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Bradley, still learning, waits for chance

Posted by Darren Urban on September 13, 2011 – 8:08 am

Stewart Bradley is a smart man. He reads Nietzsche and James Joyce. He studies French. He loves architecture and hopes to one day build his own house.

The linebacker, however, is still learning about the Cardinals’ defense, and the nuances of the 3-4 compared to the 4-3, the scheme he played his first four NFL seasons while with the Eagles. The players he is with at inside linebacker – Paris Lenon, Daryl Washington and Reggie Walker – all played the 3-4 last year, albeit with a different defensive coordinator. So Bradley is playing catch-up after an absent offseason, and that’s the big reason why he played little on defense in the season opener.

It was a surprise, to be sure. Bradley signed a five-year contract worth about $25 million to come to the Cards. An immediate impact was expected. It just hasn’t turned out that way – yet.

“I don’t know if struggling is the right word,” coach Ken Whisenhunt said. “I just think he needs more reps.

“There are quite a few guys who can’t just look at a book and enact what they see in the book. A lot of guys have to go out and actually experience it. They have to get the reps or they have to walk through it. … It’s a big difference, as far as adjustments, where your eyes have to be, what you’re looking at, calls you have to make, gaps you have to fit.”

Bradley played only in the Cards’ goal-line defense in the opener (plus special teams). He is remarkably good-natured about his situation. He understands his learning curve, and if the frustration is getting to him, he hides it well. He just wants to keep plugging away, knowing it will come.

“I’ll make little quizzes, write all the plays out and time myself, see how quickly I can write all the adjustments out without thinking,” said Bradley, who has been used to mentoring other players on the playbook when he was in Philly. “It has to be automatic.”

Bradley said a big difference is gap coverage – in a 4-3, he said, your gap is your gap, and “there’s solidarity in your brain.” That changes in a 3-4, and he is still gaining a comfort level.  He made the point that learning an offense has an advantage because the offense is picking the plays. The defense doesn’t have that luxury, so a more wide-ranging playbook is essential. “We don’t have a first 15 (script) on defense,” Bradley said with a smile. “‘OK, guys, we’re going to go nickel and then try goal-line, regardless of how they line up.’ ”

The Cards do have some packages in where Bradley doesn’t have a lot of responsibility, he noted, and those are “nice.” “But the deeper we get into this, the more reps I will get (everywhere),” Bradley said. “It’s just nose to the grindstone and help where I can. It’s all about winning games.”

And it’s reps, not just self-times tests at home at the dining room table, that Bradley needs.

He said his biggest adjustment was something as basic staying square to the ball. “In Cover 3 and red zone, I used to man everything up,” Bradley said. “I’d turn my body and get with a man, and now it’s ‘Stay square.’ I used to get my ass ripped for staying square, now it’s like, I better stay square.

“I know what all my assignments are. I know my coverages. I can pick that stuff up. It’s having reps … you’ve just got to see it.”

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Posted in Blog | 56 Comments »

56 Responses to “Bradley, still learning, waits for chance”

  1. By Seth on Sep 13, 2011 | Reply

    Bradley is going to be a great player for us he just needs a little time. Did anyone see where Hightower said that the Redskins were going to win Sunday? Cards D line is going to be geared up to stop him. I can’t wait to see what happens.

  2. By CardsRepInChile on Sep 13, 2011 | Reply

    Darren, with the guys ahead of him, has Bradley been able to get a decent number of reps in practices? It’s tricky as we need to get the 1st string guys as many reps as possible, but hoping Bradley gets enough reps to keep growing, hoping to watch him turn into a leader on the LB core.


  3. By Darren Urban on Sep 13, 2011 | Reply

    CardsRep —

    RE: Bradley reps

    I think that’s actually one of the problems. It’s a Catch-22. The starters need most of the reps, and Bradley needs extra reps to have a chance to play more.

  4. By georgiebird on Sep 13, 2011 | Reply

    Bradley can’t play for the Cardinals and DRC can’t play for the Eagles.
    I can’t understand why Bradley can’t play, he looked OK in preseason. And a question for Whiz- “Who on the team is playing his gaps correctly when the team gives up 422 yards to a novice QB”.
    Maybe someday the Cardinals will have the personnel for a 3-4 but that’s not anytime soon. A 3-4 to be successful means you have an outstanding NT and monster LBs-the Cardinals have neither.
    It sounds to me like putting square peg into a round hole- but Whiz will make it work- start pounding.

