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Broncos (and preseason) aftermath

Posted by Darren Urban on August 31, 2012 – 12:25 am

The Cardinals avoided overtime Thursday night (thank goodness). And now the fun begins.

Final cuts are in a matter of hours, coach Ken Whisenhunt will have a press conference at 2 p.m. Arizona time. So, in the interest of getting some sleep, some highlights and thoughts from the preseason finale to tide you over until the real news tomorrow (which should be cuts and possibly could include a starting QB choice):

– Injuries probably didn’t make roster picks, but they might have cemented them. Rich Bartel was 4-for-5 before leaving with a right shoulder injury, although the way rookie Ryan Lindley performed, Lindley was probably always going to be the pick. He’s got a lot of upside. If Javarris James was in the mix at all at running back, that ended when he tore his ACL on Omar Bolden’s 103-yard kickoff return. That’s just unfortunate.

– If I had to do my 53-man roster over, I might change a couple of things. Or at least seriously consider it. Now I’m finding it hard to believe outside linebacker Quentin Groves doesn’t stick around. The other backup outside linebacker choice then would come down to Clark Haggans or Brandon Williams. In the secondary, undrafted rookie Blake Gideon got a ton of playing time, and while Rashad Johnson and Adrian Wilson sat out, I start to wonder if Gideon could have a chance to slip on the roster, in place of Johnson, maybe? And there is little question there is a decision coming between A.J. Jefferson, Greg Toler and Michael Adams. There will be some drama tomorrow.

– Ryan Williams did not play as Whiz took a long look at both William Powell and Alfonso Smith as they battle for a roster spot. Powell had 18 yards on nine carries, Smith five on five, and neither really stood out Thursday (although Powell did have a nice kickoff return late.)

– I thought Beanie Wells looked very good in his start. He had 35 yards on seven carries, although he said he needs to get better. “I have to get my leg drive and get my feet under me,” Wells said.

– LaRon Byrd had a couple of nice grabs among his three catches for 47 yards and if he didn’t solidify his spot, it’ll be because the Cards only keep five receivers. But if they keep six, he’s in, I’d think.

– Michael Floyd had an amazing touchdown catch for his first in the NFL. Ball bouncing around, Floyd grabbing it while he was hanging parallel to the ground and holding on as he crashed to the turf. “That was a much more acrobatic circus catch than I ever could have made,” fellow wideout Larry Fitzgerald said. Methinks Fitz is a bit modest, but no matter. It was a great play.

– The Cards have to be thrilled with what Lindley showed, especially for a rookie and a guy they picked in the sixth round. He had a couple of clunkers (although his one interception was a mistake by receiver Isaiah Williams, who didn’t pick up a checked call at the line, and the other pick was called back with a penalty). Bhe threw the TD and threw some darts and maneuvered the Cards to a late tying drive thanks to a 56-yard bomb to Williams (pictured below). The Cards couldn’t get it in the end zone, but again, Lindley looks like he has a potential future.

– Lindley had some decent protection early with the starting offensive line (although rookie right tackle Bobby Massie did have a couple of hiccups on an early drive with a holding penalty and to get beat for sack.) Will I be surprised to see the Cards pick up an offensive lineman via waivers as teams cut? Absolutely not.

– Whisenhunt said the Cardinals haven’t ruled out using the new IR rule – which allows players with major injuries to return later in the season without taking up a roster spot – on tackle Levi Brown. The Cards will talk more about Brown’s prognosis to return. The decision has to be made by Friday afternoon.

In fact, most of the news will come down Friday afternoon. So with that, I’ll say goodnight.


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Posted in Blog | 47 Comments »


47 Responses to “Broncos (and preseason) aftermath”

  1. By Devon L. on Aug 31, 2012 | Reply

    Byrd should make the team without a doubt. Felt so good to see Floyd make that catch. Been waiting to see what he does with an opportunity. Im thinking we see Money Mike gone this year. So excited for the season, tear it up Cards.

  2. By Simon (Denmark) on Aug 31, 2012 | Reply

    Was it bad coverage by Crezdon Butler who gave up the last catch to set up the final FG or was it simply a nice play by the Broncos?

  3. By Darren Urban on Aug 31, 2012 | Reply

    Simon –

    RE: Butler play

    I’d say a nice play by the Broncos. There was a battle there. The guy made a nice play to go up and get it.

