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Blogs

Breaking down the roster

Posted by Darren Urban on January 3, 2013 – 3:24 pm

The combination of a 5-11 record and change with both the general manager and head coach usually leads to one thing: Roster turnover. Of course, none of that happens until the new GM and head coach are in place, and that isn’t happening tomorrow.

(Reiterating from Michael Bidwill on Monday: “It’s not going to move at lightning speed. You don’t want it to, because you learn a lot during your due diligence period.” Remember that concept.)

In the meantime, there are things to speculate upon. With that, here is my annual overview of the roster and where players stand contract-wise heading into the offseason. Free agency begins at 2 p.m. Arizona time on March 12. Until then, the Cardinals have the ability to re-sign any of their own players set to hit the market. With the shift in giving all draft picks at least four-year contracts, the shrinking of the restricted free agent market continues; the only RFA the Cards have is linebacker Brandon Williams, who was so far off the radar after being waived-injured back after training camp that he didn’t appear on the roster.

There are some key decisions to make:

– In terms of unrestricted free agents, it seems probable that all of them would choose to at least reach the market. At this point, there is probably nothing to lose, and would want to see their market value. The Cardinals need to figure out whether they want to lock down these guys. Of the 13 unrestricted guys on the market, the most intriguing include safety Rashad Johnson (given the looming decision on Adrian Wilson), linebacker Quentin Groves, running back LaRod Stephens-Howling, linebacker Paris Lenon and cornerback Greg Toler. I would not be shocked, especially with roster change, to see any of them leave. Lenon’s age works against him. Johnson’s future may be tied to whomever is coach.

– Of the players under contract, money may dictate change. We’ve covered QB Kevin Kolb’s situation plenty, but that will have to be figured out. I think the Cardinals would like to extend safety Kerry Rhodes, who has one more season, but he’s also due a $4.5 million salary and a $1 million reporting bonus next year and that might be too pricey for the team. I’d think they’d want to extend Rhodes and restructure the deal. He may end up in a Wilson situation from camp. Speaking of Wilson, does the team bring him back for a 13th season? That too may depend on the new decision-makers. Wilson is due a roster bonus in March so we may know soon. Curious to know what the Cards do with running back Beanie Wells, if anything.

Lots of questions like that. Obviously I’ve barely touched on most of them. It’s difficult to get too much of a read on them until those making the choices are in place. I think there are going to be plenty of comings and goings, and it won’t just be relegated to the coaching and GM searches.

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Posted in Blog | 70 Comments »


70 Responses to “Breaking down the roster”

  1. By Mike T on Jan 3, 2013 | Reply

    Great stuff Darren!

    Thanks!

  2. By Cheese on Jan 3, 2013 | Reply

    Darren,

    Am I reading you wrong, or did you just say Rhodes, who just had a great season, is a playmaking safety and is in his prime might be too pricey for the Cardinals? Are you intimating that he might be a cap casualty? Really confused by your wording there.

    Scott

  3. By GMAN on Jan 3, 2013 | Reply

    I definitely think the Cardinals should extend Kerry Rhodes.He is a good tackler and makes plays,and a classy guy.I think Rashon Johnson has some upside.Maybe Greg Toler would be a better safety? I think Jamel Fleming can get better if he wants to or even Justin Bethel too.Maybe if these young guys study videos to prepare for opposing teams,it would make them better.Maybe it’s not all physical ability but mental ability that shows the most?

  4. By carlo milan italy on Jan 3, 2013 | Reply

    Darrwn when do u think michael will hire his coach..could u explain me the rooney rule?thank you

  5. By kauaicardsfan on Jan 3, 2013 | Reply

    Aloha Darren,
    Can you confirm if Andy Reid did cancel his meeting with the Cards that was scheduled for today? I dont know what is fact or fiction anymore reading some of the NFL.com reports?

    Mahalo

  6. By Darren Urban on Jan 3, 2013 | Reply

    Cheese —

    RE: Rhodes

    I’m saying I’m not sure they would see him as a $5.5 million safety for one season. I think they want him and want to extend his contract.

