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Blogs

Fleshing out Beanie Ball

Posted by Darren Urban on November 2, 2010 – 10:55 am

Beanie Wells was talking about running lower.

“Sometimes at the end of my runs, I finish them a little high,” the running back said. “For the run’s sake and to protect myself’s sake. The lower you run, the more leverage you have and the more yards you get.”

Beanie Ball is a work in progress. Wells got his first start against the Buccaneers Sunday, and had a 14-yard carry in an electrifying first play of the game (pictured below). Greatness was expected. Then Wells could only gain 36 yards on the 15 attempts he had the rest of the game, limited not only because the Cards started playing catch-up but also because Wells hurt his back on his final attempt trying to leap cornerback Ronde Barber (and getting undercut in the process).

Last week, Wells said he didn’t think team’s stacking eight men in the box was a “big issue,” although he acknowledged this week “it is kind of tough.” After averaging 5.4 yards a carry in his first game of the season (Week 3 against the Raiders), Wells has averaged just 2.9 yards a carry in the four games since.

“I think every running back misses some runs,” coach Ken Whisenhunt said. “I think as Beanie gets more carries — he hasn’t had a tremendous amount of carries — he’ll be all right.”

Beanie said he saw one run on video in which he felt he missed the hole and off-tackle play he said came “later in the game.” Wells only had two second-half carries, both off left tackle and each for one yard. The first kicked off the touchdown drive eventually completed on a 30-yard run by LaRod Stephens-Howling. The other came just before Larry Fitzgerald’s go-ahead touchdown catch.

“I want to get better and help the team in more ways than I did (Sunday),” Beanie said. “I think I need to run better, a little harder in some situations.”

– The Cardinals-Bucs game, by the way, will be replayed on the NFL Network beginning at 5 p.m. tonight.


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Posted in Blog | 95 Comments »


95 Responses to “Fleshing out Beanie Ball”

  1. By Ross on Nov 2, 2010 | Reply

    Darren,
    Nice to see him admit he is running soft.

    Wonder if he is worried about fumbling too much?

  2. By Ross on Nov 2, 2010 | Reply

    From Whiz’s comments, is it safe to conclude that this is Beanie’s backfield?

  3. By Gary on Nov 2, 2010 | Reply

    Who the heck wants to watch the replay of that nightmare?

    With the turmoil surrounding Moss and McNabb (with current or former teams), we should bring those guys in here to help bolster up this offense. Now that would be interesting…

    x x xxxxx x x
    x
    x

    Maybe, we can see some passing sets like that above…

    Or, to run:

    xxxxxxx
    x
    x x
    x

    What the team is doing now is not working… Beanie had 14 carries, only 50 yards. That’s not going to do the job. Top backs in the league get somewhere around 75-100 yards on 14 carries with at least one score. Look at what Blount did to us, for example… C’mon man! (pretty sure the team will be on that commentary this Sunday).

  4. By Gary on Nov 2, 2010 | Reply

    Well, my x’s and o’s attempt did not work…the webmaster needs to throw in some formatting for this forum…anyway, it should have been a 5-wide set with a bunch to the right-side. The run play is a wishbone of sorts but with our 3 backs in the backfield – I like to call it the ‘diamond’ since the back and QB form a diamond in the backfield. I forget the technical terminology for it, though…

  5. By Brent on Nov 2, 2010 | Reply

    Darren,

    Is the back injury anything that will keep him out Sunday?

  6. By PWalker on Nov 2, 2010 | Reply

    Replay: self-induced torture.

    Whiz screwed the pooch when he let Matt go. The move made no sense, and makes less sense now. If Matt had started and failed, he would have received all of the blame. Whiz would have had time to experiment, but he does not get that luxury now.

    DA shows no signs of being a leader, or having any desire to lead. Max is a leader with no experience and possibly not enough physical ability. Skelton will never be a full time starter in the NFL, and is only kept because they drafted him and they don’t want to look stupider by releasing him.

    They can’t fix the problem midseason with what they have on the roster, so it becomes damage control, CYA.

    The bigger problem is the defense, worst in the NFC. The Cardinals have given up more points than any other team and have played one less game than half of them. Even realizing that the offense has given up at least 28 points the defense is still bad. Whiz was supposed to bring the Stealers mentality, strong defense and running game, we have gotten neither. I like Whiz but he has to get rid of the, I can do it all mentality. Top teams have top defensive coordinators and offensive coordinators. If Whiz wants to be the offensive coordinator maybe he shouldn’t be head coach. Todd Haley is doing it the right way, top guys on both sides; the result is a good head coach.

    Nothing against the two DC’s we have had under Whiz, but they are what the stats say they are.

    Better teach the O line to tackle!

  7. By Paul on Nov 2, 2010 | Reply

    Oh great, I’ll set my watch to make sure I see the TB game again so I can get sick to my stomach again. Just kidding Darren. :-)

  8. By PWalker on Nov 2, 2010 | Reply

    Beanie and Tim need to run the ball relentlessly, they cannot turn it over any more than the quarterbacks do so stop penalizing them and let them play. If nothing else it will cut down on the QB turn overs.

  9. By Darren Urban on Nov 2, 2010 | Reply

    Ross –

    RE: Comment

    Not sure that’s what I would take from it.

  10. By Darren Urban on Nov 2, 2010 | Reply

    Brent –

    RE: Beanie’s back

    No.

  11. By Kelly on Nov 2, 2010 | Reply

    This is my first time posting a comment, because this is the first time in the whisenhunt era that I’ve been a bit disappointed in some of his decisions. First, I’m sorry but you can’t bench a running back for nearly an entire game who’s averaging over 5 yards a carry. Second, I hope to God to never see Larod Stephens-howling do a 5 yard crossing route again. And third, neither of the quarterbacks we have are Kurt Warner, nor do I think either of them will ever be. But at least make a decision for one or the other for the sake of the team. I am not an Anderson fan at all. A five year veteran who made the exact same mistake that an undrafted rookie made earlier in the game. Please. Plus he nearly got three of our receivers knocked out of the game: Larod, Breaston, and Doucet were all shaken up on bad throws from Anderson. And he almost did it to Larry Fitzgerald AGAIN (pre-season) but the ball bounced off of his hands. Max Hall didn’t play much better, and I don’t think he has the arm strenth to play in this league but at least choose one and let them play.

