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Rehab updates, a pass rusher and P2

Posted by Darren Urban on January 9, 2014 – 2:46 pm

This is the time of year when not a lot of news happens. There was a little today, starting with the signing of another player to a “futures” contract: Pass rusher Adrian Tracy, who played 16 games at defensive end for the New York Giants in 2012 and was cut at the end of the preseason this past season. Tracy will be an outside linebacker for the Cardinals, who are looking for players like that.

(Again, futures deals are to lock down a player with a contract that doesn’t officially kick in until March 11, the start of the new league year. It doesn’t mean a player is absolutely going to have a shot at making it — don’t forget, teams need to get to 90 players for their offseason rosters. That’s a lot of extra bodies that won’t be around come September. We’ll see how these guys pan out.)

– Defensive tackle Alameda Ta’amu had surgery Wednesday for his torn ACL. He said the procedure went well (when doesn’t it?). Too early to know what kind of timeline Ta’amu might follow to return to the field. He said he wasn’t rolled up on but instead was jumping to try and avoid stepping on a prone teammate. When he came down, the knee popped. Ta’amu is keeping his humor about the situation. “I should’ve just stepped on him,” he said.

– Safety Tyrann Mathieu is at the very beginning stages of the rehab process himself after his torn ACL/LCL. He was in this morning actually doing some exercises.

– Finally, if you didn’t get a chance to read it, here’s a story about Patrick Peterson, and some analysis through metrics about his performance. Those who chart such things back up the other accolades Peterson has received, that he is one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL. The tough thing to measure is the times teams don’t throw his way because of his play. As I said in the story, Peterson hasn’t been perfect. But it has been amazing to me, as I have said before, the amount of backlash Peterson has suddenly seen. The people I talked to had the same reaction I have had. I don’t get it.


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24 Responses to “Rehab updates, a pass rusher and P2”

  1. By nate on Jan 9, 2014 | Reply

    I think the “backlash” is coming from the same vein as the whole “racist wasteland” stuff. You can hear it from the TV announcers during Cardinals games. Outsiders hating anything to do with the state, especially sports, because of politics.

  2. By Dynosoar on Jan 9, 2014 | Reply

    As to the backlash, that’s what people do. We can’t wait to put the next person on a pedestal as long as we can be the first to knock them off. I understand it happens, but I don’t get it either.

    Is Patrick Peterson the best CB in the NFL? Maybe, maybe not. I believe there are two or three that are his equal, but there’s none better. Same with Fitzgerald, he has a few equals, but none better.

    The thing I like about Peterson is he doesn’t just say “I’m the best.” He is continually working to improve. How many of those providing the backlash are continually striving for perfection in any area of their lives? Perhaps they are, but I tend to believe people striving for perfection in life are not throwing stones at someone else who’s also striving.

    As to Ta’amu, stepping on his teammate may have been bad form (yeah, pun intended), but it would’ve hurt them both less. Haha.

  3. By D on Jan 9, 2014 | Reply

    Let’s hope BA is able to keep his staff together for another year.

    My WAY TOO EARLY DRAFT SCENARIO/WISH LIST PREDICTION for rounds 1-5.

    (could change with free agency losss and good and bad production at scouting combine)

    The following is based on the Cards signing a free agent Left Tackle.(Albert or A. Collins)

    Also based on best player available/ need, and guessing what players will be available at 20– Cards also never move up.

    Round 1– S. Tuitt DE. The Junior has declared for the draft and could be a great additon to the Dline learning one year under Dockett and replacing DD in 2015.

    Round 2— Z. Mettenberger QB. Takes a year to recover from knee surgery learning under Palmer, has all the tools to be a franchise QB

    Round 3– C. Loston SS. Another great athlete from LSU that could be a long term solution at Strong Safety.

    Round 4–J. Wilder RB. Junior has declared, has the size to be a between the tackle runner and would give the Cards freedom not to resign Rashard M.

