Warner makes the Hall of Fame

Posted by Darren Urban on September 25, 2009 – 10:36 am

OK, not like that. His jersey and a ball from his NFL record-setting day in Jacksonville (who knew something so great could come in such a suffocating climate?) has now been set up in a display at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. For those living under a rock (or not reading, tsk, tsk) Warner completed 24 of 26 passes against the Jags for a completion percentage of 92.3 — the highest ever in an NFL regular-season game for a player with at least 20 attempts.

So, what can Warner do for on encore against the Colts in front of a national audience on “Sunday Night Football.”


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Sellout, no blackout for Colts

Posted by Darren Urban on September 24, 2009 – 5:00 pm

The Cardinals announced the game Sunday night against the Colts is officially a sellout, meaning the “Sunday Night Football” telecast won’t be blacked out locally. There are still a few premium tickets floating around to be purchased, but all others are sold out. The game, of course, will be on NBC, which is Ch. 12 in the Valley.

The Cards are counting on a loud crowd for help. As Darnell Dockett said on his Twitter page today: “Big game in the desert sunday night-if ur coming to the game to sit and eat pop corn & refuse to get loud & wild PLEASE GIVE UR TICKETS AWAY”

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Breaston, Okeafor back today

Posted by Darren Urban on September 24, 2009 – 2:09 pm

Nothing hugely noteworthy at practice today, other than the fact WR Steve Breaston (knee) and LB Chike Okeafor (shoulder) each returned to limited work. LB Will Davis (knee) and CB Bryant McFadden (groin) were each added to the already-large injury list, but both practiced fully. Every thing else on the list stayed the same.

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Odds and ends

Posted by Darren Urban on September 24, 2009 – 10:32 am

— I heard former Colts coach Tony Dungy on the radio this morning (Sports 620 KTAR) talking about various things and eventually, he got around to Colts-Cards. One thing that struck me: He said the Cards’ defense had to be disciplined and do what it was supposed to when faced with Peyton Manning’s various pre-snap gyrations. Don’t try and guess along with Manning, Dungy said, because that’s when a defense gets burned. It’s impossible to figure him out.

— Speaking of Manning, he was asked which of the many commericals he has done was his favorite. He said it was the ones he has done with his family or brother Eli, like the ESPN/fighting brothers bit. I have to say that was a good one, but he’s also had the MasterCard gems or the underrated Sprint piece (“with a laser, rocket arm.”) Then again, as long as you are willing to stretch the fact/fiction thing, nothing tops this one. Not even close.

— Big Red Rage tonight at 6 p.m. at Majerle’s Sports Grill at Chandler Fashion Mall. Bertrand Berry’s guest is safety Antrel Rolle. Be there — or Jim Omohundro will find you. (And if you can’t make it, it’s on Sports 620 KTAR live).

— Finally, with the country and the NFL celebrating Hispanic Heritage month, the Cards are doing their part for Sunday’s game. Rolando Cantu, the only Mexican-born player Mexican citizen other than a kicker to appear in an NFL regular-season game when he did so in 2005 for the Cards, will be the alumni captain. And before the game, there will be a “Fiesta Tailgate” on the south turf (closest to Bethany Home Rd) outside the stadium.  There will be cheerleaders, kids’ games, live entertainment and Cardinals’ hispanic alumni.


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Injury report grows …

Posted by Darren Urban on September 23, 2009 – 2:23 pm

… but truthfully, the Cardinals seem fairly healthy right now. It’s tough to see wide receiver Steve Breaston (knee) sitting out like he did or linebacker Chike Okeafor (shoulder), but both should practice at some point this week and I would be surprised if Breaston especially doesn’t play Sunday.

Quarterback Kurt Warner was also added to the list this week with his shoulder issue, but he practiced fully and this seems to be more of a precautionary mention rather than any concern he’d miss a game.  Safety Matt Ware (shoulder) and tackle Levi Brown (ankle) were limited. Defensive end Kenny Iwebema (ankle) also remained out, and LB Ali Highsmith (hamstring) didn’t practice either. WRs Anquan Boldin (hamstring) and Early Doucet (ribs) are still listed, but both practiced full, as did safety Antrel Rolle (quadricep).

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Fitz speaks about brother’s tweets

Posted by Darren Urban on September 23, 2009 – 1:52 pm

Larry Fitzgerald was good speaking just now when he met with the media for the first time since his brother’s now infamous Twitter tweets from this weekend. He made clear Kurt Warner is his best friend on the team, so he certainly doesn’t have the same feelings his brother did — at least on Sunday — when Marcus Fitzgerald called Kurt old.

Marcus, in fact, will have to volunteer at one of Kurt’s camps. “I told Kurt today, Marcus is now going to be one of his volunteers at his camp this year,” Fitzgerald said. “He’s going to be taking out the garbage or whatever Kurt needs.”

Chuckling when he was asked if he gave his bother a “thumping” after this whole thing, Fitzgerald said, “My brother, he does what he wants to do.”

Warner did say he gave grief to Fitz about the issue. There was talk about getting the ball to Fitz (I’ll have more later on the homepage), but Fitz said “I know if I am open, Kurt will find me and if I’m not, he’ll find someone else to move the chains.”

As for the whole Twitter thing, Fitzgerald chuckled again. “I didn’t do anything wrong,” he said. He also said he wasn’t frustrated for getting dragged into something. “I don’t think my brother did in intentionally,” Fitzgerald said. “He’s young. Everybody makes mistakes. Unfortunately I have to take it on the chin. But I still love him.”