  12. By jocards on Nov 2, 2010 | Reply

    I believe Wells should get the bulk of the carries but it isn’t going to make much of a difference unless we get solid QB play. Teams already stack the box against us and that will continue. Our QB situation is a real mess. Max Hall was undrafted for a reason, sorry but it’s true….he might have all the intangibles in the world but it doesn’t mean a thing unless he can produce on Sunday and I certainly have seen no indication that he can. For the life of me I can’t figure out why so many folks posting here are high on him at all…his best game was against New Orleans and he really wasn’t very good in that one, he was terrible in his other two starts…what makes him such an attractive option to some? Anderson is a much better QB at this point however his pick late in the game thrown into coverage is the perfect example of why he is Derek Anderson. It was a horrible and inexcusable decision & likely cost us the game. I’m afraid that’s the best you’ll get out of DA….he’ll look pretty good for a time and then BAM, disaster. Until and unless we get the QB situation worked out I’d expect more losses than wins. I mean seriously, is there anybody that has watched this team play this season that thinks their a division winner? If so they are watching something different than what I’m watching.

  13. By KyCardsfan on Nov 2, 2010 | Reply

    It was Lienart who threw the pass that caused the Fitz preseason injury if I’m not mistaken, but I do agree with u on the other receivers…

  14. By MattAZ on Nov 2, 2010 | Reply

    @Kelly – you’re right about Hall not being much better than Anderson Sunday. He was despondently worse! If Hall is going to throw the same amount of picks anyway, DA is the clear starter. At least he’ll move it down the field at times and will make some nice throws. I’m not loving on him but the offense moves better with him on the field. Hall just looks panicked every time he drops back. I really wanted to him be as advertised, but let’s be honest.

  15. By Dre on Nov 2, 2010 | Reply

    Darren–

    I know this is pretty long but let me know what you think….thumbs up or thumbs down. I can take it.

    Arizona is Earth, Wind and Fire but when will they relize it.

    After seven games into the season and with three games with undrafted rookie Max Hall, I believe it is time to end the Max Hall experiment. We blew our best chance to win this season when we cut Matt Leinart. As of right now DA is the best quarterback we have if we want to remain competitive for the division title.

    With that said, we have to change our approach on how we want to win games. There is no doubt that Larry Fitzgerald is our best player and he leads a really good WR core but we also have a really good RB core. I have said this time and time again and it seems like now a lot of the fans are finally seeing it for themselves.

    In 2007 the NY Giants had 3 RBs called Earth, Wind & Fire and I think we have a version of that with our RBs. Prior to that year the Giant QB Eli Manning was getting a lot of criticism and some was calling him a bust. The Giants over came their woes at the QB position by leaning heavy on the run game. The Cardinals are almost built exactly as the 2007 Super bowl Champions, NY Giants. Yeah DA isn’t a Eli Manning but we are just trying to win the NFC west division.

    With DA on the field, the defenses have to play us honestly for the most part. They want be able to stack the box as much in fear of DA making the down field throw. He gives us the best opportunity to be able to be more effective in the run game, which is the key to helping him…”help me help you”

    We have a legitimate 3-headed monster at the RB position which in itself can cause problems for defenses. I believe Beanie Wells should be the lead off man and the closer. Hightower and Howling are both great change of pace backs that brings something different to the table. Coach Whisenhunt has to find a way to use these three guys in the games. YOU WANT TO WIN OR YOU WANT TO GO HOME.

    We all know we can’t be one dimensional and expect to win games. And we all know DA is the weakest link in the offense. We do have really good WR that can help him to a certain degree and they say “a good running game is a QB’s beat friend.” It is the coaches’ job to put his player in the best possible position to win. So, I think if we use DAs strengths to our advantage, which is his arm in the middle of the field, we can get the most positive production out of him. His downsides is his inaccuracy and decision making which both leads to interceptions and I think when the field is condensed it only magnifies the problem.

    I hope to see the game plan go to a heavy run game before and after the 30 yard line and a balanced attack in the middle of the field. We have to turn DA into a game manager and commit to something different to what we have now. The reason we can’t go with Hall is because defenses want him to throw the ball that’s why they are stacking the box just egging Whisenhunt to pass…he is an undrafted rookie, you know. I don’t know how Hall’s his future will go but I know it’s not his time right now.

  16. By PWalker on Nov 2, 2010 | Reply

    KyCardsfan

    ML did throw the ball that Fritz got hurt on in the preseason! But how many picks did he throw :0 The thing that is killing us is turnovers!

  17. By Ben on Nov 2, 2010 | Reply

    Thanks for the update Darren.

    I’ll make sure I watch the first play from Scrimmage next game while Whiz is committed to the run. Because we know play 2-15 will be some stupid dump off play or hard pass in the middle of traffic.

  18. By darrel on Nov 2, 2010 | Reply

    Hey darren ……Im watchin espn and the redskins are working jamarcus russell what does this mean for mcnabb. Maybe he gets waived? Or do the cardinals bring him in for work out too let me know what kind of insight info you have on this story

  19. By Ottis Anderson Fan on Nov 2, 2010 | Reply

    I’d like to see LSH get some more playing time. He certainly is a change of pace guy when you compare him to Wells and Hightower, and doesn’t seem prone to fumbulitis to the degree Hightower is.

  20. By Darren Urban on Nov 2, 2010 | Reply

    Dre –

    RE: Earth, Wind, Fire

    1) I think you put in a lot of time thinking about this team. Not that there is anything wrong with that. I’d think it’d exhaust you after a while.

