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Raiders aftermath

Posted by Darren Urban on August 12, 2011 – 7:52 am

A successful first step. That was the general theme coming from the Cards Thursday night after beating the Raiders. It’s hard to look at it any other way. I will say this, the game looked to me a lot like any other preseason game. In other words, it wasn’t overly sloppy, it didn’t reflect to the naked eye (or typical fan) the lost offseason or lack of practice time. We’ll see if that holds true once games start for real.

– Running back Beanie Wells said he could speak for the team when he called the performance “encouraging.” On being unable to get into the end zone with those four straight rushes, he admitted on one, “I knew I was going to get in, but I was too high. I thought it was a walk-in. If I had been lower, I would have gotten in.”

– Quarterback Kevin Kolb, on the playcalling on the failed TD drive: “Of course, we were trying to find out a little bit about ourselves. Some of the guys were tired, there is a lot of strategy that go into those four plays. We didn’t execute down there, but we learned a lot. We’ve have had some pretty intense goal line drills in practice and been pretty successful, so when we get back down there I think we’ll be pretty successful.”

Translated: That wasn’t what will happen in the regular season.

– Running back Ryan Williams looked explosive at times in his first work, but he played behind both Beanie and LaRod Stephens-Howling. I thought the Hyphen flashed on a few of his runs too.

– You could see the experience working for the second-unit offensive line, especially when they took on the Oakland backup defenders.

– The first-unit pass rush didn’t create a ton of pressure. It’s early but that’s something to keep an eye on. The defense did make a lot of third-down stops when it had too, though, with batted balls and some hurries.

– You can see why the coaches like cornerback A.J. Jefferson. I still don’t know if he holds off the competition to remain a starter, but it is hard not to see him ending up in the mix for playing time.

– The first-unit offensive line improved on Kevin Kolb’s second drive, and on a couple of his incompletions/scrambles, he had time just no one open.

– Rookie fullback Anthony Sherman, as both a blocker and special teamer, looks like he is going to be a good one.

– The Raiders’ captains screwed up on the coin toss, which is the reason the Cards got to receive the kickoff to open both halves. The Raiders won the toss, but instead of electing to defer, they said kickoff. They wanted the ball to start the second half, but language counts and it let the Cards get the first kickoff and then choose to take the second kickoff.

– Speaking of kickoffs, it was interesting to see so many kicked short as teams looked at their players on special teams. I think, with kickoffs moved up to the 35 this year, we will have more touchbacks than that.

– The outcome is meaningless and usually Whisenhunt doesn’t go out of his way to ensure a win in preseason, but his mood definitely reflects a win. It was also hard not to notice last night, after Janikowski belted the 57-yard field goal to take the lead, that the Cards were going to give some end-of-the-roster wideouts playing time – Sean Jeffcoat, Daiveun Curry-Chapman and Aaron Nichols – yet before the drive started, the Cards instead decided to give Max Hall better weapons in Isaiah Williams, Chansi Stuckey and DeMarco Sampson.

– On that point, however, the Cards did go with their end-of-the-depth chart rookies on the offensive line on that drive.

– Tight end Todd Heap was the only injury, and he looks like he’ll be fine long-term. That may be the best news of all.


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60 Responses to “Raiders aftermath”

  1. By ProSportsPhoenix on Aug 12, 2011 | Reply

    I agree with your assessments LOL.

    I think the team showed more depth than they have ever had, especially at O line. All four QBs moved the ball without an interception; they made many good decisions. I know when the regular season starts and you have the pressure to win things will be different.

    I think the secondary has talent but is a long way from being good.

    I loved Whiz’s commitment to the run game even though they did not score. We have a real TE, and more than one! WOW

    If we can just have a defense rated in the top half of the league, watch out.

    Let’s Roll

  2. By Peter in Canada on Aug 12, 2011 | Reply

    I didn’t see the game of course so with only the stats to go on your report is extremely helpful. I think we have reason to be very optimistic. Last year if you recall, our first unit hardly made a first down. Our wins were due to Skelton and Hall coming back against the other teams third stringers. This year our first unit did a hell of a lot better with limited practice time.
    I think our receivers deserve a real shot with QB’s who can get them the ball. I think they will do just fine. The running game needs work but that was to be expected.You indicate that the first unit Oline looked o.k. which is a huge plus.