  4. By sqhead on Aug 31, 2012 | Reply

    Didn’t agree with you when you didn’t put Groves on the 53, and from what I saw tonight he is clearly better than Haggans. I think Haggans had a good run, but it is time for the Cards to move on and start playing younger guys. Also, Byrd should be on the 53, he won’t clear waivers to make it to the practice squad, and he has done more in his first training camp then the two Williamses have in their last couple. Time to get rid of the dead weight, in the NFL you can only wait so long for players to develop. One more thing, why didn’t Potter get some reps at LT? Whiz had Young in there the whole 2nd half, and we already know what he can do. I say play the rookies, Whiz is going to “old fashion way” himself out of a job. And last but not least, I don’t think we ran the ball twice in a row the whole game! I am not a fan of Mike Miller!

  5. By dan on Aug 31, 2012 | Reply

    That big catch at the end of the game was serious offensive pass interference. He basically threw our DB and then made the catch. I think the refs wanted to hit the showers.

  6. By Scott H on Aug 31, 2012 | Reply

    That catch by Floyd WAS definitely fitzgerald-esque!!! WOW! Hope that was a preview of what is to come. We need SOMETHING to distract us from the fact that we’ve now played FIVE pre-season games – ONE MORE THAN 30 OTHER TEAMS HAD – and stilll didn’t really figure out who our QB is. Right now, it feels like we could play a few more and we probably still wouldn’t know.

    Un-friggin-believable…

    I don’t see how Skelton is not the starter. If Whiz is going to make a decision that it is going to be accepted by the other players on this team, I think it has to be Skelton.

  7. By johnnybluenose on Aug 31, 2012 | Reply

    darren, should feely be looking over his shoulder to see if anyone is breathing down his neck? maybe rackers is looming in the distance. feely was one for three last night and one was a horrible miss. he could cost us a game or two if this continues. i like haggans but would not be surprised if he is cut. same with toler. kolb starts. too bad about bartel. maybe he should retire and we could add him to our coaching staff. question … when someone like javarris james suffers a significant injury and therefore cannot play or, for that matter, take a non-football job for several months, does he still get paid until he recovers and, if so, how much and by whom, the cardinals, the nfl or is there some sort of insurance policy in place to protect guys who realistically are only there for training camp and the pre-season?

  8. By Nick Pepe on Aug 31, 2012 | Reply

    It always tough to see good guys get cut or, heaven forbid, injured. I feel bad for J. James and Bartel.

    I guess it’s a good sign that they have to make a tough choice for the final DB spot between A.J., Toler, and Adams. They have all contributed at some point and as is the case with most Cardinals, they all handled themselves with the utmost class and professionalism. Pretty confident that whoever gets released will find a taker elsewhere.

    Now to the future. My money is on Skelton to get the job. Kolb’s picks in the pre-season were just brutal. Skelton appears more confident and not as brittle. But that is just my opinion and I will support whoever is at the helm.

    Cant believe I stayed up for that, when I swore I wouldn’t.

    I am ready for some football.

    Nick Pepe
    Lifetime Member
    Head on the Desk………

  9. By joe67 on Aug 31, 2012 | Reply

    Man, was that really there second unit running wild over our starters early in the game??? That, I thought, was more than a little alarming. Pre-season I know, and I’m sure our guys weren’t really into it, but, …just saying.

  10. By Michael S. on Aug 31, 2012 | Reply

    Did you see anything really stand out on defense?

  11. By Kim on Aug 31, 2012 | Reply

    According to Madden 13, Skelton is our starter with a rank of 77 to Kolb’s 73, which ironically is the same rating Tebow has (77). Floyd is considered the #2 WR by Madden and in simulations has done extremely well, oh boy I know, yet another video game nut trying to make sense of reality, anyway, should be a good season!

  12. By DontTakeLoses on Aug 31, 2012 | Reply

    Cards loaded at Receiver, LB and maybe even CB. My how things change. Sad to see Clark go.. if it happens, its a good thing, but love that guy.

    PS: A year from now we might be saying, “my, how the Cards are loaded at… QB”. The only thing you ever know is you never know;)

  13. By BIG RED on Aug 31, 2012 | Reply

    Come on Darren don’t start more drama. Lindley played O.K. but nothing to get excited about. Remember, who he was playing against 2nd and 3rd teamers.

