Let the road trips begin.
It’s been nice mostly hanging around home since the regular season started, but now comes the flip side – three roadies in four weeks, five in seven, and seven in 10. But it’s a little goofy of me jumping that far ahead. Like coach Ken Whisenhunt said, his team operates better when they are just looking at the one game in front of them, and that’s the Seahawks in Seattle this week. So I’ll take that advice.
– We’ll start with Cardinals fullback Dan Kreider, who has spent a decade in the NFL, compared to his crazy rookie counterpart on the Seahawks, Owen Schmitt. Schmitt made all the highlights this past week for bashing his head with his own helmet before the game and cutting himself pretty good. Seahawks coach Jim Mora told Schmitt no more, admitting to us on a conference call “I didn’t know he really had that in his arsenal still” after seeing Schmitt do it in college.
Kreider saw it too. And he could only chuckle.
“We’re already meatheads enough playing this position,” Kreider said. “Then when you are cracking yourself in the head with your own helmet, I don’t know. That’s certifiable. Flat-out crazy. I don’t even know what to say, except that I hope it doesn’t link all of us (fullbacks) together.”
I’m guessing those who are concerned about concussions in NFL players – guys like Sean Morey – aren’t thrilled with the practice either. Kreider said he’s never really had to go crazy to get ready for a game, much less whack himself with his helmet.
“If anything, I’m one of those guys who needed to calm my nerves down, because I’d be throwing up in the bathroom or something,” Kreider said. “I can get amped up … doing that, I’m not sure what that proves.”
– Anquan Boldin had 13 catches in Seattle last season. If he gets 11 this week, he’ll surpass Larry Centers as the franchise’s all-time leader in catches with 536. I don’t expect the Seahawks to let Q and Fitz (who went 10 for 151 in Seattle last season) erupt again, but that can always leave room for someone else (Breaston? Beanie?)
– At some point, the Cards’ offense wants to be satisfied with a performance. I think they were definitely there against Jacksonville, but right now, that seems so long ago. “I’m not happy yet,” quarterback Kurt Warner said. “Until we start performing like we did in the first half last week (against the Texans) every time out, I’m not going to be happy.”
– Weather.com is calling for a 40 percent chance of rain Sunday, with a high of 59 degrees. Not terrible.
– Curious to see if tight end Ben Patrick can impact the game in any way. Whisenhunt said his status for Sunday will be a game-time decision, but my gut tells me they use him. To be isolated from a team that’s constantly working for five weeks and then come back to play after a few days of practice is fascinating to watch. But that’s what Patrick has to do.
– Key things to watch for: When the Cards are on offense, can they handle rookie Aaron Curry? Is he everything they said he was? And can the Cards protect Warner well enough? Because if Warner has time, I have little doubt he can have another great game. Defensively, the Cards must exploit the Seahawks’ inexperienced offensive line. They have to, both to possibly force turnovers and to get Matt Hasselbeck off his game.
– Key thing that’s tough to watch: Warner split wide (pictured below), like he did when Beanie Wells took the direct snap last week on one play. Just don’t get hurt, Kurt. Then again, I don’t think Dunta Robinson could have been less interested in what Warner did.
OK, that’s all folks. See you on the other side in Seattle, where it’s definitely supposed to be raining all Saturday.
Tags: Anquan Boldin, Beanie Wells, Ben Patrick, Dan Kreider, Ken Whisenhunt, Kurt Warner, Larry Fitzgerald, Matt Hasselbeck, Owen Schmitt, Seahawks, Sean Morey, Steve Breaston
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