    Round 5– D. Kennard OLB. Can never have enough pass rushers in a 3-4 Defense.

    My suggestion for rounds 6 and 7 would be a speedy WR and I would draft a kicker in the final round to compete with the free agent Cards will sign to replace Feely.

  4. By russell on Jan 9, 2014 | Reply

    The way i see it Peterson has had some struggles however who is on point 100% of the time? His attitude and leadership skills alone make him a great player. He’s like the fitzgerald of our defense. I can only hope Tyrann mathieu will come back and be as good as he showed he can be pre-injury. If he is those 2 are just as good together as earl thomas and sherman in my opinion.

  5. By Amir on Jan 9, 2014 | Reply

    I guess it is because of few big plays PP has given up… but who doesn’t? There is no “perfect” or “shutdown” corner in this league anymore.

    On the other hand, PP has been completely “owned” by Crabtree for whatever reason.

    Glad to have him on the team and hopefully for a very long time. Another thing people ignore this was his only third year. He still have a lot a room to grow and improve.

  6. By Robert on Jan 9, 2014 | Reply

    I am also astounded listening to Sports Talk KTAR 620 at guys like Dan Bickley and Vince Marotta at how much they criticize PP! Sheesh, the guy isn’t perfect and had a game or two (like against Tennessee) where he wasn’t THE best he’s ever been. But it’s not being an “elite” or “shutdown” CB means you never let your guy catch the ball. PP was one of the few CBs all year who didn’t just line up on one side of the field; no, he was lined up on the #1 WR every single play and follow him wherever he went. To point to one or two plays or halves of games is ridiculous to say he didn’t deserve his All-Pro or Pro-Bowl selection.

  7. By Darren Urban on Jan 9, 2014 | Reply

    Nate —

    RE: Backlash

    No, this is coming from Cardinals fans, ones that have commented before on this blog and who follow me on Twitter.

  8. By ored on Jan 9, 2014 | Reply

    most important would not like to see a fitz size contract that becomes an anchor around our neck at some later date,cb is important,but by itself does’nt control the defensive scheme.qb is still the only position by itself that warrants those outsized contracts.if we go for a dominant defense then just go with a ground game and dink and dunk passing game,we won’t need 20 mil.qb’s or 18 mil. recievers.just load up on te’s,possession recievers,and rb’s,back to the old grind it out style.

    you start paying qb’s 20+mil,then the recievers want nearly as much,then the cb’s are next in line,in no time you’ve wrapped up 50+mil.on 3 players,franchise qb’s play into mid 30’s or better,but recievers and cb’s lose speed and their skills decline while their cap hit increases.

    i like the patriots model,find the qb,refresh the pieces,brady does well with it,what’s wrong with letting them play out their contract and franchise them if their worth it,they still get paid top dollar,just not when they start declining,like ba said just reload.at least a contract that does’nt last so long it mortages the future,there should be common ground that both sides can agree to.

  9. By Steve on Jan 9, 2014 | Reply

    Darren: I know you attend the combine, any chance in the future that you will report from the Senior Bowl in Mobile?

  10. By Darren Urban on Jan 9, 2014 | Reply

    Steve —

    RE: Senior Bowl

    Not this year. Perhaps some day. Not sure that’s as productive as I’d need it to be. I’d go if the Cards were coaching, I think.

  11. By georgiebird on Jan 9, 2014 | Reply

    PP is an very good CB. However, when teams are not throwing in your area, it becomes difficult to maintain the intensity from play to play. At times, PP is caught flat-footed when a pass comes into his area- his level of concentration is not what it should be.

  12. By Ryan on Jan 10, 2014 | Reply

    I can’t believe there would be backlash on Peterson! He is awesome! The best cornerbacks are the ones you don’t hear about. That’s a shut down corner. I firmly believe Patrick is one of the best players on and off the field. He helped bring us mathieu and he is a captain. I hope he’s a cardinal his whole career. I wish we could get drc back and put him on the opposite side too then I think we’d have a shut down secondary.

