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Blogs

The need for speed (receiver)

Posted by Darren Urban on February 7, 2014 – 2:25 pm

As the Cardinals head toward the draft — a week later, May 8-10 this year — there will be a lot of talk about what positions will be targeted. There will be discussion about offensive tackles, defensive linemen, pass rushers, tight ends and defensive backs. But one thing that can’t be dismissed is the quest for a speed receiver.

The Cardinals can’t overlook the position anyway, given the impending free agent status of Andre Roberts (who likely will want to look what’s available on the open market since he’s destined to stay behind Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd) and the ongoing desire to have someone be able to run down the field and take the top off the defense. It was a constant quest last season. The Cards took a draft risk on Ryan Swope, and that didn’t work. Robert Gill was a track guy who they hoped would work out. Later, it was Brittan Golden and Teddy Williams.

According to profootballfocus.com, quarterback Carson Palmer threw 74 passes that traveled at least 20 yards in the air last season. He completed only 23 of them, and while longer passes will inevitably have a lower completion percentage, coach Bruce Arians does want to get more production out of those six deep shots a game he’d like to take. The Cards didn’t take as many as that as the season went along, in part because there was an understanding the protection wasn’t always good enough for such long plays and in part because the was a search for the right target. Floyd and Fitz can do the jump ball thing, but to be able to just tell a guy to go long and watch him speed by in one-on-one coverage would be ideal.

Where that guy will come from isn’t set in stone. Will the Cardinals draft one? I wouldn’t be surprised. But Steve Keim will comb other options too. Williams and Golden are still around and in the mix (although they have to stay healthy.) It’s an Arians want, and an Arians need, and that isn’t going to change until the Cards find their answer.


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61 Responses to “The need for speed (receiver)”

  1. By georgiebird on Feb 7, 2014 | Reply

    Darren,
    Speed receiver is a definite need for the Cards. The only problem is finding one. Speed receiver is probably the biggest boom or bust position on the team. Finding a guy who can run fast and stay off the IR is a draft day challenge.
    A few years ago, Julio Jones was a hot draft prospect- but the knock against Jones was that he didn’t have top-flite speed. Fact is that Jones can create “space” between himself and the defender as good as anyone in football.
    So a receiver who is fast, durable and can distance himself from the defenders is a tough one to find.
    A wide receiver who can do all the above while being double or triple teamed- that’s the great Roy Green. I see guys being mentioned for the HOF who couldn’t shine Roy’s shoes-what a shame.

  2. By D on Feb 7, 2014 | Reply

    UFA Dexter McCluster?
    Could also be the kick returner since Arenas may not be back.

  3. By John The Draft Guy on Feb 7, 2014 | Reply

    Darren,

    You know I have been saying this for a while. To me, besides finding a way to protect Palmer (LT), we need a homerun threat.

    I always love defense and I always want to take pass rushers. But a LT, and then Cooks in round two is a winning combo. Plus, with Fitz deal, bringing back Dansby and the defense is now more possible.

    Jan 29th;
    Darren,
    I think one can argue that, besides a LT, a wr is a top priority this offseason.
    I think BA has always had that guy who can blow the top off the defense (Mike Wallace / TY Hilton). I think that is why we saw guys like Golden brought in.
    I would not be surprised if the address this on day 2 of the draft (2nd or 3rd)
    PS – Both Wallace and Hilton were drafted in round 3. and last year, they thought they drafted that guy in Swope until he retired.

    Jan 30th;
    In round two, do not be surprised if the cards land Brandin Cooks. (if he falls that far- personally, I would give up a two and 4 to move up in the top of round two to land him) That guy fits the slot wr BA likes. Explosive. Home run threat going deep or catching a screen. How could you afford to double up Fitz or Floyd. Safeties will have to back off the line giving another explosive player, Ellington room to run. You also know Fitz and Floyd, being one on one down the sidelines, will lead to big plays. Love me some Cooks. (Think Percy Harvin or Tavon Austin)

    I can’t see the cards getting out of the draft with out landing that wr who can stretch the field.

  4. By cactus Jeff on Feb 7, 2014 | Reply

    I see WRs like this, either they have a large catching window (Megatron, Brandon Marshall, Fitz,and Floyd) or are elusive with speed and quicks (Reggie Wayne, Desean Jackson, and Percy Harvin). As a QB, large catching windows are great in the red zone, but the probabilites of INTS increase between the 20s. Players that get “crazy” open are a dream to QB ratings, hard to throw an INT when the DB is 3yds behind the WR.

    I see BA liking the quick and elusive WR (see Pittsburg and Indys WR corp). This past season proved how the weapons make the QB.

  5. By D on Feb 7, 2014 | Reply

    Offseason to do list:
    Resign Dansby, Rucker, Winston, Ballard and McCann

    Sign free agents: B. Albert OT, WR/KR D. McCluster, G.Gano K

    Draft:
    1- R. Hageman-Dominate DL
    2- D. Bailey SS Can play both safety spots and LB
    3- P. Desir CB speed could be our nickel corner
    4- J. Wilder RB, big back to replace Rashard
    5- T. Saunders WR very fast
    6- R. Rodgers TE coming from great system
    7- S. Morris QB could beat out Lindley

    Have plenty of pass rushers coming back from injury, may need to wait until next years draft to take a high pick on OLB

  6. By Darren Urban on Feb 7, 2014 | Reply

    Georgie —

    RE: Roy Green

    Honestly Georgie, I think Green was a great receiver. But the way you talk about him, you’d think he averaged 150 catches, 1,800 yards and 20 touchdowns a season.

