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Blogs

Saturday before the 49ers

Posted by Darren Urban on November 27, 2010 – 4:26 pm

In weeks like this – a Monday game, in which the Saturday before becomes a normal Friday, at least in the regimented world of the NFL – the time after the final practice is oddly quiet. The offices are closed, so while the team is going about normal business, the rest of the building is shut down. Media coverage is even lighter than normal. And this week, it gave coach Ken Whisenhunt a chance to be a little more introspective after the camera (there was only one, from azcardinals.com) was off.

Whiz was asked if, around the holidays right now, he was finding any chance of relaxing away from the game. He had already mentioned to us previously that night time – when there wasn’t any work left to be done and he was alone in his thoughts to mull what was going on – was the hardest.

Not surprisingly, Whiz said no.

“It’s hard,” Whisenhunt said. “I am disappointed. I want to win. It doesn’t sit in your gut right. You think about a million things that could have gone differently or been done differently. It’s not easy. That’s the way it is.”

Whiz hasn’t been through this as a head coach, although he mentioned a similar season he dealt with in Pittsburgh (which I noted earlier this week). There, however, Whiz was an assistant. And that doesn’t compare to living with it as a head coach.

“I feel like, ‘You let everybody down,’ ” Whisenhunt said. “You’re working hard, you’re trying to do it right, you want to have success. But you’re not. And it’s hard.”

– So the Cards will be on the national TV stage trying to break a five-game losing streak. Whisenhunt made it clear this week that while technically the Cards are still in the NFC West race, it was folly to think about such things until the Cards won a game (or two or three) and he’s right. The reality, however, is this: The Cards will know by the time they play what Seattle and St. Louis have done this week. If they have both lost, the winner of this Monday game is better off than any 4-7 team deserves.

– This is the fourth straight game the Cards are playing a team that is coming off a beatdown the previous week. The Vikings, Seahawks and Chiefs all had suffered multiple bad games in a row before beating the Cards. The Cards have to make that fact work in their favor for once.

– San Francisco QB Troy Smith is a wild card here – Beanie Wells has been swearing by his former Ohio State teammate all season, insisting he was the best the Niners had – but maybe the Bucs showed a blueprint of how to deal with Smith last week.

– That said, I have seen two Niners – Frank Gore and Vernon Davis – be particular pains-in-the-rear to the Cards over the years. Those two, I think, are the keys to the game. Gore especially seems to just kill the Cards. They have to contain him.

– If you missed it, this is a great video on former-Cards-receiver-turned-team-mentor Anthony Edwards.

– Steve Breaston talked about scoring touchdowns. The Cards have to find a way. The offense has scored more than one touchdown in just four of 10 games this season.

– No official word on the roof being open, but given that it is a night game and a national telecast, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the sky. We already know we’re going to see the black uniforms.

– It would be cool for Larry Fitzgerald to get the nine receptions he needs to become the franchise’s all-time leader in catches (he is eight behind Anquan Boldin’s 586). Then again, it’s not like he won’t be breaking the mark at home, with three straight home games.

– The last time both the Cards and 49ers used the same starting quarterbacks for both regular-season matchups was 2003, when Jeff Blake faced off against Jeff Garcia twice. Since then, one or both of the teams has used two different starting QBs. The chances both Derek Anderson and Troy Smith still will be starting in the regular-season finale Jan. 2? I’m just sayin’ …

– Jon Gruden took Fitzgerald on to the “Monday Night Football” bus this afternoon to talk a little and go over some video. I squeezed in to the tight hallway to snap a picture of Gruden and Fitz – Fitz was admiring Gruden’s Super Bowl ring. And if you notice on the screen in the background (sorry about the flash), cued up on the video is the moment right before Fitz broke his 64-yard Super Bowl touchdown.

Ahh, good times. But time to live in the now. It’s on to Monday night.


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Posted in Blog | 64 Comments »


64 Responses to “Saturday before the 49ers”

  1. By Justin on Nov 27, 2010 | Reply

    Cards are just 2 games out of the Andrew Luck lottery so im rooting for a loss. This isnt a super bowl winning team and the only way they become one is if they get a QB.

  2. By Casey on Nov 27, 2010 | Reply

    RE: Football Outsiders: Missed Moves Doomed Cardinals – A Lack of Planning by the AZ Front Office has Wasted This Season

    Darren,

    Finally, we starting to see respected national media sources use extensive research and objective data analysis to show exactly why this season has unfolded the way it has and how it all could have been prevented with better personnel moves by the front office.

    I hope you will take something valuable from the following and incorporate it into your future work, including your questioning of Whiz, Graves, and Michael Bidwill in the months ahead (by the way, a “fan” doesn’t trade away Boldin or let Dansby and Rolle become unrestricted free agents, let alone let them sign with other teams).

    As this analysis demonstrates, certainly the Cardinals didn’t make the moves
    any fan, coach, front office personnel or owner would if they were interested in maintaining continuity and competitivness (per the individual FBO player ratings/rankings of those players lost vs. those added) from one year to the next:

    “When teams lose key players, downturns are expected. After the 2009 Arizona Cardinals finished their season with a third straight non-losing season and second straight NFC West championship, players started heading out the door. Quarterback Kurt Warner ended an amazing career with his January retirement. Receiver Anquan Boldin was dealt to the Baltimore Ravens. Karlos Dansby signed the highest contract for a 3-4 inside linebacker in NFL history with the Miami Dolphins. Safety Antrel Rolle got seriously paid by the New York Giants. Those four losses alone cost the Cardinals 61 starter games — games for starters that don’t transfer to the next season. But it was the positional impact that upended an Arizona team that goes into Monday night’s game against the San Francisco 49ers with a 3-7 record and the second-worst overall ranking in Football Outsiders’ DVOA (Defense-adjusted Value Over Average).