  5. By Michelle on Sep 13, 2011 | Reply

    Meet Cardinals Quarterback Kevin Kolb Signing Autographs Saturday October 22 at Paradise Valley Mall

  6. By georgiebird on Sep 13, 2011 | Reply

    Sunday was the 1st time in 51 years of fandom that I can remember the other team getting all the press and the Cardinals actually winning the game.

  7. By Kevin on Sep 13, 2011 | Reply

    Good post. Good insight from Bradley. Hope he gets it soon because the man looks like he was born to blow up ball carriers.


  8. By steve on Sep 13, 2011 | Reply

    Get this guy in the game. I get so tired of the way this team manages personel. Paris Lennon is terrible and Bradley will be a huge upgrade.

  9. By ndpenner on Sep 13, 2011 | Reply

    I don’t see the skins winning.But I do think that Timmy’ll run all over us. He’ll put the ball on the ground where only our D can get it at the end of each long run though, so it’ll kind of be like a punt at the end of the play :D

  10. By Seth on Sep 13, 2011 | Reply

    Steve, Paris is terrible? He lead the team in tackles last year and had the game saving tackle on Sunday. Good Call Steve

  11. By DontTakeLoses on Sep 13, 2011 | Reply

    Agree, Paris is $$.

    Bradley will come along, love how Whiz handles. Even though secondary got torched for mental mistakes, notice how good our gap control was? Thats why Bradley not quite ready for prime time perhaps. He will be. patience.

    Can’t believe Hightower and Grossman can beat Kolb and Wells. We’ll see, why they play the game;)

  12. By CJ on Sep 13, 2011 | Reply


    what do you think about moving Bradley to OLB and have him behind haggans, or do you think acho will be good enough to back up haggans or even replace haggans?

  13. By Darren Urban on Sep 13, 2011 | Reply

    CJ —

    RE: LBs

    I think everything with the linebackers right now is a work in progress. Bradley is a natural ILB. Don’t see him moving outside permanently (although I do think he’ll end up out there once in a while).

  14. By DontTakeLoses on Sep 13, 2011 | Reply


    Do you know how many game reps O’Brien got? Is there a break down of plays played somewhere?

    Thanks, patrick aka DTL

  15. By Darren Urban on Sep 13, 2011 | Reply

    Don’tTake —

    RE: Schofield reps

    I don’t have that info.

  16. By steve on Sep 13, 2011 | Reply

    Yes Seth – Paris is terrible. He led the worst defense in the NFL in tackles. He also makes all of his tackles 5-6 yards downfield. Bradlley make more tackles at or behind the line – big difference. Paris is too small to take on blocks and not particularly quick or athletic. These are not good combinations for a middle linebacker in the NFL.

  17. By Blair on Sep 13, 2011 | Reply

    After week one i would LLLOOOOVVVEEE to hear from some of you kyle orton cardinals fans. If you needed any more proof than tebow chants in week one that kolb was by far the best choice, youre crazy.

  18. By Rodgerscromartie17 on Sep 13, 2011 | Reply

    No wonder the Eagles didnt resign him

  19. By Eric on Sep 13, 2011 | Reply

    Man, I just can’t see Reggie Walker being better than Bradley. How about play him outside until he learns inside. He is clearly smarter and a better athlete. He needs to be out there. I love Paris, Washington, Schofield, Bradley starting. When I look out there and see Porter and Haggans out there, I am not seeing the best team on the field. Again, we might want to think about moving Wilson to an OLB spot, getting Hazma in there, and doing whatever we have to to get help at CB. I do think PP and Jeferson will ultimately be ok (zone blitzing Peterson when he’s man coverage on S. Smith was not very smart, ie 77 yes TD) but we need to see our money men playing. You can’t tell me what was out there was our number one package. Timmmys talking smack, everyone on the planet ignored our win, so let’s get out there and smoke the skins!

  20. By Dynosoar on Sep 13, 2011 | Reply

    I love this team! The greatest teams win while making mistakes. Also, the best quarterbacks go for first downs on third down.

    Did you watch Kevin and Cam on Sunday, they both went for first downs on third downs, no checkdowns. Watch the great ones, we saw two on Sunday. I loved that game and We Won.