  7. By erik on Feb 7, 2014 | Reply

    I agree with JTDG. The speed receiver needed will come through the draft. It is too hard to get a guy like that, who is already established, through free agency. If you do you end up overpaying ( See Mike Wallace).

    I see a lot of comments saying we need to resign Winston. I completely disagree. Especially if you want to save the cap room to pursue LT Brandon Albert. Give Massie his shot. He earned it his rookie year and I feel he will play better than Winston ultimately, if not immediately.

  8. By ored on Feb 7, 2014 | Reply

    if we stay put,i don’t think cooks will be there,we have’nt done a significant trade in awhile,but then again without time palmer will be hurried again,gotta fix one before the other.there is herron,out of wyoming,has 4.3 speed,good hands,also played rb so has good juke moves…negatives are…5’10 190 maybe and has had injury issues,but if were there late it would be worth the risk.

  9. By georgiebird on Feb 7, 2014 | Reply

    Darren,
    I respect your knowledge of today’s Cardinals and what goes on around the facility. Your logic would follow that Jim Brown stats pale against the likes of Emmitt Smith and Barry Sanders.
    I’ve seen all the WRs play over the past 50 years and Green was as good as any including Rice. If you ever get a chance to discuss Roy Green with HOFer Bill Parcells, you might change your mind. Parcells had to stop Green twice a year and he employed three guys to try to get it done.
    But I agree with you, in that Roy’s stats can’t compare to the top receivers of the past two or three decades.
    I wish Wolf had been on the Cardinals’ a few years sooner- he could add his own thoughts. .

  10. By Hammy on Feb 7, 2014 | Reply

    Had one in Ryan Swope last year but tooo bad he cant paly because of his concusion issue. I would imagine that they try to pick one up in free agency or draft one. One guy that I would like to see them go after is Julian Edleman. I think he has excellent speed underneath and can hurt you once he gets past the safety.

    Darren on a side note: Do you think the Cardinals were able to restructure Larry’s contract so they can possibly prepare to trade him? I just dont see them being able to keep him past this season.

  11. By Cali Card fan on Feb 7, 2014 | Reply

    I agree that a speed receiver would help back off some of these safeties, but I wonder if Carson has the arm to hit them. It sure seemed like most of the long catches we had this year were underthrown and the receiver had to stop and wait for the ball. I realize that could be a product of the offensive line not giving Carson enough time or room for Carson to step into the throw.

    What is everybody’s thoughts?

  12. By tyman on Feb 7, 2014 | Reply

    It seems a speed wide out helps combat the press jam coverage by simply having that threat opens up the Offense. I think teams shout look more at carrying at least one of these speed guys to go with the big physical guys. It will be interesting.

    I think keeping the team together is going to be the biggest challenge. Dansby and Patrick wont come cheap.

  13. By Andy Kw on Feb 7, 2014 | Reply

    FA Signings: CB Charles Tillman (CHI), DB Sergio Brown (IND), RB Donald Brown (IND), WR/KR Dexter McCluster (KC)
    This team wants to cause more turnovers and I feel that signing the Walter Payton Man of the Year CB Charles Tillman will do that. We can move CB Jerraud Powers into the Nickel package. DB Sergio Brown is a Colt and will hit FA. He has the size and speed to compete for our SS job. He has been mainly a nice ST player but his frame will be perfect whether he is for depth or starter. This team should consider signing RB Donald Brown. He had a nice season in 2013 and he is a Colt as well so Arians knows his skills. I doubt we can get McCluster but he is clearly the guy that Bruce Arians is looking a for. A speed receiver that can make plays on special teams or in the slot.

    Resign: LB Karlos Dansby, LB Marcus Benard, DE Frostee Rucker, TE Jim Dray
    -Dansby was our defensive MVP of the 2013 season so there is no question that he is a priority. Benard was a surprise in the 2013 season and should still contribute in the 2014 season. Rucker played well on a limited role and Dray has nice hands. Ballard should comeback but if he doesn’t, Dray would fit nicely.

    Before we can do any of this: Darnell Dockett, D. Washington, C. Palmer, and D. Colledge need to restructure their contracts. Restructuring these contracts are priority for this team and if they don’t comply, then our team will have to make some tough decisions. Washington is clearly in our future so making a nice friendly deal would be nice. If Dockett or Colledge do not restructure, then say good by to their tenures as an Arizona Cardinal. Restructuring Palmer’s deal is not a priority since he will be the starter but if he is willing to take a pay cut, our Cap will be in better position.

    -This team should draft CB Justin Gilbert with their first pick but if we don’t, then bringing in a new CB from FA would be great.