  7. By sarah on Jan 3, 2013 | Reply

    Darren,

    Good breakdown, important to note is that anyone under contract can be released.
    The QB situation is tricky especially Kolb, the ultimate question is can he win a season of football ? Lindley should be released, he peaked at rookie and Whiz threw the season in Atlanta. Hoyer might make a good backup here or elsewhere but he did not show enough in a such a short time (one meaningless TD) to grasp value. Skelton had a great year last year and regressed with accuracy, line issues and anemic running game.

    Skelton stats :

    Minnesota:

    Skelton: 25/36 , 262 yards passing 1 TD, 1 INT
    Ponder, 8/17, 58 yards passing, 1 TD, 2 Ints

    San Francisco:

    Skelton: 32/52 , 290 yards, 1 IT
    Smith: 18/19 , 232 yards, 3 TD’s

    Green Bay:

    Skelton: 23/46, 306 yds, 1 TD, 1 Int (game had lots of dropped passes)
    Rogers: 14/30 216 yds , 4 TD’s , 1 Int

    Atlanta: He should not have been pulled, easily a winnable game.
    Seattle: Absolute disaster and his Waterloo, but so did Buffalo and SF QB’s, Seattle brutal at home.

    What taints Skelton is the Seattle game and Whiz never gave him a chance to make it up unlike Lindley.

  8. By Darren Urban on Jan 3, 2013 | Reply

    Carlo —

    RE: Timeline/Rooney rule

    There is no set timeline. I wouldn’t be shocked if something happened sometime next week.

    As for Rooney rule, the NFL has a rule in place that any team hiring for head coach or GM (or similar front-office post) must interview at least one minority candidate. The idea is to get those minorities in front of decision-makers more than in the past and get them opportunities that were not coming for too long.

  9. By Darren Urban on Jan 3, 2013 | Reply

    Kauai —

    RE: Reid

    Reid did not interview today.

  10. By D on Jan 3, 2013 | Reply

    My Break down by Group:
    QB–bring back Hoyer and a restructured Kolb, draft a QB in round 2 of draft

    RB–on roster: R. Williams, A. Sherman, bring in Powell to training camp to compete for a job. Let Hyphen get market price in free agency, see where it leads to.
    Call Cincy for a 5th rounder pick for Beanie
    Draft a RB and go after restricted RB, Chris Ivory
    WR group seems set. Would offer Doucet to Buffalo or CLE, where ever Whiz goes to for a 4 or 5th round draft pick.
    TE- On roster Housler, King and either draft Kelce from Cinncinnati or pick one up in free agency.
    OL-Keep L. Brown, Potter, Massie, Sendlein and Colledge. Cut Synder, draft a G in either Round 1-3 in the draft.
    Defense-Replace Holliday with a Vet backup, also use draft for a DE
    Offer Raiders Dockett for a 3 round draft pick (he is on the downside of his career). Williams, Campbell and Carter are solid.
    LB–On roster Schofield, Washington, Acho, Walker. Resign Groves, Cut Bradley, let Lennon go and draft a MLB.
    CB-On roster, Bethel, Fleming, Peterson, Rhodes. Resign Adams, Johnson and Toler. Draft a SS to replace Wilson.
    Specialist- keep all .

    Cards need to either trade players for mor picks or move down in draft to acquire more 2, 3 and 4th round picks if possible.

  11. By erik on Jan 3, 2013 | Reply

    IMO, I would take Toler over Gay anytime, anywhere.

  12. By cardinal on Jan 3, 2013 | Reply

    Horton needs to hear a “You are hired “, by us, b4 we lose him!!Kolb if u read this , re -due your deal , you have not earned all that $ u have already received and can stay and prove your self .

  13. By l.a. cardsmaniac on Jan 3, 2013 | Reply

    Besides Johnson, there really cant be much market for the other free agents. These other guys are probably easily replaced. I would think the Cards would not overpay for any of them.

  14. By iammattyoung on Jan 3, 2013 | Reply

    When thinking about Kolb, I think that it’s important to note that whatever he’s been paid over the last two years should be multiplied by 2.13 in order to account for the number of games he’s actually played in out of the 32 games he was expected to start (he started 15). Now, if the Cards can’t get that $11 million figure down for next year, that’s a problem.

    The other move that I think has to be made is to cut either Colledge or Snyder. That interior line has been horrendous all year at run-blocking, and with Levi coming back, and the Cards likely to stick with Potter or insert a #1 pick, Levi slides nicely into whatever guard position opens up.