    I keep hearing how great Cam Newton was. He was, but Kevin Kolb outperformed him. Cam had 64% passing, Kevin had 67%. We would’ve gone deep into the playoffs last year with 67% completion.

    Larry Fitzgerald made Boldin and Breaston great, because he was double teamed. Then when others had to address the other two, number 11 climbed to greater heights and he soared.

    He’ll do the same for Roberts and Doucet and then they’ll do the same for him. Arizona makes great wide receivers.

    Have faith my Cardinal brothers and sisters, we’ll be 5 and 0 at the bye and our only difficult team between the bye and the playoffs will be the other birds (well, probably not Seattle.)

    Eight wins, nine wins. I don’t think so. We’ll have a first round bye and home field advantage till the big dance.

    Did I mention I’m excited for this season?

    Oh, Washinton will shut down Washington and as much as I liked Hightower’s ability to break off the long run, his 2.8 yards/carry last week are a far cry from beanie’s 5. We’ve got this one!

    Indy – here we come!

  21. By ViliV on Sep 13, 2011 | Reply

    He isnt playing because he isnt a former Steeler. Whiz is loyal to guys who he has past relationships with to the detriment of his current team. Joey Porter should not be starting. Paris Lenon should not be starting. Alan Faneca never should have been here or started last year. Mcfadden never should have started for us a couple years back. It isnt surprising at all that Bradley is being benched behind a former Steeler. If Womack wasnt on the I.R., it wouldnt surprise me if he was a starter too.

  22. By Darren Urban on Sep 13, 2011 | Reply

    ViliV —

    RE: Former Steelers

    It would help your case if you had your facts right. Lenon never played for Pittsburgh, never ran across Whisenhunt before coming here. Same with Womack.

  23. By Tim in NJ on Sep 13, 2011 | Reply

    I see LB J.Porter was credited with a sack Sunday. Was that the play that they originally called on the field “imcomplete pass” when Porter spun Newton all the way around and appeared to have him in the grasp- yet Newton at the end got rid of the ball? Or was his sack on another play. I think Porter quietly played a very good game. (should maybe have 2.0 sacks)

    ~Tim in NJ

  24. By Darren Urban on Sep 13, 2011 | Reply

    Tim —

    RE: Porter

    No, the stat crew credited him with a sack that was instead Schofield/Washington. I am thinking it will be changed.

  25. By Phoenixraven1 on Sep 13, 2011 | Reply

    What’s your opinion on Acho and Schofield’s performance Sunday?

  26. By Darren Urban on Sep 13, 2011 | Reply

    Phoenixraven1 —

    RE: Schofield/Acho

    I didn’t notice them a ton, but I wasn’t looking for them either.

  27. By georgiebird on Sep 13, 2011 | Reply

    Has the doctor been by yet to read D. Washington’s MRI ?
    It’s amazing how, in some cases, the MRI results are made available right away.
    Hopefully, the Cards aren’t out picking up a LB before the news is announced.

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

    Georgie —

    RE: Washington MRI

    My guess is the Cards have known about Washington’s MRI for a while. What they know, and what they are willing to say, are two different things.

  29. By MIKE G on Sep 13, 2011 | Reply

    Hey Darren–I hope we can come up with a good effort against the Redskins this week in DC. Should be interesting facing Hightower this week. We just have to play a clean road game and I think we have a good shot to win this one. Im just concerned about our secondary play early in the season. Hopefully we will improve in that facet of the game. We can’t allow receivers to run wide open. This seems to be a league wide problem right now—inability of secondaries to cover wide-outs. I like more man to man coverage from defenses and not soft zones where corners communicate with safties and nickel backs and pass the coverage along to them. There just seems to be communication problems in doing that which leads to open receivers. I don’t like it!!–You have to get in the face of these receivers and frustrate them with good press coverage.– Darren–Do you think too many teams play soft zone coverages in the NFL?????–just seems it to me!!!

  30. By cards62 on Sep 13, 2011 | Reply

    To Georgiebird and Steve

    Georgiebird – Do you not like D. Washington? What are your thoughts on how Dan WIlliams played against Carolina?

    Steve – Paris Lennon saved the game for us from going into overtime and our rush defense was very good against a team that usually run the ball down our throats and you wish to crack on him now? Please explain to me what I missed.