    2) Your plan is logical, assuming this team can maintain leads and/or be in close games.

    3) You have to find a way to use Fitz and Breaston. Beanie may turn into a very good player. But right now, I believe Fitz and Breaston are the top two offensive playmakers.

    4) You have no idea if Leinart was the best chance for this team. Did it ever occur to anybody that maybe Leinart showed less than these other guys, hence him being cut? I know that in the heat of the season — and the way Anderson and Hall have played — it’s tough to see anything that way. But there seems to be this certainty of Leinart (when I listened to so many fans rail against him last year in his limited time).

  21. By Darren Urban on Nov 2, 2010 | Reply

    Darrel –

    RE: Redskins

    No insight. I will be shocked if McNabb goes anywhere in-season.

  22. By Chuck on Nov 2, 2010 | Reply

    To PWalker:

    Your post is one of the most accurate descriptions that I’ve seen of the sorry state of the Cards.

    It IS damage control and CYA!!!

  23. By PWalker on Nov 2, 2010 | Reply

    Dre

    I don’t think anybody would disagree with you including Whiz; he just doesn’t have the huevos to stick with it. He is too afraid to lose; personally I think if they went down running everybody would understand.

  24. By Fred on Nov 2, 2010 | Reply

    I have seen enough , of Hall to last me A lifetime

  25. By Darren Urban on Nov 2, 2010 | Reply

    PWalker –

    RE: “went down running”

    Wait — let me get this straight: Now the opinion is, as long as Whiz follows majority rules — in this case, run the ball more — then even if they lose, it’d be OK? “Everybody would understand.”

    Uh, no.

  26. By Casey on Nov 2, 2010 | Reply

    RE: Beanie

    Beanie and the entire running game would benefit tremendously from having Fitz/Moss/Breaston on the field at the same time vs. Fitz/Breaston/Doucet. No disrespect to Doucet, but his presence as a slot WR isn’t going to prevent opposing defenses from stacking the box against Beanie.

    Moss and Fitz on the outside (with Breaston in the slot) most definitely discourages any defense from stacking the box against Beanie/HT/Hyphen/Wright.

    This is the same reason that Derek Anderson needs to start. We all witnessed the increased pass completions of 30+ yards with DA at QB on Sunday. Without a legitimate threat of completing passes down the field, defenses can get away with stacking the box against Beanie. You loosen that up by getting the ball down the field.

    If you don’t want to add Moss to make that easier, fine, but at least start a QB who is capable of posing a threat to complete downfield passes. I just don’t see it with Hall. I know he had the one completion to Fitz of 30+ yards against New Orleans, but other than that, it seems that he doesn’t have the arm strength to drive the ball down the field accurately or he isn’t adept enough in picking up the blitz to give his WRs time to finish their routes downfield.

    Football is a game of interdependent functions. It’s tough to run the ball without a downfield threat. It’s tough to get the ball down the field without a running threat (no run game = no play action). The more guys you have on your team who create one-on-one mismatches, the more the field opens up for other players, including Beanie.

  27. By redredred on Nov 2, 2010 | Reply

    too bad the cards org wont give a good explanation for why Matt was let go, i feel they need to lay it to rest, but understand that any comment of the such can hurt him elsewhere on other teams. Props to the staff for keeping it professional, but maybe the truth can help the fans better understand this years Offensive Nightmare (not to say with Matt it would of been any better, but atleast it would of felt more diffinitive with leinart making the blunders and not Newbies…) Never did care for Matt tho, he’s alot like Max (good college QB’s, but not a carreer player in the NFL.)
    Wishfull thinking….Maybe Peyton leaves the Colts next year after contract expires and sign with the Cards for 3-4 great years.

  28. By cardcat4L on Nov 2, 2010 | Reply

    Thats definetly a game they GAVE away.

  29. By jocards on Nov 2, 2010 | Reply

    I agree that Fitz and Breaston are the top two playmakers on offense. The problem is getting them the ball. In my mind there is no doubt that the offense moves better with Anderson as the QB rather than Hall. Hall might someday be an adequate QB but I just don’t understand where all the optimism comes from with him. He is undersized, doesn’t have a big arm and in fact doesn’t seem to do anything particularly well. All 32 teams passed on the guy in the draft…I can see why. I’m sure he looked good in camp and perhaps in some preseason games…I’ve heard that he’s a good leader and that he has “it” but to me he hassn’t produced at all on Sunday and that is really all that matters. I think we need to roll with Anderson and believe me I’m not thrilled with that proposition either. I just feel like right now DA gives us a better chance to win…I realize Whiz is a good coach and knows what he is doing but he is clearly seeing something in Max Hall that is not showing up on Sunday when I watch.

  30. By Sean on Nov 2, 2010 | Reply

    Letting Leinert go was a huge mistake.

    I mean, look how he is lighting it up elsewhere in the league! We shoulda kept him…

    Is he 2nd string yet at Houston?

    A lot of the posters here sound like a bald guy going into a barber shop asking for a Justin Bieber haircut. Sometimes you have to make the best of what you have to work with.

    If Whizenhunt’s Magic 8-Ball told him that DA was going to be a total train wreck and that Matt was on his way out of the NFL (yeah, I said it), he may have pursued a better option. But he made the best decision (I suspect with A LOT of help from coaches, etc) with the information at hand.

    Let’s stop Monday Morning Quarterbacking the QB situation.

  31. By Chuck on Nov 2, 2010 | Reply

    Pound the ROCK ! Give Beanie and High-T 40-45 carries.The two should be able to grind out 150-200 yards combined a game,and take pressure off the youg QB Max Hall or DA.Last Sun with a chance to win the game on the opponets 20,why did we go with a spread offence and pass the ball(it got intercepted)with 3:40 on the clock ? How about a big-I-Formation and pound the football up the middle with Beannie in that situation?

