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Working on the offensive line

Posted by Darren Urban on December 18, 2012 – 12:33 pm

The Cardinals used their fifth different starting offensive line this past weekend, and that doesn’t include missing Levi Brown since the preseason. And things, right now, have been a little better. Part of that is some improvement by the rookie tackles.

“We’ve gotten the ball out,” coach Ken Whisenhunt said. “We’ve done a better job with that, but we’ve changed our protections up. Like we’ve said all along during this stretch, we’ve been trying to find out what we can do and what we can do better.”

The Cardinals have made more of an effort to give their tackles more help, which has made a difference. Since rookie Nate Potter went into the lineup full-time at left tackle, the Cards have given up a little more than two sacks a game — which isn’t ideal, but still much better than the average of 6.5 or so the Cards gave up during the five-game stretch before that.

“We had a chance (Sunday) on the one sack where we had a huge play down the field and we couldn’t get the ball off,” Whisenhunt said. “We made a mistake because we were supposed to help out on that block and we didn’t get that done, so we are still by no means even close to being perfect, but we’re varying our protections and doing different things, and our players are doing a good job with that.”

This doesn’t mean the Cardinals won’t work on their offensive line in the offseason. That would seem to be a foregone conclusion. But considering how much the unit was struggling earlier in the year, there has been a change worth noting.

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Posted in Blog | 55 Comments »


55 Responses to “Working on the offensive line”

  1. By Victor Sanchez on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply

    I would agree that the line has improved greatly. Both Lindley and Skelton do a pretty good job of stepping up in the pocket. Hopefully Kolb is watching…:)

  2. By Blair on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply

    Fire whiz

  3. By Cheese on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply

    Darren,

    In a previous blog i asked if the Cardinals are working on a contract extension with Rhodes and you said he’s still under contract so it doesn’t look like they need to move on that now. Now, i don’t know if you weren’t aware of this (although I find that hard to believe considering you cover the team), but isn’t his final year of his deal for 2013 a player option for next season? And with the season he’s having, are you really going to be surprised if he opts out of his last year and tests free agency and wouldn’t it be wise for the Cardinals to try and get something done NOW before that happens? And back to my point about the Cards being 5 million under the salary cap, wouldn’t it have been prudent to try and get him signed earlier to an extension so as to be able to put some of that money into this year’s cap which we for some reason decided not to use, so that it could free up more money to spend in the future?

    Scott

  4. By Dynosoar on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply

    Only one sack this game. I’d call that perfect. It led to a win. What if Kevin Kolb had had that kind of protection? Instead of getting sacked 27 times it would have been 5 (and he’d probably still be playing.)

  5. By Cheese on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply

    Darren,

    Do you think there’s any correlation to the line being a disaster last year when Kolb was starting and then got better the second he got knocked out and the fact that with Kolb, the line was a disaster this year… and got better the second he got knocked out for the season? Same thing happened in Philly three years ago. Trend or just incredible coincidence?

    And do you really think an offensive line that has the 32nd ranked rushing game has really made all that much improvement?

    scott

  6. By Andy Kw on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply

    Victor Sanchez

    Lindley and Skelton do not do a good job stepping up in the pocket. We should be watching Kolb and his performances. He has outperformed all of our QBs. Even Bartel can do better than both.

  7. By PotAsh on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply

    How can a post talking about the improvement in the offensive line not mention Bobby Massie? He who took it upon himself to look at his (then) horrendous stats and teach himself techniques that have made him one of the top tackles in the league over the past few games. Good on you Massie and I hope Potter continues to improve too.

  8. By Cards girl on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply

    I’m sure they will look to improve the O line in the draft, but with their draft philosophy of selecting the “best available player” they may still end up drafting other positions early. Unless they change to drafting the best available player “who meets their needs”, I don’t see improvement. Is that Rod Graves’ philosophy. Coach Whiz’ ? Do you know, Darren?

  9. By johnkhenson on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply

    Nate Potter and Pat McQuiston were impressive against Detroit, Darren, any chance they compete for starting jobs next year? And I know that Levi is getting paid some bucks, any chance we let him go during the offseason?

  10. By erik on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply

    Blair,

    I second that.

  11. By MIKE G on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply

    Hey Darren– I would go with Potter and Massie at the tackles throughout the remaining 2 games and possibly look at them next season. They seem to be coming on. I would definitly look at a couple lineman in the draft to improve our depth and create more competition. We need to get more physical up front.