    You’ve gotta bring Wilson back. Especially with the overhaul going on right now, great leaders are more important than ever.

    As far as the draft goes, I’m for going after an edge rusher, which will help those corners immensely, or Manti Te’o. Bradley has been a huge bust, and if Lenon isn’t brought back, we’ve got no one to fill in there. Teo is a monster against the run, which has also been a weakness of the defense.

  15. By Cheese on Jan 3, 2013 | Reply

    Darren,

    Ah.. okay. That makes much more sense.

    Scott

  16. By philly cards 1994- on Jan 3, 2013 | Reply

    I can’t stand toler or gay. The new guy will take character and ability in adub. And he will need roster spots to make his mark on the team.

    You can’t do that reacting to any thing a failed regime did. safteys are dime a dozen for the most part. 6.5 million for rhodes is definately too much for his age and injury history.
    The guys who should have taken his spot rashaad johnson all those guys are gone.gay too.
    All of those give him another year early doucet types are gone.

    I think we get horton and norv. Or the denver guy. he probably thinks hortons got the job.

  17. By Terry E on Jan 3, 2013 | Reply

    3 key guys on defense are pretty well locked up, Peterson, Campbell & D-Wash. Dockett is also in the mix. Nice 3-level core group to build on.

  18. By ????? on Jan 3, 2013 | Reply

    HOW BOUT THEM VIKINGS

  19. By ross on Jan 3, 2013 | Reply

    The return of the Hightower. Is it in the Cards? What say ye, Darren?

  20. By Darren Urban on Jan 3, 2013 | Reply

    Ross —

    RE: Hightower

    Who is the GM and coach.

  21. By donttakelosses on Jan 3, 2013 | Reply

    Horton had interesting comments on Kolb, and some inferences can be drawn from him about how Whiz handled Kolb … what’s the inside scoop on Kolb’s treatment? Did that affect Whiz decision by l’il B? You always know more than you let on…. c’mon Darren, give it up…

  22. By donttakelosses on Jan 3, 2013 | Reply

    And one more: what was the issue with Stewart Bradley? Huge preseason, barely sniffs field in regular season. What gives?

  23. By AndyStandsUp on Jan 3, 2013 | Reply

    Has Dockett ever restructured Darren? Might be a good time to so.
    Don’t get the dissing of Lenon about his age. He’s been a tackling machine for years much like a London Fletcher clone.
    Most of the current core locked up ’til 2015. Salary cap only goes up incrementally next season but figures to explode with new tv contract. Do you see team as big spenders?

  24. By Patrick Eagan on Jan 3, 2013 | Reply

    i agree 100% with Erik

  25. By Darren Urban on Jan 3, 2013 | Reply

    AndyStands —

    RE: spending

    Depends on the player. I don’t see them going crazy on free agents all of a sudden.

  26. By Goodz in PHX 17 on Jan 3, 2013 | Reply

    RE: spending
    Depends on the player. I don’t see them going crazy on free agents all of a sudden.

    Ha, ummm does anybody EVER see them doing that? no……..

  27. By wonderingwhy on Jan 3, 2013 | Reply

    Hey Darren what are your thoughts on Haley Returning? I thought the players had alot of issues with his style and it looked like they continued with KC and now Pittsburgh? Why would the bidwells want that back here when they have a quality guy like Horton?

  28. By pacardfan on Jan 3, 2013 | Reply

    Darren,

    In your experience and own oppion, if Horton were to become the HC,and if A-Dub does not retire, even with his age and playing time cut some last season, and his $1M bonus, do you think Horton would keep Wilson? I understand and know pending who comes in as HC, this may be a non-factor, just wanted your thoughts on this.

  29. By Darren Urban on Jan 3, 2013 | Reply

    Wondering —

    RE: Haley

    He had success here. He butted heads with a couple guys but this idea everyone hated him is false. Fitz and Warner had a great relationship with him. Breaston signed as a FA in KC.

  30. By Darren Urban on Jan 3, 2013 | Reply

    Pacard —

    RE: Wilson

    I really have no idea. I hope he returns, personally. But I don’t know.

  31. By Mark on Jan 4, 2013 | Reply

    D, I totally agree with you about your assessment of what should be done to fix the cards problems and make them competitive again. Here are a few names that could fill those holes for the players cut and a few different options.