  32. By PWalker on Nov 2, 2010 | Reply

    LOL Darren you’re testy.

    Yes run first pass second, the team’s strength is at running back not quarterback. It doesn’t matter how good Fritz and Breaston are if you can’t throw the ball consistently. I think that the fans believe that is what the situation is, and are not going to crucify the coaches for going with the team’s strength even if it results in a loss. If the game is close and they have a chance to win in the end it is something to build on. Giving up 40 points a game because of turnovers makes it difficult to believe they can win.

    Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. –Albert Einstein

  33. By Darren Urban on Nov 2, 2010 | Reply

    PWalker –

    RE: Coaches

    Trust me, if the Cards lose, no matter how it happens (and sometimes if they win), there will be plenty of fans that crucify the coaches.

  34. By Sean on Nov 2, 2010 | Reply

    Insanity is posting the same stuff over and over.

  35. By PWalker on Nov 2, 2010 | Reply

    LOL

    OK Point made.

    Don’t take it so seriously fans need a place to vent their frustration and you provide it. Therefore, this year you are providing a great service to your community.

    Come Sunday everybody will be watching the game and rooting for the Cardinals. Come Monday we are going to take it out on you. LOL 

  36. By KyCardsfan on Nov 2, 2010 | Reply

    Things that got my hopes up last game:
    Andre Roberts improvements on the punt returns, LSH getting some carries, which he’s almost a definite playmaker in my eyes, DA’s accuracy and chemistry looked pretty good until the last INT, the first INT can’t really be blamed on DA, it was just really good D that jarred the ball loose. I’m thinking with all our receivers back DA might have a shot at redemption, I think that’s one thing he needed most. If i was whiz, I’d start DA and see what happens now that everyones healthy. I’m almost certain we wouldve had that game had he started and played the whole game and I think we have our best shot at winning with him. I’m not a DA fan at all but from what I’ve seen the last few games he’s the better QB in our situation, and we can still win the West.
    Btw, Darren, do see any chance we could get McNabb in the offseason??? LMAO, I’m just kidding, Im sure u will get that question a hundred more times before the end of this season. Keep up the good work Darren and thanks for putting up with all of our bs Go Cards!!!

  37. By Darren Urban on Nov 2, 2010 | Reply

    PWalker –

    RE: Community service

    Touché.

  38. By PWalker on Nov 2, 2010 | Reply

    pas de touché

    Over and out.

  39. By Gary on Nov 2, 2010 | Reply

    Darren -

    I know there has been a ton of speculation, rumor, gossip, etc., surrounding the Matt Leinart release from our fans. However, you know this team and spend a majority of your time around them. You have to know something we don’t. Can you shed any light on this, even in a round-about way to CYA?? Some of us are straight boggled by this whole thing. It would be nice to know something…we can assume performance (or lack thereof), but that’s just an educated guess at this point. Thanks!

    Gary

  40. By jocards on Nov 2, 2010 | Reply

    Wait, so now some are saying a Magic 8-ball was needed to properly assess the QB situation before the season? Look, Anderson was not an unknown commodity coming into this season. He wasn’t any good in the past save for one year. Leinart may be a bust but it didn’t take Nostradamus to see we were taking a huge risk going into the season with Anderson as the starter…no Magic 8-ball needed. I like Coach Whisenhunt but if that was the “best decision” he could make based on the information he had at hand then I’d hate to see the worst decision! Again, I’m not saying Leinart was the answer but it’s clear to me that Hall and Anderson are not either.

  41. By Mack on Nov 2, 2010 | Reply

    Darren

    If McNabb doesn’t get along with the coaching staff in Washington, and he gets waived and he ends up being passed up, do the cards pick him up. o nvm niners would pick him up. shoot…

  42. By phxenfield on Nov 2, 2010 | Reply

    Darren,
    Any chance we would pick up Merriman, since he was cut by the chargers?
    Thanks,
    Daniel

  43. By Darren Urban on Nov 2, 2010 | Reply

    Gary –

    RE: Leinart

    If you are looking for a smoking gun, there isn’t one, at least not that I know of. Mostly, I think there was a hope that Matt, once Kurt left, would morph into the quarterback they hoped he could be. They were willing to go into training camp to see if that developed. Ultimately, it never did, and the point was driven home during the game/practices in Nashville. I think things kind of unraveled from there, including the realization that Leinart was probably unwilling to go into the season as a backup, at least for the Cards.

    Add in the desire to keep both Hall and Skelton without potentially losing them via waivers, and you have what transpired.

  44. By Darren Urban on Nov 2, 2010 | Reply

    phxenfield –

    RE: Merriman

    Would doubt it unless he cleared waivers. Then they might think about it.

  45. By kekojones on Nov 2, 2010 | Reply

    Darren,

    Have The Cardinals express any interest on Moss? I believe they should have claim him, for the sake of protecting themself from having him going to an opponent in our division, both Rams and Seahawks were considering it. Also, rumors the niners too…

  46. By Tony on Nov 2, 2010 | Reply

    Hey Ken it’s time for you to admit your stupidity and bring in some new QB’s for tryouts!!! Redskins are doing it, why can’t we??????? DO THE RIGHT THING HERE!!

  47. By Kahrdz on Nov 2, 2010 | Reply

    Next person to mention Leinart should go root for the Texans because he’s not in the Cardinals anymore, I’m so tired of people mentioning his name in every blog. HE’S GONE ALREADY, SHUT UP!

  48. By ross on Nov 2, 2010 | Reply

    People, people.

    Darren didn’t cut Leinart.

    Darren, unless I am mistaken, didn’t know any more about it beforehand than you and I.

    Stop asking him about it.

    That way we can talk about why hightower isn’t getting more carries!

    Thanks.