  12. By sarah on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply

    STL 1, Miami, Minnesota, SF, Green bay we had horrendous blocking and Seattle 2 there was no run blocking. We need to complete passes down field and that requires time to setup.

  13. By erik on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply

    If Kolb is QB next year, the line will look bad again. This is because he does not stay in the pocket…EVER. This is also the main reason why he can not and will not stay healthy.
    Nothing personal against the guy, I think he is the ideal NFL backup.

  14. By Ron Sellmeyer on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply

    Cardinals will be fine next year. With the schedule they had this year, I thought they would be lucky to go 8-8. With all the injuries and the poor coaching on offense, I am surprised they have done this well. They have a very good defense, but the better quarterbacks can still hurt them. Larry Fitzgerald wanted Kevin Kolb. Their is no reason Fitz should leave. If the quarterback has a respectable offensive line and plays are designed to throw down the field and not 5-10 yards this offense can be successful. If they keep Whiz and Cardinals hire Haley as offensive coordinator they then must make Horton one of the top three paid defensive coordinators. Whiz has got to bend a little and Haley cannot continually upset people he works around.

  15. By Bill on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply

    The offensive line is absolutely where the new general manager – NOT Rod Graves – needs to start. It would not be ideal, but if the worst situation with the quarterbacks is that we give Kolb 1 more year, so be it. With an offensive line that can stay upright themselves, perhaps #4 can stay on the field.

    But where to start? With a new GM who is willing to go out and get what he wants and what the Cardinals need. Who is the best tackle in the draft (rhetorical, until March or so)? Do what you need to do to move up and get him. Personally, I would LOVE to see us make a run at a trade for Jake Long. One of the best tackles in the league and going into the final year of his contract – a year Miami absolutely cannot afford, financially – and the Fins are reportedly miles away on a contract extension. There have already been reorts that they do not want to pay $17m next year and the same again the following year on a Franchise Tag. The Dolphins have many missing pieces, perhaps a player and a 2nd round pick can land the best tackle the Cardinals have ever had.

    Bottom line is that the Cardinals simply cannot afford more of the “best available” attitude we have had in the past 6 years or so. Don’t get me wrong, we have gotten some absolutely wonderful pieces to the puzzle with that approach. That was when we needed as many good pieces as possible. We are at the point now where we need SPECIFIC pieces. It is time to take a page outofthe Redskins book – decide who we want and do whatever is necessary to see it happen.

  16. By Scott H on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply

    Well, it’s a shame that these rookie O-lineman were forced into duty so early this year and had to endure a batism by fire. Memories of the horrible beating that Kolb took against the Rams in St Loius were an unfortunate consequence of that. But if this will ultimately result in these guys getting their legs under them and having them ahead of where they WOULD have been going into next year, then…OK. Perhaps it will pay off then.

  17. By Darren Urban on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply

    Cheese —

    RE: Rhodes deal

    I do not know if the 2013 season is a player option. I wasn’t under that impression. But I’d have to look into it.

  18. By Darren Urban on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply

    Johnk –

    RE: next year OL

    I think there is a lot to figure out before we start talking about who is starting next year.

  19. By erik on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply

    Cheese, you are exactly right about Kolb. Any O-line would look bad with him behind center. I know our QB situation is HORRIBLE, but I think everyone forgot that Kolb was not good either. He bails to the right on 90% of passing plays. He will never be a starting QB for a whole season! He did the exact same thing in Philly with the exact same results!!!

    Please, don’t settle for Kolb! Open your eyes!

  20. By Mike T on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply

    Darren –

    What’s up with Kelemete? Why haven’t we seen him with all of the OL issues that we have had.

  21. By Doug B on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply

    Here’s my hopes and dreams…Let Grimm and Miller go. Bring in Norv Turner as our OC after he get’s fired from San Diego and bring in Tony Sporano to coach our O-Line once he’s gone from the Jets. Dallas had a great Offensive line when Sporano was there. And Turner is one of the best coordinators in the game, just not a good head coach.

  22. By Keith on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply

    Sorry, but I am not excited about the fact that the line went from a disaster to below average. 100% healthy, this line is still one of the worst in the league and everyone associated with this organization, from top (whiz, graves, GRIMM) to bottom (the players) should be held accountable. I know you are trying to take a new angle Urban and pick through the garbage on this offensive unit, but the loyal cardinal base deserves more from this organization than what is being put on the field. A win is nice, but no one who watched the game was fooled about the fact that this offense is still terrible and unless big change comes, the future isnt that bright.