    After you cut Synder (terrible pick up)you replace him with free agent Guard Andy Levitre from Bills, excellent player. Or slide Levi to Guard and sign free agent tackle Jake Long Phil Loadholt or Brandon Albert. Yeah Clady and Vollmer are also free agents but I dont see them leaving. If not draft OT Lewan or Mathews.

    Hopefully QB Aaron Murray makes the mature decision and elects to enter the draft. Draft him in the second round. Or if he kills at the Combine u might have to trade up with New England to grab him late first. If not draft Barkley in second if he falls, i know, I know, not another USC QB but this guy is smarter and just better than Leinart or Sanchez.

    I hope they take LB Manti Te’o with the first round pick if available. Beast!

    Last, sign DRC to play opposite Peterson.

    Tip to new Management: Please no more K-mart blue light special free agents. Bradley, Heap, Snyder, Gay, Mcfadden etc etc type players will not win you games. Draft player sthat are good and sign an impact free agent here or there to get you to the next level.

  32. By JohnfromOz on Jan 4, 2013 | Reply

    Warner for Head Coach, bring in Kevin Sheedy for the charisma.

  33. By georgiebird on Jan 4, 2013 | Reply

    Darren,
    The Cardinals have not caved in to the money demands of players(excl Kolb deal) over the past 3 years- and this has been a plus. Only Boldin may have been worth the money and his departure had more to do with just money. Rolle ended up in a great place with the Giants where a great offense and other great defensive players covered for his poor tackling and gambling mistakes; Dansby proved to be good -not great; Antonio Smith-good but not very good.
    Of the current defensive players only 3 guys need to be kept:
    1) Peterson- tremendous talent although not yet a shut-down
    2) Acho- big, young, healthy- could still become top tier
    3) DWash- young, healthy, fast- all over the field-scrappy not phys dominating
    Cambell is a ?- not sold on his talent/ speed; never double teamed.
    If there were a big game, DD is still the best defensive player but given the scheme and his age, DD should be traded because Cards are years away.
    The rest of the defensive players are not worth big money and can be replaced with comparable talent picked by new mgt..
    Offensively- only Larry is top talent but he should be traded (see DD above). Rest of the offensive players are not worth big money to retain.
    To be precise- It’s time to move on.

  34. By Scuba steve on Jan 4, 2013 | Reply

    Sarah- You forgot to mention he lost every game he started. Skelton sucks and kolb is 100x better. There is nothing anyone here can do about who will be kept or who will be let go. There isn’t even a staff to decide. Enough about Skelton and Kolb.

  35. By Wilson8 on Jan 4, 2013 | Reply

    With an offensive line that allowed our quarterbacks to be pummeled week after week, why is there any discussion about drafting anyone other than offensive linemen? Everybody points to the skilled/glory positions, dreaming that they will make a difference. They can, but only if you have a line that can give them a chance to make it happen. Furthermore, we have to be deep in the bench for the injuries that are sure to come. I”m no big Kolb fan, but you have to give him credit for what he did before he was nearly killed!

  36. By Bill L on Jan 4, 2013 | Reply

    Essentially gave up a 1 & 2 for Kolb……..Damn near got him killed behind the WORST O-line in the League……made him suffer thru a Whiz Analysis where Skelton……like DA and Matt….was STUPIDLY put in front of him…..Now, they want him to take less money…..Maybe they can cut him on the Last day of pre-season…….CRY or LAUGH……It’s the Cards!!!! LOL!! Well, who will they get…..for What…….If I’m Kolb, I’d take 1 Million off this year and put it on the last/next year……..IF…….IF……the Cards guarantee the ENTIRE Salary for this year……AND…….draft OTs at 1 and 2……AND a 3rd O-Line at 3…..somebody has to run the asylum…other than that …….Suck Eggs.

    Wow, Not a CHEAP anywhere……..Just heard Charlie Connerley say that Reid will have NO money problems in hiring Staff in KC…….made me wonder about the Cards……….when this settles out thru the L……how about an article on Staff Salaries………You can do it from MOST FRUGAL to Least Frugal……to keep the Cards at the top………or am I wrong…….I’d put money on TOP 5.