    (Kidding…kind of)

  49. By Zapp on Nov 2, 2010 | Reply

    Darren,

    I am just throwing this out here feel free to say yes to this but…..I need flag football players on my team. Feel free to ask all the WR’s on the team, really pitch the idea to Fitzgerald or Breaston. Maybe we can waive the playing fee of $40 for them. Or if Max, Derek or Skelton want to play they are certainly welcome. And no this is not a joke I need flag football players.

    Love
    Zapp

  50. By Darren Urban on Nov 2, 2010 | Reply

    Keko –

    RE: Moss

    No, the Cards aren’t expected to claim Moss.

  51. By ross on Nov 2, 2010 | Reply

    Zapp,
    I bet Tim Hightower would be interested, but he would probably fumble.

  52. By MattAz on Nov 2, 2010 | Reply

    Re: Moss – as it is we’re talking about the possibly of frustrating Fitz out of AZ if we can’t get him the ball. Moss would certainly be less patient.

  53. By brad oneill on Nov 2, 2010 | Reply

    zapp check with steve smith of the panthers he played last year.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=5322387

  54. By Peter in Canada on Nov 2, 2010 | Reply

    I watched Houston last night and in the first half Schaub was dreadful. He was 2-9 for about 30yd. and 1 pick for a t.d. I thought we might get to see ML. But apparently on the depth chart Orlovsky is backup and ML is third string. So if Houston think Orlovsky is better than ML shouldn’t the fans who want Matt back so badly instead be demanding that we get Orlovsky instead of a third stringer.

  55. By Sean on Nov 2, 2010 | Reply

    @Jocards

    So Anderson and Hall are not the answer, you say. Leinert is also not the answer…we agree there so far.

    Are you suggesting time-travel then to solve the quarterback woes? Because they did not cut Leinert and decide to go with DA simply to punish the fans, I am pretty sure.

    Maybe we should have signed Peyton Manning or Tom Brady instead. Your thoughts?

    The bottom line (again!) is that they made what they thought was the best decision with the info at hand. Bulger was not an option at that time and I am glad that Whitehurst fell through the cracks. He would be as good as Hall and DA!

    So let’s stop with the criticism of the Redbirds organization for having to make hard, real-time decisions when we are sitting here with the luxury of hindsight. That is weak…

  56. By Peter in Canada on Nov 2, 2010 | Reply

    Also I remember last February, fans were complaining that Kurt Warner was not a nice guy for being non-committal about ML and not giving him a ringing endorsement as the new QB. Maybe the fans and perhaps the coaches too, should have asked Kurt to expand upon his thoughts.

  57. By Casey on Nov 2, 2010 | Reply

    RE: Dead Last in Statistical Rankings

    Darren,

    Say it ain’t so. I know stats are for losers, but in this case, I just hope that a #32 ranking in an index that compiles several major performance metrics for the season to date doesn’t portend a losing season for the redbirds and a regression back to a time none of us want to remember pre-Whisenhunt, pre-new stadium, pre-legitimacy.

    http://espn.go.com/blog/nfcwest/post/_/id/26779/just-a-bit-outsiders-cardinals-really-32nd

    http://www.footballoutsiders.com/dvoa-ratings/2010/week-8-dvoa-ratings

    It just pains me to think how far this organization came in the 3 years preceding this one, and yet, apparently because the organization lacked the foresight and competence to devise and implement a credible succession plan from Kurt Warner to a legitimate NFL QB (be it through any one of several recent drafts for free agency periods or a trade) and couldn’t come up with a way to keep Boldin and Dansby happy (2 “core” members of the franchise), we are on the door step of returning to the dark ages.

    Didn’t the success of the last two years mean anything to people leading this organization? I just don’t understand how an organization so readily jeopardizes all of the goodwill and progress established over the past few years with an off-season like the one it had; a failed off-season that is now playing itself out on the field in terms of wins and losses and in nearly every major statistical category through 7 games.

    Here’s hoping that somehow the final 9 games salvage what has been built the last 3 years.

  58. By Jeremy on Nov 2, 2010 | Reply

    Even with the nightmare of a game on Sunday, the horror of the Cardinal’s offensive struggles may finally be ending. Do you guys even realize that we had 405 total yards of offense and after failing to score a traditional touchdown for 11 quarters before the Seahawks game, we scored 4 offensive touchdowns on Sunday. To top it off, DA (of all people) had a 67% completion percentage. Despite losing, Sunday’s game was by far our best game of the season offensively. That’s what we should be focusing on right now, not the fact that we let ML go. ML is long gone and not coming back so stop whining about it. There were many fans who wanted ML gone and I wasn’t one of them at first, but ML had a disappointing preseason. He may not have thrown any INTs but he couldn’t move the ball and there is no guarantee he would not have any INTs after the season started. As for MH, he has started three games, he has started three games, he has started three games. MH wasn’t put in because Coach Whiz decided he was ready he was put in because DA was struggling. Now that DA’s play has improved he should be starter again and MH should be the backup who is not ready to start once again. JS would be going through many of the same struggles MH has because JS is not ready to start yet either. Many of you are predicting Sunday’s game will cause a further downswing to the season, but I feel it could easily be a major upswing if the Cards focus on the positives and fix the turnovers. We are one win behind the leaders in the division and our offense is finally starting to come together. Go Cards!

  59. By jwit on Nov 2, 2010 | Reply

    Fact: Our team played better this last week… If it weren’t for the LAST turnover we would have won an epic comeback… I remember the days when the Cardinals would simply curl and die on the field if they were losing at the half… This team rallied together and overcame 4 turnovers and even regained the lead for a while… Tremendous effort Cards… much appreciated… As long as the ‘fight’ in the team stays then I’m hopeful for the season… no team has pulled away yet so the Team needs for the Fans to be supportive NOT whiners..