  14. By john the draft guy on Aug 31, 2012 | Reply

    Butler play,

    The wr for the broncos could have very easily been called for pass interference. As Darren said, there was a battle for the ball. It looked like the wr grabbed Butlers jersey and pulled him to make the catch.
    But that happens and Butler has to make the play.

    I like Lindley. But I thought he looked like a rookie last night. He could have had more than 2 picks last night. But as Darren said, he had zip on some balls and gave his guys chances to catch the ball (ala, Floyd catch). Whiz is correct to not start him even though he is the best QB on the roster. Wished Bartel didnt get hurt. He made some really nice passes and it could have helped him catch on somewhere if he played the whole half.

    BTW, Fitz doesnt bobble the ball. He catches it clean. But it goes to show who Fitz is. My daughter is a softball player and I was pointing out to her what a true team leader is like. You never see Fitz banging on his own chest, but he is always the first guy to celebrate for the other guy.And it is real happiness for the other guy. When Bartel got hurt, Fitz was there checking on him. Do you think T.O. would put up with this qb situation? Fitz is there to support his qbs and control what he can do, which is being the best ever wr when it is done (IMO). Parents, get your kids to listen and watch him, not these idiots who get the headlines. I’ve watched a lot of football, I just hope fans get how special this guy is.

    I agree with you Darren on you comments above. I love Haggins, but Groves is pretty good. I loved Gideon all preseason. Adams is on the outside looking in.

    Finally, the oline looked good, but before we get carried away, Von Miller and Dumervil sat on the sideline. Very different situation if those two played.

    Tough day, for some guys, their dreams are being crushed today and they have to look for a different job while trying to stay in shape in case another chance comes up. Hang in there guys.

  15. By BIG RED on Aug 31, 2012 | Reply

    Well, I’ll have to admit he’s not afraid to stay in the pocket like #4. I liked that about him.

  16. By YmmyYames on Aug 31, 2012 | Reply

    Friday’s news headlines in the NFL should include the Cardinals version of “The Decision”. 31 of 32 starting quarterbacks have been named. Only Arizona remains. Which way will they turn…the Young Gamer or the Trained Veteran? Let’s break for a “Work” timeout before the action unfolds… ;-)

  17. By YmmyYames on Aug 31, 2012 | Reply

    I forgot, “Two men entered, only one man leaves. Welcome to the Thunderdome!” hehe

  18. By clssylssy on Aug 31, 2012 | Reply

    Cuts have begun and the waiver wire is picking up talent. Hope the Cards are in a position to take advantage of picking up some players but am wondering where we are with cap space and if we are financially in a place to take advantage or if we are penniless with our back against a wall?

  19. By chad on Aug 31, 2012 | Reply

    Darren
    Q: You said if the Card’s keep 6 WR’s we will keep Byrd. I see Fitz, Roberts, Ducett as are three first on depth but from what I have seen Floyd and Byrd are about even at the 4th and 5th on depth.
    My Q: is; who do you/Wiz have ranked higher than Byrd at the 5th spot (S. Williams or Sampson)?
    I like Byrd, Praying he sticks around because he wont make it to are practice squad. I bet Williams or Sampson could make it through wavers to our practice squad…

  20. By chad on Aug 31, 2012 | Reply

    Darren,
    One more Q:
    Do you know any name’s our coaches are watching to hit the wavers on O-Line today? Or it’s not being said yet?
    also
    Are we looking at RT & LT only? or also maybe RG too?

    Sure hope Toler gets the spot over Jefferson and Adems…

  21. By Darren Urban on Aug 31, 2012 | Reply

    johnnyblue –

    RE: James/injury

    A player cannot be released if he is injured. If a player gets hurt in preseason and it is an injury that would only take a matter of weeks to heal (and the team wants to release him) the sides can agree to an injury settlement, which is basically an agreed-upon number of weeks it would take to return to health and then a check for the corresponding salary for those weeks.

    With an ACL injury, James will likely end up on injured reserve and he will get his entire 2012 salary remaining on the roster that way.

  22. By Dynosoar on Aug 31, 2012 | Reply

    Simon,

    great question. So often when there’s a great play for the opponent we call out our guy for a bad play, I like your acknowledging the opponent may just have made a better play than our guy.

    I want our players to be better than the others, but so does the other team. There were great plays on both teams and I’m just looking forward to the real games and real plays, not just a scrimage.