    I must admit I had higher hopes for S. Bradley when we signed him, but it is very early so he has plenty of time. CJ good point about moving him outside. I am hoping Bradley can play both inside and outside for us. Starter on the outside and backup on the inside depending on injuries.

    Go Cards beat the Redskins

  31. By Ernie on Sep 13, 2011 | Reply

    Hey Darren,
    As you can see these NFL defenses in my mind took a step back this year because of the lockout and no ota’s.Its been a offense onslaught week one. I know everyone saw the patriots shred miami’s defense like swiss cheese with that no huddle.We should take a page out of brady’s book and do that to the redskins sunday. we have the personel to be that up tempo team so when the skins defense break down………FITZ and the others will have a field day!!!!

  32. By drummer-1 on Sep 13, 2011 | Reply

    Hey Darren,

    Can you ask coach Whiz if he can put Seth and Viliv on the coaching staff since they know more about coaching than he does..

  33. By drummer-1 on Sep 13, 2011 | Reply

    If the secondary is as bad as people seem to think it would have shown in the preseason, I think it was just a bad day, but of course some people take it to the extreme..I have faith they will turn it around this week..

  34. By Doc on Sep 13, 2011 | Reply

    Paris Lenon is terrible?? What Cards games are you watching Steve? Not only is Lenon the leading tackler on this team, he is a real leader. He is smart, hard working and has been the only real mainstay in LB corps.

    I could see one saying that about Porter or Haggins but not Lenon.

    Unfortunate misguided fan to see otherwise. Just look at the facts and watch the games. Who is Karlos Dansby by the way? Lenon’s solid performances week in and week out have made me forget he even existed. Lenon is a man among boys.

  35. By Seth on Sep 13, 2011 | Reply

    Drummer 1, Im not the one questioning Whiz. Unlike a lot fans that always question him, I trust in him completely and he has Lenon starting so thats fine by me. All I said was he led the team in tackles and made a good play sunday. Im not sure how that makes me think i know a ton. Just stating facts.

  36. By steve on Sep 13, 2011 | Reply


    You are brainwashed like the rest. Lennon makes all of his tackles down the field. Smart, hardworking, leader these are all the things they say about guys that cannot play just to justify playing them. Bradley is a superior athlete and LB. He is also several years younger than Lennon. Lennon is undersized and slow not a great combo. Lennon was a great leader last year as we had one of the lowest rated defenses in the league.

  37. By drummer-1 on Sep 13, 2011 | Reply

    on my last post i ment to put Steve not Seth..sorry my mistake..no hard feelings there i hope..

  38. By georgiebird on Sep 13, 2011 | Reply

    To Steve:
    I agree with you for the most part about Lenon. He’s not terrible but he’s not very good either. Would like to see him as a fill-in player.
    In the 3-4 defense, we need high ceiling type players. Our LBs should be looking like OB, Daryl, Will Davis, Cody Brown, Buster Davis. But because most of this didn’t work out, we’re stuck with retreads like Porter, Haggans and Lenon.
    Bottom line-we’re in a bad division and 8 or 9 victories puts you right there. Cardinals management may feel that a mediocre defense can win the West.
    My concern is- it’s been 51 years of pretty bad defenses- and Sunday’s performance is much more the rule than the exception
    In the same vein, the Cardinals have done their worst drafting at LB. Even the crown jewel, EJ Junior, a #1, was little more than average.
    And in the 3-4 , we need 4 top notch LB’s- history says ‘find me one.’

  39. By Steve on Sep 13, 2011 | Reply


    I bow down to you. Finally a fan with real knowledge of the game/team.

    I agree that Lennon as a backup would be fine. I would not make the negative comments if he were a reserve. That is really what he is suited for. He is a below average option as a starter.

    You are dead on with the struggles of finding some adequate OLB’s. Hopefully Schofield can develop but that is iffy. Here is to finding a pass rushing OLB somehow-someway!