    The loss of Warner hurt the most, but not just because of his elite-level play. Despite Warner’s age (38 when he retired) and the amount of time the team had to come up with a serious contingency plan, the Cards failed to do so. They looked hard at current Seahawks backup quarterback Charlie Whitehurst as a replacement, thought about the idea of ex-Rams quarterback Marc Bulger as an option, and eventually settled on a combination of free agent Derek Anderson and undrafted rookie Max Hall. They also finally cut ties with the underperforming Matt Leinart, but that was a mere blip on the radar.

    The results of that lack of planning have been extreme, as the front office failed to replace any of the major departed starters with players of equivalent quality. Warner finished his final season ranked 11th in DYAR, FO’s cumulative efficiency metric, while Anderson and Hall rank 38th and 42nd in 2010. Without a complementary target in Boldin, and with two wildly inconsistent quarterbacks throwing to him, former all-world receiver Larry Fitzgerald has seen his DYAR plummet to 67th in 2010 after finishing no lower than 11th in each of the past five seasons. On defense, the Cards have been applying Band-Aids to the holes left by the departures of Dansby and Rolle, but it’s safe to say that overall, the team proved singularly ill-prepared for the roster attrition.

    Despite these losses, history shows the drop-off didn’t have to be as big as it has been for the Cardinals.

    One year after winning Super Bowl XXXV over the New York Giants, the 2001-02 Baltimore Ravens lost 49 percent of their offensive starter games and 64 percent on defense. Only the 2008 Detroit Lions have churned more of their defensive roster in a single offseason since 1993, but the Ravens didn’t really suffer for it. Despite losing Sam Adams, Tony Siragusa, Jamie Sharper and Rod Woodson, Baltimore suffered a fairly negligible dip in Defensive DVOA — from a ranking of fourth in 2001 to sixth in 2002, and rose back to first in 2003. Baltimore started transitioning to more hybrid defensive fronts over the next few seasons, generally drafted very well, and having Ray Lewis on board didn’t hurt. The team dropped to 7-9 in 2002, but went back up to 10-6 (and another division championship) in 2003.

    Teams with huge single-season turnarounds will generally see enormous roster change by design; witness the 2005-06 New Orleans Saints. In the transition from Jim Haslett to Sean Payton, the Saints lost 53 percent of their starter games on offense, and 41 percent on defense. Of course, when you’re replacing Aaron Brooks with Drew Brees, adding several components to what would eventually become a Super Bowl-caliber offensive line (Jeff Faine, Jammal Brown, Jahri Evans), and getting other difference-makers like Reggie Bush and Marques Colston in the draft, you can get away with it.

    Perhaps the team with the situation most similar to Arizona’s this year was the 2003-04 Oakland Raiders, who lost 49 percent of all offensive starter games and 47 percent of defensive starter games after the 2003 season. Like the Ravens and Cardinals, this Raiders team was a season past their most recent Super Bowl appearance (XXXVII, which they lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers). No one-year wonders, they had won four straight division titles with quarterback Rich Gannon at the helm. However, Gannon played in just 10 games in his final two seasons of 2003 and 2004, and Oakland’s “replacement plans” at the position included Rick Mirer, Marques Tuiasosopo and Kerry Collins.

    At the same time, trying to replace Tim Brown and Jerry Rice with the disinterested version of Randy Moss didn’t go so well, and the losses of veteran Bill Romanowski, Trace Armstrong and Rod Woodson left the defense in a lurch as newcomers like Nnamdi Asomugha started to find their way. The Raiders didn’t have a sequential contingency plan, and they paid for it with consecutive losing seasons from 2003 through ’09. The Cardinals could be in for a similar fate without a more proactive approach, which is just as much a game of catch-up for moves that should have been made before.

    It’s been an extreme season for change in the NFC West. The Seahawks seem interested in setting the NFL single-season record for roster moves (256 and counting!), the 49ers can’t land on a quarterback and seem destined for an imminent rebuild, and the Rams are starting to see the benefits of smart personnel moves made in the wake of their 2008-09 roster purge (55 percent of all starter games lost, second-highest to the aforementioned Ravens since 1993). But right now, it’s the Arizona Cardinals who may be in the biggest hole — or at least the one most quickly created.”

    My point to Whiz and Graves has always been the same, and is consistent with the theme of this article and the last sentence: the Cardinals created the problems they have. It did not need to be this way and that’s why people must be held accountable. This wasn’t some unexplainable random occurrence- Whiz/Graves/M. Bidwill made this bed from March 1st through September 1st and now they are sleeping with it- and it smells and tastes like garbage- just ask Fitz.

    Thanks,
    Casey

  3. By Justin on Nov 27, 2010 | Reply

    “I feel like, ‘You let everybody down,’ ” Whisenhunt said. “You’re working hard, you’re trying to do it right, you want to have success. But you’re not. And it’s hard.” – That is something a coach that just got fired or is about to be fired would say. I would maybe have sympathy if he didnt mishandle personnel so poorly

  4. By ross on Nov 27, 2010 | Reply

    Darren, great article. Goooo Cards.

