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Blogs

The Doucet debate

Posted by Darren Urban on December 26, 2011 – 10:45 am

In the aftermath of the TD-catch-that-wasn’t by Early Doucet — and it wasn’t a drop, in this case, because Doucet’s feet got tangled and he never got a chance to get his hands on the ball — the fourth-year wide receiver has been a popular topic of conversation this morning. Larry Fitzgerald Sr., a long-time writer and sports commentator in Minnesota, tweeted out that Doucet “bombed” this season and drops too many passes. (Mike Sando tracked Big Fitz down for a more detailed explanation). In Sando’s piece, Fitzgerald Sr. said that Doucet was invited to train with Larry Fitzgerald Jr. this offseason and didn’t come, and the elder Fitz wondered about Doucet’s work ethic.

That led former Cardinals and current Chiefs wide receiver Steve Breaston to tweet out, “Always found it funny if you ain’t working out at this place with such n such or in front of cameras you ain’t working hard….”

Here are the facts on Doucet: He has stayed healthy this season, a first. His statistics are far and away the best of his career — 53 catches, 682 yards, five touchdowns. The drops are harder to quantify — Stats Inc. has him with six, Sando said ESPN’s stat department has him with three — because that is frequently subjective. The one that sticks in my mind was the drop at the end of regulation against Dallas that cost the Cards a first down and put the defense in harm’s way. I don’t recall specifics otherwise, other than I remember they have happened.

But Doucet, as a third receiver behind Fitz Jr. and Andre Roberts, has become a key third-down target too. Both his grabs Saturday were first downs on third-down passes.

After the game, Doucet was down. But he decided to face the media when he could have left, understanding he had to take the heat. He didn’t hesitate in taking full blame, although if the offense hadn’t play so poorly as a whole most of the game, it might not have come down to that final throw.

“We’ve been through a lot this year — good and bad,” Doucet said. “We, as a team, have great character. We’re not going to let a situation like that stop us from playing hard and being a team. I had a bunch of guys come up to me on the sideline and tell me they believe in me, and that’s what you need. I’ve grown a lot through tough times, so I won’t let a situation like this bring me down. It was unfortunate, but you have to move on. It’s a part of life.”

Doucet will be an unrestricted free agent after the season. My guess is that he’ll have a chance to test the market, but I wouldn’t think the Cards are going to close the door on him returning. Generally, coaches have been happy with how Doucet has worked the last couple of years. He, like all the receivers, has been hurt by inconsistent quarterback play. Criticism is part of the business. I also wonder how Fitzgerald Jr. will handle it, because it seems inevitable he will be asked to weigh in on the subject.

UPDATE: Coach Ken Whisenhunt on Doucet Monday morning: “Early is a tremendous competitor and has fought back through things and I have tremendous respect for him … Early has made some big plays for us.”


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Posted in Blog | 64 Comments »


64 Responses to “The Doucet debate”

  1. By Earthiker on Dec 26, 2011 | Reply

    Early, we really have to know how much you were paid for that fall? Do tell! Hope it was worth it, cause all of Arizona hates you! Please find another team to disappoint!

  2. By Morten on Dec 26, 2011 | Reply

    The way he’s playing he wouldn’t even be considered a star on a college team.. Time to draft OL + WR

  3. By Jesse Robles on Dec 26, 2011 | Reply

    Not all his Fault, if the Cards had a QB that could throw and LEAD THE RECEIVER instead of putting it BEHIND THE RECEIVER, he wouldn’t have had to turn his body completely around, that being said, he gets paid to CATCH THE BALL. Shoot, I wish I got paid to drop passes. Fitz has about as many drops as Early does this season, The Offense needs to do what the Defense did last year, Get rid of the weak and bring in a new wave of Hungry players, mediocre teams go NO WHERE!! STARTS WITH THE HEAD COACH, Do something “the all mighty Whiz” lol. Ray Horton is CONSISTENT, Whiz, Kolb, Skelton, are Very much INCONSISTENT. Need to beat the Seahawks, at least we know our Defense will show up.