  3. By TheWalsh83 on Aug 12, 2011 | Reply

    Darren,

    I know this is a bit early, but I think the biggest thing that stuck out to me was how well ALL the QBs played. Looks like a good competition between Hall/Bartel.

    “IF” over the next two games, all the QBs have similar (strong) performances, I assume it will be a very difficult decision, but who do you ultimately think will stay? or the likelihood all stay and a cut is made elsewhere?

  4. By irishred on Aug 12, 2011 | Reply

    I saw some bright red strengths last night…..though I must say they remain anonymous as I don’t have the roster memorized yet! Why the long face for Larry? I missed that stunning smile :(

  5. By Honda Doug on Aug 12, 2011 | Reply

    I thought all four QB’s looked to be in mid-season form, they sure enough have nice targets to throw too. Nice interview by ABC, with Todd Heap. Both O line and D line, looked to be okay. I’m excited with position the team is in, given the limited amount they have been together. Go Big Red.

  6. By Hank on Aug 12, 2011 | Reply

    Darren,

    It was a little surprising to see the coordinators up in the booth instead of down on the field. For some reason, I imagined Horton as a hands-on, fired up type of player’s coach. Is this something that will continue into the season?

  7. By D on Aug 12, 2011 | Reply

    I saw some bright spots last night, AJ Jefferson at CB, R. Williams at RB and Kolb…but the weak spots were glaring…poor Off Tackles, No speed at #2 WR, No pass rush from OLB and R. Johnson at safety maybe a bad draft pick…best part of the game, no serious injuries…

  8. By BobF on Aug 12, 2011 | Reply

    The first string O line didn’t do Beanie any favors down by the goal line. Ryan Williams did look strong.

  9. By John the draft guy on Aug 12, 2011 | Reply

    Here is what I saw;

    Is Anthony Sherman the next Ron Wolfley? Special teams demon.

    Rashad Johnson had his time to shine and missed several tackles and committed a PI to lead to a score. If ADub isn’t there, they have to make a move.After ADub and Rhodes, we have nothing.

    WR competition is heating up. Both Williams and Sampson look good, Of Course Fitz is Fitz. That in my opinion leaves 2 spots left for Doucet, Chanci and Roberts. Roberts makes the team, so, as long as the William’s and Sampson keep improving, we could see both Doucet and Komar cut.

    Ryan Williams is a great second round pick. He is what Thomas Jones was suppose to be (and later became elsewhere) Elusive yet drops the shoulder for extra yards.

    Skelton looks worlds better this year. Looks like he knows where the ball should go and comfortable. Kolb hit Larry twice and can take a breath and relax. Looked a little shacky but promising.

    AJ Jefferson is a battler and could remain as starter. Like his attitude on the field. I just think Peterson should be moved to safety. I think of the deep pass off Marshall down the middle of the field. The safety was very late getting over, Peterson picks the ball. just my opinion.

    Some possible practice squad guys who flashed, OLB #39, DE #96 –

    Finally, Patrick Peterson needs to do the punts. Roberts just struggles here.

    Good win for Max Hall, who most likely will be cut. It will help him latch on somewhere else.

  10. By John the draft guy on Aug 12, 2011 | Reply

    Darren,
    You know how I feel about the WRs, but rumors are out there that the Cards are interested in trading for Lee Evans. Evans is due 5+ million plus a couple of years at even higher salary I’ve heard.

    I just can’t see the cards taking on this contract, although, out of all the names mentioned, Evans at least makes sense.

    Do you have any info on this?

  11. By cards62 on Aug 12, 2011 | Reply

    Darren – Thank you for the analysis I did not get to see the game yet as I am waiting on Saturday Morning at 2 AM.

    Good to know that Kobb is a little mobile and can scramble for yards sometimes.
    I am glad he looked good and also the other QBs even Max who I do not like.

