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Clearing up this and that

Posted by Darren Urban on January 28, 2011 – 2:01 pm

Here on a quiet Friday now that we know there won’t be a new defensive coordinator for at least another week, it seems like a good time to quickly touch on a couple of subjects that — given the deadness of this time of year with the Cards — seem to have inexplicably taken stronger root than they should.

– The Cardinals aren’t headed for Ireland. The Steelers could be. I could see that. When your owner is the U.S. ambassador to the country, that’s an easy dot to connect. But this story from Ireland doesn’t say one word about the Cardinals. Profootballtalk.com does, citing the chances the Cards may have blackouts next season and that the Steelers just came to Arizona in 2007. Except:

  • We already covered why a team like Pittsburgh is coming back again with no Cards’ visit to Pennsylvania, and the Cards have the same “issue” with the Giants, Cowboys, Redskins, Eagles, Bengals and Ravens.
  • The Cards have already been one of the few teams that played in a foreign country (Mexico in 2005) and one of the rare to already give up a home game. They won’t be asked to do it again so soon.
  • Is anyone worried the Cards would not sell out a game against the Steelers? That’s a lock to avoid a blackout.
  • If the Steelers want a game in Ireland, why wouldn’t it be their home game to be sacrificed?
  • Next year’s road schedule is already brutal (Washington, Baltimore, Philly, Cincy, Minnesota, plys the NFC West). A “road” trip overseas for a “home” game? No way.

– Larry Fitzgerald is not going to be traded to the Patriots (or anywhere) all of a sudden. This “rumor” came from this report, which included the famous second line, “In fact, no one polled for this story had any direct knowledge of whether the Cardinals have had any legitimate discussions about trading their star receiver.”

Ummm …

I don’t know what is going to happen with Fitzgerald. He avoids talking about his future. SI’s Peter King tweeted today that “he’s going to want out of Arizona” but that was a prediction rather than anything based on a Fitz conversation. I’ll say what I have always said: The Cards want to re-sign him and will do everything they can to make that happen, and I think Fitz is going to try and make sure he knows what teammates he’s going to have around him before he makes any commitments. It’s not rocket science. It’s common sense.

– Speaking of Fitz, not only did he take the two random Twitter fans to Hawaii (one of whom who turned out to be a cancer survivor) but he also paid for two other breast cancer survivors — Liz Dodson and Maureen Hanna — to join him at the Pro Bowl in honor of his late mother, who passed away from breast cancer.

UPDATE: Fitz texted me this message about bringing along Dodson and Hanna: “I obviously have a real interest in rewarding breast cancer survivors. It hit close to home when I lost my mom to the disease, and it’s truly an honor to  continue to raise awareness in the fight against breast cancer. I’m happy to bring these survivors to Hawaii with me and I hope they have a great time.”

OK. I feel better now. Back to work.


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Posted in Blog | 70 Comments »


70 Responses to “Clearing up this and that”

  1. By harlanlee1 on Jan 28, 2011 | Reply

    Hey, Darren,

    The word Blackout does not drive any real fear into my heart. I am a season ticket holder, living in Sonora, California, and I make the commute 10 times every year to watch all the Cardinal home games. But the fact that Blackout is now being whispered is legitimate cause for alarm. Maybe the Cardinal Faithful will begin to jump ship, deserting their duty stations when we Protect The Nest. That can happen when our team goes 5-11. My main concern is that management, with the lowest player payroll in the NFL, and a record of 50plus home sellouts might decide to raise prices — more money with which to showcase a cut-rate product. I have not seen ticket prices for 2011. Any idea what they will be?

  2. By Red32 on Jan 28, 2011 | Reply

    For some reason it seems the national sports media only wants to acknowledge this team if it can either ridicule it or stir up some sh@!. It’s almost as if the King’s and Florio’s of the world aren’t happy unless they can report something negative (whether real or fabricated) about the team. Guess we stepped out of our prescribed role by going to the Super Bowl and playoffs, and many in the sports media won’t rest easy until we’re perennial losers again.

  3. By Darren Urban on Jan 28, 2011 | Reply

    Harlan —

    RE: Prices

    I don’t get into those meetings.