  4. By Kurt on Dec 26, 2011 | Reply

    The coaches are high on Early because he can block…
    The reason the coaches are not high on Williams is that he has yet to prove he can.
    Hopefully Early will be back.

  5. By Shaun Church on Dec 26, 2011 | Reply

    Darren,

    You know Fitz will give some cliche response. I’m growing ever-tired of his one-liners every week. But, it’s better than him going off and telling us what he really thinks. Or is it?

    Just once, I want Fitzgerald to let go of political correctness and the “take the high road” approach and lay into someone for their play. If ever there were a time for it, this would be it.

    Now to Doucet. I’m not sure he will get the money he feels he deserves from another team based on his play during the second half of the season. There will be an overflow of talent waiting in the free agent market at receiver, and I feel the team would be wise to bring in one of them as a true No. 2 choice for whoever the QB will be.

    Seriously though, if any of you have not seen the upcoming class of FA receivers, go take a look. http://nflsfuture.com/2011/11/01/2012-nfl-free-agent-wide-receivers-and-tight-ends/

  6. By Chuck 1 on Dec 26, 2011 | Reply

    Let’s face reality.

    The Cards were not a playoff team in 2011 and WILL NOT BE in 2012 UNLESS Graves and Whiz fill the NEEDS of the roster i.e. a revamped
    O-Line and a QB that is CONSISTENTLY effective.

    Based on their past performance, I am skeptical that they will draft and sign FA players that can take the Cards to the next level i.e. the playoffs.

    It’s apparent that Kolb is injury prone and “HELTER SKELTER” in NOT the QB to lead the offense to the playoffs. Those two will likely be the two who Graves and Whiz go into the preseason with.

    Why did they draft a FBS (Fordham) QB in 2010? Oh, I know. Whiz liked the size and arm of Big Ben and thought that Big John would be just as good. They should have drafted a Div. 1 QB who had played against top tier competition.

  7. By SKELETONISTHMAN on Dec 26, 2011 | Reply

    Darren, coach Withz admitted it that he is suprstitious with his routine. He has a routine not to trust rookies. Do you think he has learned something from this season about giving chances to rookies to be on the filed and learn from their mistakes? Darren, is that possible to give Skeleton full responsibility like Brady and Manning do with no huddle play? Skeleton seems that he is effective with the pressure. To play the game what is called by the coaches, it takes him to think too much about it and ends up being sucked. I think he likes to take what the defence gives him. The bottom line is: is coach Withz ready to play Skeleton mostly with no huddle and to start rookies? If you don’t know yet, can you ask coach Withz for me? THANKS.

  8. By in fitz we trust on Dec 26, 2011 | Reply

    icing on the cake, aside to this game i was never fond of early, he has had some great highlights as a card, hes catched some crucial 3rd down passes but i would not expect him to be in a cards uniform, we need major wr help, time to clean house and rebuild.

  9. By DontTakeLoses on Dec 26, 2011 | Reply

    Sr continues to embarrass Jr. Breaston got it right.

    Sure Doucet’s drop v Dallas memorable, but immaterial in context of the multiple interception games thrown by the backup QB, the obscene coverage breakdowns by the CBs and Safeties, the runaway freight train gaps allowed by LB and DLs when RBs ran for miles against us on certain occasions. A man, and all players, are not measured by their mistakes but how they respond to them. Doucet is not perfect, but his performance in clutch on 3rd down good enough for me and I bet for Cards who will bring him back. All I can say is “attaboy Early, you played hard, and well”.

  10. By mark on Dec 26, 2011 | Reply

    YO MAN YOU GET PAID WAYYY TO MUCH MONEY TO JUST BE LETTING YOUR FEET TANGLED LIKE THAT AT LEAST NOW WE KNOW WHO CRACKS UNDER PRESSURE…

  11. By mark on Dec 26, 2011 | Reply

    hey darren what are the chances of us picking up a STUD number 2 receiver like a jordy nelson or maybe even if the colts let reggie wayne go cuz of his age… i found when we had fitz, boldin, and breaston our run game was a little easier to get going?

  12. By Darren Urban on Dec 26, 2011 | Reply

    Mark –

    RE: WR

    I don’t know what they will do at WR. Gotta get a QB who will consistently deliver.