    Go Tim. Go Beanie. Back up both of your pleas for carries.

  5. By Gary stevenson on Nov 27, 2010 | Reply

    Feel bad for wiz cuz the owners stink and let all of the team leaders go to other teams for more money and then don’t go out and get wiz a NFL leader and winner as a Qb. But… I hope they interview gruden for the head coach job! Trust me gruden will force the owners to go out and get a great Qb and resign team captains like dansby! If wiz looses this MNF game on a national stage. That will be the nail in his coffin!

  6. By TucsonTim on Nov 27, 2010 | Reply

    Wow Caesy -

    You’re good but I believe in the KISS principle. Bidwills define success as profit. When was the last time you saw a fan cheer for an owner who made a bigger profit? I’m guessing the Bidwills are going to make a bigger profit this year than last. Cheer now Cards fans.

  7. By ross on Nov 27, 2010 | Reply

    This board is getting too infested with negative karma. I predict a victory.

    Darren I sincerely apologize that you have to read this drivel, let alone my incessant man crush on hightower.

  8. By Eric on Nov 27, 2010 | Reply

    Getting so sick of the “cheap” Bidwill talk. Would you really overpay Rolle and Dansby? What have they done this season?

  9. By Casey on Nov 27, 2010 | Reply

    Exactly TucsonTim. That’s why I find Michael Bidwill’s assertion that “I’m a fan too” ridiculous and offensive.

    He’s a fan alright, a fan as long as the team is generating a minimally acceptable level of positive net cash flow. Perhaps a “fan within certain predetermined profitablity parameters” is more appropo.

    That was my point in providing a copy of the article above (I forgot the link, but here it is: http://insider.espn.go.com/nfl/insider/columns/story?id=5855014).

    As the article points out, the front office (in this case, I think that’s a combination of Whiz/Graves/Bidwills) mishandled the personnel turnover in 2010.

    Look, we all know that the Bidwills panicked to some degree regarding the local economy in AZ and made a conscious decision to decrease their labor personnel costs some $20MM-$30MM in 2010 vs. 2009 and prior years when the absence of a salary cap in ’10 allowed them to do so.

    They made conscious decisions to let Dansby and Rolle become unrestricted free agents with no legitimiate replacements on the roster or in the pipeline (I’m sorry, as we are all seeing play out this year, Rhodes does not bring the same athletiscism, speed, pure coverage ability that Rolle did- that’s why the Giants were willing to pay for Rolle when Rhodes could be had for a 3rd Round Pick- even Whiz and the Cards will admit that Rolle was their #1 preference over Rhodes, but Rolle just “got away.”).

    They decided to trade away Anquan Boldin instead of giving him the same contract Baltimore did to keep him playing happily alongside Fitz for years to come. We all see the impact on Fitz that Boldin had and this article points that out. Boldin made Warner and Ftiz better and Warner and Fitz also made Boldin better. The point is, the more pieces of that puzzle that you remove (i.e., Warner due to retirement and Boldin due to trade), the worse the compounding effect on the offense. If you know you’re losing Warner to retirement, probably not a good idea to trade away Boldin as well.

    This team failed in advance to come up with a replacement for Warner and failed miserably to secure 3 HUGE pieces to the core talent of the 2008 and 2009 teams: Boldin, Dansby, Rolle. AND, EVEN WORSE, they failed to identify legitimate replacements for the 3 HUGE PIECES they removed/allowed to leave.

    This team’s issues are much bigger than just the QB position and it’s artilces like this that are finally bringing that to light. It’s not just losing Warner to retirement- saying so is letting Whiz and the front office off the hook and just not being accurate. As this article points out, the turnover from last year to this year was among the highest in the NFL for the past 2 decades. It’s Boldin, Dansby, Rolle, Berry, Okeafor, Gandy, Rackers, Morey, etc, etc.

    Every team goes through cycles of major turnover, like this article points out, BUT, most of the time, the teams do a much, much better job of managing the turnover- that’s where the Cards- Whiz, Graves, M. Bidwill- failed miserably.

    Well, I will take M. Bidwill out of that sentence, because I think one of his conscious goals was to reduce payroll $20-$30MM because the CBA allowed him to do so and he and his father panicked regarding the state of the local economy (the fastest way to ensure profitbaility with all of the revenue sharing in the NFL Is simply to cut payroll). But clearly, Whiz and Graves failed in not having developed adequate replacements.

    Rashad Johnson anyone? Wasn’t he the 2nd Round Pick who was supposed to be able to compensate for the loss of Rolle, IF it happened one day. Cody Brown? Wasn’t he one of the young guys who was supposed to replace Okeafor and Berry? Brandon Keith? Mike Gandy’s replacement…. Early Doucet? The next Anquan Boldin (what a joke! Doucet doesn’t deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence)….

    Kurt Warner’s replacement? Uh, ooops, we failed to draft one in ’07, ’08, and ’09. Then after he retires in ’10, we feel the sense of urgency and trade up to draft a complete project out of Fordham in the 5th Round. But don’t worry, we signed undrafted free agent Max Hall out of BYU. You say you want a proven veteran? Derek Anderson baby!! One “flash in the pan” year in Cleveland is good enough for the loveable losers! Besides, adding Bulger even after signing Anderson would have cost another $2-$3MM in ’10 and we’ve already estabished Bidwill’s primary goal in ’10.

