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About that win, and the running backs

Posted by Darren Urban on October 7, 2013 – 1:13 pm

Some newsy quick hitters after Bruce Arians addressed the media today, the day after Daryl Washington’s return-to-action party:

– Arians sees Andre Ellington’s role at 30 to 35 plays a game. But that might top it out. Arians said he doesn’t see Ellington’s body type to hold up with a much heavier workload, and he emphasized Ellington will continue to get work as both running back and receiver.

– Stepfan Taylor is doing a “great job” on special teams. Ryan Williams, as we have said ourselves many times, doesn’t play special teams, Arians said. So Williams isn’t going to be active. I think that changes if there is an injury, but in the meantime, Williams will stay inactive, it looks like.

– The only injury from Sunday was a hamstring problem for linebacker Kenny Demens, which will likely sideline him this week, Arians said. Linebacker Jasper Brinkley (groin) and safety Rashad Johnson (finger) should return this week, the coach added. Arians said he didn’t want Johnson playing with a big “mitt” of a cast, but Johnson should be down to a small splint this week.

– He said Andre Roberts was playing inside early in the season when he was effective, and when tight end Rob Housler came back, Roberts went outside and became less effective. It’s something the coaches will look at.

– As far as Housler, he’s a “work in progress” Arians said. “He’s not on the same page as Carson (Palmer),” Arians added.

– Arians said there would be no change in the schedule to prepare for next week’s short week, which features a trip to San Francisco for Sunday and then a home game against Seattle a week from Thursday. The Cards won’t worry about Seattle until after San Francisco, Arians said.


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Posted in Blog | 20 Comments »


20 Responses to “About that win, and the running backs”

  1. By Dynosoar on Oct 7, 2013 | Reply

    People always worry that we have a short week which is detrimental to the team. Well, Seattle has the same short week. Two wins here and we lead the Division, no matter what they do.

    Let’s take the Division and do it now!

    San Francisco’s not dominant like the last two years and we have Seattle at home.

    I like the next four weeks. 3 Interceptions and we still win. I’d love to see Mendenhall break off some long ones like he used to in Pitt. A game against San Francisco and a Thursday night game mean I get to watch my Cardinals two weeks in a row. Awesome!

    Let’s take the Division, take the lead now and not look back.

  2. By William Nielsen on Oct 7, 2013 | Reply

    Hi Darren, did Arians mention Sowell’s play? How do you think that he played compared to Levi Brown?

  3. By Darren Urban on Oct 7, 2013 | Reply

    William —

    RE: Sowell

    He said Sowell played fine. No direct comparisons to Levi.

  4. By georgiebird on Oct 7, 2013 | Reply

    Darren,
    re:
    I see the rationale for Ryan Williams if he’s the equal of the other running backs. But it seems if RW can be a star RB, who cares if he can play on ST.
    Between the lines it seems Ryan will be gone before long. He’s an insurance policy for now.

  5. By ored on Oct 7, 2013 | Reply

    part way there,defense looking good,now waiting for the offense to come around,fingers crossed we finally get good o-line play,if so final piece is backs,recievers,and qb on the same page.

    one concern,cam gashed us for 300+ yards passing,i know the game plan entailed limiting their running game,but this was exactly how brees killed us,why run when passes are as effective as a long handoff,difference between cam and brees is red zone effiency,and brees was a master of that.if we keep allowing easy passing yards then sooner or later we go up against a qb that knows his way into the endzone,and there are a few making a living doing just that.

  6. By Gene Lawrence on Oct 7, 2013 | Reply

    Coach Arians speaks to winning now and playing those who have shown they can help the team win. Brown out and gone and Sowell in (good move) reflects that as well. It also appears that Jim Dray has out played Housler (you got to deliver in the game, not practice) and has proved he can be the “go to” tight end. Ellington has outplayed Mendenhall and therefore should split time 70/30 Ellington because he brings more and delivers more than Mendenhall. As to the comment on Ellington’s body type, Barry Sanders was built the same and did not do badly. Let him play more as he has earned it and the offense has shown it is better with him. Which leaves Carson Palmer. I like him and obviously Coach Arians likes him but…he is not getting it done. We are closing in on the halfway point and he still is not making the offense go. As Coach said, he has never seen it take this long to absorb his offense. That’s a key responsibility of the QB position. In truth, Palmer looks and plays like a rookie much of the time. Way too many mistakes. The offense needs to start scoring points to help that amazing defense and Palmer has had ample opportunity to do so but has failed consistently. Play the players who can make it happen. Drew Stanton was brought in early on for very good reasons which are still valid. Looking at it objectively, would it not upgrade the offense if the QB understood how to execute plays within the system? A QB change seems to make sense. The parts appear to be there, both players and coaches, but the machine can’t go when a key part consistently misfires.