  13. By OLDude on Dec 26, 2011 | Reply

    Breaston’s cynical/sarcastic comment is telling. One can only wonder why he was motivated to tweet it……Early Doucet has been better this year and has made some important catches in addition to his drops (most notably this non-catch) and although his non-acceptance of the invitation to work out was declined, it doesn’t necessarily mean he wasn’t working somewhere else. For Mr. Fitz Sr. to imply it DOES is a bit unfair not to mention less than diplomatic. The fact that the Cards were AGAIN able to get the game to the point where it was actually exciting speaks to the progress this team has made and portends well for the next season and beyond. Although this football season was not QUITE as fulfilling as this past baseball season, in retrospect, it was close and gives us something to look forward to in 2012. A win against Seattle in a game that has NO playoff implications, would go quite a way toward legitimizing our hope that the Cards have matured and will be a force to be reckoned with next year.

  14. By Bruce P on Dec 26, 2011 | Reply

    Of course Doucet should have been able to turn and get the ball… but things like that DO happen now and then. To me, the real problem is that Skelton threw it 10 yards over Doucet’s head for NO REASON. I didn’t see anyone underneath, and if he had just HIT THE RECEIVER the game was tied.

    Yeah, Doucet probably should have caught the ball, but he DEFINITELY would have caught a pass that was throw to him.

    Having said that, I do believe Skelton can be a star in this league. I get the sense he doesn’t have faith in his arm (accuracy). He seems to be placing the ball, rather than throwing it. That will hopefully be overcome in time.

    GO CARDS

  15. By Rodgerscromartie17 on Dec 26, 2011 | Reply

    wow listen to all you wanna be cardinals fans, everytime somebody messes up or misses a play they call for thier heads! look carefully, this is how you can tell the Superbowl to present day cardinals fans from the true ones. How could you call out Early like that?He has played better than he ever has but yet now they want him gone??? because he dropped a pass

  16. By Andy on Dec 26, 2011 | Reply

    Hey Earthiker,

    Who do you think you are? You don’t speak for all Cardinals fans, and you certainly don’t speak for me.

    Take a hike.

  17. By Rodgerscromartie17 on Dec 26, 2011 | Reply

    Mark, I wish you werent a Cardinals fan, you dont deserve to be one

  18. By Rodgerscromartie17 on Dec 26, 2011 | Reply

    it all comes down to were the QB wants to put the ball, you fans need to realize that not all wide recievers have the abilityand can just jump 180 degress to snag a ball 10 feet out of the air on awkward motion, I bet Fitzgerald would have even missed that catch considering doucets position compared to the pass, i put all that on Skelton for not putting the ball were it needs to be for early to make the play, didnt you see how skelton reacted after that? he knew it was his fault, he knew he should of thrown the ball better

  19. By Scott H on Dec 26, 2011 | Reply

    Nice to see Doucet stay healthy but overall, I am not sold on him. Yeah, it’s all water under the bridge, but I wish we’d kept Breaston here because I think he was / IS a legit #2 WR in this league while neither Doucet or Roberts appears to be. Therefore, I feel this still needs to be addressed.

    Looking ahead, I say we keep an eye on what happens with Reggie Wayne. If he does not decide to stay in Indy….oh, man, how SWEET would THAT be??? If there is a PERFECT complement to Fitz on this planet right now, Reggie Wayne is it.