    I am glad the pup receivers played well, but our #2 Roberts had 1 catch and fumbled a punt yet again. I want Lee Evans to stretch the field.

    I am a big OSU and Beanie fan, but I hate reading I could have got in if I would have lowered my shoulder and tried harder. Beanie what are you waiting on? How long have you played football now? Do you not know the coaches, teammates and fans are looking at you? Its time to play football Beanie, Tim was given away to the Redskins.

    Go Cards! I received my 4 tickets for the Cardinals game against the Bengals on Christmas Eve so I am excited I get to see them live this year.

  12. By CJ on Aug 12, 2011 | Reply

    I only watched the first quarter and part of the 2nd, but overall I was a little disappointed in our running under Beanie Wells in the first string offense and disappointed with our defense containing the run. Similar problems we had last year.

    Aside from that one blow out run Beanie had, I didn’t really see him do much up the middle while Oakland seemed to get a consistent 3-4 yards every run. I’ll take a consistent 3-4 yards over an occasional 20. Consistent running gives Kolb an easier time with the pass.

    Other than that one thing, I thought it was an overall solid first showing. Kolb looked good in the pocket and did a nice scramble. Fitz was Fitz like always. Even our 2nd and 3rd strings looked good from the highlight reels. Looks like we have some decent depth which is comforting.

  13. By Zero on Aug 12, 2011 | Reply

    All 4 QB’s did really well as did the wide receivers. I do think that our depth at WR is pretty good. Plus a lot of them are the ones that are big and good with jump balls like Larry, etc.

    One thing that I saw that really bugged me was the play that Roberts fumbled. Peterson should have paid more attention because he just stood close by not looking while the Raider players jumped for the loose ball.

  14. By clssylssy on Aug 12, 2011 | Reply

    Peter–
    So sorry you didn’t get to see the game as the Cards LOOKED better on the field than can be adequately reflected on paper…I was in your position last season…talked about the 7th circle of Hell for a football fan! Skelton and Hall once again showed they are much better than given credit and were responsible for our win…28 yd TD in the last 2 minutes…YES! Cardiac Cards are alive! Hopefully, our defense will be fast learners as I didn’t see much in this first “learning experience.” And that blatant facemask grab…even a blind person could see that, what was the outcome of that, network went to commercial? I’m still trying to understand some of the changes this year…kickoff at the 35 or is it the 40…seems like teeing off on the woman’s tee? NICE BEGINNING GUYS,,,GOOD LUCK! WE DO THIS TOGETHER!

  15. By Buck on Aug 12, 2011 | Reply

    Liked the game and saw many bright spots. One concern – Whiz still is a poor manager of time. The last two minutes of the first half were poorly handled.

  16. By beauchamp on Aug 12, 2011 | Reply

    poor adams, his meniscus surgery and missed time looks like he’ll be stuck with an injury settlement rather than a roster spot. im excited aj jefferson looks as good as i thought he would be coming out of college

  17. By Stuart on Aug 12, 2011 | Reply

    I hate the fact that it is only preseason, but heck got alot of encoragment out of this game. I just as a fan want to see more progress every preseason game, and see this team crack skulls when the regular season starts. LETS GET IT DONE CARDS!!!!!! PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE MAKES PERFECTION!!!!!!!!! It’s time to see the Cardinals dynasty.

  18. By Matt in Philly on Aug 12, 2011 | Reply

    I know that this was just the first pre-season, but I saw several of the old recurring themes against a raiders team that frankly isn’t that good:

    – No pass rush whatsoever at any point.
    – O-line struggled to give Kolb time in the pocket. We’ve heard from all of the Philly guys that Kolb is a great pocket passer, but not very good when he has to move. Not a good sign.
    – O-line continues to be weak on the run blocking, showing little ability to push the defense back to open up running lanes
    – Beanie Wells can’t seem run between the hash marks. He flashes around the edges, but cannot break through up the middle.

    Some great things were there too. The contribution to the passing game by the TEs was refreshing. I thought that Floyd Womack looked very good, albeit against back-ups. Man, does DeMarco Sampson look good. Great hands. Stephen Williams also showed some in-game ability for the first time.