UPDATE: Marcus Fitzgerald apologized on his Twitter page:  “what people dont get is that im the biggest larry supporter out there, I just wanted him 2b more involved. but my mistake was putting on a public forum that I wanted him more involved. but I said silly stuff bout kurt which wasnt right. esp cuz he is a great family friend of ours. I cant get the stuff out my head.I messed up & ive been raised better than 2 do that ya kno.”

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A-Dub’s hit, Part II

Posted by Darren Urban on September 23, 2009 – 9:45 am

I’ll admit, it was the first thing that went through my mind right after the play late in the second quarter in Jacksonville, when Jaguars tight end Marcedes Lewis hauled in an 18-yard pass from David Garrard before Cardinals safety Adrian Wilson ran up and hit Lewis — but certainly didn’t explode on him, like he often does. Did Wilson hold up, just a bit, after he was nailed for a 10,000 fine the week before for just such a hit on 49ers tight end Vernon Davis? Wilson obviously wasn’t suspended but maybe it got into his head, even though Wilson had said the flags and fines wouldn’t change him.

So I asked Wilson. And he insisted it wasn’t a case of holding up or previous plays sticking in his mind.

“I didn’t have a good angle,” Wilson said. “I saw the play coming, but always in practice coach is telling me not to jump, so I was hesitant to jump it. He threw it kind of back shoulder so I didn’t really have a good angle to do what I needed to do. It was a good ball.”

Wilson could understand why it may have looked like he let up a bit, but “his body was in the way so I couldn’t get around to the other side, so I tried to get my body on him.”

After going back and looking at the play (after talking to Wilson), I see where Wilson was coming from. He never really was in the right position to land a hard hit and hopefully separate Lewis from the ball. And I probably shouldn’t doubt that Wilson would have still tried to do so if he could have.

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Campbell gets NFC special teams award

Posted by Darren Urban on September 22, 2009 – 3:53 pm

The Cardinals’ Calais Campbell was lamenting how many sacks he missed out on Sunday when he couldn’t quite tackle David Garrard a couple of times, but his key block of a field goal — that turned into Antrel Rolle’s game-changing 83-yard touchdown return — earned him the NFC special teams player of the week award.

Now Campbell just has to work on getting the defensive player of the week honor.

Three other Cards were nominated: QB Kurt Warner for offense, CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie for defense, and Rolle for special teams.

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Warner up for award

Posted by Darren Urban on September 22, 2009 – 9:49 am

After his record-setting performance in Jacksonville, quarterback Kurt Warner has been nominated for the NFL’s FedEx Air player of the week. Warner is up against the Saints’ Drew Brees — who was 25-for-34 for 311 yards, three touchdowns and one interception — and the Texans’ Matt Schaub — who was 25-for-39 for 357 yards and four touchdowns. These awards (there is also the FedEx ground award) are chosen by the fans, and you can vote by going to this link.

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On the Fitz tweets

Posted by Darren Urban on September 22, 2009 – 9:31 am

I had wanted to touch on a couple of other things this morning, but they’ll have to wait given the growing story of Larry Fitzgerald, the Twitter page of his brother Marcus and Fitz getting just four catches Sunday. Marcus Fitzgerald took to Twitter and said some things — not surprising, really coming from a little brother — about Kurt Warner not getting the ball enough to his sibling. The key tweet was one where Marcus said Larry had texted him angry he wasn’t getting the ball more. In the day-plus that has followed, Marcus Fitzgerald apparently backtracked and then deleted the tweets, but by then too many outlets had recounted the situation.

I first saw the remarks early yesterday when a fan noted it on a message board. I thought about mentioning it but I was hoping to talk to Larry first. Instead, it’s blown up nationally (The ironic part of this whole thing is that Larry is on Twitter and he goes out of his way to be as non-controversial as possible).

Look, it’s not a surprise when a good receiver gets irritated when he doesn’t get the ball. You don’t have to be a expert on body language to see when guys like Randy Moss, or Terrell Owens, or Steve Smith, or yes, Fitz and Anquan Boldin, feel they should have had the ball tossed their way. Coach Ken Whisenhunt said Monday Fitzgerald will bring it up sometimes although it’s “never done in a way that is anything other than kind of kidding around.”

Fitz is also careful publicly, which is why — and of course, I am guessing now — he was probably cringing at his brother’s Twitter comments. In the Jacksonville locker room, someone asked Fitz about looking upset at one point in Sunday’s game when he was open down the middle. Fitz smiled and talked about how he was just tired in the humidity and that’s why his body language was what it was. Another reporter, who wasn’t there for the first answer, came up moments later and brought up the same thing, and Fitz again smiled and insisted it just was the weather.

Of course, Fitz had a touchdown in hand by the time the game was over. He could have had a second. The TD pass to running back Jason Wright was designed for Fitz; Wright’s route was supposed to clear the area except the safety covering Wright was so badly beat Warner just threw it to Wright. But if you watch the play, Fitz was wide open right behind Wright (and, personally, looked a bit disappointed Wright stepped in front of him).

But here’s the deal: If indeed little brother is telling the truth (and why would he lie?) and Fitz was upset, it wasn’t Fitz putting it out for public consumption. After the game, Fitzgerald stood in the locker room telling everyone the victory was a huge deal, and if he was ticked at that point, he did a marvelous job to hide it. I’d expect star receivers like Boldin and Fitzgerald to be unhappy if they don’t get the ball. I expect Warner to be unhappy if Whisenhunt suddenly started calling 60 percent run plays. I’d expect Darnell Dockett to be ticked if they suddenly said he had to play nose tackle so someone else could rush the passer.

What you can’t have is guys having their moods take a dive after victories, especially ones in which everything seemed to click. And again, that didn’t look like it happened with Fitzgerald.

Now, whether or not he wants to talk to his little brother about the very public impact of Twitter ….


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