    REG-GIE, REG-GIE, REG-GIE…

  20. By mark on Dec 26, 2011 | Reply

    HAHA RODGERSCROMARTIE17 SOMETIME I WISH I WASNT A CARDINALS FAN ALSO… TRUE CARDINALS FANS KNOW THAT UNTIL 08-09 THE CARDS HAVE BEEN THE LAUGHING STOCK OF THE NFL AND TODAY I TURN ON ESPN AND WHAT ARE THEY DOING LAUGHING AT THE CARDS FOR ALLOWING JEROME SIMPSON TO COMPLETE A FULL FRONT FLIP MY THOUGHT ALWAYS WAS IF YOU GO AIRBOURNE IN THE NFL YOU LIVE TO REGRET IT BECAUSE USSUALLY YOU WILL GET HIT SO HARD THAT COMPLETING THE FLIP IS JUST OUT OF THE QUESTION BUT NOT IF YOUR PLAYING THE CARDS AND IF YOU LOOK AT THE PIC WASHINGTON KINDA LOOKED LIKE HE WAS AVOINDING THE HIT CUZ INSTEAD OF WRAPPING UP HE USED A SHOULDER WHICH AT THAT POINT OF THE FIELD SIMPSON COULD HAVE JUKED INSIDE AND STILL MADE THE TOUCHDOWN BUT SIMPSON DIDNT WANT TO GET TOUCHED SO THE FRONT FLIP IS MORE SUITABLE FOR THAT SITUATION …. AS A TRUE CARDS FAN IM JUST TIRED OF THE NORMAL… OUR TEAM IS GOOD ENOUGH TO BE GREAT BUT I DONT KNOW WHAT IT IS ABOUT THEM THEY JUST CANT PUT ALL THE PIECES TOGETHEY BUT THEY NEED TO DO TI SOON BEFORE THE PEICES ARE GONNA LEAVE FOR A CONTENDER OR MORE MONEY I.E. ROLLE. DANSBY BRANCH BREASTON .. THE CARDS BEING THE LAUGHING STOCK OF THE NFL… BUT ATLEAST IM NOT LIKE YOU ENCOURAGING THE TEAM ON A GOOD LOSS.. SERIOUSLY EVERONE IN AZ IS TIRED OF LOSING AND THATS THE TRUE BOTTOM LINE!!!

  21. By Victor Sanchez on Dec 26, 2011 | Reply

    Its tough to put a game on one play. The ball was not well thrown but give credit to Cincys defense for putting pressure. When this team learns to play all 4 Qtrs like the last one then missing on one play will only mean we won by 17 instead of 20 points. Go Cards, looking forward to big things in 2012!

  22. By AndyStandsUp on Dec 26, 2011 | Reply

    What is with the Fitzgerald family tweeting disparaging remarks about Card players?
    First it was brother Marcus calling Warner “AN OLD ASS MAN” that couldn’t or wouldn’t throw Larry’s way and now Senior claiming that Doucet has missed 5 touchdowns.
    Larry pish-poshed Marcus’ comments on how he was “young” and “everyone makes mistakes”.
    How’s he going to cover for his dad? He’s senile and too old to care what anyone thinks?

  23. By travis on Dec 26, 2011 | Reply

    Patrick Peterson for WR!

  24. By Steve on Dec 26, 2011 | Reply

    Early has talent and has had his moments but the recurring theme with Doucet is that at the end of the day he disappoints you. Time for the Cards to upgrade the receiver position behind Fitz.

  25. By RC on Dec 26, 2011 | Reply

    We are close to being a contender. Our defense has turned it around big time, and can get off the field with 3 and outs. QB, O-line, RB, and WR need to be improved. Skelton is not a franchise QB, Kolb can hopefully get us through next year. Draft Kellen Moore? Beanie Wells doesn’t run hard, and when he does he comes up lame. In today’s NFL teams need 4 good WRs, and we got 2. O-line? I have no clue how or what to do.

  26. By Brandon LA on Dec 26, 2011 | Reply

    Doucet is awesome. Any Arizona fan who doesn’t think so is suffering from dumbness.

  27. By Phoenixraven1 on Dec 26, 2011 | Reply

    Doucet played well this year, he has a lot to improve but who doesn’t…I hope we bring him back. Would Fitz Sr have a voice of it wasn’t for our #11? Who before #11 knew of Fitz Sr? Just saying…who cares what he says?

  28. By azfancolo on Dec 26, 2011 | Reply

    In reality Early is not a bad reciever everyone has their moments he just got turned around and Skelton knew he should have placed the ball in a better spot, but things happen I also hate losing but if the team could play four quarters instead of one we wouls be a lot better shape.

  29. By BIIRDISTHEWORD on Dec 26, 2011 | Reply

    it happens….plus it shouldn’t of come down to that play…if the offense had got it started earlier they wouldn’t be put into these situations…Now we wait till sunday…season finale…can’t wait…LETS GOOOO CARDS!!!!