  13. By shannon robinson on Jan 10, 2014 | Reply

    Steve Keim as General Manager : Of the 53 who finished on our active roster, then including injured reserve, there are 42 players under contract for 2014. If you add the seven draft picks that adds up to 49 players projected to the active roster for the coming year. How different a year makes! Mr. Keim has a lot of money decisions to work out, however the team is already there. Patrick Peterson is a great cornerback and really sets the table for Todd Bowles defense. Watching a defensive unit work together requires a fan occasionally to look at only one player and for example follow PP in his coverage – it’s awesome! The number of people reacting negatively to Patrick is equal in my estimate to the % of fans who don’t really understand our defense. A CB is like a greyhound, edgy, quick, fast and not very friendly, definitely a chip on the shoulder, not necessarily likeable.

  14. By shannon robinson on Jan 10, 2014 | Reply

    As we say on UNM’s Womens Rugby Team, “If you can’t step on your friends who can you really step on?”

  15. By Rugbymuffin on Jan 10, 2014 | Reply

    +1 with Darren Urban on this.

    The Patrick Peterson bashing is RIDICULOUS.

    Sorry, people. You pay NFL talent like that.

    You want to debate whether he is a top 5 CB then fine, but the debate can’t be “well, he is overrated and he sucks” because then that person, making that argument is CLUELESS! UTTERLY CLUELESS.

    Sorry to be so insulting, but eventually, when hyperbole leads to foolishness it must be said.

    Peterson is going to get paid by the Cardinals and thank goodness for it. He is an amazing talent, and is only going to get better.

    As I have said before, some people would complain about the harp music in heaven.

    aka Haters are gonna hate.

  16. By jasonc on Jan 10, 2014 | Reply

    Thank you @shannon robinson for saying that. It is something that fans who are afraid of our cap situation don’t seem to realize. With the 6+ million cap carry over from last year and this years cap number to be 126.3 million, which we are 3.5 million under with our active contracts, we are already have 9.5 million in cap space. You have to estimate that we will use around 5 million of that on the rookies which would leave us around 4.5 million. Obviously, this isn’t enough money to sign PP to an extension or make a big free agent splash, but we have to keep in mind that this figure is before we make any cuts or work any other contract/salary cap magic that the brains get paid to figure out. It’s going to be tight this year, but 2015 the salary cap is expected to make good jump and we will be free of another 10 million of dead money, that is why Keim is targeting 2015 as his year of some financial breathing room.

  17. By Kevin S Mesa on Jan 10, 2014 | Reply

    Ored —

    I agree. Whether fans like it or not, the NFL has become something of an exercise in “Moneyball.” And I think you’re right that a “moneyball” analysis would lead to the conclusion that monster contracts for non-QB’s probably hurt a team more than they help.

    Billy Beane figured out that it made no sense to pay veteran outfielders millions of dollars to hit .270 with moderate power since there’s always someone at AAA that, if you just give them the chance, will perform comparably.

    Baseball is different from football in that you can pay a star (like Fitz) a ton, but (as we saw last year), if you don’t have a decent QB and an O-line that allows that QB to get him the ball, what good is it to have a future HOF receiver? The interdependency of the pieces is greater in football, so you can’t go crazy on just one guy.

    For the fans, sure it sucks when we let a career Cardinal like A-Dub go, but it’s the reality of a salary-cap-driven league. I’d rather see us make decisions like that but be talking playoffs in December, than keeping all the fan favorites at too high a cost and going 5-11.

  18. By Coach K on Jan 10, 2014 | Reply

    Well D listed his premature mock draft, so I figured I would counter with my list of hopefuls.

