It’s probably only fitting that the Cardinals are about to kick off their centennial year in the NFL, because when the entire team reports for the start of training camp on Wednesday, there will be at least 100 questions that need to be answered before they get to their 2019 season opener.

That doesn’t happen until Sept. 8, when the Cardinals meet the Detroit Lions at State Farm Stadium.

Between now and then, almost every single aspect of the team will be dissected for extensive examination. Eventually, the unknowns will be revealed.

With that in mind, here’s a look at some of the things we expect to learn during training camp:

What will the offense look like?

Without question, this is still the biggest mystery of all. Based on what we’ve heard from first-year head coach Kliff Kingsbury and some of the players, it will be an uptempo, spread offense that operates a ton out of the shotgun formation. But it also will feature a balanced attack that relies heavily on running back David Johnson and his many talents.

Rookie quarterback Kyler Murray has suggested it will be similar to what he ran last season at Oklahoma, when he won the Heisman Trophy after completing almost 60% of his passes for 4,300 yards and 42 touchdowns and also rushed for 1,000 yards and 12 more scores. Everyone will have their eyes on Murray for the next six weeks to see how much of a dual threat he could become at the next level.

Kingsbury has avoided saying too much about his version of the Air Raid offense and how it will translate in the NFL, but he did say this: “We just try to do things that we think the defense will struggle with. If it’s run every play, we’ll run it every play. If we’ve got to throw it a bunch, we’ll do that. Basically, it’s take what they give you.”

Expect to see a lot of misdirection plays with guards pulling one way and the ball going another. Kingsbury is also expected to show multiple formations, which will add to the drama. He calls it “the illusion of complexity.”

“That’s what this offense does: It puts people in space and makes defenders make decisions,” Murray said. “I think it’ll be very dangerous.”

How much will Murray play in the preseason?

We’ll find out soon enough, but it’s an intriguing question for now. As the starting quarterback, the No. 1 overall pick from this year’s draft certainly is going to require a ton of reps in practice. But what about preseason games, when typically, the starter only plays a couple of series in the first two exhibitions before playing into the third quarter in the third preseason game?

Kingsbury hasn’t divulged his preseason plans for Murray just yet. Because Murray knows the offense incredibly well, there’s a decent chance his preseason appearances will be limited. But if other members of the offense can’t develop enough timing and chemistry with him, Murray may be asked to take more game snaps than Kingsbury would have preferred.

Who will be the starting center?

This could be the best position battle of camp and yet, Kingsbury could decide to name the starter right away before the team even hits the practice field on Thursday. That’s probably not how it plays out, however. During his short time in Arizona, Kingsbury has proven to be a coach with an open mind who is willing to give all of his players a chance to show their worth.

Veteran A.Q. Shipley, who suffered a torn ACL during the first few days of training camp a year ago, firmly believes he should be the starter. Second-year man Mason Cole, however, was the most reliable offensive lineman the team had in 2018. He started all 16 games and was named to the All-Rookie team by multiple publications and websites. Cole, who has made 120 consecutive starts dating back to his freshman year in high school, can also play guard and might see time there during camp.

Who will return punts and kickoffs?

There’s no shortage of candidates for these two roles and it won’t be a surprise if as many as seven to eight players get a shot right off the bat. Someone might have to blow the doors off the rest of the competition to seal the deal, but there’s usually one who does it every other year.

The conundrum here is that most of those in the mix are bubble players who might not even make the 53-man roster. These players include running backs T.J. Logan and D.J. Foster, cornerback Brandon Williams, who will open camp on the PUP list because of a back injury, and wide receivers Damiere Byrd and Pharoh Cooper, who as a rookie with the Rams went to the 2018 Pro Bowl as a return specialist. Receiver Christian Kirk showed some real promise as a punt returner last season as a rookie, but given his importance to the offense, it’s unclear if Kingsbury will want him to do it again in 2019.

Another option is rookie receiver Andy Isabella, who has incredible speed and elusiveness. As for cornerback Patrick Peterson, it would appear his days as a part-time punt returner and over.

Who fills in for Peterson?

Perennial Pro bowl cornerback Patrick Peterson will be available for every practice and preseason game during the training-camp portion of this upcoming season, but then he must serve a six-game suspension for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy. So who takes over from Week 1 through Week 6?

Veteran free-agent addition Robert Alford was already going to occupy the starting assignment opposite Peterson so someone else will have to emerge as Peterson’s temporary replacement and the top two players to watch are likely veteran Tramaine Brock Sr., who is entering his 10th NFL season, and rookie Byron Murphy, the former Scottsdale Saguaro and Washington prospect who was the 33rd overall pick in this year’s draft.

Others could enter the competition, including a potential late free-agent addition from General Manager Steve Keim, but expect both aforementioned players to see time with Murphy likely logging plenty of minutes as the team’s regular nickel corner once Peterson returns against the Giants on Oct. 20.

What’s the situation at left tackle?

D.J. Humphries has started just 27 games through his first four NFL seasons, meaning he’s missed 32 others, mostly through injuries after not playing a snap as a rookie. That’s not ideal for a former first-round pick who is entering the final year of his contract. Given his history with knee issues, it’s fair to wonder how the Cardinals plans to insure themselves should the big fella not last the year.

They recently were forced to cut one of their top backups once news broke that Desmond Harrison had an active warrant out for his arrest in North Carolina for charges of assault against a woman there. Upon also releasing tackle Will Holden, the team is down to precious few options at left tackle in case Humphries can’t hold up, namely second-year pro Korey Cunningham, rookie Josh Miles or quite possibly, a veteran who has been released elsewhere that Keim can acquire.

Other questions that need answers

How many snaps will outside linebacker Terrell Suggs, who is entering his 17th NFL season and turns 37 in October, be able to take during the regular season opposite of fellow sack master Chandler Jones? … Is kicker Zane Gonzalez the Cardinals’ only real option or will competition be brought in to push the third-year pro out of Arizona State? … Is Robert Nkemdiche, the former first-round pick who has been moved from defensive tackle to defensive end and opens camp on the PUP list, in his final days with the Cardinals? … Will Kingsbury and Keim decide to bring in a veteran quarterback to compete with Brett Hundley for the backup quarterback job?

Have an opinion on the Arizona Cardinals? Reach McManaman at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @azbobbymac. Listen to him live every Tuesday afternoon between 2-5:30 on AM 1060/SB Nation Radio on Calling All Sports with Roc and Manuch and every Wednesday afternoon between 1-4 on Fox Sports 910-AM on The Freaks with Kenny and Crash.

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