  30. By Richard S. on Dec 26, 2011 | Reply

    We need to keep the players we have, not find more players through free agency or the draft. We lost the 2nd round pick in the Kolb deal. We have plenty of other needs than to add additional needs come draft time. As for Larry’s dad. He’s a reporter. He is supposed to give you his take. I don’t see anything wrong with him doing his job.

  31. By NJAzCardsFan on Dec 26, 2011 | Reply

    Andy- Thanks for posting that….
    Early should return. Skelton should have hit Early alot sooner and he would have crawled into the end zone- he was that wide open.

    IF ANYONE can explain why Skelton is horrible until the fourth quarter- please post it.

  32. By Dre1368 on Dec 26, 2011 | Reply

    Mark that’s not cool you are ripping the team where were you when the team was winning . Mouth close everyone wants a winner do you rather have the rams record or ours . Losing is Bad . Like they say #%^* happen but you making seem like it affects you don’t spend money on the team don’t watch it don’t post get out here

  33. By Scott H on Dec 26, 2011 | Reply

    Um…isn’t Tim Tebow becoming an NFL legend ( courtesy of the over-zealous media ) for the VERY REASON that he plays horrible for 3 quarters then wins the game in the 4th??? Just sayin…

  34. By Scott H on Dec 26, 2011 | Reply

    Brandon LA -

    RE Doucet is awesome.

    Really? When did 53 catches for 682 yards and 5 TD’s become “awesome?”

    Or, were you just joking? Because if that’s awesome, then the term “awesome” just became applicable to a whole lot of really mediocre WR’s in this league!

  35. By john walls on Dec 26, 2011 | Reply

    is is just me, or did skelton really have to the ball to the back of the end zone . Doucet was so wide open he could have thrown it right to him . it was just bad luck but it was skelton and doucet .

  36. By john walls on Dec 26, 2011 | Reply

    who has more drops this year doucet or roberts

  37. By Rich on Dec 26, 2011 | Reply

    Fitz’s old man needs to shut up……his son doesn’t need the distraction. He is the face of our franchise…and a face of the league. He carries himself with class….obviously not learned from his father.

  38. By CreditCard on Dec 26, 2011 | Reply

    If any finger pointing is to be made; sound off on the coaching staff and then the players. Start with the horribly weak OL play, in particular the OTs. As far as the coaching staff goes … I’ve seen both Kolb and Skelton talk to the media about the multiple (3 to 5) progressions the go through. If you follow any other NFL team, when it comes to a rookie or limited playing time QB, they are taught to read no more than two progressions then either scramble or throw it away. The coaching staff is placing an information over-load on our young QBs. Their coachin style only works in theory and on a chalk board. This is squarely a coaching blunder. This is why Skelton is playing better at the end of a game — he is going into a hurry-up offense (only a couple reads), and he starts playing more quickly (less reads). It worked well with a seasoned QB like Warner, and it eventually will work with Skelton and Kolb, but not now. This is a fundamental coaching misque. The coaching staff is out-foxing themselves.

  39. By Bill on Dec 26, 2011 | Reply

    Dear Card fans,

    I think there are a few comments above that I would like to support. I agree with Jesse Robles’ point about Early getting turned around because the incoming pass from Skelton was not going to his inner shoulder but his outer shoulder. I see some people are blaming Doucet for the incompletion and some are blaming Skelton. It is a tough call. Cardinal fans need to give both Skelton and Doucet credit for their attempts to get the game tied in the 4th because they were whiskers away from doing that.

    I think Fitz Sr has a right to say what he wants to say because it is a free country and he is a sports writer, but it is obvious that he is getting caught up in the emotions of the game. No doubt he wants to see his sons team win and for Larry to play well and have success. What father wouldn’t feel that way? However, it is another thing to tweet it out those words that our inner voice is saying.