  23. By Cody Zarr on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply

    I’m wondering how many people who are in love with Kolb this year were calling for his demise last year.

    Let me throw out a staggering statistic for you know-it-all types that seem to have the quarterback situation handled from your couch. There are on average 11 minutes of action (ball is snapped and in play) in a football game broadcast. Even if you assume Arizona has the ball for 1/2 that amount of time you are claiming to have absolute knowledge of a topic after watching players on a field for 5.5 minutes a week. Doesn’t that make you feel a little stupid knowing that coaches are with their players for days at a time? Coaches just might have a better grasp on what is best for the team.

    The simple fact of the matter is this; An NFL coach could not decide between Kolb and Skelton at the beginning of the season after seeing 2 off seasons and a full season of play from both of them. This means 2 things. First, the difference between them is most certainly not significant. You can blabber until you are blue in the face, anyone who says one is “obviously” better than the other is ignorant. Second, neither of them are “good” by NFL standards, or the decision would have been easy.

    Now, if you’re the guy watching “all 22″ and dissecting plays for days after the game is over, you’re obviously an exception to this rule. To all the others, just relax and try to enjoy the game instead of bickering about something you’re uneducated in. You wouldn’t walk into a brain surgery and tell a doctor what tools to use would you? Have a little faith in the organization. I for one am glad that Mr. Bidwill has replaced his senior and seems to actually care about winning. He’s spending money and making moves compared to the previous administration.

    Oh, and to the guy claiming Bartel was better than Lindley and Skelton.. Wow.

  24. By KDubADub1324 on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply

    @erik

    Re: “…but I think everyone forgot that Kolb was not good either.”

    Dude are you serious? Open YOUR eyes, fool. His mobility helped him make plays this year that otherwise wouldn’t have been made by Garbage Skelton or Deer in Head Lights Lindley. His pocket presence vastly improved this year from last and he got his butt kicked for it. Big time. He stood in there and took a pounding in three straight games before finally succumbing to injury. He’s the best thing that happened to the offense this year. 8 TDs to 3 INTs, 85 rating, not to mention he led them to 4 straight wins (yes, he deserves the credit for the first SEA game). Not bad at all. HOWEVER, I do agree that they shouldn’t settle for him. Not because I don’t think he’s good, but because he can’t stay on the field. It does no good to keep him if he’s going to be standing on the sideline for 70% of the season.

  25. By BIG RED on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply

    You said it first, Ron Sellmeyer upsetting people he works around. We don’t need Haley, his the one that got rid of Boldin with his stubborness. Has the same face as kolb, its all about him.

  26. By curt on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply

    DARREN…

    Whats the word on Hoyer? Will he be active for Sunday’s game? Is there a chance he will get a look before the end of the season? Despite the win last weekend, Lindley made little progress. As a season ticket holder I am eager to see what Brian Hoyer may bring to the table. It has to be better than what we have seen! Your thoughts?

  27. By BIG RED on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply

    Sunday I was watching the Redskins, Browns game when they showed RG3 talking to Cousins on the sidelines. Well I’m just glad what the announcers said about RG3 giving advise to cousins. That a starting QB if injured should try to help the 2nd string QB in anyway possible. When did we ever saw kolb go to skelton and try to help, never! Now, I see him trying to talk to Lindley but with not much enthusiasm. Kolb is just looking out for himself and really not a team player. Just look a t Fitz talking and working with the other receivers in the sidelines. Also, RG3 and Cousins are both rookies and you can tell they both work together. Enough of kolb, two years of nothing to show. Use his money on Jake Long where it’s worth it.

  28. By Patrick on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply

    It is amazing to me that the offensive line has to be in shambles before this coaching staff decides to give them help. When they had Kurt Warner behind a suspect line going up against freeney, Allen and others, they left the tackles on an island. No tight end help, no chipping the ends with a running back. No wonder Kurt decided not to play another year of the chuck and get creamed offensive system. Do you think Peyton manning did not consider that when politely sayin thanks but no thanks. We have been watching a suspect line play without help for three or four years due to stubborn coaches not willing to change.