    FRUGAL……Yeah, FRUGALITY…….That’s IT!!!!

  37. By Dennis on Jan 4, 2013 | Reply

    Bidwill says the interview process will take some time. That in my opinion equates to the fact that we will get a second rate candidate. Nothing new here, we’ve been inept for many years so why not return again to those days? Why do you think the Chiefs made it a priority to meet with Reid and do whatever it takes to get him…he’s the best available coach out there that can turn the franchise around. Bidwill only cares about filling seats and revenue. He may sound as if he cares and tries to say the right thing; but deep down he’s still the son of a tight wad owner. One who hates to give up control of anything and pay for it. As the old saying goes “he who hesitates is lost” . So anyone out there who believes that we are going to compete next year better think twice before you renew your season tickets.

  38. By georgiebird on Jan 4, 2013 | Reply

    @Sarah,
    I believe you are correct about the 24 year old Skelton, who is at a comparable age to some college QBs being drafted).
    Given age, size, durability and accomplishments to date, any team out there capable of developing a QB- either as a backup or starter- would choose Skelton over the brittle, jittery, 28 year old Kolb.
    And the games Skelton was asked to win this year were 4 of the 5 toughest games on the schedule. Skelton is no franchise QB but at 24 he will be given an opportunity removed from the Whiz’ lunatic behavior. There is no doubt in my mind that Whiz ridiculous treatment of Skelton was the biggest personnel factor in his firing.

  39. By Bill L on Jan 4, 2013 | Reply

    Make that Charley Casserley…….not CONNERLEY…….as to Money for Staff in KC.

  40. By Soares20 on Jan 4, 2013 | Reply

    Reid has been hired. Horton Norv combo is our only option left don’t screw this up cardinals! Horton needs to do his best to find the best QB coach out there and bring him to AZ we need a staff that can develop QB’s that is the only reason why I was up for Reid. I think the cardinals dropped the ball on Reid lets not do the same with Horton please! Go Cards

  41. By Scuba steve on Jan 4, 2013 | Reply

    George- would it make you feel better if they only gave easy games to Skelton and harder games to Kolb?

  42. By Dennis on Jan 4, 2013 | Reply

    Latest news is that Haley is still deciding whether or not he even wants to interview with the Cards. He wants to know what direction they plan to go before he comes in for an interview. He doesn’t want to piss off the Steelers in case he isn’t hired as Head Coach.

  43. By Dynosoar on Jan 4, 2013 | Reply

    I have no problem with taking our time finding the right coach. Reasoning…

    1. They may already have the best in Ray Horton.

    2. The “big names” like Reid and Lovie will be gone and that may allow for the real tallent to emmerge because we’ll have to look past the “favorites.” Bryan Kelly, Chip Kelly and Urban Meyer.

    3. McCoy is not available to interview immedialtely due to playoffs.

    Taking our time on this to “get it right” is a perfect approach as long as when the perfect coach is interviewed we do not take our time signing.

    I like interviewing over time and hiring immediately and as to Reid, how could the Cardinals have gone faster than the schedule he wanted that apparently will place him in KC without an interview here. The Cardinals can’t force him to interview, he does have at least some say as to where and when he’ll interview.

  44. By Scuba steve on Jan 4, 2013 | Reply

    Actually if Skelton is only able to win against “easy” teams what does that say about him? Why does everyone make such a big deal over him playing all the “hard” games. To be known at all as being talented you have to beat the “harder” teams no matter who your coach is or what you’ve been through. So far only Kolb has proven that.

  45. By Dynosoar on Jan 4, 2013 | Reply

    Dennis and Soares20,

    how did the Cardinals drop the ball on Reid?

    He agreed to an interview schedule and apparently decided to cancel his interview here and accept KC’s offer.

    What can the Cardinals do if Reid cancels. There is only so much we can do, Reid does have a say in the matter and if he decides to cancel and not show up in Arizona, is he really the coach we want? I don’t think so. We want a Coach who follows through on commitments so I’m glad KC’s got him.

  46. By Dennis on Jan 4, 2013 | Reply

    Dynosoar,
    Get it right. The Chiefs flew to Philly and interviewed him there for 9 hours. They didn’t wait for him to come to them. They were pro-active, unlike the Cards in everything they do.