  23. By Darren Urban on Aug 31, 2012 | Reply

    Chad –

    RE: WR/OL

    Sampson is ahead of Byrd. He plays more special teams, and he has proven himself more as a receiver.

    And yes, the Cards will be looking at the waiver wire.

  24. By Dynosoar on Aug 31, 2012 | Reply

    Darren,

    I’ve watched Rich Bartel since last season and I don’t understand why he’s not a second or even first string quarterback in this league.

    I think he plays better than some of the starters on other teams. If he gets cut, what would you think are his chances are(given league dynamics and that camps and pre-seasons are ended) that he becomes a starter somewhere else?

    I ask because you seem to have a real tallent for seeing things clearly. Ever thought of becoming a Scout for the team (although, it’d have to be in adition to the writing because I’d be lynched if my suggestion led to you leaving the blog.)

    Thanks.

  25. By Darren Urban on Aug 31, 2012 | Reply

    Dyno –

    RE: Bartel

    The reality is that Rich has played with a handful of teams and hasn’t been able to stick, nor rise up the depth chart here. I think, if he is cut, he is running out of chances to be on a roster period. I would be stunned if he ever actually got to start a game.

    I appreciate the props on “scouting” but really, I only have a surface knowledge and what I’ve gleaned over 12 years watching this. I don’t pretend to know more than the guys that do this for a living.

  26. By cheesebeef on Aug 31, 2012 | Reply

    Sick play by Floyd! I don’t expect a TON from him this year simply because 1st year wideouts are notorious for taking a little while to really get acclimated to the game, but that kind of play shows the kid has some legit talent and that’s exciting for the future.

  27. By vinny m on Aug 31, 2012 | Reply

    Great catch by Floyd in the end zone and a great block by Ohrnberger that saved a sack on Lindley on that play. Thought Ohrnberger did a real good job subbing for Snyder last night and showed he could backup the center position the last two games. Would be suprised if he didnt make the 53 due to his versatility and experience.

  28. By tyler on Aug 31, 2012 | Reply

    Does anyone think floyds catch was sloppy? c’mon. It would have been GREAT if he boxed out the receivers and got air under his feet. He bobbled the catch(not impressive) and had great focus(good) to bring it down. If you notice he doesn’t get much air as far as a jump and when he hits the ground his arm comes off the ball and got lucky the ball didn’t bounce off of him.

    Now, Floyd needs to show why his a first round pick. He should have caught the ball with his hands. Basics. I want him to be successful. He needs more work and reps.

    Oh yeah how bout the int the rookie threw towards floyd. It was short, yes, but floyd didnt make even an effort to turn around. It looked like he was pouting cuz the ball wasnt in his hands. Im done venting.

  29. By Dynosoar on Aug 31, 2012 | Reply

    Darren,

    your “surface knowledge” as you put it is incredibly deeper than mine. Thanks for the observations on Bartel.

    John the Draft Guy, I agree with getting children to look to men and women like Larry Fitzgerald as a mentor / role model. Wouldn’t it be great if everyone would celebrate other peoples successes at least as much as their own?

    Come to think of it, Fitzgerald’s celebrations are usually a simple flip of the football to the ref. He seems to celebrate others successes even more than his own. John, good advice.

  30. By Rio on Aug 31, 2012 | Reply

    OK wating for the Process, Wiz can do it he has years of Process experience behind him.

    Miller should have finish game after the catch near the 10 with runs Denver was on its heels with less than 2 minutes to go could have score TD and finsih it.

  31. By EdMichCardsFan on Aug 31, 2012 | Reply

    Cardinals would be foolish to pass on Hightower, who was just cut by the Redskins. SIGN HIGHTOWER NOW!!

  32. By Sarah on Aug 31, 2012 | Reply

    Re. Lindley :

    He played against the scrubs in what amounted to was a pickup game, I would not read too much into it at this point. I think though that he would be a good backup to Skelton long term. The OL never got tested against a 1st string defence in this game so it begs the question as to how they will perform. Kolb I have determined cannot stretch the field but would make an amazing CFL quarterback or WC offence guy somewhere ( like in Philly ). As it stands we have given him more than a great shake, Skelton owns the win loss column, this is the bottom line.

    Preseason will be an afterthought and Skelton’s last game against Seattle had a W beside it. The team rallies around him and he is a leader. Lindley we need to see in a real game but he appears to be a quick learner, that said Skelton looked good in his first preseason too.