  29. By NJAzCardsaFan on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply

    It is apparent that Whiz cannot pick a QB. If he intends to stick with Skelton and Lindley next year he really needs to go. There is no offense on this team. Once again the defense came up with some big plays on turnovers. 100 yds passing in the NFL is a prescription for a losing seasom and a losing team. Who draft’s a QB with a college percentage completion of only 60%??? (I know the Cards did) There were alot better players out there in the last draft who are making it in the NFL this season.
    Thankfully, there are only two games left in this nighmare of a season……

  30. By dynasty1717 on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply

    This year has been a MAJOR disappointment, no doubt. I offer the following as a blueprint for a START to success:

    1) Keep Whiz – I know many of you want him gone, but I have been a Cards fan since 1976 and he has been the best coach the team has had. That being said, if he has been the ultimate decision maker on draft day, then that authority needs to be revoked. If it hasn’t been Whiz’s responsibility and it has been Graves’s responsibility, then that would explain a lot.

    2) Fire Graves – He clearly doesn’t get it. He is slow moving in free agency and has made some very bad moves in this area. The Cards have had some of the worst free agency additions and subtractions in the league over the past several years. Also, as many others have pointed out, to allow the non-drafting of OL is unacceptable. We need someone who can better assess talent (both players and scouts), make good decisions in an efficient manner, and postion the team better with cap space. It is hard to believe we struggle with the cap like we do considering the talent we currently have. Also, is anyone else frustrated by the Cards constantly feeling like they got a deal on a player who dropped in the draft due to injury (Beanie, O’Brien, R. Williams, etc.) only to find out that they can’t stay on the field? Let’s quit taking chances with precious draft picks and start drafting players who are HEALTHY. Graves is the biggest problem of the Cards entire operation.

    3) Fire Miller – This is a no-brainer. The offense has been horrific. Not sure who I want our new OC to be, but I know it is NOT Norv Turner.

    4) Fire QB Coach – The development of the QBs has clearly not worked and we must go in a different direction.

    5) Fire Grimm – We need an overhaul in this area and Grimm has to be part of that.

    6) Cut Skelton – He has had enough time to develop and it just hasn’t happened. No reason to keep him on the roster.

    7) Trade Kolb for Orton – Kolb is injury prone and just hasn’t had any luck staying on the field. Orton has had a year to rest at Dallas, has a better and more accurate arm, and can take a hit. Don’t know what we would have to give up to get him, but he is a much better option that Kolb in a QB market that doesn’t offer many solutions. He would help solidify the QB postion and could either start right away or be an acceptable backup should we get a great rookie who we can start on day 1.

    8) Cut Beanie – The guy can’t stay on the field and when he is on the field, his yards per carry is not that great. We need some talent here and he isn’t it.

    9) Keep Docket and Wilson – We need these veterans who have stuck it out with the Cards. IMO, Darnell’s fine was excessive. He and Whiz need to have a sit-down and get things straightened out.

    8) Draft order – First pick – QB, second pick – OL, third pick – RB, fourth pick – OLB, fifth pick – S, sixth pick – DT, seventh pick – CB

  31. By georgiebird on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply

    Thru the early 1990’s, the Cards played in the NFL East. One haunting fact was that each year two of the five best teams in football were usually in the NFC East (and many SB winners). Now granted, there were no wildcards back then- but the Cardinals would usually go about 2-6 or 3-5 against their divisional foes making it very difficult to get into the playoffs. These were the Cardinals of sharing a Stadium and not playing players.
    Fast forward to 2013, and the Cards could be looking at two very good teams (with very young QBs) in the NFC West and a projected divisional record of about 2-4. The time of the weak NFC West is gone. The Cardinals will have to make big time progress in the off-season to be competitive.
    Unless the NFC West starts sending three teams to the playoffs-and wouldn’t that be a reversal- the Cardinals are at a major crossroads for the next five years or so. The time for tweaking this team is long gone. The Bidwill’s must bring in the best people to run the football operation or it could be like old times all over again.

  32. By Chuck 1 on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply

    Ron Sellmeyer,

    Why would Haley leave the Steelers?

  33. By Credit Card on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply

    I see improvement from both Potter and Massie. An off-season of training reviewing film, weight training etc… you’ll see a nice improvment next year. I still think moving Brown to guard is ideal. His quickness and strength will better match interior d-linemen. I cannot see that Brown has the speed to block the likes of a Vaughn Miller or Pierre-Paul and others.