    Hope to see you at a game sometime. You can find me in section 133

  40. By Doc on Sep 13, 2011 | Reply

    Fact: Have know Lenon since he was a kid so I know what he is made of.
    Fact: I am not a football coach, not the smartest guy in these conversations ( thats a guarantee) , but brainwashed I am not. I do have high school and college coaching experience so I may know a little bit about athletes and athletics. But….probably not as much as you Steve so we will leave the last real football perspective in your capable hands.
    Another fascinating fact: Every team Paris has played for in this league has doubted his credibility, jumped on the bandwagon of fan bases to suggest he does not belong in a starting role making bogus claims of tackling way down field yet interestingly, coaches (real coaches) can’t seem to keep this pro out of the lineup. And lo and behold in many cases he is the most consistent performer on the field. By the way, I have never stated that Bradley was not a great solution to ILB for this team. I simply take great exception to someone referring to the most stable backer on the field as terrible. I also did not make any claims that Lenon was Dick Butkus either. But he is a solid, consistent pro and he belongs in the starting lineup. If not with the Card, he will be somewhere for 2-3 years.

  41. By Born n Bred on Sep 13, 2011 | Reply

    Nothing is wrong with Paris Lenon and the way he played. i will admit last season i wasnt a fan because hes just your average LB in this league. He is not some, old broken down player who cant make the play tho. I love Bradley and he is the sexy name but im ok with what Paris showed me last season and that opener, if Whiz wants to rotation so be it(Would like to see more on the rotation tho).

  42. By Born n Bred on Sep 13, 2011 | Reply

    I do agree to some degree about our linebackers. In a 3-4 D you need a OLB that can make their presence felt. Porter still can make it felt in my opion. Ive tried to wrap my head around why bring Porter and Haggas back(only one should have been brought in). To me haggans needs to a part time player, doesnt show explosiveness, too slow, gets tired fast. I know hes a good vet(locker room guy) and will play assingment football and has a nice football body, but he wont make a presence felt on an offense or an Olineman.
    But you gotta see it from other views, Haggans doesnt came back who replaces him, Acho? (Ill pass) But you could have found someone out there like banta-cain, or move schoefield behind haggans and get him more reps there. It does frustrate me that since this move to a 3-4, we have not brought in a guy to play that spot with some intensity, when this D is made for outside linbackers.

  43. By cooldaddy79 on Sep 13, 2011 | Reply

    I think Bradley will work out the kinks any smart player can. I’ll think he’ll be pretty solid as the season rolls on. I really hops Washington is ready to go sunday, he’s getting better.

  44. By clssylssy on Sep 13, 2011 | Reply

    ,,,and maybe they could add Georgiebird to the coaching staff too…lol? Geez, I can’t remember a time that the Cardinals got any respect when winning a game, irregardless of who we were playing. While that seems to bother the fans, I’ve heard Larry Fitzgerald quoted as saying it doesn’t bother him and he’d prefer not to be in the limelight…giving other teams a false sense of security! I guess my biggest question is, if Steve and Georgiebird are so unhappy with the way the team is managed, coached, and everything in between what’s keeping them from the door? It’s a new season, a new dawn, be nice if there was new attitude too!

  45. By Eric on Sep 13, 2011 | Reply

    I’m going to have to disagree with this LB discussion. D. Wash is going to be a great LB. If he stays healthy, this should be his breakout year. He had two picks Sunday and a couple knock downs and a sack I believe. S. Bradley is the “high ceiling guy” you talk about, but clearly he isn’t getting the reps he needs to get in there. Whiz has always, regardless of what he says, been loyal to a fault. Schofield barley played last year, so I consider this his rookie season. If he can stay disciplined, he is an extremely gifted athlete, and will be a good pass rusher. I still don’t understand the negative talk about Paris. Yur not the leading tackler because you suck. He has a nose for the ball, and while he isn’t flashy, is a solid player. With the addition of another solid option, he is by default, going to start. Here would be my criticism, if I had a say. Why did we draft Housler number three, when we clearly needed an LB and Casey Mathews was on the board? To make that a worse decision, we had Dray, Spach, and went out and got King and Heap. I am thrilled to have both of the later, and agree Housler looks like he will be a good player in a year or two, but why address that when our weakness has always been defense? Mat hews, by the way, is starting in Philly, and while I hesitate to say he will be as good as his brother, he looked pretty dam good. I agree we need senior player to mentor the young guys, but other than D Wash and Schofiled, the rest look like projects. To make matter worse, we spend money on a real possible stud, and he’s sitting on the sidelines. You can’t tell me he couldn’t play outside as well, and work his way inside. Sure, 9 wins might win the division this year, but why bother if your going to lose in the first round of the playoffs, and history says the division won’t always be weak. I agree we didn’t draft smart on every pick. I thought it was “best player “available”, clearly not the case with Housler being picked over several decent LB options. I agree with Georgie bird on some things, but how do you keep your leading tackler on the sidelines? I also agree the most important position in a 3-4 is LB, so why don’t we draft more aggressively at that position? Either way, I am, so far, impressed and encouraged about our offense and am excited for the future, but everyone knows, defense wins championships, and we clearly have some work to do in that department.