    Round 1- Blake Bortles, QB, UCF. Bortles could very well be the first pick in the draft to Houston as the new coach in Houston loves him. But, I think #1 is way too high for Bortles. If by some miracle the large group of underclassmen can somehow push Bortles down to the Cardinals at #20, I say get him. No other quarterback in my opinion has a bigger upside. I like Mettenberg’s arm, but not his slow feet. So my pick has to be Bortles who is a faster version of Ben Roethlesberger. As for Bridgewater and Carr, they don’t have the “it” factor for me. Johnny football does not fit into B.A.’s system. I don’t see it. If Bortles falls to #20, I say RUN THE CARD TO THE TABLE.

    Round 2- James Hurst, OT, N.C., or Morgan Moses, OT, Virginia. One of these tackles should be on the board. The Cardinals absolutely need to address this need position in the first two rounds.

    Round 3- Xavier Su’a Filo, OG, UCLA. He might not last to the third round, but
    Su’a Filo is a clone of the 49ers guard Mike Iupati. Extremely athletic and powerful guard. Xavier may be gone in the second round, but I’m hoping the large group of underclassmen declaring push some of the top linemen a level lower.

    Round 4- Jeremiah Attachu, OLB, Georgia Tech. This kid is a very athletic beast. Depending on who Keim signs in the FA market, this would be a great pick. If pass rusher is addressed in FA, then I say get the bruising running back Andre Williams of Boston College. I love the physical way this kid run the ball inside and his cutting ability. Andre Williams paired with Andre Ellington would be a nightmare for defenses to defend. That’s too much Andre for anyone to stop.

    Remain rounds focus on finding a tight end and defensive back help. That is how I see it at this very early off season. Things will change of course, but I am sold on Bortles. When I study his film and how he keeps his eyes focused up field even while getting pressure, he has that “it factor” I don’t see too often these days. Would love to get Bortles and let him learn behind Palmer for a year.

  19. By Cactusjeff on Jan 10, 2014 | Reply

    You want to see a a backlash, watch what happens if they trade PP to the Ravens for a second round pick. They would never do that, oh wait, they have (See Q trade).

  20. By Darren Urban on Jan 11, 2014 | Reply

    CactusJeff —

    RE: Boldin trade

    You’ve conveniently oversimplified the situation.

  21. By ored on Jan 11, 2014 | Reply

    hageman-de…pomeroy,cb/kick returner…collins,lt…hyde,rb…boyd,qb…just a few more names we may have a shot at,also intrigued with the notion of bringing back drc.

  22. By jasonc on Jan 11, 2014 | Reply

    D and Coach K-

    I like the enthusiasm, and I for one am excited to get this offseason show on the road! I can’t wait for the Senior Bowls, the combine, free agency and finally the draft!!! However, I have some issues with your drafts. D your draft doesn’t address the offensive line whatsoever and Coach K your draft has us taking a QB that simply won’t be there and then following that up by over drafting a tackle. Since we don’t know whose going to be available I would like to give a few picks at each position.

    Round 1: Taylor Lewan LT/Justin Gilbert CB/Vic Beasley OLB/Antonio Richardson LT

    My preference would be to draft a LT, but with Cedric Ogbuehi and Cameron Erving staying in school it becomes less likely that one of the top guys falls to us. Antonio Richardson from Tennessee could be available but we might be reaching and I don’t think Keim will do that. I think it’s a toss up between the 2 defensive players left and you’d have to go with the guy who has the better grade. Since I don’t know the grades I’m going to assume that with Okafor/Acho/Alexander all coming off of injury that we draft Gilbert.

    Justin Gilbert CB Oklahoma State

    Round2: Antonio Richardson LT/Marcus Smith DE/Calvin Pryor S/Joel Bitonio G

    I put Richardson again because CBS sports has a 2nd round grade on him, if he is available it’s a no brainer, but I think he’ll be gone. Marcus Smith was 2nd in the FBS in sacks this season and has the perfect frame to play the OLB in Todd Bowels defense unfortunately, I think he goes beast mode in the Senior Bowl workouts and the combine and will be gone as well. Calvin Pryor is a borderline first round player so again I don’t think he’ll be available…but, if he is I snatch him up. Joel Bitonio is listed as an OT but at 6’4 315 I don’t think he’ll have the size or athleticism to play that position in the NFL, however he is ultra competitive and is athletic enough to make the move inside. On a side note: La’el Collins would be my slam dunk pick here but I think he returns to LSU….with all of that said I think we bolster our o-line.