    As a fan, with previous football experience, I noticed that our tackles could not get to the point of attack on a consistent basis. To me, it was painfully obvious. Therefore, at least get a player who has the ability to get to the point of attack, and then work upon techniques. I think it is fool-hardy to work on the techniques and somehow hope the player can physically get to the point of attack.

    I attribute the coaching staff, not coming to grips that O-line have to have a certain amount of speed before mere size. Most of the sack wows can be the fault of the QB’s but also having the wrong player in the wrong spot.

  34. By Chuck 1 on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply

    For those fans who believe that Michael will fire Graves this off season, think again.
    I think that Michael is too close to Graves like Whiz is too close to Grimm for either of them to be fired.
    And, if Graves, Keim and Whiz return, it’ll be the “same old, same old” regarding player drafting and FA signings i.e. an emphasis on defensive players.

  35. By Cactus jeff on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply

    Bill,
    I know you are upset but drafting for need will kill the Cards. The packers drafted Aaron Rodgers when they had no OL or WRs for Farve. The cards took Fitz when they had a young Q. Fill needs in free agency with known quantities.

    The Cards need to spend wisely in free agency and evaluate the draft better. Conventional wisdom is that these guys are bright,unfortunately, conventional wisdom is wrong. They are making terrible choices in free agency and the draft. Heap, joey porter, Derek Anderson, Kevin Kolb, Rex Hadnot, DB Mc Fadden, Kevin Kolb trade, Dan Williams with first pick. To run Max Hall out there was just awful! Way too many mistakes.

    You just can’t pass on the next Arod, Adrian Peterson, Randy Moss or Von Miller because we need a LT. Insist the Cards fill their needs in free agency and spend some money.

  36. By Ben on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply

    Whiz needs to go, his comment says all you need to know.”still by no means perfect” well only week 16, maybe by midway next season we will be there, Jesus.

  37. By Ottis Anderson Fan on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply

    There’s no way, despite some promise in the last couple of games from the O-line that the Cards shouldn’t take the best available lineman when they make their first round pick in the 2013 draft. Look at where the lack of depth on the O-line has left the team the past few years. The O-line philosophy of hiring rejects off the street has been the biggest debacle created by the front office and coaching staff, and I’m hoping it gets most of them fired within days of the season ending.

  38. By Eazy E on Dec 19, 2012 | Reply

    We better address our pathetic QBs and O-Line in the offseason. BTW Darren, great piece on the horrific connecticut shootings and putting sports and life into perspective.

  39. By chris B on Dec 19, 2012 | Reply

    Darren,
    Can you confirm some of these fans are watching the same games as I am? Pretty sure Kolb stayed in pocket, hence the high number of sacks he took. Also, wasn’t he the same “terrible” QB that won 4 straight including one in NE?

    FYI- if you fire Whiz and Graves chances are high you lose Horton too. New GM wants “his guy” and ne HC wants “his staff”. You also run the risk of losing players because the new HC will want “his guys”. Fitz is probably safe. Rhodes, Dockett, Campbell, WAshington, R Johnson, Toler Wilson, Sendlien, College, R Williams, Roberts all aren’t guaranteed to play for new coaches. (see cutler, marshall, p manning, d clark, to name a few players who were released with a new coach regime.)

    Cheese,
    Would you intentionally suck at your job just because you didn’t like your boss? Of course not, you would be fired. The job of the OL is to block for the QB. If they don’t do it, they lose their job (Batiste). Plus, if you want to fault a player for Kolb’s injury, blame Powell since he screwed the play up that got him hurt.

  40. By Darren Urban on Dec 19, 2012 | Reply

    Mike T –

    RE: Kelemete

    I have not heard. Obviously he has not impressed enough to get a shot. I’m a little surprised myself.

  41. By Darren Urban on Dec 19, 2012 | Reply

    Curt —

    RE: Hoyer

    I don’t know. Yes, I think there is a chance he could play. I expect Lindley to start this week. First they have to have Hoyer active on a game day. His acquisition could also be about making sure they have his rights going into the offseason more than anything else.

  42. By sarah on Dec 19, 2012 | Reply

    Sanchez demoted . It is about managing the game and not turning the ball over ( hello Skelton, Lindley ). Interesting that Tebow did not get the nod. Skelton is done in the desert, first sign is they released his brother. If Skelton had gotten the Detroit game he would have shined I think however one only gets so many chances in life.