    Karlos Dansby’s replacement? Never fear, we’ve identified Paris freakin’ Lennon folks! He is the next Karlos Dansby!!! We’re smarter than the rest of the league, which was willing to pay Dansby the most ever for an Inside LB in a 3-4 (that should tell you something about what Dansby means for a defence). And because we’re so great at drafting LBs in the second round, we should think Darryl Washington will take over Dansby’s spot and the team won’t miss a beat.

    I like Darryl Washington, but he is the type player who should have been drafted a year or two BEFORE Dansby was allowed to test the market.

    I just want to know when this team is going to look at an off-season as a chance to upgrade the Net Aggregate Talent Quotient on this roster instead of approaching it with an array of disjointed, desperate, chaotic, futile attempts to replace proven talent and key pieces to the core with much, much less cheaper free agent/trade talent and rookies (including undrafted rookies).

    When will we actually keep key pieces like Boldin/Dansby/Rolle AND look to add some smaller pieces to upgrade depth and promote competition? That’s also how the draft is supposed to be used- not to find last minute replacements for key, core players who were either traded away or allowed to walk.

    Thanks,
    Casey

  10. By AndyStandsUp on Nov 27, 2010 | Reply

    Casey,
    Your posts are getting tiresome. You’re a one-trick pony who seems to want a job covering the Cards where only you would ask the “tough” questions. Copying and pasting other reporter’s stories to prove your “point” on Urban’s supposed lack of investigative journalism, only appears to make you bitter. Why not have discourse with others on this site? I’m sure you’d find posters who agree with you and some that do not, which makes a healthy discussion.
    Plus, with my third grade education, it takes me a good hour to read your thoughts.

  11. By AndyStandsUp on Nov 27, 2010 | Reply

    If I remember correctly from last MNF airing, Gruden stated that the last 5 or 6 players he’s interviewed on the bus their team has won the game.
    So, we’ve got that going for us.

  12. By James on Nov 27, 2010 | Reply

    Darren

    I haven’t been following your posts lately but have read your last three articles. I have been noticing a lot of comments being posted about how it would be cool to have Jon Gruden as our coach. Have i missed sometning? Is Whiz’s job in jeopardy?

  13. By James on Nov 27, 2010 | Reply

    Darren

    I forgot to say thanks for all your hard work on regards to the articles you post, and thank you for always replying to my questions i really do appreciate it!

    Thanks!
    James

  14. By Steve on Nov 27, 2010 | Reply

    Darren, I dont want the Cards to lose but I agree with Justin up top that this team needs a franchise QB.

  15. By Chuck 1 on Nov 27, 2010 | Reply

    Darren,

    What is the e-mail address to which fans can send comments to the Cards organization i.e. the Bidwills, Graves and Whiz?

  16. By Jesse Robles on Nov 27, 2010 | Reply

    Poor Whiz… Actions speak louder than words. Stop calling those horrible Pass plays in the Red Zone, we all know DA SUCKS!! No sympathy here. I say Cam Newton or Andrew Luck, anything else draft wise at QB is more work than needed.

  17. By Billy Thomas on Nov 28, 2010 | Reply

    Well looking at the draft board right now, it seems Carolina, Buffalo, Arizona, San Francisco, Cincinnati, Denver and Detroit have the best chances at Luck. Take out Carolina, Cincinnati, Denver and Detroit because their QB situations won’t warrant a selection. Now you’re left with Arizona, San Francisco, and Buffalo. With Buffalo, it looks like they may be happy with Ryan Fitzpatrick and may decide to draft a different need (and as a guy from Buffalo, I know there are many…..). That leaves San Francisco and Arizona. To be honest, I truly believe whoever ends up losing this game wins the battle to get Andrew Luck, and there’s no trade in the world that make someone give that up.

    One thing to keep in mind though. If Singletary gets fired from San Fran, and if they lose (as I expect they will on Monday) then it’s quite possible SF may hire Jim Harbaugh and with that they may be in position to draft Andrew Luck. What a terrible combination that would be for our divisional hopes for the next 15 years……

  18. By brad Oneill on Nov 28, 2010 | Reply

    casey- would you really pay Dansby “the most ever paid” after a season where his defense was torched repeatedly including in the playoffs where they gave up the most points ever given up in a playoff game? was it all dansbys fault of course not. but if I am fixing a defense that is broken, I think one thing i am looking for is freeing up some money to bring in some talent.

    Rolle had some big plays but Kerry Rhodes seems to be at worst an equal but he also seems to be an upgrade as far as an every down safety.

    boldin- was becoming a cancer. His situation should have been handled early but it wasn’t and the situation deteriorated to the point where he had to go. If i had to guess i would say this one is on Rod graves. (Rod is one of the best in the business and i am hoping he learned something here)

    it is easy to sit back and look at timelines and determine where the perfect pieces of the puzzle where laying when moves where made but you have to take into account that these decisions have to be made in real time. derek had been picked up as a back up, matt was our quarterback and the organization believed that would be the situation come the first game of the year. there was no scramble for mcnabb or bulger because they weren’t needed at the time. If they were available when the cards grabbed anderson you can bet they would have been considered far more seriously. Once lienart was dropped it was too late to get them and Derek was supposedly looking decent.