  47. By chris on Jan 4, 2013 | Reply

    Darren-

    Jake Long will be a free agent. Miami can’t afford to tag him, although they could bring him back if the offer is right. I know the cards aren’t usually big free agent spenders, but given the need at the position, regardless of coach/GM, could you see them going after him. Any man taking those titles know it is our most glaring need outside of QB. Thanks

  48. By Cert 33 on Jan 4, 2013 | Reply

    I think that for the most part the defense should be kept as intact as possible. Of course, that will only happen if Horton remains with the Cards. As for the offense, well it would probably be far easier to make a list of those we should keep as that list would only number approximately seven players. The rest are definitely expendable.

  49. By Darren Urban on Jan 4, 2013 | Reply

    Chris —

    RE: Long

    I think a high pick on an OL more likely.

  50. By john the draft guy on Jan 4, 2013 | Reply

    “D” and Mark and a few others,

    I love the offseason and can’t wait for the Senior bowl, combine and draft.

    But to lay down our picks and free agents, who to cut and who not to before we know the coach and the system is a little premature.

    Sure Teo will be a nice pick up for anyone. If say Lovie took over, having a MLB in his 4-3 Tampa 2 defense is crucial. Teo would fit the bill.

    But if we go with Horton, we still will run the 3-4, and we could look at an ILB later in the draft. Maybe Horton wants one of those dynamic OLBs like they have in Pitt, so they take Moore for A&M or Okafer in the late one or early 2.

    What if we land Miller. He would want to start with a good tough young QB and choosing Tyler Wilson would make sense.

    What if it is Chip Kelly and his #1 target might be Tyrod Taylor. He might hate our big WRs and change the offense completely.

    One thing I do Know for sure. 100% sure is Jake Long and Ryan Clady are staying put. You dont draft a franchise QB or get Peyton and leave them exposed. Albert might be franchised also, since andy reid saw this year what happens when your line is bad.

    Finally, Matt Barkley needs to be removed from all conversations. That weak armed QB will struggle in the NFL. In the NFL, wrs dont run wide open with comfortable pockets and you are playing pac12 defenses. He doesn’t have the size or arm strength to fit balls in.

    Aaron Murray looks like the next coming of Drew Brees. He takes deep drops so he can see the field, looks for lanes to throw in and has that gun slinger mentality.He has passed Landry Jones as my number 2 QB.

    If I was ranking the QBs; (not how they will be drafted, just my ranking)
    1. Tyler Wilson
    2. Aaron Murray
    3. Landry Jones
    4. Mike Glennon (only watched 1 game, small sampling)
    5. Geno Smith
    6. Matt Barkley

  51. By Bill L on Jan 4, 2013 | Reply

    Talking Roster……Riddle Me This………what good is a 15 Million dollar receiver ……. with NO QB(if that is your belief, ala Whiz) ……. and NO OL(which is not debateable, IMO)…………except to put on tickets, banners, billboards, etc?

    By the time the Cards settle on a QB and Build an O-line……IF they ever try, or even want to…….how good/valuable will Fitz be.

    IF…….IF…..the Cards want a team, as opposed to a Billboard Model,,,,,,maybe the start is at WR. 15 Million keeps a lot of Talent and allows the Franchise to acquire more……….OH, What’s the USE…….Cards are who I think they are!!!!….until we get a change at the VERY TOP!!!

  52. By dieselbomb on Jan 4, 2013 | Reply

    Horton/N Turner combo sounds much better than some of the other HC’s who were fired Monday, Dec 31st. But I’ll always be jittery about a Coordinator being elevated to HC. I’m just really wary of that situation whether Horton or McCoy is chosen.

    I asked about Holmgren as a possibility – one I’m much more comfortable with, now that AReid is in Kansas City ( who was my first choice of the newly available HC’s). Darren and others say he’s likely too old. But I don’t think people suddenly forget what they’ve done for 25 or more years – especially when they’ve been as successful as Holmgren with Green Bay and with Seattle. I’d like to see Holmgren get a serious interview for our AZ Cardinals (plus, it’s reported that he is a resident of Arizona – not that it matters greatly, but if true, it would be an easy transition for him).

