At one point during his press conference Monday, Bruce Arians said he only used three of the six bullets he planned to use in St. Louis — a reference to the deep shots he goes into every game wanting to try. And when people jump up and talk about giving left tackle Levi Brown help, well, therein lies the rub.
“There were some shots that we didn’t take in the game, looking back,” Arians said. “We didn’t throw a couple of balls that I would’ve liked to have called, mainly because of the pressure. Normally, I don’t do that.”
That’s why Levi Brown, if he is going to stay in the lineup, has to improve in one-on-ones and the Cards can’t just rely on helping him every time. (I found it interesting, by the way, that Brown wasn’t among the top 10 lowest graded players for the week by profootballfocus.com. Darnell Dockett was eighth in the league. On the positive side, QB Carson Palmer was the third highest ranked player in the NFL, and the top quarterback — even above Peyton Manning and his seven TD passes.)
Arians has a term for when his play-calling is inhibited because of needing extra pass protection. He calls it button-up. “You’re all blocked up with nowhere to go,” Arians said. “Somebody else is going to get there soon enough.” Arians told an anecdote playing against the Titans once upon a time, and using extra blockers on Kevin Carter and Jevon Kearse. The problem? There were so few receivers in the pattern, none could get open, and eventually, the protection broke down anyway. “We got sacked about five times,” Arians said.
That doesn’t mean help doesn’t help (like Andre Ellington’s great block on Michael Floyd’s long catch, below) but the Cards can’t do it all the time. As for Brown and the Cards situation, Kent Somers does a great job breaking down the “elite” talk and the Cards’ thought process that led us to this point.
Tags: Andre Ellington, Bruce Arians, Carson Palmer, Levi Brown, Michael Floyd
Posted in Blog | 21 Comments »