  19. By Gary Gammiero on Nov 28, 2010 | Reply

    Casey,you have all the answers Mr.Hindsight.You should be employed in the NFL as a GM. That’s why the players PLAY the game.This isn’t a board game or video game,it’s a game of human beings.The final outcome isn’t known until the final tick and the gun is fired.If the Cardinals were 7-4 would you still be complaining? The Cardinals will rise again!

  20. By John on Nov 28, 2010 | Reply

    “You’re working hard, you’re trying to do it right, you want to have success. But you’re not. And it’s hard.” Well sorry coach, when we see you making the type of 3rd and one calls week after week that make no sense at all, what you said doesn’t jive. How come everyone sees this but him?

    Hey Casey, I think maybe if your going to write novels you should do it on your personal blog or make one. Keep it pithy or no one will even read what you write.

  21. By fortun8s on Nov 28, 2010 | Reply

    Not everyone has the stomach to eat out of garbage pails as per Fitz. Most of the personnel don’t have the ability to flee the Cardinals but the ones that do surly will. With the football life of an average player under 5 years, why spend that time with a perpetual rebuilder. Additionally, name me a coach who furthered his career by being associated with the Cardinals.

  22. By Darren Urban on Nov 28, 2010 | Reply

    James –

    RE: Whiz’s job

    No, it’s not.

  23. By Darren Urban on Nov 28, 2010 | Reply

    Chuck 1 –

    RE: E-mail

    askquestions@cardinals.nfl.net.

  24. By ross on Nov 28, 2010 | Reply

    Darren, are cards fans you meet out and about and at games this depressing and down on the team, or does this blog bring out the extremists?

  25. By Eric JB on Nov 28, 2010 | Reply

    fortun8s,

    Don Coryell

  26. By Sigmund Freud on Nov 28, 2010 | Reply

    Dear Casey–

    You need to get a girlfriend. I think the sperm is backing up into your brain.

    Dr. Freud

  27. By joe again on Nov 28, 2010 | Reply

    Casey-

    Have you still not learned one of life’s most simple lessons: that he who is most comical is he who takes himself too seriously?

  28. By Donnie on Nov 28, 2010 | Reply

    Just Get-her-Done Cards!!!!
    don`t listen to this ..”lose for a draft pick”..insanity
    WE ARE CARD FAN and our Team is gonna rise to the top Monday Night.
    Time for the tide to change and MNF is just the ticket

  29. By Gary stevenson on Nov 28, 2010 | Reply

    Casey you are so correct. You can win year after year in AZ with these horrid owners! Wiz can only do what he can do with hand he is delt by the owners! Either way wiz has no go! I am sure he fears the owners to protect his job! If cowher or grudan coached here! They would be up in the owners faces and force them to keep and go get leaders! All you cards fans ask yourself these questions. 1. Would Jerry jones have done the same thing with the personal as the bidwells did. ( not getting a great Qb, letting rolle, dansby, and q-81 all leave the team!) and 2. Would wiz still be coaching this Monday night game or would he see the axe like wade Phillips did? The fact is I hate jones and the cowboys! But Jerry jones is a winner and lossing will not be accepted by him!

  30. By clssylssyl on Nov 28, 2010 | Reply

    “Cheap talk” about the Bidwells? PLEASE! They define the term cheap. Our players are some of the lowest paid in the NFL and you seriously think Gruden will leave a cushy job as a sports announcer to talk a step back and have to deal with all the garbage from the fans when the team isn’t winning?
    About the only thing that is more depressing than our season is the way the so-called “fans for life” start bailing when the going gets rough. Raider fans refused to buy tickets when their owner was to stingy to pay the price to sign quality players and staff. While that would be difficult on the fans who live for the season and attending our games, you have to wonder if it’s good enough for the owners to threaen a “lockout” why not “lockout” the owners! As is always the case, the teams with the fat wallet and their fans, are pretty much immune from the problems that plague the rest of us…seems there needs to be a way to level the playing field for the players and the fans.

  31. By ben on Nov 28, 2010 | Reply

    really everyone is crying about the guys that got away, what about the ones they kept, and brought in, is everyone really on the joey porter band wagon still and how about the other veteran(very old) line backers. is it just me or does it seems that every big play made on a third down in a crucial part of the game is negated by a porter early jump.
    In my opinion whiz should stop bringing in people he knows that are looking for a good final contract before retiring and go with players we need.
    as with a few of the other fans on this page i am all aboard the Cards to play for LUCK bandwagon

  32. By Brad ONeill on Nov 28, 2010 | Reply

    how the hell can the nfl justify not showing the overtime of the bills steelers game when they showed the whole game.

    That is the kind of stuff that drives fans crazy.

    black outs, overtime restrictions, and lockouts are the kind of thing that will have us turn off the game and move on too other activities.

    I love football, i hate the poor leadership/ownership decisions that frustrate the crap out of me.

    I hope someone takes into consideration the people with the least to lose if they continue to screw up are the fans. we can go somewhere else and do something else. with the money we would otherwise waste paying these primadonnas to entertain us.

  33. By Brian on Nov 28, 2010 | Reply

    Hey Gary, you are right the cards will rise again after 20 years and lots of luck.