    Whiz will be gone at seasons end, he orchestrated the QB debacle and relied on mediocre running and receivers. The defence and Skelton saved his ass last year, this year not so lucky.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/19/sports/football/greg-mcelroy-to-start-for-jets-over-sanchez-and-tebow.html?hpw&_r=0

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

    Best available vs need in draft.
    I always find this argument funny.

    The cards are 5-9 and just ended a 9 game losing streak. Right??
    They “need” several positions. They can fill those positions with BPA too.

    Let’s take a look.
    Could the cards need a CB like Milliner? sure
    Can they use an OLB like Damontre Moore? good pick
    How about an ILB like Manti Teo ? pick him now.
    A QB like Geno Smith is a must.
    The Oline was in shambles and tacking a Tackle like Joeckel or guard like Womack is a must.
    If ADub is on the way out, how can you pass on Eric Reid as safety?

    Point is, the cards have several needs that they could justify picking. All these players justify a top 10 selection. So, no matter who you pick, both sides are right. Sometimes, BPA supporters lose sight that you can trade down or up to land the BPA at the position of greatest need.

    Where BPA is trumped;
    A QB is a absolute must to have a chance to win in this league. Without one, well it was obvious this year. When you dont have one, you must target one in the draft. Do you reach at #5 pick? Sometimes. If you can’t get him at 15, then yes (ala Tannehill). But if you believe you can land him in the late first or early second, you trade down and take him there (ala Kaepernick, Weedon, and Dalton). Or you take the coveted player at 6th or 7th (Moore or Teo) and trade up to land your QB in the late first or early second. (Landry Jones)

    The problem comes when you see a talent like Star Lotulelei , a terrific NT, and he falls to you at 5 and you take him. The team ends up with a position that is already filled and still no QB or Oline or whatever. Moves like this set teams back. Sure you have another NT, but you are the same team you were, even if he becomes a pro bowler.

    Last year, taking Michael Floyd was a flat out mistake. QB trumps everything. If you didn’t feel you could trade up for a QB and none were worthy of #13, trade down, get additional picks and draft your QB. All of a sudden, you have a QB to build around and extra picks to fill with the BPA for those needs.

    Just so everyone is aware, since the 2011 draft, there are 12 QBs starting for there team. (counting Lindley)
    That is not counting Greg McElroy, Kurt Cousins, or of course Blaine Gabbert.
    With the exception of Lindley, I would take any of the 11 starting QBs over what we have. With the exceptions of Cam, RG3, and Luck, we could have landed any of the other QBs. Instead , we took BPA and are 5-9 and still need a QB next year.

    As for FA, it is not a pool of amazing players who fit in your system like some thought early on. A LT or QB rarely hit the FA market. Pass rushers like Aldon Smith, JJ Watt and Von Miller are drafted and not FAs. What usually hits the market are guys who are nearing the end (ADub) or have not produced in their last contract (Mark Sanchez?). Could be a change over or cap issues and someone is sent packing (Garcon) Then, every now and then, a player wants big money and a team has a replacement ready (Cliff Avril , Greg Jennings this coming year)

    There is zero chance Jake Long is hitting the market. Don’t believe any kind of insider or bleacher reports. It is not going to happen. You dont draft a Franchise QB then let a pro bowl LT go. It just doesnt happen.

  44. By Bob Boise on Dec 19, 2012 | Reply

    I am glad McQ got a chance to play and show his underused skills. Remember he also has played blocking TE and blocking H back. It would be fun to watch him catch a pass or two.

  45. By Cactus jeff on Dec 19, 2012 | Reply

    John Draft guy
    Good points, however, if Floyd was BPA the cards would have landed a talent like AJ Green or Julio Jones. Too many mistakes. Darren hinted at it the first time he saw Floyd on the field, not even close to that type of talent. If he was a Julio jones talent we would be a happy 5-9 with the future being very interesting. Fitz and Julio could make Kolb look really good. Instead we got the Levi brown of WRs,not exactly a good job of picking BPA. This year if we reach and get the Levi Brown of QBs and pass on a Demarcus Ware type pass rusher were ruined.

  46. By Chuck 1 on Dec 19, 2012 | Reply

    john the draft guy,

    Great post.

    I’ve been railing against the Cards’ philosophy of BPA for a few years, but I didn’t have the detailed factual argument that you used. It just didn’t seem logical based on the results that the Cards have experienced.

