different as it is the business side. What is the feeling around those who follow the Cardinals. Is she a real asset? Do you expect her to keep her position come the regular season? Or does it look like more of a publicity stunt type thing?

I'm sure it was part publicity, but she has the resume to at least get a look. All anyone had to say was she knows her stuff and the players saw that.

Being an intern only, her time is done, but perhaps she gets another shot at some level. Arians has been very progressive in his giving people coaching chances. He had some young coaches and many minority coaches. This was a move that opens doors, is good symbolically and was an overall positive experience.

To see my answers to his questions, click here.