  46. By cards62 on Sep 14, 2011 | Reply


    Overall I like the direction of our team and I like some of our offseason moves.
    Especially getting a QB so I am happy with the Cardinals. I am more happy with Whiz than Graves as of now.

    I do scratch my head at some of our offseason moves. Hopefully our team will make me look silly, but I did not understand taking WIlliams in the 2nd round when you had 3 RBs in their prime, if Beanie or Tim did not have a strong year in 2011 then get a rb in 2012. Same thing with keeping Early Doucet for the year give him 2011 and then we decide on his future. To be honest I never heard of Housler before we drafted him, but he impressed me a lot in the preseason, but of course so did our secondary and Steve Williams last year. The season is what counts, but I am excited to see Housler on the field. I think Housler could be a great player for us and Todd Heap (Full disclosure – President of the Todd Heap Fan Club) is an excellent TE, but he is old by NFL standards so we need a replacement in the future and what a great guy for Housler to learn from.

    Eric we could have had one of two stud linebackers in the draft in the second round or reached on Matthews and still had Housler in the 3rd. This is my biggest problem with our draft. Risk of course with our picks but definitely very good players available at a huge need for us LB. I was curious as to why you question our 3rd round pick and not 2nd round pick.

    Now me Eric I like a 4-3 defense over a 3-4, but I heard the NT is the most important position so I wanted us to try for 49ers free agent A. Franklin who signed with New Orleans not only could he start for us for 2-4 more years at a high level, but could be a great mentor to Dan WIlliams. Usually when you see a great offense or defense it starts with the lines OL or DL and the LBs are like the QBs and RBs they need talent for sure to be good, but they have to have a line to be superstars.

    Porter and Haggins and Acho are going to have looooooong seasons.

    2011 will be better than 2010, but my opinion we did not make enough smart moves in the offseason so hopefully 2012 will be better than 2011.

    Go Cards beat Redskins

  47. By joe67 on Sep 14, 2011 | Reply

    With his history, maybe Bradley is hurting a little and they don’t want to say anything. I want to see them all get in the lineup and be rotated. In this day and age thats the only way to be strong late in the 4th, and we certainly have had our trouibles late in games.
    Paris Lennon has never played on a real stong defensive team. The better we get, the better he will be.

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  49. By nodavis2000 on Sep 14, 2011 | Reply


    I think we drafted very well this year. I don’t have a problem with our 2nd draft pick, R Williams. When we chose him, I knew that we were going to trade Hightower. Whiz has not hiddent he fact that he wants Beanie to be the #1 back. I personally believe that Wells would have been the go to back last year, but he got hurt early and never recovered confidence-wise.

    I like the Housler pick because we have NOT IN A LONG TIME had a good receiving TE. Heap fell into our laps, but the Cards were going after King from the start of the end of the lockout.

    I know that we have our issues with Defense, but I don’t think we need to panic right now. LOOK AT THE REST OF THE LEAGUE!!! Most of the “really good” defenses last year were thrown around and beaten senseless. (Green bay, Steelers, Miami(6th overall D last year), Falcons, Saints)
    Look at the bright side:
    1. Our D against the run was great. We sucked last year in this category.
    2. Our CBs are young. Jefferson played great. PP is still learning. HE WILL GET THERE, and I think he will soon.
    3. D Washington is a stud on D. Bradley will eventually come in and be a strong compliment to him, once he learns the D a little more.
    4. The problems of our Offense was fixed. Our run game will be really good. Our passing game will only get better as our O starts to sinc.