    But, guess which the Cards will use in 2013? BPA or Need? You could probably take BPA to the bank.

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

    Cactus Jeff,

    Of course we passed on the actual Demarcus Ware for Antrel Rolle. But to my original point, QB trumps all, not only did we pass on Ware in 2005, we also passed on Aaron Rodgers.

    But to your point, it may not be a case of BPA for the cards but instead, the lack of judging talent. The cards obviously thought they were getting a Jones or Green, just like they thought they were getting a franchise LT in Brown. You obviously think they missed.

    I think if there isn’t a clear choice and a need, trade down to where the pick makes sense. If we traded down and took a wr in the second, no one is complaining.

    Well, Im sure someone is complaining.

  48. By Chris B on Dec 19, 2012 | Reply

    John the Draft Guy,
    Of those 11, which are your franchise QBs? There are 64 1st and 2nd string QBs in the NFL. 60 of them are “better than what we have now”. That argument is moot as the team doesn’t want someone who can be better than Lindley/Skelton. They want a franchise QB, which those are harder to find. Which one of the 11 would the Cardinals been able to take in the draft order? R Wilson? Picked 5 picks before Cards drafted in 3rd round. Can’t fault them for not trading up, as that would be grading player using hindsight and that is unrealistic. How about Dalton (slightly over rated- yes, better than what we have but not sold he is franchise caliber yet)? He was off the board. Kaep? Gone. What about in 2010 when they picked 5th. Gabbert? Locker? Ponder? No thanks. I’ll roll with Kolb instead (which is what they did). The free agent list the past 3 years has been crap with one very famous exception.

    Every coach has lived and died with “his guy” at QB. Rex Ryan is gone in NY because Sanchez was his guy. Fraizer and Muncheck are going to live and die with Ponder and Locker. Adrian Peterson might give Fraizer more time because of his super-human play. Fisher picked Vince Young and he is now fired and Vince Young is on his couch. John Fox stuck with Delhomme, then choose Clausen in 2nd round. He then started him and was fired that same year. McDaniels in Denver- Tebow. Belichick- Brady. McCarthy-Rodgers. Harbaugh-Flacco. Reid- McNabb/Vick. I can name many more.

    A case can be made Whiz is tied to Kolb. If that is the case, I think he needs one more year to see if Kolb can stay healthy. If he was concussed this year, I say injury prone. But since it was a freak play, I give him one more shot. Kolb is our starting QB. He is why we chose Floyd (I also didn’t like that pick). If they draft QB, they need one that can backup Kolb and be able to play if Kolb goes down again. Kind of like Kaep.

    A very weak case can be made that Whiz is tied to Skelton. But no head coach has EVER, EVER picked a QB in the 5th round and said, “this is our future QB.” Even Brady got benched for Bledsoe when he was healthy. Skelton only started games AT ALL because of injuries. And even when Whiz named him the starter at the beginning, Whiz said in the same press conference that both QBs will probably play. I don’t think he was talking about injuries. Skelton got lucky more than anything in 2011 and Whiz knew it.

    Graves somehow survived the Leinart pick. Whiz shouldn’t be punished for that missed pick. It is said that if you miss on a franchise QB (1st round) it sets you back 5 years. Whiz got “unlucky” with Warner because that success only added 2 years to us really seeing that Leinart was a bust. Had leinart started in 08, he would have been gone by 09 and the Cards probably would have picked a new QB that year.

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

    Chris B,

    Fisher did not want Young. That was the owners pick.

    Other QBs tied to coaches;
    You make a good point and it is exactly why Whiz might lose his job. He is tied with Kolb. Everyone says give Kolb another year and see if he can stay healthy. It has been 3 years in a row he has been hurt multiple times. (including Philly) So, we are going to see if year 4 is his lucky year?

    As for which QBs;
    In 2012, Trading up was available to land Tannehill. Trading down, we could have had Weedon, Or trading down would have netted a second in which we could have had Foles or Wilson. We will have to see who develops.

    In 2011, A massive trade was available with the Falcons, sending us to the bottom of the first, where we could have landed Kaep or Dalton.
    As for Locker, it was well known he would take a couple of years. I have seen flashes and with the right coach, I believe he can be a franchise guy.
    I never liked Gabbert. I question those run and shoot style QBs and really saw nothing in him and voiced it many times on this board.
    I did like Ponder but thought he would be a late 1 early 2. To Ponders defense, who is he throwing to? Harvin has been injured and not much else. It is tough to judge a young QB without giving him time and weapons.

