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W2W4: Arizona Cardinals

The Arizona Cardinals (0-0) and Houston Texans (0-0) open the preseason Saturday night at University of Phoenix Stadium.

1. Rookie Cat: Of all the battles for starting jobs in Cardinals’ training camp, kicker may be the most competitive despite rookie Chandler Catanzaro struggling in recent days. Cardinals coach Bruce Arians has repeatedly said how kickers perform in games will carry more weight than how they do in practice. Catanzaro will handle all kickoffs and field goal attempts Saturday against the Texans, while incumbent starter Jay Feely will kick next weekend in Minnesota. If Catanzaro can hone his booming kicks on field goal attempts and drop his kickoffs in or out of the end zone, he can take a sizeable lead over Feely heading into next week. But Catanzaro has been inconsistent in practice after starting strong. Another aspect of his performance to watch is kickoffs. He didn't kick them at Clemson but gained experience making important field goals.

2. Coop's job to lose: For the entire offseason, one of the most highly-anticipated events for the start of training camp was left guard Jonathan Cooper's return. But Cooper, whose starting job was all but expected this season, has struggled to knock off the rust that’s set in after being away from football for almost a year. Arians sent a message to Cooper this week by splitting his reps with Earl Watford. Cooper will be watched closely when the starters take the field. If he can show up when the lights turn on, his job will be safe. If he struggles, don’t be surprised when Watford runs with the first team next week in Minnesota. This will be Cooper’' first opportunity since breaking his leg last August to face a live pass rush and a defensive lineman not named Calais Campbell. Cooper has said he heard Arians' message loud and clear. Only time will tell how he responds.

3. Minter's debut: He may only get a dozen or so snaps, but Saturday will be Kevin Minter's arrival in the NFL. He played just one defensive snap last year, according to ESPN Stats & Information, and is part of a duo that’s filling Arizona’s deepest void. With neither of last season's starting inside linebackers on the roster in 2014, Minter will have major shoes to fill, along with Larry Foote. But Foote's a veteran and although he played just one game last season due to injury, what he can do is well established. A lot is riding on Minter this season. He knows there are plenty of doubters who don’t think he has the speed or size to be replace Dansby or Washington, and those are valid questions. Which Minter shows up Saturday will be telling, but he needs to be judged by his entire body of work, not just 15 or so plays.