  60. By I drivefrom vegas to glendale on Nov 2, 2010 | Reply

    im very sadden and sick at not the team but the fans!!!!!!!!!! i drive from las vegas to watch cardinals games and i have more loyalty to the team then fans that live there!! i had no voice on monday yelling the whole time on sunday in the nest there was like acouple minutes left in the game we tottally could have still won it but nope fans are terrible in az they all starting leaving!!!!! when for the first time in a long time i seen more cards fans then the other teams fans and then it got quite and the team lost there energy they werent in it because the fans let all the air out and even before that on that interception that derek threw on the last drive everyone is cheering like come on the offense is on the field shut up!!when u see peyton manning in indy its so quite when the offense is on the field u can hear a whisper! the fans that leave a game like that should throw there az gear in the trash how do think the cardinals are ever going to get respect if there own fans dont respect them! its very sad thing to see the people in arizona dont deserve to have a team with the way they treat them going on fan sites and bashing they own team i still think the cards are a great team! things happen nothings perfect people need to chill out and just support the team to the fullest every player from practice squad on up what happen to we do this together! regardless ima keep my season tickets and im still be right here win or lose!! if you where one of the fans that left the game on sunday with still a chance to win your lame and should never come back to U.o.Pand dont deserve to route for a team see yall at the nest in 2 weeks!!! BIRDGANG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  61. By Gary on Nov 2, 2010 | Reply

    Darren -

    Thanks for expanding on the Matt Lienart thing. I do recall a similar question asked of you after the release in pre-season. And, if I am not mistaken, you provided a very similar answer. It is good to know the organization cut their losses with Leinart because he didn’t shape up to be that caliber-type starting QB the team needs versus a bias thing some people thought Whiz had.

    Since the ‘story’ in essence hasn’t change from your perspective, I am happy with that. Although, I am not one of those who are asking for a recall of Leinart, I felt is was just time to ask about the story behind the scenes again to see if anything changed or if you had learned anything new.

    Lastly, I think we all need to keep our confidence in Whiz. Obviously, he had a very good reason – along with the organization – to cut Leinart…and he’s not coming back! (which is good). Obviously, Whiz knows his team better than the rest of us, above and beyond, head-and-shoulders, above the rest…

    We also need to remember that, even though I am not an advocate of Derek, he (Derek) is only in his 6th season, the previous five spent in a HORRIBLE organization – at the time… I feel the same about Max (about advocating), now that I have witnessed his ability, or lack thereof, even though I was one to have mentioned his name in a starting capacity. Again, Max is a rookie who – for obvious reasons – has a TON to learn, period. I think these two guys can grow in our system, if coached properly – and that starts with decision-making!!!

    I leave you with this, the team will find ways to win – or at least lose by a very close margin. Let’s hope for wins and expect losses. This way, expectations are met with losses and are exceeded with wins! At this stage of the team’s development, this is probably the only logical perspective fans should have until improvement happens – realistically, that may not happen this year…but there’s always hoping.

  62. By Eazy E on Nov 2, 2010 | Reply

    Leinart this Leinart that Leinart sucks and has disappeared in houston Hightower should start and McNabb would have been a great addition

  63. By ross on Nov 2, 2010 | Reply

    Darren,
    Out of curiosity, what prompted beanie and whiz to talk about beanie’s struggles this year and particularly how he is running too high?

  64. By MikeG on Nov 2, 2010 | Reply

    Hey Darren–

    What do you think jump started the play of Alan Branch this year? As Whiz has said “the light bulb has come on for Alan”-I’m sure he has worked hard and we are seeing some positive results from him. I just hope he develops into a mature dependable player and not one who is playing strong just because he is in his contract year?? Your Thoughts??

  65. By Chuck on Nov 2, 2010 | Reply

    We need to give Max Hall a break,he is still learning.Wait untill 2011,2012.After all the Manning bros threw alot of interceptions in there rookie year,Troy Ackman,Brett farve etc.It takes some time,be patient!

  66. By Big Red on Nov 2, 2010 | Reply

    Off the subject Darren where is Chike Okefor. Thanks Jeremy for something positive.

  67. By robert mason on Nov 2, 2010 | Reply

    i miss matt he should have had a chance. C. wiz what the heck could have been so bad. but i said that the cleveland fans cheered when DA got hurt and had to leave game! told u so. but i think we should go with anderson

  68. By Havasu Tom on Nov 2, 2010 | Reply

    Good Evening Darren,
    I think its time to give all of our QB’s a chance to start. Bring on skelton, what will it hurt.
    As my bride of 27 years with my Docket jersey in black and her DRC in red watched the game, we both cringed with every time D.A. throw down the middle. We felt OT was in hand, until we went for the win. I don’t want to second guess the Whiz and 10 seconds to make a descision between plays doesn’t alllow much process time, but why?
    Now, on to next week:
    Forget forcing the ball into Fitz, He’ll be open after 15 and 80 tear them up.
    Start anyone accept D.A.
    Our defence has found there MOJO!
    Get the QB(whoever is going to start) out of the pocket

    Darren, thanks for another great week of entertainment, Your the best.

  69. By darrel on Nov 2, 2010 | Reply

    Wow. Darren I hear jawhalrus russell Weighed in @ 286 lol we don’t anymore DTs

  70. By TucsonTim on Nov 2, 2010 | Reply

    Kelly, do you think the Stealers were calling the same plays with Batch in the game that they would call for big Ben. Do you really think Charlie Batch is a better QB than DA.

    So why are we trying to run the same offense with DA that we had with KW.

    A good offensive coordinator (which we don’t have) would tailor the offense to the strengths of the players that we have, not the players we wished we had. (that goes for the defense too, but that’s another post)

    Anderson didn’t call the play that almost cost us LSH for the season. That wasn’t DA’s interception, it was Whiz’s. Think about it.

    When DA had trouble getting the ball to Fitz, with whom he had very litlle playing time, it was all bad DA and then he got benched. So when the play caller dials up a play to win the game by throwing to Fitz, why is anyone surprised that he tried to force the ball in there.

