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Quick hits after Arians

Posted by Darren Urban on September 16, 2013 – 1:03 pm

The Cardinals have changed up availability times for Mondays, so the players aren’t talking until later on, but a few notes from lunch with Bruce Arians:

– Rookie running back Andre Ellington continues to impress and it’s not like Arians only sees him has a third-down, change-of-pace guy. “This kid can carry the load,” Arians said. (And to clarify: “Can” carry it doesn’t mean he will. Rashard Mendenhall is the starter.)

– Of the seven game balls awarded for the Lions game, three went to special teamers: kicker Jay Feely, punter Dave Zastudil and Justin Bethel, who blocked a field goal and who has to be in the discussion as best gunner in the NFL. The others went to DE Calais Campbell, CB Patrick Peterson, WR Kerry Taylor and QB Carson Palmer.

– Palmer did have the pick-six interception, but Arians praised his leadership, especially late in the game with no Larry Fitzgerald and the offense struggling on third downs. “He sent the best signals (that) ‘We’re fine,’ ” Arians said.

– Arians was happy with the play of Taylor but he did not commit to keeping Taylor on the roster once Fitz returns to full strength. That, he said, will depend on injuries. The bottom five roster spots are always churning.

– The hope is tight end Rob Housler (ankle) will play this week. But it’s still we’ll-see mode, as it will be with the rest of the injuries. Arians said he wants to see where the Cards are Wednesday before talking about anyone else.

– Safety Yeremiah Bell actually was playing some linebacker Sunday (I can’t wait to hear from everyone who always wanted Adrian Wilson to do the same). It was part of the package to handle the Lions’ offense. “He played great,” Arians said. “We asked him to learn linebacker in two different fronts. I can’t say enough about the guy. He’s the ultimate pro.”

– Arians said the decision to stay back East after the Saints game came with the knowledge the team has back-to-back 10 a.m. Arizona time kickoffs. This will hopefully alleviate some of the issues with the early kickoff in Tampa.


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20 Responses to “Quick hits after Arians”

  1. By joe67 on Sep 16, 2013 | Reply

    Coach says he isn’t patient, but I think he is in a lot of ways. I think he knows he really has to go thru a couple games at least to see what he really has and what he can do.

  2. By D on Sep 16, 2013 | Reply

    Don’t want to be Levi Brown when that at Seattle game comes up….by then they will have Clemmons and Irvin back in action….

    Cards are a Left Tackle and a Pass Rusher away from being playoff contenders.

    I do have to give the offense and BA alot of credit moving the ball around with very limited TE production. When all offseason we heard that BA offense uses multiple TE’s all of the time….if Housler doesn’t get on the field and produce soon he will go down as a bust…

  3. By Kevin S on Sep 16, 2013 | Reply

    I don’t know how the Arians era is ultimately going to play out, but at this point I can say I am very glad we have him. And we had a lot of naysayers here criticizing the Cardinals brass when it seemed like all the other head coaching candidates were being hired by other teams.

  4. By Erick B on Sep 16, 2013 | Reply

    We need to find some help at TE if Housler doesn’t get healthy soon. I think Bell might have played better at LB than his sub-par man coverage as a DB thus far. I really liked that they kept Tyrann in almost every play after the megatron burn, imagine if he hadn’t been covering Burleson on 4th down to put the game away. The kid is SICK!

  5. By ored on Sep 16, 2013 | Reply

    agree on housler,he needs to be on the field,levi has played seattle before and this time will be as prepared as he ever has,not saying he has a great game,but how did the niners fare,it is what it is,it’s his job.abraham will come around and still waiting for okafor to “get it”.was pretty sure somebody would claim fleming,too bad,he could have been a trading chip,pretty sure now that ellington is impressing,that’s what williams has become,good for ktaylor he’s fitting in.

    i’m thinking just as important as more players right now,maybe even moreso that we gel,no missed assignments,wrong routes,or misreads will have us playing faster and more efficiently.cardinal team ball.

  6. By Patrick Hoog aka Don't Take Losses on Sep 16, 2013 | Reply

    Notice BA “uses” TEs without them being the target. And the Dime with Bell at LB saved our bacon. Also, see the huge hit Floyd had on Lions DE? knocked him flat on his keister, lol…. sweet.