    At the end of the day, I would like to see Doucet continue to play as a Cardinal. NFL teams seem to win and lose based on the play of the QB. In the Cardinals case, the D has been playing well and special teams are too, so it comes down to the O getting more points than the D is giving up. I think Skelton is a good back up. I would have liked to see Whiz pull Skelton at half time but he didn’t and his patience with Skelton paid off because his passing improved in the 4th quarter. Too bad he fumbled the snap on the 1 yard line because they were doing well.

    I look forward to watching the Seahawks game. Go Cards.

  40. By dynasty1717 on Dec 26, 2011 | Reply

    Darren,

    Do you have a feel for the coaching staff’s perspective on Samson? I thought he could develop into a good outside speedster to compliment Fitz, but he has not been healthy nor received much action. It would be nice to move Roberts to the slot and Samson on the outside if Doucet isn’t back next year and Samson shows signs of life.

  41. By Matthew on Dec 26, 2011 | Reply

    Everyone ripping on him it was truly Skeltons fault. That was a TERRIBLE pass, go look at it. Doucet’s route was to the inside (yes i know a receiver is supposed to readjust if a play like that happens), but i bet not even Fitz could have caught that pass. Take it easy on Doucet i have no reason to believe that that was his fault at all. The pass was way behind him, and to adjust your whole body in one second, and then having to jump to catch the ball. try it in the mirror, and tell me how that works out for ya. Run full speed for 10 yards turn inside, as soon as you turn around turn the other way and try to jump in a matter of 2 seconds. Cant do it? My point is proven.

  42. By Artie on Dec 27, 2011 | Reply

    I just think its funny cause just two weeks prior everyone was praising Early for his 60 yd TD against the 49ers which in my opinion sparked the comeback. Now they want to crucify him for losing his footing, something running backs do ALL the time!!

  43. By dan on Dec 27, 2011 | Reply

    Skelton took way too long to throw the ball not to mention it was a crappy throw to begin with. The crap throw even surprised Doucet, I blame the QB on this one.

  44. By fightingbird on Dec 27, 2011 | Reply

    when it comes to Early Doucet i think hes a going to be a great player with time. other players have made mistakes and even Fitz makes one every now and then so I think the reciever core and ends are just fine and for Johbn Scelton hes actually still a rookie so with this year almost behind him look at what hes done and the think what hes going to do, big Ben had to start somewhere to and Brady,Rogers and so on so lets stick together and do this together. I think that next season with the team we now have will kick some tail.

  45. By cdubbbbb on Dec 27, 2011 | Reply

    I swear, most people do not know how to evaluate players, yet speak as if they are coaches. Early Doucet is as average as they come as far as receiving. He’s strong which allows him to block very well. He is a natural slot receiver and that’s where he should stay, but with Roberts in there, he is expendable.

    People saying “Doucet is awesome, he’s had a great year and has gotten better, no way we let him go or trade him” make me laugh. He’s reaped the benefit of having Fitzgerald lined up opposite him. Fitzgerald consistantly (as in every play) draws double coverage from the secondary, which means the other 2 recievers are covered by 1 man. Doucets numbers should be a lot higher considering that.

    An “awesome” or “really good” WR would have 1200 yards and 8 TDs in the exact situation Doucet is in right now. The fact is Doucet is a slot receiver and we need another Wideout to start opposite Fitz. Wayne is the best candidate out there for us, plz whiz and graves, get it done after u resign Campbell and cut/trade Heap.

  46. By joe67 on Dec 27, 2011 | Reply

    Why is everyone saying Skeltons pass to Doucet was bad?? It appeared to me he was throwing to the spot where Doucet would have/should have been if he didn’t fall down. Darren you see more than I do, what is your take??

  47. By jbird on Dec 27, 2011 | Reply

    Doucet overall had a good year for a #3 WR and has made numerous key catches. Blaming one player for the loss to the Bengals is flat out dumb. what about Skelton fumbleing on the 1 yard line or the 3 picks he threw.

    Doucet is the only guy on the team who will willingly go across the middle, take the big hits and make the catch. While I do think we need to get a true No2 WR, I think doucet is perfect for the slot/#3 wr role.

  48. By Darren Urban on Dec 27, 2011 | Reply

    John Walls –

    RE: Pass

    I think, considering the blitz, it was a great throw. Doucet keeps running, it’s a perfect pass.