    In 2013, if we draft a QB, everyone shouldnt expect Luck or RG3. They will be up and down. But the key is, do you see progress andpotential to elevate their game.

  50. By cobra on Dec 19, 2012 | Reply

    John:

    Please not the Tannehill and other QBs story again. Too much hindsight. Watching Gruden will do that I guess. The only one who you missed on his interviews this year is Osweiler. Wonder why he didn’t start this year as a Rookie? Oh yeah, some guy named Manning. Doing a great job John, please find us a QB for next year. I do agree with Locker though. Watching him in College, he was Tebow times two with a lot more accuracy. He’s gonna be a good one in time.

  51. By cardsalltheway on Dec 20, 2012 | Reply

    Our OL was terrible early or for the 1st half of the season(9 sacks allowed vs. Rams) and Ken W./R. Grimm didn’t do anything about it, they just filled positions by seniority. That philosophy(don’t play rookies) was wrong as we later learned and it’s got to go or Ken W.’s got to go.

    WR’s: Our 1st Round draft pick was a bust this 2012 season and insignificant just like Larry Fitz. I sure hope we can “develop” another 1st Round Draft pick in 2013, don’t you?

    TE’s: Were a no-show for the most part.

    RB’s: Our healthiest RB this year and most promising was William Powell and he(and fans) got ripped off by Ken W. for not playing him early and more throughout the season like he should have. By playing W. Powell early we would’ve gained more rushing yards, helped the terrible Batiste days of our OL, possibly saved Kevin Kolb and Ryan Williams from getting injured. Beanie was as unpredictable as always and unhealthy but not as much as LSH who is only a part-time RB even though Ken W. played him full-time ignoring William Powell.

    QB’s: Were the butt of Ken W.’s jokes, he may as well of spat on R. Lindley and J. Skelton. Don’t we have a great QB confidence builder in Ken W.? Heck, he even does magnificently in how he develops our QB’s.

  52. By cardsalltheway on Dec 20, 2012 | Reply

    Correction: Beanie was more unpredictable than LSH and less healthy.

  53. By john the draft guy on Dec 20, 2012 | Reply

    Cobra,

    It was more of a BPA vs Need pick argument. But everything usually turns to QB. Especially when you dont have one.

    BTW, I am not an authority and dont claim to be and I do admit when I am wrong. I just try to point out the things I see and welcome debates.

    I thought Cam would be a bust with 1 year experience and that offense Auburn ran.
    I wasn’t a Brandon Weedon fan
    I wasnt a Kaepernick fan
    I thought Wilson was too short.
    And I was a huge fan of Ponder. Although I still like him, he might morph into Alex Smith.

    But I think I was right about;
    I liked Locker but had question marks. I think I like him more today then coming out of draft. I dont belive I am wrong about him
    Gabbert, who has been a mess, I never saw anything in him.
    Tannehill will develop into a top 5 QB in two more years.
    I thought the Jets grabbing Sanchez at 5 was foolish
    I was an Andy Dalton Fan, Nick Foles fan, and Josh Freeman fan (who I thought we should have traded up for in 2009. I dont think I was on this board at the time but people who know me heard me yelling.
    I also loved Ryan Mallott until his interview with Gruden. Wanna be gansta with a world of talent. Billicheck could have a 3rd round steal on his bench if he matures.

    I do like the Gruden interviews. It helps or turns me off the QBs I have watched all year. The most interesting one I want to hear this year is Tyler Wilson.
    There are a lot of hero and zeros in this QB crop. Geno Smith Matt Barkley and Tyler Wilson have huge potential but huge question marks too.

    Aaron Murray and Landry Jones are safer bets late in the first or early second.

  54. By cobra on Dec 20, 2012 | Reply

    John,

    Re: Gruden interviews,

    I agree, Gruden does a great job breaking down each QB. I also think 90% of the QBs interviewed well also. I guess all in all they actually deserved to be drafted higher than early polls suggested. It also will be interesting if Gruden is evaluating QBs as a HC instead of analyst next year?

  55. By cardsalltheway on Dec 20, 2012 | Reply

    john the draft guy,
    Any and all of the QB’s you mentioned would’ve looked as bad as any of our QB’s under Ken W., you can be sure they would’ve all ended up being the butt of his jokes.

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