  19. By Matt in Philly on Aug 12, 2011 | Reply

    One more thing: my favorite play of the game was when Ryan Williams caught that pass across the middle from Skelton. Not only a GREAT play by Skelton, but incredibly smart by Williams, who seemed to know instinctively where to go as Skelton was flushed out of the pocket. That was the most impressive play I’ve seen by a Cards running back in a long time.

  20. By Chris on Aug 12, 2011 | Reply

    Think there is any chance we see Ryan Williams in with the first unit this preseason?

  21. By NJAzCardsFan on Aug 12, 2011 | Reply

    A “Heads Up” for those who live outside the Az area…..
    One can listen to the game over the internet by logging onto KTAR FM.
    Do a search on this station and one can catch the game live like I did.

  22. By R Robles on Aug 12, 2011 | Reply

    I think they looked really good………..defence eh without Wilson there different & no pass rush I hate to say it but overall they looked good enjoyed everybit of football

  23. By kauaicardsfan on Aug 12, 2011 | Reply

    So happy football is back! Encouraging is a good way to describe this first game, I can see Ryan Williams breaking runs and taking it to the house, he has that potential!

    Love to see the big receivers break into the first team line up one day?Williams and Sampson may be a great compliment to Fitz soon?

    Darren what kind of injury did Heap have?

    Mahalo!

  24. By CZarr on Aug 12, 2011 | Reply

    *sigh* @ Levi Brown

    Its a good thing Kolb has wheels because he’s going to be getting blown up a lot back there.

    I understand Mr. Brown is intelligent, and I’m sure the coaches love that, but why is he still starting?

  25. By cards>niners on Aug 12, 2011 | Reply

    I expect Ryan Williams to get snaps with the first/second teams in green bay.

  26. By kauaicardsfan on Aug 12, 2011 | Reply

    Disregard Darren, read the other story on Heaps injury! Mahalo

  27. By Kaleb on Aug 12, 2011 | Reply

    PRESSERS!

  28. By pleasestayfitz on Aug 12, 2011 | Reply

    I liked what I saw that game mostly. Our line looked a lot better after the 1st drive. The one big problem I saw was Rashad Johnson. He just doesn’t look like he has it to me. I was really surprised by AJ Jefferson though, he looked like he’s taken a huge step and could end up being a really good cb!

  29. By sark on Aug 12, 2011 | Reply

    I like that Housler. Looks like a bright future.

  30. By mrnickscott on Aug 12, 2011 | Reply

    First, I am very proud of the game the Cards put on and really like what Kolb did. I might end up happily eating crow at the end of this season….

    that being said, the o-line not being able to get ANY push on goal line stand is something to worry about.

    Also, the defense not being able to put any pressure on the Q is a HUGE issue. The raiders are not a potent air threat, yet they marched down and got field goals like it was nothing. We need a pass risher

  31. By Secret on Aug 12, 2011 | Reply

    Wow the TE’s look good! Todd Heap was excellent as expected, but did you see Jeff King? He blocked good as advertised!

  32. By Kofari on Aug 12, 2011 | Reply

    The cardinals should start alll of these linebackers Stewart Bradley At Right Outside Daryl Washington Middle Lenon Paris Inside And Obrien Schophield Left Outside And Start Some Of The Yound Linemen

  33. By Kofari on Aug 12, 2011 | Reply

    Young Linemen

  34. By Scott H on Aug 12, 2011 | Reply

    VERY cool to see Kolb buying time with his legs and showing the ability to run for a first down if that is what he needs to do. Looking forward to seeing more of him in the next few games. While expect him to be a huge improvement over what we had last year at QB, I still want to see the running game.

  35. By D on Aug 12, 2011 | Reply

    I don’t see AZ giving up another 2012 draft pick for a WR..maybe for a pass rusher…Jerry Hughes in Indy?