  49. By Darren Urban on Dec 27, 2011 | Reply

    dynasty –

    RE: Sampson

    I’m not sure DeMarco is quite the speed guy you think he might be. But he has some potential, yes.

  50. By Louisville Card on Dec 27, 2011 | Reply

    Hi Darren, nice article as always. Sad though to see so many people blaming the coaching staff and Early for the loss. One play shouldn’t decide a game, the blame should squarely go on Skelton’s shoulder’s. Bad throws and decision’s caused those turnovers not coaching.

    Whiz isn’t playing madden and controlling each player. If you go back and look at the play’s the design is great plenty of opportunities it’s the focus and execution. The doucet drop play is a perfect example of that, with the game on the line and everyone in the stadium knowing we were going to pass to the end zone coach draws up a play that has early wide open without a Bengal 10 yards from him. That’s great play calling. It’s focus that seems to be this teams major fault for the as it always has been since I’ve been watching them the last 20 years.

    My question to you Darren is during the combine, when they bring rookies in for a look do they have a test to test a players focus. I know their are a lot of crazy things they put rookies through, I just wonder if they have one to test a players focus or how easily they get distracted?

  51. By Darren Urban on Dec 27, 2011 | Reply

    Louisville –

    RE: Focus test

    While I wouldn’t be surprised if something like that existed, I couldn’t tell you for sure.

  52. By ndpenner on Dec 27, 2011 | Reply

    Early has been a double edged sword for us this year, but I don’t feel it’s time to can him yet. I think next year’s going to be somewhat of a repeat of this year to a degree: Kolb vs. Skelton. I think with a real offseason we’ll be much improved next year and actually expected to win some games but we won’t be a playoff threat until the following season. Hopefully we keep Whiz and Horton and other than that I feel Grimm needs to be looked at. One thing we’ve been complaining about for the past 2 or 3 years now is the O-Line.

    Anyway, enough of that, let’s go whip some sea-chickens!

  53. By Chris Lewis on Dec 27, 2011 | Reply

    I’m not an Early Doucet fan, and even though his fallng down against Cincy doesn’t help his cause, let’s forget about that play. Before that play, I wasn’t happy with Doucet. This is his 4th year in the NFL and he should have progressed further by now. Remember Bryant Johnson? Doucet reminds me of Johnson because of their inability to catch even routine throws. Also, it seems like a lot of the dropped passes are at crucial points in the game. That just can’t happen. Andre Roberts is improving, but he’s still young and learning. We need someone to take a little pressure off of Fitz. The Cards miss Breaston and it shows. Moving on to the QB position, Skelton shows glimpses of being a good QB, but there are too many other times where he makes too many mistakes, like interceptions, overthrown balls, not seeing wide open receivers, just complete lack of awareness. I’m sure the Cards don’t consider themselves as a rebuilding team, so we don’t have the luxury of grooming him until he gets it, not if we want to make the playoffs. Two years in a row not making the playoffs, so disappointing. I am hopeful for next season, because with a full offseason, I think Kolb (if he stays healthy) will step it up big time, and the defense is improving all the time. I’m excited and can’t wait for next season. I just hope we at least beat Seattle next week and finish 8-8. GO CARDS!!!!!

  54. By Mike in Mesa on Dec 27, 2011 | Reply

    Potential potential potential. Skelton has so much potential its not even funny. If the Cards add a speed receiver to go with Fitgerald and considering what I think might be tremendous upside if Housler gets to play, the Cardinals just might dominate next year. Can you imagine how bad we are going to destroy teams next year if the coaching staff can come up with a game plan to use Skeltons potential for 4 quarters. Of course I don’t know if thats going to happen with the way Whisenhunt wants to throw Skelton under the bus. He says we, we, we, when the Cards are winning, but tries to pin the losses on Skelton when they lose. I personally think the Cards have a coaching problem. The coaches and the fans need to get over the occasional pic Skelton might throw and let the dude air it out. He’s got a cannon arm and is as cool under pressure as any qb I’ve seen this year. When Favre threw 5 or 6 pics against us with the Vikings did he get benched. No. Did Rothlisberger get benched after his turnover fiasco first game this season. No. Footnote on the TD flip. Thats one of the stupidest things I’ve seen a receiver do. He’s lucky he didn’t end up like Darrell Stingley. May he RIP.