  4. By David Corcoran on Jan 28, 2011 | Reply

    You raised my hopes for a second there Darren.. could you at least pretend there’s some substance to this? A few points from my perspective here in Dublin. Firstly I think the Irish Echo is an Irish-American newspaper based in New York, so not sure what the validity of their sources are. I would say that there is definite interest in hosting a game though, given Rooney’s extensive involvement in Ireland and the fact that Dublin will host the Army Navy game in 2012. However, the Minister for Sport quoted in the article will without a doubt be out of office post an imminent election. All of this impetus, whether the Cards were involved or not, could easily dismissed under a new government.

  5. By Cathy on Jan 28, 2011 | Reply

    Darren,

    I just want to thank you – at least we have ONE source of reliable, straight-forward Cardinal information. Also, here’s hoping (for all our sakes) that the Cardinals are able to collectively do what it takes to keep Fitz here!

  6. By Big Red on Jan 28, 2011 | Reply

    Fitz will stay put, once Skelton gets the hang of it at QB. Both of them together will light up the sky at the Big Cobra.

  7. By azcards24 on Jan 28, 2011 | Reply

    hey darren any word on any home game scheduled opponents we could be seeing next year. I know nothings set in stone but have you heard of anyone else besides steelers thats comin here? thanx

  8. By stairwayto7 on Jan 28, 2011 | Reply

    Every year a game overseas has an AFC vs NFC team. Cards going to play in Ireland makes sence, however they should play the Browns since we know that game won’t sell out! As for teh Steelers givign up a home game, the team who give up a home game are teams who can’t draw fans! S.F last year, Tampa and Miami before that!

  9. By Darren Urban on Jan 28, 2011 | Reply

    azcards24 —

    RE: 2011 opponents

    List in the final note here: http://www.azcardinals.com/news-and-events/article-2/Test-Driving-Another-QB/9fc8c2e5-316c-4a4d-be91-d645d1cdd269

  10. By David C. on Jan 28, 2011 | Reply

    Darren,
    Is there any interest in Jim Zorn for Offensive Coordinator? He’s creative, and seems to have a great handle on developing quarterbacks.

  11. By Brandon LA on Jan 28, 2011 | Reply

    Loosing Fitz would be salt in the wound from a bad 2010 offseason. (loosing Q, Dansby and #13)

    OUCH The pain is too much.

    Hurry up I would like to purchase my #11 jersey and gets some longevity out of it…
    And hurry up with Breaston too.

  12. By Darren Urban on Jan 28, 2011 | Reply

    stairwayto7 —

    RE: Sellouts

    Cards have yet to not sell out their new building.

  13. By Darren Urban on Jan 28, 2011 | Reply

    David C —

    RE: Zorn

    They aren’t in the market for an OC.

  14. By D on Jan 28, 2011 | Reply

    Didn’t want you to fall asleep on this slow Friday..have a good weekend Darren

  15. By joe67 on Jan 28, 2011 | Reply

    Looking at that schedule, it seems all the more reason to get Donovan McNabb!

  16. By Andy on Jan 28, 2011 | Reply

    Darren,

    I’m kind of fuzzy on this, but I thought I remembered Fitzgerald having a no-trade clause in the last contract he signed. Am I misremembering that?
    Thanks!

  17. By tyman on Jan 28, 2011 | Reply

    Why keep fitz if he wants 18 million a year. At the very most 10-13 is fair, but really the NFL is a team game and if we are going to pay a certain possition it has to be a QB. A great QB can make any WR look better. After all a guy like Edwards who looked really good wthrocket arm anderson with the browns might be out there. WR’s and RB’s are deadly to over pay.

  18. By Darren Urban on Jan 28, 2011 | Reply

    Andy —

    RE: Fitz contract

    He indeed has a no-trade clause. He of course could waive it if he wanted. It just gives him the power if there would be any deal.

  19. By Ken cadena on Jan 28, 2011 | Reply

    Fitz is gone, if you think for one second that he is going to waitaround while whiz trys to figure this out. Bolden was just a year ahead of his time. Fitz is just aclass act and wont make any waves. He will be gone, and that is a fact. money has nothing to do with it. I see the Rams, Dallas, Philidelphia, Jets, Pats, Miami make arun for him. You can thank your OC, I mean coach for that. Fitz will not even test the waters again for the sick year he had.

