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Friday before the Lions

Posted by Darren Urban on December 14, 2012 – 3:59 pm

Sunday, the Cardinals have a chance to fully wipe away last weekend’s loss in Seattle. But that’s all it was, a loss, and given the tragic events in Connecticut today, it’s difficult to get worked up over it as any more than that. The Lions come to town also as a 4-9 team, and this is one – if the Cardinals are going to get one – to get. Ryan Lindley will be back at QB, and if he can play more like the guy in the first 30 minutes of his lone start at University of Phoenix Stadium and not the last 30 minutes, the Cards should have a chance. I definitely don’t see the defense melting down again.

– It’s amazing, and I know it’s because of the quarterback situation, but there has been very little discussion about the Cards’ offensive line in recent weeks. The unit is far from perfect, but rookie tackles Bobby Massie and Nate Potter have been doing well enough. Coach Ken Whisenhunt wouldn’t disclose who the new starting center will be Sunday – “I think we need every little element of surprise that we can get. We can certainly use it,” Whisenunt said – but we’ll see if that group can hold up.

– As for needing a new center, “there’s continuity with the quarterback and the snaps and that’s something you can’t always simulate or get in practice,” Whisenhunt said. “We’ve struggled with that a little bit the last couple of games with adjusting to (now injured) Rich (Ohrnberger). Then just when he starts to get comfortable and you feel good about that, he goes out.”

– The Lions have a good defensive line, although with DT Nick Fairley doubtful and unlikely to play, the Cardinals catch the break. They still have ends Cliff Avril and nearing-the-end Kyle Vanden Bosch, the one-time Cardinal. They have defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, who can be dominant at times. It will be a good test for the Cards’ line.

– On the flip side, the Lions’ secondary isn’t stellar. If Larry Fitzgerald is going to be anything more than a leader for this team and actually contribute to the offense on the field, Lindley hopefully can make that happen this week.

– Speaking of Fitz, I’m not sure acting is in his future.

– He turned 91 today, so former Cardinals star back Charley Trippi can’t help on the field, but he will be at UoP Sunday so the team can celebrate his career and his place in the Ring of Honor. If you don’t know about Trippi, check out Josh Weinfuss’ great story.

– FYI, the security screening locations will be opening early (10:45 a.m.) for both the Detroit and Chicago games, with portable food and beverage stands open on the plaza for those that get there early. Actual stadium access for non-premium seat holders remains the same (90 minutes before kickoff).

– There is a toy drive at the game. Bring unwrapped toys and donations to any stadium entrance to help needy children at this time of year.

– Speaking of good stories, all the state high school championship football teams will be honored Sunday, including Queen Creek High School. If you haven’t heard, the Queen Creek team befriended a very special girl this season, and she too will be at the festivities. Check out the story – although it might get a little dusty wherever you are.

– Because people want to know, here is an early list of offensive free agents-to-be. Chew on that if you’d like.

– Finally, I just want to send thoughts and prayers to those affected in the Connecticut shootings. It’s been tough making sense of writing about football today given what happened, especially when I think of my own kids and my wife – who is a teacher – and worrying about what could happen to them.

Just remember there are bigger things when we sit here and talk about football losses or bad play or whether someone should be fired. I’m not saying you can’t say that. This is a site about the Cardinals and that’s what we all talk about. I’m just asking to be civil when talking about it, when addressing others, when criticizing players, coaches or management. We are all just people — fans, me, guys on the team — trying to get along here. The vitriol isn’t necessary to get the point across. If it’s frustrating you that much, imagine what some back East are going through this weekend.

That’s it. I’m climbing off the soapbox. On to Sunday.

BeforeLionBlogUSE


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Posted in Blog | 20 Comments »


20 Responses to “Friday before the Lions”

  1. By Mr Robles on Dec 14, 2012 | Reply

    Thanks for the list Darren, anybody you see possibly interesting?

  2. By Ottis Anderson Fan on Dec 14, 2012 | Reply

    The names on that FA list are just…bad. But surely Graves and Whiz are foaming at the mouth at the sight of it.

  3. By Darren Urban on Dec 14, 2012 | Reply

    Mr Robles -

    RE: list

    I’ll be honest, didn’t even look at it. Too early for me.