    Lastly, now that so many NFL teams are adjusting to young QB’s by adopting College style offenses, I’d even accept considering June Jones with his Run-n-Shoot offense. He was an NFL head coach years ago; and his current SMU team did quite well in their Bowl game last week. But the Run-n-Shoot offense has potential in the NFL now. So many teams are using elements of The Pistol (which is a contemporary to the Run-n-Shoot Offense) and the Read-Option .

    Although Horton ran the 3-4 Defense here, and did so quite well, I favor a 5-man front ( 5-0, 5-2 and 5-3 variants). Horton used the 5-front several times this season successfully. I think it would be a terrific Base Defense – because you lose nothing of the 3-4 training … you just build on it with the 50, 52 and 53 Defensive Base. It’s an easy Defense to Option into a 3-4 or a 4-3 to keep opponents off-balance without having to learn much in the way of new wrinkles.

    I should add that although Adrian Wilson might’ve lost a step here or there, I think we should keep him and re-designate him : “Rover Back” – since his most effective plays come when he’s working that style of approach. ( A type of Linebacker ).

  53. By Mike in Mesa on Jan 4, 2013 | Reply

    Scuba Steve

    Sarah is making valid points in the Skelton situation. Whisenhunt handled the situation horribly and was the last straw in my opinion on his road to being fired. And Skelton went 6-2 last year and Kolb went 2-6. Different year different scenario. The money Kolb is owed and his results here should make him expendable in my opinion. How does everyone think he’s going to be the savior at qb. Another year with him at qb will be another losing season. Its one reason I’m leery of Horton being HC after his Kolb comments. I would keep Skelton and Hoyer and sign or draft another qb and let them duke it out again in preseason. Skelton is at least a 500,000 dollar qb. Kolb is not worth 11 million. Never will be.

  54. By Campbells on Jan 4, 2013 | Reply

    Based on your list, we need:
    Solid QB
    TE (Get rid of all of them, and start over). They’re all terrible (and slow).
    O-linemen (Half of them suck). Whatever it takes to establish a running game. Remember the “Hogs?”
    LB (Potential first rounder available).
    DB’s (Half of them suck). For such a good defense, I can barely stand to watch the guys in our secondary. Just awful!!!

  55. By georgiebird on Jan 4, 2013 | Reply

    @Scuba steve-
    In case you didn’t notice it, our defense was pretty bad right from the start of the game in the four games Skelton played. Our defense is not very good when trying to stop Rodgers and A Peterson and Seattle and SF. Our defense didn’t give Skelton a chance to succeed. We got behind real early in those games against big time playoff teams-and Horton had no answers for those big time teams. But everyone loves Horton and his big play defense (that is big plays for the other team).

  56. By georgiebird on Jan 4, 2013 | Reply

    @Campbells
    As you said “for such a good defense, I can barely stand to watch the guys in our secondary. Just awful”
    This is possibly the best comment of the season and it’s half true.

  57. By matt6233 on Jan 4, 2013 | Reply

    Now that we missed out on Reid we should lock up Horton.

  58. By Casey on Jan 4, 2013 | Reply

    Darren,

    I have a bad feeling that a big reason for Reid not coming to AZ is that he of course got GM control of the Cheifs and that himself and the elite coaches of the NFL consider Cardinals ownership to be , ridiculous, lauching stock, impossible, greedy, phony. My gut reaction when they brought up Reid’s name a week ago is ‘wont happen, he’s too good of a coach’ without even thinking about it. What do you think?

  59. By Doug Woiwod on Jan 4, 2013 | Reply

    Its time to let Beanie go some where else. His all to often injury problems, show way to often. He has a terrible time getting to the hole, once he has the ball, been a bust from day one.

  60. By Scuba steve on Jan 4, 2013 | Reply

    And this year Skelton is 0-7 and kolb is 4-1. Everybody thinks kolb can save this offence because he played decent football. 8 td to 3 ints. What was skeltons td/int ratio? And you can’t credit Skelton the 6-2 start last year cause that was all defense.

  61. By Darren Urban on Jan 4, 2013 | Reply

    Casey —

    RE: Reid

    I think the Cardinals want a strong GM to go with the coach. Clearly, Reid wanted control. That wasn’t going to happen here. Did he realize that? Maybe. The Cards still wanted to talk to him. But I don’t think he would have gotten the same setup in Arizona.