    Then Whiz throws him under the bus by telling the world it was a bad decision. I don’t care if Jesus Christ was open on that play, DA was going to throw the ball to Fitz. Instead of engineering, Whiz should have studied a little psychology.

  71. By Mike T on Nov 2, 2010 | Reply

    Hey Darren,
    Thanks for the story on Breaston. That guy really is key in this offense. Do you expect that the CBA will be figured out before the season is over? And if not do you expect the Cards to gamble on next year with an extension so we dont lose him?
    Thank you sir

  72. By Nathan on Nov 2, 2010 | Reply

    YAY, today there were a few sane voices in the mix. Hah, I loved Sean’s time traveling post.

    Maybe, just maybe, someday the fans on this board will realize that they might not know as much about the team and the players as the coaching staff does just because they watch one game a week. Nah, too much to dream for.

    Not everything is perfect; I too would like an OC, but, uh, golly, I can’t name one who is currently available. I trust the organization and Whiz to keep us moving forward. We all knew losing Kurt would be tough – franchise QB’s are a rare commodity.

    Darren, great job as always keeping us updated, and your patience is much greater than mine!

  73. By TBru on Nov 2, 2010 | Reply

    “I have seen enough , of Hall to last me A lifetime”

    I have seen enough of Anderson to last two lifetimes

  74. By Kevin on Nov 2, 2010 | Reply

    Casey, honestly, the constant negativity is lame. Kurt Warner is a HOF QB. You don’t just go out and get one of those at the mall. Also, he had a signed contract extension and most of the pundits thought he would play out the contract (I still remember seeing all the guys on Fox’s show after the Cards lost in the playoffs and every one of them said Kurt would be back). Not faulting Warner at all for retiring — he did what he thought was best for his family — but the franchise thought they had a successor (Leinart) and there was really no reason for them to be going out and getting another QB already in one of the drafts prior to this one. We don’t know what transpired in training camp, but I know one thing — there were a lot of rumblings about Leinart not having the confidence/backing of the OTHER PLAYERS. If that’s true he had to go. Give it a rest already, and stop knocking the franchise for allegedly not addressing the situation simply because the results with DA weren’t as good as hoped. The team still has 3 wins which is 2 more than Dallas who has (until he got hurt) a Pro Bowl QB.

  75. By Dre on Nov 2, 2010 | Reply

    ross–

    I’m starting to think you are Tim Hightower.

  76. By Evan on Nov 2, 2010 | Reply

    I have to laugh at the forgetful Cardinals fans saying it was a mistake to let Leinert go. He was Warner’s clip board holder for several reasons: NO passion, NO accuracy, NO arm, NO leadership. Matt had YEARS to change/improve/make it. He didn’t. Let him go too.

    However, listening to Whiz talk on AM620 about Anderson, he conveyed that Derek was the only viable free agent option at the time and that McNabb (an Arizona homeowner) wasn’t known to be available until a week or two later. In my humble opinion, to settle for a mediocre has-been qb with one Pro Bowl year that makes critical mistakes and gets his receivers hurt WAS Whiz’s mistake.

    What we should have done was: A) Go after a real quarterback on another team that was holding a clipboard for a top 10 qb, or to a lesser extent, B) Make a deal with the Steelers for someone Whiz knows, Charlie Batch, after Big Ben returned, or C) Get Jeff Garcia. He might be old and playing for Omaha right now, but he’s known for an unquestionable work ethic and big, brass bal… well, let’s say nerves of steel. In short, a guy with experience that inspires teammates and has to be dragged off the field. Bloody. And, pissed off he has to come out because his right leg is missing.

    We can still go with Option B or C.
    Anybody still want to save THIS season?

  77. By Kahrdz on Nov 2, 2010 | Reply

    I like Max Hall but he’s not developing fast enough and time is running out. DA is starting to show some flare and potential now that we have all our weapons back and this was only the first game, it’s bound to get better right? Although the Vikes are crippled, beating them is a must and can prove DA is capable of running this offense with his veteran presence. Max still needs to sit out a few more games before getting his shot, if Whiz really likes him he can’t throw him into the fire anymore.

  78. By MattAZ on Nov 2, 2010 | Reply

    Agree w/ Jeremy. Was switching to NFL Replay in between election results and have to say that was DA’s best game as a Card. That last INT sucked but if the DEF had held after the go ahead t’would be moot. We’re going to have to accept that the best we can hope for OB-wise is a game like DA played Sun. That’s the reality, and we just need the DEF and ST to do 150%.

  79. By Wampag on Nov 3, 2010 | Reply

    hey D any chance we make a play for Merriman

    here is the waiver order up to us

    1. Bills.

    2. Panthers.

    3. Cowboys.

    4. 49ers.

    5. Broncos.

    6. Lions.

    7. Vikings.

    8. Bengals.

    9. Browns.

    10. Chargers.

    11. Cardinals.

  80. By Exter on Nov 3, 2010 | Reply

    Darren, have you heard anything on the inside about any possible trades this season?

  81. By hebrew on Nov 3, 2010 | Reply

    Darren, Do you have any information on Adian murrell? Is he coaching or part of any football related activities? I could not find him in the alumni section. Thanks.

  82. By Kevin on Nov 3, 2010 | Reply

    The funny thing about the QB decision-making is that I don’t really second-guess releasing Leinart. If there was anything to be second-guessed IMO, it was the decision to start Hall in the first place starting game 5. Granted, DA was sucking, but the fact is in terms of W/L the team was right where you would have expected — they won the 2 games they should’ve won (including a road game against a much-improved divisional opponent), and they lost the two (road) games they should have lost, both against teams expected to be playoff contenders. We had dispensed with 2 of the toughest games on our schedule and we were 2-2. As other posters have noted, even Warner had games where he looked bad, and even WITH Warner (and Dansby, and Boldin, etc.) our best regular season was 10-6. It makes me laugh when I see people say this team has the talent to be 12-4 as if it were that easy in the NFL to just wish for wins. I don’t know what would’ve happened against NO if DA played instead of Hall, but we sure as heck didn’t win that game because of Hall. To me, it was a big leap to jump from an established although admittedly struggling QB to an undrafted rookie in the 5th week of the season when the established guy was not hurt (at least not enough to keep him from playing — I know he took some shots) and, most importantly, the team was 2-2, not 0-4, and both losses were expected. Ultimately I have faith in the coaching staff and they did what they thought was right, so I support the decision they made, but like I said, to me the decision to turn the team over to Hall in the first place is the most questionable.

