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Cardinals ready to 'have fun' with DeAndre Hopkins, A.J. Green in same receiving corps

We're nearly out of on-paper season, when rosters shift from the sheet to the field, and when player personnel executives' decisions are put to the test.

One such test is taking place in Arizona, where a low-risk addition of A.J. Green stands to potentially bolster the Cardinals' receiving corps. How much Green will help remains to be seen, of course, but optimists are turning to a familiar phrase to describe the challenge this corps will present opponents: Pick your poison.

"If you have one good corner on your team and you're playing man-to-man on third-and-5, you're going to travel him with [DeAndre Hopkins] and leave your second-best guy with A.J.?" former Bengals offensive coordinator and Washington head coach Jay Gruden said, via ESPN. "Are you out of your mind? That's the big issue.

"It's going to be really hard. Kyler Murray should have fun."

Watching Kyler Murray is fun, so if Murray is having fun, everyone tuning in should have an absolute blast. Super Bowl!

But what Gruden mentioned about traveling a corner -- essentially having a specific defender follow a specific receiver no matter where he aligns -- is interesting, because it doesn't quite fit with how the Cardinals operate, at least to this point.

The reasoning is quite simple: Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury doesn't move Hopkins around very much. Just take a look at this route chart:

Traveling, then, would be more about mirroring Hopkins than moving a defensive back to the opposite side of the field to stick with the Cardinals' top target. And as Hopkins said in the ESPN story, he'll move to the opposite side of the field if Green prefers his side, even if the Cardinals haven't done that much in the past.

"Whoever's running a route between A.J. Green and DeAndre Hopkins, I'm going to be happy with," Kingsbury said.

Regardless of alignment or matchup, a team fielding Hopkins, Green and Christian Kirk is still a tough group to defend.

"We can be dynamic," Green said. "There's a lot of pressure off me, where I can just go out there and be me, and do my job."

Green said he "always wanted another guy" to pair with during his time in Cincinnati, and he's getting a premier one in Hopkins. How much they achieve remains to be seen when the players take the field, putting theory into practice this fall.

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