  20. By Scott H on Jan 28, 2011 | Reply

    I can only hope that Larry might actually see some of these posts or be aware of some of the content. My own wife was just diagnosed with breast cancer right before Thanksgiving and we obviously have a new-found appreciation for the seriousness of this illness / problem. It looks like my wife will be OK thanks to early detection and available treatments. But my heart goes out to Fitz for the loss of his mother ( may she rest in peace knowing that she brought a fine young man into the world ) and I salute him for what he is doing for his Pro Bowl guests. Yet another reason why I think he is just too good to be true. I wear his jersey ( in ALL THREE colors, by the way! ) very proudly everywhere I go because he is not only such a great player but also such a good person. Not only should the Cardinals be proud to have him representing their franchise, the NFL should be equally proud to have Larry Fitzgerald representing their league.

  21. By TXcardsfan on Jan 28, 2011 | Reply

    Tyman-

    I agree you don’t want to tie up all the teams payroll on a WR. But Fitz is much more than a WR on this team. Let him walk would be out of the qeustion to me.

  22. By fightingbird on Jan 28, 2011 | Reply

    I think what BigRed says skelton and Fitz fits.give the newby some credit and a chance.Who was big Ben,Tom Brady,Manning or any of those other QBs you want to mention before they got their chance.Looking at Skelton play and handle his self on the field I think hes got a chance to be great but other players have to take that chance with him ,help him along the way.Fitz will resign and the other players to because they know what kind of chance they have in the future.

  23. By John on Jan 28, 2011 | Reply

    David C-

    RE: Zorn

    I think thats a great idea. The fact that Darren replied what he did so matter-of-factly makes me really lose any interest in this teams success.

  24. By Matthew on Jan 28, 2011 | Reply

    Lol i agree with you Red. I was just watching the “top superbowl of all time” and quote on quote this is what Jamie Dukes said”no its not sexy because it was the arizona cardinals, throw out the Arizona uniform and look at the stats” i just love how we are being made a mockery of. If Fitz chooses to leave i will probably be just as heartbroken as when we lost that superbowl, but hey its Arizona you cant expect anything more from us. When Fitz leaves us again we will go back to the whose that in Arizona again? stage. Eh well i guess Arizona are just naturally born losers.

  25. By brad oneill on Jan 28, 2011 | Reply

    the cardinals reduced the number of seats available per game when they moved to a point where if there is any hope of them not completely sucking they will sell out. we are a big enough city that we probably could sell 10,000 tickets easily just for fans of any opposing teams. then there are the cowboys and a few others where we could probably sell out the entire stadium just to their fans.

    besides whose to say that blackouts wont be negotiated away in the cbas. If i am a lawyer for the players that is the first thing i bring up. If you want fans to take your side in the standoff that is a powerful way to get some traction.

    instead of blackouts the players should take pay cuts if the stadium doesn’t sell out. (owners response) he he he.

  26. By Wesley on Jan 28, 2011 | Reply

    @ darren

    Did you see that nfl.com had our superbowl listed as one of the best of all time? The pain hasnt left yet…

    http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d81df5e46/article/what-was-the-best-super-bowl-ever-played?module=HP_cp2

  27. By Rich on Jan 29, 2011 | Reply

    FITZ IS THE FACE OF THE FRANCHISE. THE CARDINALS, OVERALL, HAVE DONE AN EXCELLENT JOB MAKING ORGANIZATIONAL DECISIONS IN RECENT YEARS. THE QB DRAMA THIS PAST SEASON WAS A MISTAKE THEY WOULD READILY ADMIT BEHIND CLOSED DOORS.
    HAVE CONFIDENCE – WE’LL HAVE A SOLID STABLE OF QB’S GOING INTO NEXT SEASON, AN IMPROVED PASS RUSH, A TIGHT END, A MORE CONSISTENT RUN GAME, AND……………….FITZ ON BOARD WITH AN EXTENDED CONTRACT. ITS JUST GOOD BUSINESS.