  7. By Scott H on Sep 16, 2013 | Reply

    Good solid win against a team that they should beat at home. I actually saw 4 of the first five as completely winnable for the Cardinals, so…to start 0-2 would have been extremely deflating.

    Great to see Mendenhall looking better as we go. I mean, prior to the knee injury at end of 2011, this guy was a no-doubt-about-it Top 10 RB in the NFL. At his age, he can be that again if he stays healthy. This ain’t Edgerrin James near the end of his career! This guy still has some stud years left in him. And no offense to the Edge – I have stated many times that I think he was a major contributor to that SB run in 2008 and I love him for it. BTW, where has HE been since he retired??? Seems like everyone who retires these days goes right to ESPN or NFL Network and gets on the air. Edge, where you at???

    Sunday was damn near perfect for me…had Calvin Johnson in my fantasy line-up, he had his big day, and my Cardinals still got the win! Too bad the rest of my fantasy team sucked. As much as I love the fantasy thing, ain’t nothing like your REAL team bringing home a win!

  8. By cdj on Sep 17, 2013 | Reply

    its kind of hard to believe that the Cardinals have the top run defense in the NFC, i really hope it stays that way for the rest of the year

  9. By Red Dead Redemption on Sep 17, 2013 | Reply

    Darren,
    In light of the colts injury at running back, and how they are actively looking for a trade.
    Do you think Ryan Williams is possible? Due to Bruce’s connection to that organization?
    Could you see him going for a late round draft pick?

  10. By georgiebird on Sep 17, 2013 | Reply

    Darren,
    Most fans wanted AW to play LB mainly because his pass coverage skills were very poor. Are you inferring that Y. Bell is more productive when he’s out of the defensive backfield?

  11. By Darren Urban on Sep 17, 2013 | Reply

    Red Dead —

    RE: Ryan Williams

    You never rule anything out.

  12. By Darren Urban on Sep 17, 2013 | Reply

    Georgie —

    RE: Bell/Wilson

    I’m not inferring anything. I’m saying straight out that this is the kind of thing that gets many fans to write me and say, “Arians is using Bell as a linebacker. How come Whiz never did that with Wilson?”

  13. By ored on Sep 17, 2013 | Reply

    roger that home win.the c johnson td catch/run was amazing,had to rewatch it several times,how does that ball get thru,watching at normal speed then slowing it down and still shots just looks bizarre,anyway it was’nt a game breaker so all’s well that ends well.really liking our hybrid ground game,a little sproles/bush/m.faulk mixed in,even so i still think there is a place for williams to fit in,but i think he’s being kept on the shelf to be healthy for trade bait,at least he should be healthy and ready to go for somebody.ellington is turning out to be who i thought he was,loved that pick,was on board with him early in the draft,also a fan of his his college qb,that would be a nice get,look up clemson last year and they’re starting well this year also.thing is,any decent qb coming here will have the table already set for them,just need to fine tune a few things (LT),but it’s already waaay ahead of last year,good young prospects as depth and coop coming back next year.if mendehall stays healthy we extend him?if not we’ll be in the market,either FA or draft.

  14. By John The Draft Guy on Sep 17, 2013 | Reply

    Darren,

    With all the weapons that Brees has, do you think Peterson follows around Colston or do you think he will play who is on his side?

  15. By John The Draft Guy on Sep 17, 2013 | Reply

    My comments on the game;

    – I liked Ellington from the draft. He dropped in the draft after weighing in light and running slow. But like Boldin has shown over the years, There is 40 speed and then their is gametime speed. Ellington looks at times like the fastest guy on the field.

    – Looking at the cards schedule, beating the lions was a must. Huge win for BA when looking at the road game this week against the saints.

    – Get well Fitz. Can not wait to see Revis vs Fitz in two weeks. (although Revis is frustrated that Tampa is running too much zone)

    – Nice overall effort by the defense in the second half. When Bush went out, there was only one guy who could beat you and Bowles was smart enough to run a lot of under/ over coverage on Megatron. Take the other teams best weapon away and see if the other guys can beat you. The answer was no.