  7. By johnnybluenose on Oct 7, 2013 | Reply

    @Gene Lawrence: I agree with you that Ellington has played well and Housler has not. I do not agree that Carson Palmer has played like a rookie. At least, not like last year’s rookies (Luck, RG3 or Wilson). But he has played better than Geno Smith and Glennon, just to name two of this year’s rookies. Palmer is still capable of playing better but he needs protection, he needs the receivers to get open and he needs better play-calling. I don’t recall very many screen passes and, except for occasionally inviting Patrick Peterson to join the offense, our offense has been consistently predictable. Or, in the words of our coach, our offence was or has been….putrid. Stanton is a back-up and will only play if Palmer is injured or if we are getting blown away and it is late in the game. Palmer is our quarterback and it would do no good to have a quarterback controversy.

  8. By NJAzCardsFan on Oct 7, 2013 | Reply

    Not only has Dansby looked great since his return to the Cards, he looks happy, and like he belongs here. Teamed with D Washington they could be the best ILB’s in the NFC… I hope the Cards re-sign him for next year.

    Houser looks like he has “Hands of Stone”… I am suprised he is high up on the depth chart. Every time he has a pass thrown towards him he looks like he could have a big gain until he drops it.

    I was suprised how fast Cam Newton was when he tackled D Washington on that pick….

    The 49er’s game will see how good the Cards really are….
    the Card’s offense will have to get their act togther if they want to win that gane….

  9. By Bay Area Bad Boy on Oct 7, 2013 | Reply

    I have to agree with Gene Lawrence about Palmer. Although Jonnybluenose makes some good points. Let’s look at Palmer. HE IS NOT GETTING IT DONE. Palmer’s history, He quick on his team in Cincy. It got so bad there, the owner refused to trade him. He did not have a winning record in Oakland either. Carson is known for throwing interceptions, and throwing into double and sometime triple coverage because he misreads coverages. Watch his body language during a game and you will see he has a negative mindset. I watched him spike the ball in the ground when one of the lineman false started. He’s supposed to be the leader but he doesn’t understand the offense. BA likes him for this year, but he will be gone next year because he is a JOKE. Houston benched their QB when he threw 3 interceptions. BA should take note. We won’t go far with Palmer. He is a loser.
    I would like to see what Stanton can do. He knows the offense and he out played Palmer in the pre-season. There would be no QB controversy if Stanton came in and got the job done. Palmer is not Warner, so for all of you looking to relive that fantasy, its not going to happen.

  10. By drummer-1 on Oct 7, 2013 | Reply

    I think Carson has played pretty well, it’s kind of hard to make a perfect throw every time, he needs a little help from the receivers, they need to win some of them 1 on 1 matchups.. It seems like anytime a Wr catch a ball he’s tackled right there because of no separation.

  11. By ored on Oct 7, 2013 | Reply

    this team is’nt texas and did’nt have the same expectations,totally different scenario,and all things considered,3 and 2,five games in is too soon to going the qb carousel.in all likelehood we draft our qb of the future next year and he learns for awhile under either palmer or stanton.if sowell is the answer at tackle we come back strong on the o-line,we either keep mendenhall or draft a younger version,make a decision at te,keep looking for that olb to define the defense,and hope keim continues his hitting streak.

  12. By Dave Chaney on Oct 8, 2013 | Reply

    I made a prediction of a 7-9 season last week and after Sunday’s fine performance by our “D”, I am going to amend that to 8-8. There is a good possibility we could win a few more or lose a few more. The reason I’m hedging like that is our questionable offense. I thought Carson Palmer looked more like the return of one of our QBs of the past few years (what were their names?) rather than the return of Kurt Warner. Other than that, I am really liking the emergence of Andre Ellison and the continued solid play of our wideouts. Now all we need to do is get Palmer going and hopefully one of these days Rob Housler will decide to catch a football. Fantastic return by DW and I just LOVE our hardhitting, aggressive “D”!

  13. By clssylssy on Oct 8, 2013 | Reply

    @Dynosoar…
    Always enjoy your input as a longtime Card fan, but, on San Francisco not being dominant, I disagree. While they got off to a slow start (minus some of their major weapons), they are coming back to full strength and are beginning to look like the 9ers everyone was expecting earlier, PLUS they now have Boldin who kept them at better than half speed earlier! While the media is loving on Seattle, top to bottom, San Francisco is, IMO, the better team with the better coach, are more consistent, and the bigger threat. Seattle reminds me of a school yard bully; they are tough guys in their own house, with their “12 man”, their own rules, big mouths and a coach that plays fast and loose with the rules. While Jim Harbaugh can be annoying in his zealous support of his team, top to bottom, the 9ers are abetter organization, better players, etc.That’s difficult for me to say as I’ve detested the 9ers since I was a child and Steve Young played! Seattle has shown they are not a road team so much and given the Card defense, special teams, varied run game and array of talent backed up by a very intimidating Birdgang, I think the Cards should, as in past years, been able to beat Seattle here at home. If you matchup the Cards with the 9ers, starting with the QB, TE, WR, RBs then the defenses then add in HFA, sorry, there are certain games that are going to be beyond what our offense is capable of. We will be lucky to get out injury free. I look at the 9er game as a building exercise and preparation in the Seahawks; they have us beat offensively and our defense matches up but not enough to keep us in that game. Kaepernick, I like, and don’t think has even warmed up…plus Boldin is the X-factor w Frank Gore, Vernon Davis, CJ Spiller, Patrick Willis, Donte Whitner, they are tough and despite the animosity and rivalry over the years play good ole smashmouth, ground and pound football. Of course, BA could always put Patrick P in as a QB for the read option, pistol and use Palmer in the pocket…now that might shake things up and catch them off guard! GOOD LUCK CARDS, REMEMBER THE BIGGER PICTURE!