  34. By Darren Urban on Nov 28, 2010 | Reply

    Ross –

    RE: Fans

    To be honest, I don’t interact with a ton in person; when I go to games I am there early enough that most fans haven’t arrived yet. The few I do meet, in all honesty, tend to be more moderate, at least to my face.

  35. By georgiebird on Nov 28, 2010 | Reply

    Darren,
    I disagree with most fans on the personnel moves over the past year.
    1) Dansby was living off a few very good plays and was not worth the money-never a pro bowler
    2) Rolle is an exciting player but has big limitations as a tackler and cover guy- definitely not worth resigning.
    3) couldn’t do anything about Warner wanting to retire
    4) Boldin is the toughest case but even he had priced himself high for a guy who had experienced injuries over the past years- and the Cards had excellent results when he didn’t play
    5) the Leinart move was strange in that the timing was terrible and left the team with no viable options after DA- Matt was not a long range answer even though he may have won the West.

    Here however are the problems:
    1) no OC and a horrible DC
    2) failure to properly evaluate Max Hall’s physical ability(size & arm strength
    3) switch to a 3-4 scheme when the personnel did not fit
    4) failure of any defensive player to surprise on the up side- maybe only the Toler and OB stories can be viewed positively.. What has happened to DD, A-dub, DRC, Branch, CC, DW, Rashad Johnson, Gabe and every other 1, 2 or 3 year guy?
    5) the fact that an over-the -hill Gerald Hayes could get his job back so easily and was looked on as a savior.
    6) continued injury situations for both Beanie and Early
    7) DA’s failure to sustain offensive drives (our defense brought out the worst in DA as he had to play from behind and had little margin for error.)
    8) There has been no serious attempt to get the tight end involved
    9) Whiz and Graves have done a bad job of evaluating new players
    10) The team has not developed a tough/nasty/ you’re not going to push me around attitude in 50 years
    11) lousy signings of both A-dub and DD when the defense had been so bad and these two were the so called leaders.

  36. By ross on Nov 28, 2010 | Reply

    Man, I hate jon gruden as a color commentator. He is worse than dennis miller.

  37. By Andre on Nov 28, 2010 | Reply

    Hey darren,
    do you think we’ll keep DA as our qb next year or maybe look to the draft?

  38. By Darren Urban on Nov 28, 2010 | Reply

    Andre —

    RE: DA

    I expect an influx of new QBs. There is still a chance Anderson could stick as a backup, I’d think.

  39. By Nathan on Nov 28, 2010 | Reply

    Darren,

    Since I wasn’t there, could you clarify something for me? The quote:, “I feel like, ‘You let everybody down,’ ” Whisenhunt said. “You’re working hard, you’re trying to do it right, you want to have success. But you’re not. And it’s hard.” To me, this sounds like he is taking responsibility for the team’s poor performance this year. Reading the posts in the message boards (and sometimes here in the blog) you’d think he did nothing but dodge questions and point fingers. Me, I like Whiz and appreciate all he has done for this team.

    Keep up the good work, Darren, I always enjoy reading your articles and blogs.

  40. By Dan on Nov 28, 2010 | Reply

    Don Coryell

  41. By Chad on Nov 28, 2010 | Reply

    I think you have to look at the big picture before you start yelling at Whiz and the Front Office. Since the new stadium the Bidwells have paid players (see Fitz, Warner, Docket, ADub) but refuse to overpay players (see Dansby, Rolle). No player is perfect, so we have to accept some deficiencies from some players (ADub on coverage).

    The interesting point is we are all frustrated with the Cardinals because of what Whiz/Front Office has done (remember the Super Bowl in seasons past?) in the past whereas before Whiz we expected this from the Cards. Now we expect to win! So when get frustrated when we lose opposed to saying, “The same of Cards.” We expect more and demand more.

    I still want to know the real reason Leinart was cut. No way Whiz actually thought DA was the answer, nor Hall. Whiz tried to get Bulgar but couldn’t. Leinart was the best option but something had to happen inside that locker room that it was so bad Leinart was cut loose. If not, why didn’t they cut him years ago if they knew he wasn’t the guy. Whiz would’t have kept him around for all these years and then decided DA was better and cut him. Something happened and Whiz was stuck with DA and Hall by default.

    Man, my post is turning into a Casey post….argh….

  42. By NJAzCardsFan on Nov 28, 2010 | Reply

    A few points….
    Historically the Cards in the last 40 years may have had 4 quality QB’s that could be considered a franchise type QB.
    That is the #1 need in the off season this year.
    Dunp DA as a QB he is too erractic to be useful…..
    Get an DC that knows what he is doing. The Cards defense gave up 90 points in the playoofs last year and is even worse this year. Warner saved them as his offense could score more almost at will. He is now gone and the Cards need a much better defense and a DC.
    An OC might be a plus.
    Whiz, Gaves have to realize that reclaimation project type players rarely work.
    I still want to know why they changed the offensive line when they played so well together for so long???

    Darren- did you read the article on the KC Chief’s website that Fitz was going there next year…. Any validity to that story or was it wishful thinking on KC’s part?

  43. By azcards24 on Nov 29, 2010 | Reply

    hey brad maybe its because steelers suck!

  44. By Darren Urban on Nov 29, 2010 | Reply

    NJAz –

    RE: Fitz

    Fitz is under contract through 2011. I don’t know how anyone can make any predictions beyond him being a Cardinal at this point.