  28. By Jahstone on Jan 29, 2011 | Reply

    Fitz is a great man and a humanitarian…what was the old saying…”don’t grumble just be humble”…I hope that other “star” athletes could be more like Fitz. For instance…what good has come from the T.Ocho show??

  29. By Chris B on Jan 29, 2011 | Reply

    Ken cadena
    RE: Fitz’ year
    Statistically, Fitz had more yards than last year, 7 less receptions. The major difference was 6 TDs as opposed to 13 (which was the highest of his career by far). If they pay him, he’ll stay. And they will be getting another QB. Don’t think there’s really any doubt about that. Whiz won’t get away with saying DA gives us the best chance to win with another year in our system, etc etc.

    Darren,
    Your opinion on Patriot’s Guard Mankin? Could be a replacement option for Faneca shoudl he retired…

  30. By R Robles on Jan 29, 2011 | Reply

    Mankins on Patriots making offer: ‘I don’t see it happening’ Oh Man that would be a great addition to the Cards put it on my wish list

  31. By Darren Urban on Jan 29, 2011 | Reply

    Chris B —

    RE: Mankins

    If the Pats let him walk — and I am still not sure that will happen — obviously he should be in high demand. Don’t forget though, the Cards have their own FA guard (Deuce) to deal with too.

  32. By Scott H on Jan 29, 2011 | Reply

    Logan Mankins would look MIGHTY fine in a Cardinals uniform…and as much as the QB position was the focal point of my dismay this past season, the fact is this O-line was just awful last year and THAT is where the most significant improvement on the offensive side needs to occur. Faneca was a nice try but…we found out pretty quick why he was released from the Jets. He just didn’t have much left in the tank. We KNOW we need to improve along the O-line. And a 6-time Pro Bowl guard WITH something left in the tank would certainly seem to be a very tangible improvement. And as for Deuce….sorry to say, I’ll push him over a cliff myself ( just figuratively, of course ) if we could land Mankins. Of course, until the CBA thing is resolved, nobody is going anywhere…

  33. By MikeG on Jan 29, 2011 | Reply

    Hey Darren– Hope you are good!–It is something how the Super Bowl has grown throughout the years. I remember when halftime entertainment was a high school marching band. Now it is these mega entertainment halftime shows. The $$$$ people are spending for these tickets is astounding. Did you see parking across from Texas stadium is running $990.00 per spot!!!!!! I never in my lifetime envisioned that. How about you?????

  34. By Rodgerscromartie17 on Jan 29, 2011 | Reply

    Rich, I have had confidence ever since i was old enough to understand football, this team has never came though, only twice, thats not enough

  35. By Rodgerscromartie17 on Jan 29, 2011 | Reply

    Darren, in your thoughts, even though nobody really knows right now, what do you see the cards most likely doing at QB

  36. By Rodgerscromartie17 on Jan 29, 2011 | Reply

    I dont understand why Fitzgerald was not immediatly resiged, with all this talk about his contract it seems like there is a good chance he wont come back, if thats the case the cards are locked away into the depths for another 60 years

  37. By Rodgerscromartie17 on Jan 29, 2011 | Reply

    Darren is it true that the patriots are making offers to fitzgerald?

  38. By georgiebird on Jan 29, 2011 | Reply

    Darren,
    The performance of Bryant McFadden with the Cardinals and again with the Steelers is a real head scratcher. How can anyone predict how a FA will play with the Cardinals?
    When was the last time a FA performed way above expectations in his 1st year with the Cardinals and gained some sort of post season honors?

  39. By Darren Urban on Jan 30, 2011 | Reply

    Rodgerscromartie —

    RE: QB

    I just don’t know. I have to have a better handle on how the CBA thing plays out. Bulger makes a lot of sense, but there is no guarantee he signs here. The shorter the offseason (based on the new CBA decision), the more difficult of the situation it becomes.

  40. By Darren Urban on Jan 30, 2011 | Reply

    Rodgerscromartie —

    RE: Fitz

    He is currently 3 years into his current deal. What are you going to do, sign a guy to an extension and then give him another one a year into it every time? At some point, a team has to benefit from signing a guy to an extension in the first place.