  14. By wampag on Oct 8, 2013 | Reply

    I know you’ve been asked this a lot D and I have read your comments and I guess I understand the special teams element of the decision, but to have a player of Williams caliber who might actually be healthy this time not playing makes absolutely no sense to me. If he plays like the flashes we’ve seen it’s a win, if he gets hurt it would be unfortunate but we obviously have depth at that position. If we were dangling him for a trade wouldn’t we let him strut his stuff? Do you get a sense this is about the rumors during training camp when it was eluded too that he was healthy and just not playing? is there a split between Arians and Kiem, who obviously supports and wants to see him do great? Is Arians teaching him a lesson? I have been waiting and waiting and waiting to see this kid and what he can do, I mean after Beanie and Hightower and the list continues can’t we at least see if the kid can play by letting him play? C’mom coach let’s see what the kid can do he has to be chomping at the bit, which might be the plan. Or is Arians keeping him fresh for the last half of the season, Arians seems to have a million tricks up his sleeve and more in his socks do you get the sense this is one of them?

  15. By wampag on Oct 8, 2013 | Reply

    I also want to mention that Warner, who I would love to come back, but Warner didn’t start out as the QB that took us to the Super Bowl it took him time to learn the receivers and what they could do and where you need to put the ball for them to do it. I admit I wanted to see Stanton after the 2nd end zone pick but the more I thought about it the more I feel Palmer is still getting used to these guys at the speed of the regular season. he can obviously make the throws and he often goes one way while the receiver is going another, this happened with Warner too. You have been around both of them D is it that Warner was a better teacher and better at commanding his receivers to do what he needed?

  16. By Darren Urban on Oct 8, 2013 | Reply

    Wampag —

    RE: Williams

    I think people are reading way, way too much into this. I don’t think they are dangling him in a trade, or at least no one is looking to trade for him. I think they think he has talent. I think he’s not ahead of Mendenhall on the depth chart, and again, if you are a backup RB, you HAVE to be able to play special teams if you are active on a 46-man roster. I think he doesn’t have the same skill set as Ellington. I think he isn’t as good of a pass protector as Alfonso. With five running backs, someone is going to be inactive. That’s Williams.

  17. By Darren Urban on Oct 8, 2013 | Reply

    Wampag —

    RE: Warner/Palmer

    I think it’s dangerous to keep making that comparison. I don’t think Palmer is anywhere as good as Warner was at this age and stage of their careers.

  18. By Kevin S on Oct 8, 2013 | Reply

    I completely understand those who are frustrated by the O and in particular by Palmer, but I just don’t think you bench a veteran QB 5 games into the season. He actually did very well week 1 (numbers weren’t gaudy but Pro Football Focus said he was their top QB week 1) and decent week 2… the INT’s the last 3 games are unacceptable, I agree, but even yesterday with 3 INT’s, he was 19-28. Usually when a guy throws 3 INT’s the numbers are more like 50% or lower completion %. The first INT was a jump ball — somewhat underthrown, but Floyd has to make sure the defender doesn’t come down with that one.

    His rating is 67.0 and that’s in the range of the QB’s we’ve had the past few years so yes, it sucks. But Eli Manning (as one example) has been even worse through 5 games… Joe Flacco is about the same as Palmer so far. Not saying he automatically gets a pass because he’s a veteran, but that’s kinda how it works… It would be a little different if Palmer were flat out terrible but it’s not like he’s missing guys by a mile. It’s the INT’s that are the killer; if he had, say, 5 instead of 9, we probably aren’t even having this conversation. At this point he’s actually completed a higher % of passes than guys like Brady, Kaepernick, Wilson and Newton. Now I know there are some who believe Palmer is simply an INT machine, but I believe as he gets to know the receivers and the offense, that will start to correct itself. I am not averse to a change if it doesn’t, but we’re 5 games into the season and we’re 3-2. For those who think “Stanton couldn’t be worse,” sure he could… just look at what happened when we stuck Lindley in after Skelton couldn’t get it done last year — he was definitely worse.

  19. By Big Ken on Oct 8, 2013 | Reply

    I’m with you Darren and it took me a while to get there. If we suddenly come up short a running back, bring Ryan Williams in with fresh legs looks genius He’d certainly be motivated to play and shine.

  20. By Big Ken on Oct 9, 2013 | Reply

    ‘Sowell played fine’? I think left tackle is no longer a problem. Let’s all exhale…

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