  50. By Chuck 1 on Sep 14, 2011 | Reply

    By Eric on Sep 13, 2011

    Why did we draft Housler number three, when we clearly needed an LB and Casey Mathews was on the board? To make that a worse decision, we had Dray, Spach, and went out and got King and Heap. I am thrilled to have both of the latter, and agree Housler looks like he will be a good player in a year or two, but why address that when our weakness has always been defense? …..I agree we didn’t draft smart on every pick. I thought it was “best player “available”, clearly not the case with Housler being picked over several decent LB options…… I also agree the most important position in a 3-4 is LB, so why don’t we draft more aggressively at that position? …..defense wins championships, and we clearly have some work to do in that department.
    By cards62 on Sep 14, 2011 | Reply

    …..I do scratch my head at some of our offseason moves. Hopefully our team will make me look silly, but I did not understand taking WIlliams in the 2nd round when you had 3 RBs in their prime, if Beanie or Tim did not have a strong year in 2011 then get a rb in 2012. …..Eric, we could have had one of two stud linebackers in the draft in the second round or reached on Matthews and still had Housler in the 3rd. This is my biggest problem with our draft. Risk of course with our picks but definitely very good players available at a huge need for us LB. …..Porter and Haggins and Acho are going to have looooooong seasons.
    2011 will be better than 2010, but my opinion we did not make enough smart moves in the offseason so hopefully 2012 will be better than 2011.
    There are quite a few fans that are concerned about the Card’s defense (see the comments of Eric and cards62 that I’ve copied above). Drafting Williams and Housler are just two examples of questionable picks when the need for quality (and bigger and stronger) LBs was evident.
    The ascension to an elite team could be expedited if Graves drafted for NEED, not BPA.

  51. By Darren Urban on Sep 14, 2011 | Reply

    Chuck 1 —

    RE: Drafting

    This is what I love. If the Cards start drafting for need, they are crushed because they don’t take BPA (see Brown, Levi). Now they look at BPA, and they are being killed because they aren’t drafting for need.

    And something else shouldn’t be lost here: When they took Housler, they DID NOT HAVE A TIGHT END. They had no idea if they could get King, and at that point, they couldn’t have know Heap was going to be cut.

  52. By cards62 on Sep 14, 2011 | Reply

    nodavis2000 thanks for responding. Lets look back at the end of this season and my opinion we will be wishing for another OLB or two, NT, and OT or two.

    Darren you make a good point on BPA verses need, but selecting humans is a very subjective prospect and determining BPA in rounds 2 thru 7 is next to impossible, and there were stud OLB available in round 2. BPA is an art and not a science.

    Darren everyone knew free agancy was going to be big this year and drafting and free agency have to go hand in hand, and you know us fans like to play GM and head coach from time to time. I will not lie I would love to have Rod Graves job.
    For us fans it is like being a kid again and being paid very well to do so.

    Darren I hope I am wrong and our two OT make the pro bowl along with 4 of our linebackers and Rod Graves wins GM of the year.
    Washshington has me thinking we could have another Dansby, and I am hoping the kid from Wisc., O.S. will get better and better. He was great in college at DE and made great progress from his very bad knee injury so I think he has a lot of upside. Stewart Bradley is learning a new defense so he will improve and Sam A. is a rookie so he to should get better and better.

    Go Cards beat the Redskins

  53. By nodavis2000 on Sep 15, 2011 | Reply

    No problem. It’s fun to talk about football with another fellow fan. And talk respectfully. I see too many times on here that some fans are just rude or insulting. I like expressing my point of view on things with the Cards. I love this organization and will always be a part of the RED SEA.

    GO CARDS!!!

  54. By Chuck 1 on Sep 15, 2011 | Reply


    I don’t think that Williams (@ #2) was either the BPA or (especially) a NEED.

    Surely, one could argue that a quality LB could be considered an equally BPA AND a NEED @ #2.

  55. By Darren Urban on Sep 15, 2011 | Reply

    Chuck —

    RE: Williams

    You could make that argument. I don’t know where they had the remaining linebackers ranked, however. They had Williams as one of the top 20 players available. They did the “reach for the best remaining pass rushing LB in the second round” before. That’s how Cody Brown ended up here.

  56. By Chuck 1 on Sep 15, 2011 | Reply


    Being a Penn State grad, I recall how the Bills drafted Maybin (maybe in round #1), a very good pass rushing DE a couple of years ago and he was cut this year by the Bills ala Cody Brown.

    So, your point is well taken.

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