    -I am really high on this safety Jefferson. When he sees run, he is down hill in a hurry. This guy meets back at or behind the oline a lot. He is good in coverage also. He was the reason the cards could move bell up. Bell did a much better job on RB Bell out of the backfield.

    – What a thrill for Kerry Taylor. Great job by him to being ready when he was called. Thought Brown would have stepped up but Taylor stole the light.

    – Pash rush, pass rush, pass rush. Besides LT, is there anything else we need more???

    – Did everyone notice that on the goalline Tackle Bradley Sowell lined up at TE and went out for a pass, he was covered and Palmer threw it away.

    – Dansby, Bell, Brinkley, Johnson all seemed to bounce back covering the slow footed Brandon Pettigrew. But I have a feeling fans will be ripping them a part again after this weeks match up against Jimmy Graham.

  16. By John The Draft Guy on Sep 17, 2013 | Reply

    Darren,

    I think the Y. Bell / Wilson argument is interesting.

    But I am looking at it in a different way. I think the cards used Bell at LB because, although Brinkley is a thumper who hustles, he is not good in coverage. Without Washington, our LBs dont match up well against the pass.

    I would not be surprised to see that same alignment against the Saints a lot. I see the best success this defense will have against a pass happy team is using the 4-2-5 defense with Bell in at LB. Using HB, Jefferson and Johnson at safeties and Bell and Dansby at LBs, we can rush 4 and still have good coverage.

    Of course, against Tampa, Seattle and SF, we might not see this too much. It is all about matchups.

    As for Wilson, I liked how he was used around the line of scrimmage and thought he should have been used more off the edge. But as the league evolved into a passing league, the cards moved him off the ball and back into coverage. I thought it was a mistake. I never thought he should be used as a LB per say, but your defense doesnt have to conventional. Running a 4-2-5 and letting ADub freelance more would have played into his strengths more.

  17. By Darren Urban on Sep 17, 2013 | Reply

    JTDG —

    RE: Peterson

    A good question. There are arguments for both. I would lean toward Colston, but that’s me. The bigger issue is Jimmy Graham anyway, IMO.

  18. By red bird of death! on Sep 17, 2013 | Reply

    Great creative game planning, It felt like we were executing all the things we were trying to for the past 3 years but finally clicked with with the additional talent, the offense stil needs a lot of work to many 3 and outs we missed that pick and should have scored on another drive, I really like our team this year when d wash comes back it’s on like donkey kong!

  19. By John The Draft Guy on Sep 17, 2013 | Reply

    RE: Williams

    I know everyone is saying play him or trade him .But I have to say why?

    A trade wont get much. He is relatively inexpensive. He is a nice insurance plan.

    The cards have these two young backs in Taylor and Ellington. They need to get a good feel for them. They have Mendenhal, who is on a one year deal. Not to mention Smith, who is a nice back up.

    There are not enough balls to go around for Williams. But , until some of my questions are answered, I would not trade him. For instance, what if Mendenhal wants too much money next year and Taylor ends up being a bust. Are you going to wish you had Williams? What if someone gets hurt ? Just let things play out . Just because someone else needs something, doesn’t mean you have to trade.

    Just a few things I would want to know before dealing him.

  20. By Troy on Sep 17, 2013 | Reply

    Hey red bird of death. Look at the stats. We hardly had any 3 and outs. Our offense was bruising on 1st and 2nd downs. We don’t need 3rd and anything if we continue to execute on 1st and 2nd.

    Only to say, we have offensive weapons. Don’t anyone get overly excited until we get it all put together. Can you imagine the offense once everyone is on the same page. This is truly the 3rd full week for the number 1s to play together. Taking pre-season and only playing a few snaps at game speed.

    Crazy but true. 9-7 or 10-6 and almost in the playoffs this year??? Why, because, SF behinders are over-rated. Seattle is for real. We should be 2-0 but will beat St Louis at home. We have 3 win-able games on the road. We will be 6-2 at home. (Or should be) No more major injuries and we can be expected to be there in the end.

    Do you feel me???? GO CARDINALS…

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