  36. By joe on Aug 12, 2011 | Reply

    very impressed with skelton, it shows hes used his down time wisely. Very impressed with sampson and williams as well. little nervous with this d but its to soon to tell. nervouse as well with special teams.
    Wolf back on the air calling it like it is, how great!!! No other team i bet has a ron wolf, what he does in transition from the game to the fans is superb “nuclear” !!!!
    One more thing……..Duce? Whats going on with him, i cant see him loosing weight and getting strong in 3 weeks and be healthy in doing so, he has really cut it thin this year.
    Cards 2011 !!! Onward Adventure we go.

  37. By Chris Freeman on Aug 12, 2011 | Reply

    Darren-

    out of what you saw last night from the QBS, who do you think shown the most pocket presence and ability to perform under pressure situations.

  38. By Chris Freeman on Aug 12, 2011 | Reply

    Also why dont you commentate preseason games, i would think your input on what trasnsitions between practice and gameday would be more insightful.

  39. By brad oneill on Aug 12, 2011 | Reply

    I think if our second units could play other teams second units we would win the less than super bowl.

    Unfortunately there is no less than super bowl so our number ones have to beat their number ones and that doesn’t look quite as easy right now.

    Ray horton looked very stressed on tv, I really hope the fans and other coaches give him some more time before passing judgment. we have to keep in mind that Ware was a last minute addition and had only a few days with horton before the game started. i was encouraged by the second unit on defense but the first unit seemed hesitant to act. i loved seeing Porter looking like the Porter of old and not like an old porter.

    I hate the fact that duece is being put on the second unit, he is going to be starting in the first game so lets get the line gelling properly and quit with the games.

  40. By Mr. Know It All on Aug 12, 2011 | Reply

    Go Cards!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  41. By Reo on Aug 12, 2011 | Reply

    Still no love from the NFL network. Another year with the Cards Pre-Season games being played at 1 & 2 am. They act like we have no fans.

  42. By cardsalltheway on Aug 12, 2011 | Reply

    It looked like Beanie had a hole to his left one one of his TD attempts but went right. I suppose he could’ve tried diving, but it’s only preseason.
    Hamza did look good, and I’ll expect more from PP7 in the future. All of our QB’s did okay, the Cards are a good team to bet on in the preseason aye? Reminder: Last year’s first season game saw J. Skelton leading us to a come back victory and was replaced on the depth chart the next game by M. Hall. Essentially, he got demoted for his fantastic effort. Will M. Hall be rewarded?

  43. By Andy on Aug 12, 2011 | Reply

    I thought that DeMarcco Sampson and Richard Marshall looked really impressive but I wish I have could of seen more from Stewart Bradley.

  44. By cardsalltheway on Aug 12, 2011 | Reply

    Darren,
    How about the fans getting a chance to call the first play during one of these preseason games? The Seattle Seahawk fans had that chance and they gained two yards on their first play compared to our no gain called by Ken W.

  45. By Darren Urban on Aug 12, 2011 | Reply

    TheWalsh —

    RE: QBs

    They won’t keep 4 QBs. Hall is still fighting uphill as of today, I think.

  46. By Darren Urban on Aug 12, 2011 | Reply

    Hank —

    RE: Horton booth

    I believe that’s the plan. Coordinators go where they are most comfortable.

  47. By Darren Urban on Aug 12, 2011 | Reply

    Chris —

    RE: Ryan Williams

    I heavily doubt it.

  48. By Darren Urban on Aug 12, 2011 | Reply

    Kauai —

    RE: Heap

    http://www.azcardinals.com/news-and-events/article-2/Receivers-Do-The-Job/e3ae3c59-dbdc-407d-aac5-510712bf8019

  49. By Darren Urban on Aug 12, 2011 | Reply

    Kaleb —

    RE: Pressers

    Sorry. Has some technical issues. Not this game.

  50. By Darren Urban on Aug 12, 2011 | Reply

    Chris Freeman —

    RE: QBs

    Too early.

  51. By drummer-1 on Aug 12, 2011 | Reply

    @Cardalltheway…

    More hatered for Whiz huh… Sometimes the players have to make a play… but i’m pretty sure you’re a better HC..

