Cards Mailbag: Preseason starts tonight

Welcome to #CardsMailbag, a weekly installment that allows you to ask me questions about the Arizona Cardinals throughout the week via Twitter @joshweinfuss. I'll answer them every week during training camp and the preseason. Make sure to use the hashtag #CardsMailbag.

@joshweinfuss: Depending on how he plays once his soft cast comes off during the next couple preseason games, I think it's possible that rookie TE Troy Niklas could be the starter Week 1. He brings more to the table than Rob Housler does when it comes to the offense Cardinals coach Bruce Arians likes to run. Niklas likes to - and is more than capable to - block off the line, but he also had good hands and receiving skills after a catch.

@joshweinfuss: This is one of the best questions of training camp. Arizona didn't resign Matt Shaughnessy to make him a backup, so he's likely to keep one of the jobs. I think the only way John Abraham keeps his starting job when - or if - he reports to camp is if he's in better shape than last year. If there's any decline in his conditioning or ability, Arians won't hesitate to play Sam Acho after the way he's played this camp. Alex Okafor can make a case as well. He's been getting snaps with the first team. There will be two distinctive starters on the depth chart, but each OLB brings a different element to the pass rush and in all likelihood, they'll be rotating, depending on the offensive scheme they'll face each week.

@joshweinfuss: No, I don't think rookie wide receiver John Brown will overtake Ted Ginn for the third receiver spot unless Ginn gets hurt. Ginn's experience and quickness trumps Brown's - but don't get that confused with Brown's speed. Brown might be a hair faster than Ginn, but Ginn's size and ability will help him keep the job for now.

@joshweinfuss: It's hard to say before the preseason games begin. Arians has said all camp that the kicking job will be won or lost during games. Rookie kicker Chandler Catanzaro could've put himself in a better position heading into Saturday's preseason opener against Houston had he not missed a slew of kicks in the last week. The way I look at challengers to an incumbent kicker is that it's their job to lose. There's a reason they were brought in. If Catanzaro can make all his field goals and put his kickoffs either in or out of the end zone, I don't see how he doesn't make the team over Jay Feely. If Arians was content with Feely, he would have let the veteran keep his job comfortably.

@joshweinfuss: I think it's possible, but he'd have to knock off a lot of rust after missing 15 games last season. If Foote has a career season, it would be more of a reflection on the scheme than anything else.

@joshweinfuss: Arians seems to be very impressed with Gaston, but he'll have a hard time making the roster with Darnell Dockett and Ed Stinson ahead of him. Gaston could end up on the practice squad, however.

@joshweinfuss: I don't see Justin Bethel taking on any of Jerraud Powers' minutes this season because they'll be on the field together most times. Powers will be the Cardinals' nickelback, a position Bethel isn't yet advanced enough to master as well as Powers. When Arizona goes to its dime package, Bethel will see the field as the sixth defensive back. His improved skill set is at cornerback, but he's still behind Powers on the depth chart.