  62. By Scuba steve on Jan 4, 2013 | Reply

    So we should play Skelton when everyone does better? Then say its fair? Last year everybody made a big deal how the entire team responsed so much better when Skelton played than kolb. Well as soon as Skelton started the entire team went down hill. And if I remember right guys from the defense were vocally supportive of kolb. Wilson even called his play poetic at the end of the Seahawks game. Why? Because kolb played GOOD footbAll. One last point. Good talented players can overcome adversity and win. After all kolb went through be did exactly that. Skelton can’t stop choking in big games and nationally televised games.

  63. By Casey on Jan 4, 2013 | Reply

    Get Skelton a job at your local food store because he aint going to be in the NFL. Keep Kolb, and Sign Vick or the best possible QB you can get in the off season. Draft Joekel and the best QB you can get in the 2nd or 3rd and begin to assemble a team that can compete and learn to win together. Let him and Lindley fight it out for the 3rd QB spot. Before we get our Drafted Star QB we have to assemble a line and some consistency. Even if we lose Horton our D will keep us in games. Attention has to be turned to the heart of the Offense, LINE and QB. With Whiz gone Beanie’s words are as good as forgotten, him, Williams, Powell and Hyphen if they can keep him are a good core. WR set. D Strong. So Simple

  64. By Dennis on Jan 4, 2013 | Reply

    Today Le’veon Bell declared for the NFL Draft. He was truly the total offense for Michigan State. This guy could be the next Adrian Peterson. I Wonder if the Cards are committed to picking the best running back in the draft?

  65. By P-rock on Jan 4, 2013 | Reply

    Is there any chance of DRC returning to AZ? Would there be a higher chance with Horton as HC? Him and Peterson as DB on opposite sides would be amazing! Wish trade for Kolb never happened! Gave up too much for nothing in return.

  66. By brian w. on Jan 4, 2013 | Reply

    thanks for your facts they help alot

  67. By BIG RED on Jan 5, 2013 | Reply

    I agree with Sarah and Georgiebird and for Casey and Scuba Steve maybe you guys can put a good word in the grocery store since you both work in the fruit section. Just trying to make it more interesting between you guys.

  68. By fightingbird on Jan 5, 2013 | Reply

    Darren, what are the chances of the Cardinals bringing in Alex Smith from SF or do you think he want even come close to the Cardinals.

  69. By Darren Urban on Jan 6, 2013 | Reply

    fighting —

    RE: Alex Smith

    Until the GM and coach are in place, there is no way to know what direction they might go. As for Smith, why wouldn’t he consider here? A chance to play the Niners, a chance to throw to Fitz — and you’d have to assume the money would be right.

  70. By Justen on Jan 7, 2013 | Reply

    I honestly think that Alex Smith would be a great asset to the Cards. He would have an inside scoop on the Niners and he is a great QB. I know that Colin Kaepernick has been an asset late in their season but I’m shocked that they didn’t go back to Alex. If we are able to get Smith I think that Fitz would finally have the opportunity to make good plays. Also I think this would open up the run since AZ would finally have a passing threat. Darren thank you for your input on this. I think that we should be looking to get a good QB and maybe not so much a draft QB. I know that RG3, Russel Wilson, Colin Kaepernick, and Andrew Luck have been successful this season. But I think having a solid leader that has a few years playing in the NFL would be great. I do want to say that Kolb (when healthy) did a great job this season, but I’m very disappointed that he was not able to get healthy and continue his success. I think if we keep Kolb as our started he would need to be healthy and put a lot of energy into the game. I know that a lot of people are skeptical about him but I think he would also benefit the Cards, if and only if, he stayed healthy and came out and took charge. Another note, I think Hoyer shows great potential. I know that he is still developing as a QB but he has a great arm and is very consistent. As far as Skelton goes I’m sorry to say but as a form QB (only in highschool) He stared down the receivers and his accuracy fell way short. A lot of people don’t realize that the NFL is a lot harder than they give QBs credit for. Some QBs make it look easy. But I still think that Skelton needs a lot more work if we are planning on keeping him for next year. I’m a die hard Cards fan, win or lose. I will miss Whisenhunt and really wish we didn’t get rid of him but that is just the business. I look forward to next year. Hopefully we can work on our offense a bit and keep our Defensive machine!

    Thanks Dave and Arizona Cards!

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