  45. By WNY card fan on Nov 29, 2010 | Reply

    I’ll chime in as MNF approaches, what the heck…
    Casey, you are long winded, you make some good points, but sometimes you’re over the top, calm down.
    I agree with a lot of the people here on the mismanagement of the personnel. Not so much that we let this famous 4 go,but that managaging their replacements seems like it was done last minute and with no thought to future
    Play calling, execution (both Def and Off) have been poor in my opinion (and I freely state I’ve never had to playcall before, just seems like it compared to other teams).
    The thing that frustrates me the most, given the NFL and the way teams are good one season bad the next, is this team has under-performed this year and seems to not show any sign of improvements. Its like they have not tried anything different to get better (other than QB swap). No run game, no attempt to get it established, same DEF, same OFF plays, etc…And no spirit (on the field anyway) from the players. Look at some other Losing teams around, and with a few exceptions, they are all playing hard, are in a ball game, make it competitive, etc….Even have some great plays every week. Cards not so much. I can stomach a losing season, IF you can actually see the rebuilding happening (improvements here and there, a couple great drivers, young player kicking butt, etc)…. but I cannot seem to see that here.
    Draft isn’t always the answer and I hate for a “planned” loss to get a good draft, that’s loser mentality and poor sportsmanship in my book. So I’m not in that crowd. Right now, I just hope they don’t continue to be the laughing stock of the NFL with worse DEF/OFF combo and dead last in the most obviously WORSE division. Don’t look like a JV team tonight, get a few more wins so your record at least looks ok (Ie 7 – 9 wouldn’t be too bad) and then right the ship with better decisions for next year and lets get back on track and kick some tail.

  46. By D ryans on Nov 29, 2010 | Reply

    Chad, is it not obvious that Leinart was cut because of his huge contract and his mediocre performances. They cut Matt and gave all his money to Dockett. Leinart got paid too long to stand around and hold a clipboard, Darnell earned this money. I do believe with Matt the Cards would have won the West, but we would have lost Dockett. Right now we are a decent QB away from being on top. This is not our year but we did put our best foot forward in locking down the core of this team. Warner got scared and our only other options were Whitehurst, McCoy, or washed up McNabb. Next year however with our core players in place our options are great, Young, Vick, Hasselbeck, or the Draft. All are better options than paying another has been to come here and retire. OK, take Hasselbeck off my list.

  47. By Bill L on Nov 29, 2010 | Reply

    Whiz, the front office and owner have not only screwed this season, for whatever reasons, they have really screwed the franchise. A 10 Million dollar reciever with no QB and no O-line is not worth jack, and if Fitz can find a home kiss him good-bye as he OPTS OUT. A possible top draft pick that will more likely stay in school if the Cards are the alternative, Does Elway ring a bell in more ways than one? Coaches that can fail in decisions, stategy and execution without consequences. Just as long as the money keeps flowing in. The Bills are Bad…..KC was bad…..OAK is bad…..SF is bad…Sea is Bad…but, you can actually see them trying to get better as franchises and teams, while the Cards CLEARLY don’t GIVE A DAMN……….Love that revenue sharing!

  48. By Brian on Nov 29, 2010 | Reply

    Hey Darren since you are on the inside, do you think the cards will have faith in Skelton next year? If not will they try to draft a franchise QB considering what happened with leinart?

  49. By Brian on Nov 29, 2010 | Reply

    Why does everybody think our D was good? Can someone tell when the last time our D was ranked in the top 20 by years end.

  50. By brad oneill on Nov 29, 2010 | Reply

    I was sad to hear that Russ Grimm’s son broke his leg yesterday and will miss the rest of the year. He has been a big part of Tampa’s success and his father must be very proud of him.

  51. By Brian on Nov 29, 2010 | Reply

    Not being a smarta** about the D I really wan’t to no. I just don’t remember anyone giving our D that much credit.

  52. By Darren Urban on Nov 29, 2010 | Reply

    Brian –

    RE: QB situation

    I think there is a lot to sort out. I think if there is a “franchise” QB available in the draft, the Cards will consider it heavily, regardless of what they think of Skelton.

  53. By fortun8s on Nov 29, 2010 | Reply

    OK Guys U-R Right with Air Coryell – But still serves the point. Whizz is the man and I believe in him. But believe he will depart the nest before the nest completely fgalls out of the tree. He is too good to remain here and continue to have the suits undermine his talents.

  54. By James on Nov 29, 2010 | Reply

    Darren,

    First i wanted to say thanks for answering my question the other day i really do appreciate it! I have another question for you. I saw this video that caught my eye that maybe you would like to take a look at, but my question to you was (to make a long story short) the video said Fitgerald is leaving Arizona after this season. is it true or is it just another speculation? Has Larry commented on his future with Arizona?

    http://sports.yahoo.com/video/player/nfl/23187270

  55. By Gary Gammiero on Nov 29, 2010 | Reply

    Darren,

    You know I am a loyal Cardinal fan from 1967. Do you feel that the organization will be committed to winning? I believe they will be,especially with Mike Bidwell.I feel once he got a taste of being in the playoffs and one Super Bowl that he will be committed to winning.One thing Cardinal fans have to do is be patient.I was and when they were the 2008 NFC champs,I was ecstatic and in disbelief at the same time.My sister called me right after Larry scored to go ahead with over 2 minutes to go in the SB. She was so happy for me because I am so loyal.That’s what being a fan is,loyalty.I’m sorry you have to put up with the negativity.

