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Blogs

Old friends, new teams and trash talk

Posted by Darren Urban on October 20, 2011 – 7:58 am

It happens all the time — two teams meet, and ex-teammates on each side end up with some good-natured smack talk before the game. It just doesn’t usually happen in the middle of the locker room. But there was Cardinals’ reserve defensive lineman Nick Eason Wednesday, about to do an interview, when his phone rang. The caller ID said it was Chris Hoke — a defensive lineman from the Steelers. Instead of letting it go to voice mail, Eason picked up.

“Don’t call me now, I’m about to do an interview about we’re gonna beat y’all,” Eason said, smile growing on his face. Then he punched speaker to let everyone in on the brief conversation.

“Is Casey playing?” Eason asked, knowing that Steelers starting nose tackle Casey Hampton has been banged up with a bad shoulder. “Don’t worry about that,” Hoke said.

(A quick side note: Eason, along with fellow long-time D-line vet Vonnie Holliday, have fit perfectly into their roles. Would each like to play more? Yes. But both have embraced their jobs as wise sages in the locker room, there to mainly support guys like Calais Campbell, Darnell Dockett, Dan Williams and David Carter.)

“Is Casey playing? Why can’t you tell me? We aren’t friends?” Eason repeated through his grin, only to get the same, “Don’t worry about that” answer from Hoke. “So we’re enemies now,” Eason said. “I thought we were boys. That’s how you’re gonna act.”

It was Hoke’s turn to dig, noting that “Ramon” — Steelers offensive lineman Ramon Foster — told Hoke he was going to “pancake” Eason. That drew another grin from Eason. “You tell Ramon he ain’t gonna be able to move me,” the 6-foot-3, 305-pound Eason said. “He never has, and he’s not going to start now.”

There are only three ex-Steelers playing for the Cards right now: Eason and linebackers Joey Porter and Clark Haggans (cornerback Crezdon Butler is on IR). For all the ties to Pittsburgh — and there are still plenty on the coaching staff — the Cards have looked to downplay that aspect of the game this week. Eason is no exception, save for his jabs to Hoke.

“I’m not jacked up,” Eason said. “Obviously, it’s a dominant opponent. Pittsburgh is a dominate team. You’ve got to give it to them. But right now we are 1-4. I just want a win here. I don’t care if it was whomever, it’s the next game. And we need a win.”


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Posted in Blog | 23 Comments »


23 Responses to “Old friends, new teams and trash talk”

  1. By MIKE G on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply

    Hey Darren – Always a little extra when the Steelers come in. I think we need to see a bunch of Beanie this week–20-25 carries. Kolb will see some different looks this week from the Steelers and cannot turn it over. Plus we need to get 2 turnovers from our D. I’m going Cards 23 Steelers 20. We need a win in the worst way or this could be a difficult season. Next week at Ravens – Kolb will see 2 very good defenses – he must be careful with the ball. This is a very important stretch for Kolb – to me he has regressed the last couple of weeks — the next few weeks will show if he can keep his poise and be a leader against some good football teams. We need him to step up. Darren do you see Rashad Johnson making some plays this week???? — we need him– make or break year for him. We are very young in the secondary????

  2. By Darren Urban on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply

    Mike G –

    RE: Rashad

    Having Johnson make a play or two would be huge for this team.

  3. By MIKE G on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply

    Hey Darren– I heard Whiz say he is going to tweak the offense during the bye week. What do you make of that??? More Beanie??? Less 3 & 4 receiver sets from the wideouts?? One thing I think would help Kolb and the offense would be to run a no-huddle offense during one of their possesions. They seem to be good at it and it would keep the Steelers from substituting. Could also be a confidence booster for Kolb.

  4. By BIG RED on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply

    Just win, baby!

  5. By John on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply

    Darren,
    How do you think a hamstring injury will affect mike wallace on sunday?

  6. By Darren Urban on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply

    John –

    RE: Wallace

    Last I saw, I think he was supposed to play. But hamstrings are always a tricky thing.

  7. By jstn on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply

    ENOUGH SAID!! JUST WIN ONE BIRDS!!!!

  8. By J K on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply

    Of course these guys are going to have fun and trash talk each other… No matter how bad the season goes these athletes are still men with their own lives and they can’t be expected to be serious 100% of the time. That being said this post reminds me of the Derek Anderson incident. Laughing and joking when the fans are doing anything but. Poor timing, really. Cardinals have no right to trash talk anybody right now. But hey, that’s just my opinion. Let’s hope they back it up this weekend and make me and any other fans who want to see production on the field and not just from mouths eat crow.

  9. By Austin on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply

    Hey Darren,
    I’m sure you will be overwhelmed with this question but given our need to pull defenses attention away from Fitz, wouldnt it be worth it to roll the dice with him? I know he just had surgery but it would give us another legitimate threat that defenses would have to respect. What are your thoughts?

  10. By Austin on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply

    by the way, I was speaking of TO. sorry for not mentioning that.

  11. By J. Montoya on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply

    Darren,

    Off the subject, how could you not just burst out laughing after the last Cardinals Underground when Wolf yelled out, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING!!!!!!” as a veteran’s example lol! How did you contain yourself I couldn’t stop laughing!