    And no, if you bother to read the blog I wrote right above this, I believe I addressed this current “rumor.” And it’s so flimsy, calling it a “rumor” is almost an affront to rumors.

  41. By Darren Urban on Jan 30, 2011 | Reply

    Georgie —

    RE: McFadden

    1) His front seven in Pitt is much better than it was here.

    2) (And more importantly), I keep seeing people saying how well he is playing. Frankly, in the games I have seen, he has been the most-picked upon Steeler DB. He looks like he has a lot of the same issues he had here.

    3) Bertrand Berry signed as a FA and made the Pro Bowl in 2004 with 14.5 sacks.

  42. By Eazy E on Jan 30, 2011 | Reply

    Boy that Bertrand Berry move was ages ago and NO bulger coming here, dude is washed up most likely.

  43. By cardinalchris on Jan 30, 2011 | Reply

    Darren,

    Have you seen game film of Aldon Smith yet? One of the CBS mock’s has the Cards drafting him. His game film sure reminded me of Eric Swann. Incredible speed and quickness. Missouri played him at multiple spots along the line, but he’s listed as an OLB. I like Von Miller too, but Aldon Smith is at the top of my pre draft list. Wow! He makes the top Left Tackle in the draft whif! He has such long arms he makes it look so easy getting off blocks.

  44. By JamesinVegas on Jan 30, 2011 | Reply

    As a long time season ticket holder from Las Vegas, I can tell you that we have been in much worse shape in the past. We have some solid playmakers on both sides of the ball, but we need to fill in some holes here and there. My wife and I make the commute for each home game and will continue to do so for years to come. The bandwagon fans will jump off and on, but those of us who have been through some of the dark times, will continue to support our beloved Cardinals.

    Darren, has there been any buzz about the Cardinals possibly filling the DC void with a coach from Green Bay?? What about Kevin Greene? I know Wiz’s ties are with Pittsburgh, but Green Bay has some solid motivators on defense. Have you heard anything??

  45. By Gibby on Jan 30, 2011 | Reply

    Is whiz waiting on Butler for DC? I hope so.

  46. By bish- illinois on Jan 30, 2011 | Reply

    i just dont understand what is goin on, fitzgerald bottom line is a class act and it would be a tragedy to see him leave, but without a QB i wouldnt blame him, lets face put him in a good system and theres nobody better in this league, somebody freakin go wake the cards management up, heres an idea ( lock up fitz, lock up breaston, go get bulger or mcnabb to be the man for a couple years and draft a QB this year) we really arent that far away from gettin this train moving again , LOL GOOD LORD DARREN DO SOMETHING

  47. By Darren Urban on Jan 30, 2011 | Reply

    Cardinalchris —

    RE: Aldon Smith

    Never heard of him before today.

  48. By Darren Urban on Jan 30, 2011 | Reply

    Jamesin —

    RE: DC/GB

    http://blog.azcardinals.com/2011/01/27/no-dc-until-after-super-bowl/

  49. By samplejim on Jan 30, 2011 | Reply

    When is whiz going to realize he needs a offense coordinator?

  50. By cardiac cardinals on Jan 30, 2011 | Reply

    LETS GO CARDINALS! TIME TO SPEND SOME MONEY THIS OFFSEASON! LETS GET IT DONE!

  51. By WarnerFan#13 on Jan 30, 2011 | Reply

    Hey Darren, What’s the chance of Arizona picking up Vince Young or Marc Bulger?

  52. By Darren Urban on Jan 30, 2011 | Reply

    WarnerFan —

    RE: Bulger/Young

    http://blog.azcardinals.com/2011/01/12/to-qb-and-not-qb/

  53. By alex u on Jan 30, 2011 | Reply

    QB QB QB QB QB

  54. By Chuck 1 on Jan 30, 2011 | Reply

    samplejim, there are some fans who believe that, since two out of the three teams that have their head coaches calling the plays made the playoffs, Whiz should continue to be the OC.

  55. By SteveDCO on Jan 30, 2011 | Reply

    Darren – Why do the “experts” keep saying that AZ is going to draft a DT/DE?