    Joel Bitonio OT/G Nevada

    Round 3: Dion Bailey S/Yawin Smallwood ILB/Jimmy Garoppolo QB/Anthony Johnson DT

    I know that most fans have a strong desire for us to re-sign Karlos Dansby because I am one of them, but it will depend on what his market value is and there are a lot of dumb GM’s out there who are itching to outbid us. I also think due to his contract Jasper Brinkley is going to be cut, which is why I have Yawin Smallwood as one of my choices. He has the size and athleticism and we are going to need some depth at ILB if we lost those 2 guys. If Dion Bailey is available he is my choice with our need for safety depth and because of his versatility and speed. He has played LB and S at USC so he is a solid and willing tackler, he also led the Trojans in INT’s this season with 5 so he has playmaking ability. Garoppolo is a small school QB from Eastern Illinois (same as Romo and Sean Payton) and he was phenomenal statistically this year. I haven’t seen him play a single game so his name here is based on stats, what I’ve read and my personal desire to draft a QB this year. I will hold onto final judgement after he plays in the Shrine game. Finally, Anthony Johnson is an LSU guy (so I’m sure Keim likes him) and we have to address that Dockett is getting older, and his contract, if not an issue this season will most likely be in 2015 a replacement would be a wise choice.

    Dion Bailey S Southern California

    Round 4: Robert Herron WR/Marcel Jensen TE/Chris Davis CB/Jaylen Watkins CB

    At this point in the draft I’d definitely start looking at offensive skill players, but you can never have enough CB’s and if Watkins or Davis graded out higher I’d take them. I know Davis get torched in the final drive of the BCS championship game, but he is a PR and I’d love to see PP not returning punts next season. Not because I think he has lost his mojo or whatever else is spewed about him I just don’t want to see him get injured doing it like Tyrann. Robert Herron isn’t blessed with size but he has the speed to take a top off of a defense and his production at Wyoming was solid I think he’d be a weapon BA would covet. Marcel Jensen has the size but not the speed, however he is a solid inline blocker and solid receiver who blocked 4 kicks while at Fresno State so he can play special teams which is always a plus.

    Robert Herron WR Wyoming

    Round 5: Wesley Johnson OT Vanderbilt

    He is my only submission for this pick. He doesn’t have the bulk right now and could possibly be a project but I love this guy. Here is a video of him against South Carolina:

    My ultimate plan would be for a line of Johnson-Watford-Cooper-Bitonio-Massie for the future. I just love the thought of having an athletic C who can pull out on the run. Next year would look more like Sowell-Cooper-Sendline-Watford-Massie.

    Wesley Johnson OT Vanderbilt

    Round 6: Rajion Neal RB/Jeoffrey Pagan DE/ DeQuan Jones DT/L’Damian Washington WR

    Jones and Pagan would be guys who’d bolster our d-line and hopefully become Dockett’s replacement, however neither had great collegiate careers. L’Damian Washington is another burner at WR and his has better size than Herron, so if went a different direction in round 4 he’d be a nice consolation prize in the 6th. In the end, Rajion Neal would be my pick. I like his size and speed and I don’t believe Mendy comes back next season so we will definitely need the depth.

    Rajion Neal RB Tennessee

  23. By red bird of death! on Jan 11, 2014 | Reply

    I think PP is great and deserves to be paid, but also needs to get better I watched many games this year where I felt he was not having the impact he should over and over again and was thinking this guy is awesome but could be even better. That’s all folks no backlash or whatever just a great player doing his job.

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