  12. By Darren Urban on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply

    Austin –

    RE: T.O.

    Personally, no, I do not think it’s worth it to try and get him. In my opinion you need a winning situation and a team that could take him or leave him to keep him focused. Bringing him in to “save a season” would be a mistake to me.

  13. By Darren Urban on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply

    J. Montoya –

    RE: Wolf yell

    I think I did snicker, but I was careful enough to move the mic away from my face.

  14. By nodavis2000 on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply

    Darren,
    In your article Chasing Roethlisberger, DD has 5 1/2 sacks against the last two times when we played the Steelers. 3 in SB, 2 1/2 in 07. Are you pretty much saying he might have a huge game this Sunday??? Their Oline is horrible too. So we might have a big game with sacks, hurries, and hits.

    Do you know if our defensive scheme was different in those two yrs??? Like 4-3 instead of the 3-4 we do now…

  15. By Darren Urban on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply

    nodavis –

    RE: Dockett/Steelers

    The Cards were using a 4-3/3-4 hybrid at the time, with Bertrand Berry and Chike Okeafor as the ROLBs. It is a true 3-4 now, and Dockett does have different responsibilities.

    As for what will happen, what’s the famous disclaimer? “Past performance does not guarantee future results.”

  16. By NJAZCardsFan on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply

    Right now any Cardinal making a play would be huge……

  17. By brythybo7 on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply

    Darren –

    Im sure you have been asked this over a thousand times and Ive refrained just to see what some of our young guys can do, but are they looking at any other recievers to pair with Fitz? I think Houshmanzadeh still has some fire for at least a season or two, or even TO (even though I dislike the guy) Fitz cant get open because he is always covered. Any chance of them grabbing someone else?

  18. By Scott H on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply

    I really don’t know what anyone has seen this year to make them feel even remotely confident that the Cardinals can / will win this game. They’ve played good enough to beat teams who are better than them …and lost. They’ve played down to teams that are no better than them….and lost. And they’ve played teams who are probably worse than them…and lost ( by a margin of 24 points ). And they are going to beat the Steelers this week? Really? Alright. But I think you are in for rude awakening on Sunday if you dare to believe that.

    Of course, I’ll be criticized for being negative for taking this view. But just as negativity often gets mistaken for passion, it also quite often gets mistaken for realism. This team is 1-4 and pretty much universally ranked as one of the worst 3 or 4 teams in the league right now. So….like it or not, I’ve got an awful lot of evidence to support my point of view and prediction for a beat down by the Steeelrs this week. Mike Wallace is a BEAST and the Cardinals have no one who can contain this guy.

  19. By AndyStandsUp on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply

    The Cards are on their version of the Led Zeppelin Reunion Tour by playing Pittsburgh with Bryant McFadden, Baltimore with Anquan Boldin, Philadelphia with DRC and St. Louis with Rod Hood and Stephen Spach.

    Good to see Whiz hasn’t lost his sense of humor despite the pressure he must be feeling. When asked what he might do differently against the Steelers this time, he replied “When we get down to the one yard line, we won’t be throwing it to James Harrison.”

  20. By Darren Urban on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply

    bryth –

    RE: Adding a receiver

    No, I don’t expect them to do that.

  21. By AZ Fan in WA on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply

    Darren,
    What do you make of Fitz’s comments on NFL.com regarding a #2 receiver? The headline read something like ‘A little help please’… http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d8234b654/article/trouble-in-the-desert-fitzgerald-wants-no-2-wr-for-support?module=HP11_content_stream
    Do you think he is frustrated or is that a reporter making a headline out of nothing?

  22. By Darren Urban on Oct 21, 2011 | Reply

    Az Fan –

    RE: Fitz comments

    Fitz said yesterday the comments came from a question asked about what is different for him now than before in getting the ball. He said he stated the players mentioned. I don’t think he is campaigning for another receiver, although he — like everyone else — wants to find a way to be more productive and yes, I think it is bugging him.

  23. By clssylssy on Oct 21, 2011 | Reply

    Wow! that anybody would take the Arizona Republic seriously is a beyond me. Like other journalist they take any comment or sound bite and spin it to sell papers and grab headlines. If anybody watches football they can’t possibly believe that the Cards are as bad as portrayed by the media and know there are other teams struggling and worse off than we are. Watching the Miami game Monday night, I couldn’t help comparing their fans to ours as I do with St.Louis..THOSE ARE SOME FANS! The fact is, a number of teams were thrown under the bus by the lockout plain and simple. Of course our players are frustrated and I’m sure Larry and Docket and Adub are feeling it more than some of the rookies who weren’t here before our owners sold us down the river . Coaches don’t forget how to coach and the fact is that we have almost an entirely new roster. I believe in coach Whisenhunt…he got us to the Superbowl and has a lot of unpolished gems to work with It’s harder to “unlearn” and relearn in an instant so rookie QBs have that going for them right off whereas K.Kolb got short changed. I would like to see Skelton get a chance to get in there while Kolb has time to learn but still believe that we have the talent to win this game against the Steelers. Fans should remember that we beat the Saints last year with Max Hall (also underrated) and have pulled off some pretty incrediable wins in the past against all odds.
    GO CARDINALS! YOU CAN DO IT! BEAT THE STEELERS!

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