    I just makes no sense to me Cambell, Williams and Dockett are a solid combination. Watson, Robinson and Branch may be FAs but spending the #5 pick to add depth just doesn’t make since.

    Do the “experts” just not know this team and look at the poor numbers and assume or am I missing something.

    These same “experts” predict a QB in the 2nd round. Why would this team want another project QB? Skelton is a very solid prospect that went 2 and 2 in his 4 starts and looked good at times.

    I see Whiz/ Graves going for an OLB at #5 and then adding OL, CB, TE and WR (if #15 goes)

  56. By Michael on Jan 30, 2011 | Reply

    CARDINALS PLEASE RESIGN FITZGERALD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!GET IT DONE!!!GO CARDS!!!!!

  57. By Scott H on Jan 30, 2011 | Reply

    Rodgerscromartie17

    Why do the Patriots need Fitzgerald??? Seems to me they’re doing fine without him. The patriots have proven that they are one of those teams that – excluding Tom Brady – does not need superstar players to win consistently. This is a team that RELEASED Randy Moss, brought Deion Branch back, and got better as a team. Deion Branch hadn’t been heard from in years up in Seattle. Yet, the day he’s back with the Patriots, he’s a playmaker again. Again, why do the Patriots need Fitzgerald??? Truth is, they don’t. When you can win as many games as they do with Deion Branch, Wes Welker, two rookie TE’s, and an emerging Green-Ellis…what more do you need??? Heck, if anything, WE should be trying to make a trade with THEM for one of those TE’s! Oh, wait…I forgot – our offensive philosophy doesn’t even realize that TE’s can actually catch passes during the game…silly me.

  58. By Darren Urban on Jan 30, 2011 | Reply

    SteveDCO —

    RE: Mock drafts January

    Honestly, I barely care about mock drafts right now. If you guys weren’t asking me questions, I wouldn’t even mull anything. Way too early.

  59. By Michael on Jan 30, 2011 | Reply

    We can’t afford to lose a player like FITZ! Losing Fitz would be worse than losing Dansby, Rolle, Warner, n Boldin, If you can believe that…….SO PLEASE CARDS RESIGN FITZGERALD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  60. By Scott H on Jan 30, 2011 | Reply

    Anyone watching the Pro Bowl? Neither am I.

  61. By Cappy on Jan 30, 2011 | Reply

    darren is there any way you can post or know of a website which has the team salary/player salaries and the cap

  62. By cardiac cardinals on Jan 31, 2011 | Reply

    Time to call Kevin Kolb.

  63. By Darren Urban on Jan 31, 2011 | Reply

    Cappy —

    RE: Website/salaries

    Well, there is no cap right now. I am sure there is probably some site out there with salaries for the public, but to be honest, I don’t know. Perhaps a fellow reader can help.

  64. By D on Jan 31, 2011 | Reply

    When this Labor agreement gets done in March (positive thinking) another player to look at to help the Cards is Nick Barnett. My people in GB say whatever happens after SB, he will get released. Now, he does have some baggage, but just 2 years ago he was a pro bowler ILB. First thing the new DC will do is he will want to upgrade the defense at LB.

  65. By CZarr on Jan 31, 2011 | Reply

    Darren,

    Thought you might get a kick out of this, considering all the QB talk lately.

    http://www.onionsportsnetwork.com/articles/every-team-in-nfl-calls-bengals-to-let-them-know-t,18995/

  66. By Michael on Jan 31, 2011 | Reply

    Hey Darren, i know theres not much to report on, but i miss reading your articles! i cant wait to read the one about the cards resigning Ftiz!!!!!!

  67. By Chuck 1 on Jan 31, 2011 | Reply

    This season I have been critical of Whiz for several reasons, mostly personnel, but some game, decisions e.g. the handling of the Leinart debacle, refusing to play Skelton earlier and move on from DA and Hall, acquiring two washed-up ex-Steelers (Faneca and Porter), passing on 3rd and short on too many occasions etc.

    However, I have never said that he should be fired AT THIS TIME.

    I do think that if the Cards don’t improve i.e. win more than, say six games in 2011 and make the playoffs in 2012, he should be given his walking papers.

  1. 3 Trackback(s)

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