  55. By clssylssy on Dec 27, 2011 | Reply

    I think it is unfortunate when so-called professionals resort to Twitter to criticize and devalue their colleagues. I think a lot gets taken out of context by other’s trying to grab a headline and so don’t consider sportschat any more reputable than The National Enquirer. Doucet’s high school and LSU performances stand as excellent credentials as does his past showings for the Cards. This hasn’t been his best season but nothing about this season has been “normal” and certainly never knowing who will be passing from week-to-week has to be more difficult that the “experts” on this blog seem to think. Who really knows what causes a player to miss a catch…maybe they have a medical condition…need new contacts, etc. To automatically ASSUME it’s the QB’s fault, Whiz’s fault, etc. is rediculous. Come’n Man…there’s no crying in football, get over it…people are human. Has anybody asked Larry Fitz Jr. how he feels about all this nonsense?

  56. By Scott Podeyn on Dec 27, 2011 | Reply

    85 has been a disappointment to the team. He had one good game against the pack. He hasn’t produced this is just another gaff on a long list of gaffs.

  57. By Scott Podeyn on Dec 27, 2011 | Reply

    Early has not really lived up to his potential coming out of LSU. He has made critical gaffs in a number of games. This oh dang it is just another one. In the USAF we had a saying “one oh dang it wipes out a hundred atta boys”.

  58. By Scott Podeyn on Dec 27, 2011 | Reply

    Gotta get two good tackles to give the QB time no matter who’s playing. The QBs’ dot have time to look a third option.

  59. By wsphxcardsfan on Dec 27, 2011 | Reply

    Hey Doucet, sorry for yelling all those obscenities at you after that play. I still got ur back, but I still believe we need a Torrey Smith or Mike Wallace type that can stretch the field. The Cardinals just need consistency at the qb position. Otherwise, lets be reasonable and acknowledge they are looking promising.

  60. By ALONEEAGLE on Dec 27, 2011 | Reply

    Here is my simple statement, Mr Fitz Sr. Butt out!! No one in the NFL is making that catch to include your own son!! Even had Doucet kept his feet, he is not making that catch!!!! Just because Doucet doesn’t join Fitz in Minnesota and train with the others doesn’t mean he isn’t working out!! That ball was clearly overthrown and Skelton’s body language proved it, What’s more, it really wouldn’t have mattered anyway due to the fact that Detroit embarrassed the Chargers!! Next time Mr. Fitzgerald, wait to speak before you put your foot in your mouth!!

  61. By cardfan6 on Dec 28, 2011 | Reply

    First of all I dont understand why you would post an article about this. All its going to do is bring up bad blood in the locker room. Second why would fitz chew somebody out on twitter sounds like a coward that will not tell a man face to face what he is doing wrong, fitz is definitly a man he would rather tell him to his face other than espn. wether Skelton threw a good ball or not it was in fact catchable, should have been caught but things happen if the cardinals defence hadnt blown the leads in the first few games we would have probably gotten into the playoffs.

  62. By Anthony on Dec 28, 2011 | Reply

    you know i am dissapointed in all the so called fans that single out one single player on the team. for thos of you saying oh this loss is all earlys’ fault and everything. if the cards had played better through the entire game, it wouldnt have come down to that final play. there were too many mistakes throughout the game… they ran all over us while we gave up turnovers. it took the team way too long to come together and produce wins… you cant expect anything to come of a season that started the way ours did… things happen, and ppl make mistakes. there isnt a single player on any team that has made every crucial play that has come their way.

  63. By Eazy E on Jan 25, 2012 | Reply

    Get off Early! That kind of stuff happens, unfortunately that one was at a bad time, but come on. Early has had a great season as our #3 receiver. If you want to get on anybody, how about andre’ performance the whole year?

  64. By Eazy E on Jan 25, 2012 | Reply

    QB is to be blamed alot also, but Dre could have been alot better this season.

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