  52. By Jerry on Aug 12, 2011 | Reply

    Personally I think Hall is a good QB, is he to small for the position…definitly yes. He would never be starting material I think but give him a good o line, he’d make a good backup or 3rd string.

  53. By Firemagoo on Aug 12, 2011 | Reply

    Whiz gonna be play calling all year? Think he does just fine but curious cause I thought the end of last year he turned it over a couple of games.

  54. By Darren Urban on Aug 12, 2011 | Reply

    Firemagoo —

    RE: Playcalling

    I must have missed something about this because you’re not the first to mention it. Was something said on the broadcast about playcalling?

  55. By cardsalltheway on Aug 12, 2011 | Reply

    Chris Freeman,
    Because he doesn’t have a big enough mouth?

    Joe,
    “Wolf back on the air calling it like it is, how great!!! No other team i bet has a ron wolf, what he does in transition from the game to the fans is superb “nuclear” !!!!”

    He has a BIG mouth and is VERY annoying, only a local broadcaster. He wouldn’t make it nationally(unless he toned it down considerably), simply too irritating.

  56. By Kaleb on Aug 13, 2011 | Reply

    LEE EVANS

    he was already traded to baltimore guys I had my eye on him too. The wide reciever market is pretty dry now i say we just get Larry to stick around and get these young guys and our TE’s to take some pressure off larry. Unless we go for T.O.. You know how i feel about that. I like me some him. Great athelete.

  57. By jeffcardinalfan on Aug 13, 2011 | Reply

    good thing i taped this game…after reading these comments im gonna have to watch it again..or maybe i just dont see too good anymore…lol…
    1-imo, kolb will be fine…not bad 4 having was it 5 practices and hes already learned to look 4 fitz
    2-unless the d gels quick, we had better score lots of points
    3-if i was whiz, i woulda pulled the starting ol and beanie for 1 series after the failure at the goalline…as i discussed with my son while this was happenning-u expect some mistakes in preseason, especially with how this offseason was, but somebody hit somebody in the mouth!!-the cards need to develop a NASTY attitude when it comes to RUNNING THE BALL!!
    4-i sure hope ryan williams is smart enuf 2 learn blitz pick up fast…if he can, he starts by game 5 or 6…he almost every time got a yard or 2 after beanie woulda been laying on the ground…
    5-maybe drc didnt tackle but he did COVER some of the time…yeeesh!!
    6-it is hard not 2 b impressed with skelton…hope we keep him around past his rookie contract…first time ive seen much out of bartell..hall continues to tease-in time he could probably be a decent #2 but will b with another team
    7-halls gamewinning td was NOT td, wr was out of bounds at the 4…still nice play by hall
    8-im still waiting 4 a defensive player to make a big play…get well adub!!
    9-im not sure if lee evans(contract $) is the answer…looks like we have a great #1 and a bunch of #3’s sampson and williams did show potential..housler will make the team…doucet will probably be healthy 4 the next 10 years-on another team…
    10-all in all, a win is a win and it coulda been worse…we just need to see improvement each week-the nfc west is there 4 the taking…seahawks looked pitiful

  58. By clssylssy on Aug 13, 2011 | Reply

    Don’t get the excitement about Bartel. He is a gym rat, he has a strong work ethic, he is all about the game…I think the same can be said of all four quarterbacks. As far as I could see he didn’t contribute that much in this game situation. He got sacked four times and didn’t put any points on the board. Hall and Skelton, ironically the two guys fighting for their jobs, did shake things up and close the deal. So Hall is not a big guy–neither was Kurt Warner. LOVED the passion and energy these dark horses brought to the game!

  59. By TucsonTim on Aug 13, 2011 | Reply

    Ray Horton comes in and deals with 11 new people, a new scheme, loss of a pro bowl safety and gets it done in a week. It wan’t perfect and the pass rush could have been better, but it worked. Russ Grimm has 5 and 4 were starters last year. “mental mistakes” FIRE RUSS GRIMM. the only “mental mistake” is keeping that loser and his son on the pay roll. Thank God Kolb can scramble, he will be doing a lot of it.

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