    Let’s get on with it, trade Kolb and keep Lindley and Bartel. Hopefully Lindley is not Max Hall . Whiz plays too many games with the QB’s and has a flavour of the month mentality. We can also score a QB in free agency, a serious lesson has been learn’t with Kolb.

  33. By EdMichCardsFan on Aug 31, 2012 | Reply

    Have to agree with Sarah…though we may find no takers for Kolb. Is it worth it to cut Kolb to keep Lindely and Bartel?? My feeling is that if Kolb remains, we still should hang-on to Bartel (via practice squad, if possible)–a veteran who knows the system. Considering our QB AND our LT situation…maybe it would behoove us not to get rid of ANY of them right now.

  34. By Austin on Aug 31, 2012 | Reply

    Sara-
    You might touch on some good points but it’s hard to take you seriously when you can’t spell defenSe.

    Tyler-
    Are you seriously calling the guy sloppy for bobbling a ball while making an amazing catch as he’s getting blasted by a safety? You are far more a man than I if you could make a clean catch under those circumstances. My hat’s off to you sir.

  35. By jason on Aug 31, 2012 | Reply

    with pre-season over my conclusion is that these temp. refs are a joke. If this continues, the season is going to be a mess. NFL get your business in order. I have never seen so many penalties made and not called, players know this and are using it as an unfair advantage, linemen and corners big time.

  36. By Brian on Aug 31, 2012 | Reply

    C’mon Tyler, watch the play again, the ball was behind Floyd and if you look at it, he’s also being pulled by the defender. He keeps the ball alive by getting a hand on it. Yes he does get a lucky break that Leonard hits him toward the ball but to have the concentration and focus to still come up with it is one of the reasons he will be a solid WR in this league. On the under-thrown ball, the play happened right in front of me and I initially thought the defender got away with a shove which threw him off balance. Maybe it had to do with the roughing the passer penalty but that ball should have been much deeper and was terribly underthrown, not much he could have done about it IMO.

  37. By Travis on Aug 31, 2012 | Reply

    Darren,
    Will there be live coverage of the presser?

  38. By Darren Urban on Aug 31, 2012 | Reply

    Travis –

    RE: Coverage

    No. Equipment issues. You can follow on Twitter, @Cardschatter

  39. By chad on Aug 31, 2012 | Reply

    Skelton is the starter…
    the right man got the job!

  40. By Lixto on Aug 31, 2012 | Reply

    wow skelton won, i cant believe it….. i hate kolb with a passion, worst trade ever!!!!

  41. By in fitz we trust on Aug 31, 2012 | Reply

    i didnt read any of the post above, sorry if someone already pointed this out:

    is it just me, or does lindley have a very akward throwing motion. almost tebow like ( maybe not quite ) but it was annoying imo.

  42. By Lixto on Aug 31, 2012 | Reply

    @chad yes your right, the right man won, i dont know why people hate on skelton so much all the guy does is win, stats dont matter aslong you come out with a W, isnt that the objective of the game is to win?

  43. By Kevin S on Aug 31, 2012 | Reply

    Bartel — great guy, but people are suggesting we cut Kolb so that we can keep both him and Lindley? What exactly was so bad about Kolb’s 81.1 QBR in 2011 that people want to get rid of him for a journeyman who never saw any action in an NFL game until our first THREE QB’s in 2010 went down. Would anyone have ever even heard of Rich Bartel otherwise?

    I see Whiz just named Skelton the starter. All the people who said he would just pick Kolb because of the money invested, etc. were just proven wrong. There indeed was a QB competition. And while I was a Kolb supporter, now that the decision’s been made, GO SKELTON!

  44. By CardFanInGB on Aug 31, 2012 | Reply

    Hey Darren,
    I haven’t really heard anything about Sam Ocho this preseason and to my knowledge he hasn’t even made one tackle in 5 games……….has he digressed so far in your opinion? I am a little worried that neither he or OBS have made any plays or sacks

  45. By YmmyYames on Aug 31, 2012 | Reply

    @Ed
    Re: Hightower

    How does Hightower help us? Load our backfield with one more warm body? This signing would be a pointless one.

  46. By Darren Urban on Aug 31, 2012 | Reply

    CardFan –

    RE: Acho

    I think they’ll do more to get him involved when the season starts.

  47. By Nick Pepe on Sep 2, 2012 | Reply

    Sign Hightower??? Really? Why?

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