  4. By Christopher Zimmerman on Dec 14, 2012 | Reply

    Amen, Darren. We need to be civil to each other and to our team, even when they dissappoint us. It kills me when people who have never stepped onto a playing field in front of an audience in their lives, say hateful things about the players when they have a bad game. It’s just a game, folks. Enjoy the experience or stay home.

    And, by the way, people need to stop booing the other team when they take the field. It’s unsportsmanlike. They should be politely applauded. That would show that we Cardinal fans have some class.

  5. By Dean Kennedy on Dec 14, 2012 | Reply

    And the Cardinals insult the intelligence of real ticket buyers by keeping up the “announced” sellout farce. As if longtime season ticket holders needed any more reason to kick the same old Cardinals to the curb.

  6. By MattAz on Dec 14, 2012 | Reply

    Thanks for the perspective Darren. I grew up in Newtown and have friends whose kids were at the school. They’re ok thank God but what the hell is the world coming to?

  7. By The everlasting Kolbstopper on Dec 14, 2012 | Reply

    I think this list is current free agents as of today, not upcoming free agents for the 2013 free agency period.

  8. By Credit Card on Dec 14, 2012 | Reply

    Darren,

    Thank you for the story and about the horror in Connecticut.

    Sports are harmless, they provide all of us a means to escape. Theories of how we should structure our favorite team, its players, is all harmless provides us fans a form of harmless escape.

    It is good our favorite teams play, win. lose, struggle etc… As fans we s/b thankful that these players/ teams do their role in entertaining us fans. Win or lose, it really doesn’t matter — other than pure entertainment.

  9. By Chris B on Dec 14, 2012 | Reply

    I posted this in the other blog post, but if Darren will approve it again, I’ll say it here too.

    I’ll take a batch of 0-16 seasons for the privilege to go home and play with my kids.
    Winning/losing streaks, Qbs, coaches, touchdowns all seem so trivial today.

    Psalm 46:1-3, 10
    God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
    2 Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, 3 though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling.
    10 “Be still, and know that I am God.”

    Prayers are with everyone in CT right now.

  10. By donttakelosses on Dec 14, 2012 | Reply

    Hug your kids tight, say prayers and tuck them in. Amen.

    Go Cards, we need one.

  11. By Red Dead Not Redemption on Dec 14, 2012 | Reply

    I’m as sorry as anyone, involving the tragedy of today. Certainly my heart is with the victims, and anyone ill affected by this.
    That being said? Fans, should be upset regardless.
    My Uncle died this year, so did my aunt, hell even my dog; I guess that means, I can’t feel bad or as bad, about The Cardinals losing streak because bad stuff happens outside of football.
    I completely agree about how things can keep others disappointments in prospective but they are still disappointments.
    However, football for many fans is a way to be immersed outside the typical world, along with the bad events- your advice is better suited for the players themselves.
    Horrible things, bad things, and disappointments happen every day – That doesn’t mean The Cardinals should get a waiver from fans or anyone else.
    I agree the disappointment itself from fans, needs to stay in the real of healthy disappointment and anger level though.
    I think it’s perfectly fine to be upset. anyone that takes it beyond the hobby of watching football itself needs mental help anyway.,

  12. By Chuck 1 on Dec 14, 2012 | Reply

    It would be appropriate if fans showed up with “Aints” style grocery bags over their heads or even better, boycotted the remaining home games.
    But some fans might become belligerent toward fans wearing bags.
    Those fans are still drinking the Kool Aid.

  13. By Campbells on Dec 14, 2012 | Reply

    Sunday’s the big game. Literally forgot about it, but my wife reminded me. Tickets are paid for, so we’re going. Expectations are low, so the outcome can’t be devastating.
    Ready for this season to end. The off-season may have many unpleasant surprises.
    Regarding free agents; it’s tough to get excited. Some are terrible. Some want too much $, and we have no idea whether any will be recruited by the Cards.

    Heart goes out to all those suffering from the shootings.