  56. By John rennecamp on Nov 29, 2010 | Reply

    Listen, We all knew replacing Kurt wouldn’t be easy. So trading Q was a no brainer – it’s very rare to replace a HOF QB with another. There just simply aren’t enough balls to go around for all the recievers while trying to implement the run. Good trade.

    Rolle was a decent cover guy but not consistent. Rhodes is always around the ball like Rolle was. Even up.

    Dansby is good but not worthy of the money he got. Lenon has played well, Washington showed flashes but needs time, Davis was improving, Porter has been OK. We’ll get by without Karlos.

    The problem is simple. Dockett and Campbell aren’t playing well. They disappear for long stretches in games. The lack of an inside rush is killing us. Porter and Haggans can only do so much – the opp. QB just has to step up and throw. Wilson can’t cover the more athletic TE’s in the league anymore. The tackling in the secondary is poor.
    Ask yourself this. WHY can we be tough at the goal line but bad everywhere else? Pass rush!!!!!
    The QB situation is bad but other teams find a way. Look at Piit without Ben. Miami, Tennessee, Cleveland. These teams all have been very skaky at QB but they stay in the game with good or decent DEFENSE!!!!
    DEFENSE IS THE PROBLEM! SO WHAT WE ONLY SCORE X AMT. OF POINTS A GAME- WE CAN”T STOP ANYBODY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We get 1 or two 3 and outs per game then we chase the opponent around the field and don’t tackle them!!!
    I’m an Illinois fan they fired both coordinators and doubled their win total with a freshman QB. We need to ditch the 3-4 get a new d coach and hire a full time O coach.

  57. By Voice of Reason on Nov 29, 2010 | Reply

    Fellas, fellas…

    Let’s cut Casey some slack. He obviously cares about his team and sees the debacle it has become.

    The question turns, unfortunately, to what we do now. And I think Bickley wrote probably his best article in today’s Republic.

    Today is DA’s last game if they lose. Then let’s see what you have with Hall and, far more importantly, Skelton. In the offseason, you draft a QB high (if able given draft position), sign a vet backup (Bulger, ideally) that can play right away, and keep either Hall or Skelton (probably Skelton) as your #3 development guy). You make OT a HIGH priority, including exploring through the trade market. Also need a strong safety that would allow you to play A-dub where he belongs — at linebacker. And most importantly — THE TEAM NEEDS TO BE PROACTIVE, NOT REACTIVE. The good organizations are.

    And as for coaches, the need to bring in an offensive coordinator that will call plays. Clearly, splitting duties between assistants with other responsibilities does not work.

    Look, it is easy to harp on what this team should have done earlier in the year. Heck, I’ve certainly done it. And the mistakes were plenty. But the Cards need to learn from them and do what is in the best interest of the team going forward. And that means, assuming they lose today, playing Skelton and Hall.

  58. By jocards on Nov 29, 2010 | Reply

    I don’t understand the fans that complain about all the negative comments on this board. After watching all 10 games thus far how can anybody have anything but negative feelings about this team? This is a bad football team period. They don’t make plays when they need to be made. The talent level on the team is debatable but I say every NFL team has talent, the teams that win are the ones that make the key plays, this team does not. We have a bad QB, a bad OL and a defense that can contribute a big play now and then but for the most part can’t consistently stop the opposition. I say again, this is a bad football team. It is difficult for me to believe that anybody that has watched their games this season could think anything else. If they do then they must be seeing something I am not seeing. In my opinion there has not been a single game this year where you could say that the Cardinals were definitely the better team on the field that day…not one. 3-7 could’ve been 0-10 with the way they’ve played. I just hope that they don’t go out and get embarressed on national TV tonight…

  59. By Darren Urban on Nov 29, 2010 | Reply

    James –

    RE: Fitz

    It’s all speculation right now. Fitz hasn’t said anything.

  60. By jocards on Nov 29, 2010 | Reply

    @ Gary Gammiero -

    I’ve been a loyal fan of this team since I was a kid and they were playing in St. Louis. Being a loyal fan does not mean one only has positive things to say about the team. In fact is it is hard to believe that anybody can find very many positives with this team. They are not good. I’d love to believe that the organization is committed to winning but when you look at the history of this team it would seem to suggest otherwise. This has been one of the least successful teams in professional sports, not just in the NFL but all professional sports. I too was shocked and elated with the superbowl run and even the post season win last year but a good 2 year run does not equate to a commitment to winning.

  61. By joe67 on Nov 29, 2010 | Reply

    Has anyone looked at what Bolden has done this year. One or two decent games and two or three under 30 yards and I believe shutout once/ Rolle has done fair at best. Rhodes is just as good. Don’t know much about how Dansby has really done. I want a winner also, but would not have paid any of those players what they wanted!!
    Joey Porter has been biggest disappointment on defense!

  62. By jd on Nov 29, 2010 | Reply

    If the media has been stating how bad the coaching staff is for the 49ers, they are just makeing ours look like a joke. Whiz says the system works..wake up the best that system ever did was 10and6 in most divisions thats luck to make the playoffs. Kurt Warner masked how bad the defense and coachiing is. Now you have a QB picked by whiz that probably won’t have 50 points on the season. This starts at the top..its not the players only.

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