  83. By Darren Urban on Nov 3, 2010 | Reply

    Ross –

    RE: Beanie questions

    The media? I mean, they were questions from reporters.

  84. By Darren Urban on Nov 3, 2010 | Reply

    MikeG –

    RE: Branch

    Not sure. It may just be the contract. Hard to tell.

  85. By Darren Urban on Nov 3, 2010 | Reply

    Big Red –

    RE: Okeafor

    I am guessing Chike is at home with his wife and kid.

  86. By Darren Urban on Nov 3, 2010 | Reply

    Mike T –

    RE: CBA

    I do not expect the CBA to be resolved before the end of the season. It’s so hard to know for sure how this plays out.

  87. By Jones from IL on Nov 3, 2010 | Reply

    DA threw the interception at the end of the TB game, true – but he got the call to make a throw from the sidelines. 1st and 10 on the 20 is CLEARLY a running down. Which is more likely to turn the ball over – a pass, or a run inside the 20? IMO we should have run the ball until it was 4th down, then kicked the field goal to tie the game. Coaches need to clean up some of their mistakes too.

  88. By Darren Urban on Nov 3, 2010 | Reply

    Wampag –

    RE: Merriman

    Not with his existing contract.

  89. By Darren Urban on Nov 3, 2010 | Reply

    Exter –

    RE: Trades

    The trade deadline has passed.

  90. By Darren Urban on Nov 3, 2010 | Reply

    Hebrew –

    RE: Murrell

    I do not.

  91. By Peter in Canada on Nov 3, 2010 | Reply

    Kevin – Well put. Who were all these QB’s we missed out on.

    Whitehurst – Has not dislodged Hassleback who looks truly washed up.
    McNabb – Who commands a big salary and has had serious problems in Washington. After his performance just before and during the game against Dallas last year he looked like a clown and no wonder Reid had had enough.
    Kolb – Was not really available since he was anointed #1.
    Vick – Was probably not really available since he was insurance against Kolb being injured or ineffective.
    Bulger- May have been a better bet than DA but looks a lot better in hindsight.
    The real problem was the failure to see before hand that Leinart was not the one to lead this team before it was too late.

  92. By Dre on Nov 3, 2010 | Reply

    Ok, Matt Leinart was my personal preference at the position and you are right we don’t know what would have happened if he had stayed. I think it is a safe assessment to say we most likely wouldn’t have a rookie QB starting by game 5. But that’s done and over with, the challenge now is finding a way to win the division.

    I think you are absolutely correct about Fitzgerald and Breaston but our biggest liability is QB. After seven games this is what we have and they have to find a way to work with it. As of right now the QBs are giving up on average over 2 turnovers a game. I just think we have to reduce the risk as much as we can. I don’t know what we are averaging as a team in turnovers but it has to over 3 a game and you can win like that.

    I liked the end around with Breaston and the screen pass to Fitz for the TD…yeah, we keep plays that are safe and allow our playmakers a chance to do something. I really liked the draw play to Howling. I don’t think teams would know how to prepare of LSH because there isn’t much tape on the guy in the back field, advantage AZ.

    I am noticing that DA is a lot more effective in space. His so called “Big Arm” can help us if we use him correctly if not it will lead to a very disappointing year for Whisenhunts and the rest of the Big Red Wave. We got to maximize his strengths and minimize is weaknesses.

  93. By jocards on Nov 3, 2010 | Reply

    Sean -

    I understand what you’re saying and I’m not suggesting time travel (?!?) to solve the QB situation. I don’t get paid to solve these problems and I don’t necessarily have the answers. I don’t believe for a second the the organization should be immune from criticism however just because what’s done is done. What’s “weak” to me is all of this blind in Whiz we trust stuff regardless of the situation. Don’t get me wrong, I think Whisenhunt is a good coach and I think he knows what he is doing but I do not believe that grooming a QB to be your starter for a couple of seasons then suddenly deciding to release him when he’s apparently going to take over the job you’ve groomed him to take over is a prudent decision when your only other options are Derek Anderson and an undrafted rookie. Again, Leinart may be a bust but if so why were we grooming him as the starter in the first place? Whiz and staff are football guys that make their living assessing talent and making football decisions. I believe a better job could have been done in both of those areas as it relates to the QB situation. This is a team that has won playoff games the last two seasons. If what you’re seeing this season leads you to believe we can repeat that then you’re seeing something vastly different than I.

  94. By victor aguilar on Nov 3, 2010 | Reply

    As a fan just want to share the sadness its been to see all this quarterback changes. First Leinart was let go and now this back and forth changes. Does coach Wiz know its not pre season anymore.. stick to hall and let him develop. its not just about saving your own job and play musical chairs with your players. Let your ego go coach..

  95. By Sean on Nov 3, 2010 | Reply

    @Jocards,

    No, I dont see us repeating the success that we have enjoyed the past two seasons without a real QB under center.

    I also agree that you should never put blind faith in anyone…even Whiz. But in my mind, he has not done anything wrong yet. He has been put in a position where he had limited choices when Warner did not honor the second year of his contract.

    To be critical of his decisions without seeing all of the cards in his hand (pardon the pun) is something that many people make the mistake of doing, in my humble view.

    Who wants to bet that we have a pretty decent QB next year though?

    Betcha Hall and Skelton could learn a thing or two from McNabb!

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