Coach Ken Whisenhunt was asked Friday about the existence of “dog days” in an NFL season. Whisenhunt didn’t hesitate in saying that’s exactly where the Cards are right now.
“No question about it,” he said. “It’s really a battle of attrition right now.”
That’s true, with guys banged up and sitting out some time and, let’s face it, no breaks coming. The bye came so early the Cards will end up playing 13 straight weeks and – barring a meltdown at the top of the NFC – won’t get any off time in the playoffs unless they get to the Super Bowl (*crosses fingers*).
For the players, though, there is enough emotion on the weekend to carry them through.
“You really have to muster it up during the week because it’s hard and nobody likes to practice,” Whisenhunt said. “But the excitement of game day – that’s what gets you going. There is nothing like Sundays.”
OK, so this is only Friday. But we’re going to muster up some energy to get through this last blog post before we get to the Edward Jones Dome in less than 48 hours.
– Getting MLB Gerald Hayes back before a game against Steven Jackson would seem fortuitous. The Cardinals will have a huge upper hand if they can just control Jackson and not let him control the clock. The Rams shouldn’t have the ability to slow the Cards’ offense and I don’t think the Rams will be able to pass much on the Cards given their offensive line issues. This will be about making sure Jackson doesn’t keep the Rams in the game.
– Speaking of Hayes, he was asked if he’d rather face a back who would rather run over him or was fast enough to run around him on the end (knowing, of course, Jackson can probably do both). Hayes laughed. “Speed kills,” he said. “I’d rather it’d be somebody who could run through me, because he’s not going to get far.”
– CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was off the injury list this week for the first time since fracturing his finger. So does that mean he’s not going to wear the cast in the game anymore? “Yes sir,” he said. And does it mean the finger is totally healed? “No sir.” Having two hands for an interception would be nice for DRC, who is in the running for the Pro Bowl.
– Speaking of which, FS Antrel Rolle feasts on Rams passes the last couple of seasons and he’s playing well in coverage. Can he grab another?
– The Cards were only the fifth team in NFL history to have three players with 75 catches last season (Fitz, Q, Breaston). They are on pace to be the only team to ever do it twice if three guys keep it up: Fitz, Q and Tim Hightower. And if Breaston, who is just off that pace, can do it too, the Cards would be the first team ever with four guys with 75 receptions in a season.
– Oh, and the QB for three of the five thus far? Kurt Warner.
– Here’s one measurement on how the Cardinals are playing right now: “I think last week was the least amount of mental errors we have had as a team,” Boldin said.
– The Cards have averaged 35 points a game in their last four trips to St. Louis: 38, 34, 34, 34.
– Then again, Whisenhunt isn’t assuming past performance equals future results. He’d like to believe they are ready – he told the team Friday this game is a business trip – but again, you never know. “You always worry about that. We are a long way from being that mature team you count on showing up every week and playing the game you are supposed to play. But we have made great strides in that direction.”
– Here’s why I don’t worry about this weekend (I know, I know, famous last words): Kurt Warner. Given his weapons and the level at which the offense suddenly is playing (a killer run game!), he won’t have a bad game against the Rams. He just won’t. Will he go for five TDs like Chicago? Maybe not. Will he throw for 340 like Seattle? Maybe not. But he will play well and the Cardinals will take care of things. Warner insists the Rams game doesn’t mean as much to him anymore, but sorry, I just don’t see it.
Tags: Anquan Boldin, Antrel Rolle, DRC, Gerald Hayes, Ken Whisenhunt, Kurt Warner, Larry Fitzgerald, Rams, Steve Breaston, Steven Jackson, Tim Hightower
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