  14. By Chuck 1 on Dec 15, 2012 | Reply

    Whiz (with Graves’ and Keim’s complicity) has backed himself into a corner by drafting, in late rounds, Skelton and Lindley.
    HE OWNS THOSE TWO QBs AND HIS IMPOSSIBLE SITUATION WITH THE OFFENSE.
    He wanted big strong hard throwing QBs (LIKE BIG BEN) and now he has to live with those decisions.
    SEE YA’ WHIZ.

  15. By Cheese on Dec 15, 2012 | Reply

    Darren,

    Please tell me you’re not trying to sell us on Potter and Massie as playing pretty well as a way of backing up the excuse truck for why we don’t try to upgrade the position next year. We’ve heard this over and over and over and over again. How Brandon Keith “really started making strides”… how Levi Brown was finally not awful in the last eight games of last season, coincidentally the last eight games before he hit FA. Just because both guys are starting DOESN’T mean they’re playing “well”.

    I mean… if they were playing so well, why did we still give up 3 sacks last week and rush for a pathetic 58 yards on a 2.7 ypc. Or how about the week before that where we ran for 80 yards and gave up 2 sacks… or how about the week before that where we rushed for 72 yards and gave up another 2 sacks? Is that really a sign of playing “well”?

    And if it’s not on the Ts, who is more to blame for our woeful rushing game? Our two “prize” FA Guards who the team went after?

    Scott

  16. By wnycardfan on Dec 15, 2012 | Reply

    Its just football………..agreed.
    Being a fan and using NFL for my enjoyment, I like to comment and get excited or ticked off when the team I put my “backing” behind plays well or poorly. Since we are playing poorly as of late, I’ve been more ticked off then happy (in regards to football).
    I hope for a win, MAINLY so that the guys on the team who are still working their butt’s off can get some morale boost and payback for the hard work. Its not going to do anything for the dismal season winning this one game nor will it make everything better on how the team has (in my opinion) been run and coached.
    That being said, I hope its not a blow out (ala Seattle). I know people say it can’t happen again, never happened in NFL before etc…. but we’ve been setting a lot of BAD records (or breaking them) this year, so I’m still saying I hope it isn’t another blow out.
    I hope its not another 7-6 game too
    I hope there is SOME spark in OFF so we don’t hear (in the 15 seconds we get a week) from major sports people how AWFUL we are. I mean call us bad, but not awful.
    I hope also no one gets hurt
    Play on Cards, try to get a TD this week

  17. By D on Dec 15, 2012 | Reply

    There has been some whispers out there about Darnell and Whiz. I wonder if Whiz keeps his job, would that start the Cards looking to trade DD this offseason?It would be hard to pull off, but a team that thinks they are close who may need a good DT in a 4-3 may want to kick the tires if they could rework his contract. Clearly, the Cards really don’t have a replacement unless they think Carter could play there. Talley is a backup player right now, they would have to address the spot in the draft. (which they do now for depth even if they keep him)
    One team that could need his help on defense would be Atlanta. I would maybe look at a deal where we send DD to them for a 2nd round draft pick and a player, like a Massaquoi, DE/OLB on their roster.

  18. By D on Dec 15, 2012 | Reply

    I doubt if G. Smith falls past the Chiefs at #1. But if M. Barkley falls to AZ Cards should call Buffalo who wants to move up for a QB, get an additional #2 and #3 pick, move to draft around 10-11 spot and still have a chance to take a very good player with Chance Warmack, G ALA.

  19. By john the draft guy on Dec 15, 2012 | Reply

    Darren,

    Great story about Queen Creek football.

    I now have something to cheer for tomorrow. Well at least at half time.

    I know their are lots of card players doing great things out there in the real world. But it is tough to separate the player/coach and the person. So, although there are really good guys out there, if they come out playing like they have been, dont expect many cheers.

  20. By Gidget ❤Cards on Dec 16, 2012 | Reply

    Thank you for putting things back in perspective. Day in and day out all players are human and have feelings too. There was a post on the AZ Cardinal FB about #⃣12 saluting the American service men and women!! There were fans who were complaining about the cards!! What every to we stand together and support the Cards!! What I love about my team is they are always helping the community!! I get so inspired by them that I find myself doing the same thing!! I too was in the education field and what happens in Friday should never happen to anyone!! Today AZ the Cards play their game I know they will play with heavy hearts, but they will be focused on winning for their Fans!!!

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