  14. By Berdj Joseph Rassam on Feb 7, 2014 | Reply

    The Cards were #16 overall in offense, #23 on the ground, and #13 in the air. I think they need to focus on improving their running game first and foremost, especially if they want to overtake the Seahawks and 49ers like they say that they do. And they will only do that by significantly improving their running game, if they do somehow manage to overtake both of those teams in 1 year.

  15. By Coach K on Feb 8, 2014 | Reply

    We could get a tall 6’5″ Speed receiver in the third round with a pick of Martavious Bryant who has legitimate 4.40 speed. Can you imagine Fitz, Floyd and Bryant on the field at the same time. Impossible to defend that.

    Here is what I would love to see the Cardinals do in the draft. Get the big tackle in round one. Moses looked fantastic at the senior bowl. I like him better than Lewan. Van Noy really stuck out at the senior bowl. Very athletic and can get pressure on the QB. He can learn behind Abraham. Cockrell would be the steal of this draft in round 4. He was the big playmaker for Duke and makes plays. Has great instincts like Honey Badger. Lewis was steady and was always in the right place at the right time for that great Michigan State defense.

    My picks…

    Rd.1. Morgan Moses, T, Virginia
    Rd.2. Kyle Van Noy, OLB, BYU
    Rd.3. Martavious Bryant, WR, Clemson
    Rd.4. Ross Cockrell, CB, Duke
    Rd.5. George Uko, DT, USC
    Rd.6. Isaiah Lewis, S, Mich. St.

  16. By Darren Urban on Feb 8, 2014 | Reply

    Georgie —

    RE: Green/logic

    The logic doesn’t follow because that wasn’t the point I was trying to make. We all know receiving stats aren’t the same now as they were in Green’s era. Green was considered good. Is Jerry Rice the GOAT? Maybe, maybe not. Maybe it was Don Hutson. I do know that Roy Green is never in that conversation, and that there is a very small group, that would suggest Green was better than Rice in his career. I’d be willing to bet Parcells would pick Rice.

    We all have biases. That includes me. But you can’t slip into the everything-was-always-better-once-upon-a-time either.

    Green was good. But he made two Pro Bowls, was All-Pro just twice, so even among his peers he wasn’t dominant. He is not in the Hall of Fame. Yes he played on some poor teams, but so did Aeneas and Aeneas was in plenty of Pro Bowls and is now in the Hall. These are the facts.

  17. By Darren Urban on Feb 8, 2014 | Reply

    Hammy —

    RE: Fitz

    Fitz will not be traded. At least not this year.

  18. By Dynosoar on Feb 8, 2014 | Reply

    I don’t understand the “trade” Fitzgerald talk. I feel if he wanted to be traded or test the free agency market, he would have made that known (think Q, the old Dansby and plenty of others).

    Larry Fitzgerald has said (or maybe I’m dreaming/wishing he’d said) that he wants to be a Cardinals player for his entire career, same as Adrian Wilson used to say.

    Will it happen, I don’t know, but his contract was restructured rather quickly this off season and I don’t see a player that wants to leave restructuring so quickly. All signs point to Keim wanting Fitzgerald to stay, Arians wanting Fitzgerald to stay, the fans wanting Fitzgerald to stay (at least most of them) and most importantly, Fitzgerald wanting Fitzgerald to stay.

    Darren may have different insights than I do, he does have more access to the key players in this discussion, but from where I sit we don’t need to have this discussion. Larry is here, let’s rejoice in that.

  19. By John The Draft Guy on Feb 8, 2014 | Reply

    Berdj Joseph Rassam;

    The cards absolutely should improve their running game. No doubt.

    But when you watch the cards play live, teams really do not back their safeties deep. They know that (1) the cards can not protect Palmer long, and (2) they can recover to help out the corners, since the cards have no one who can fly.

    Until the cards can protect Palmer (LT) and threaten the defense deep (speed receiver) it will be hard to back those safeties off and get the run game going.

  20. By John The Draft Guy on Feb 8, 2014 | Reply

    Andy KW,

    Tilman will demand too much money. Are you going to sign Tilman and leave PP at his current rate. Don’t you think that might cause friction a little.

    Why would we want Donald Brown? Another disappointing 1st rounder. Stephan Taylor and Ellington are better. I do not see any reason for him.

    McCluster’s name has come up a lot. But I would say he is quicker than fast. He is a very poor man’s Wes Welker. The cards need a burner.

    Dansby should be a priority. The only reason I could see not signing him is the contract would hurt the cards down the road or Dansby wants too much money.

    But another thing to consider, if you pay one position, another position doesn’t get paid. I think Keim and BA have a lot to think about.

    Do I go after a FA tackle? How about a guy like Brian Orakpo ? How about safety Jarius Byrd?

    We all know the cards need to improve the Oline, possibly add a passrushing OLB, get a little younger at DE, Figure out the NT spot with the injury, upgrade safety, and add a speed wr.

    The question is, what do they address in FA and what do they address in the draft. If history tells me anything, they addressed all needs in FA and then drafted who they rated highest. Look at last year.
    Brinkley – Minter
    Abraham / Shanessey – Okerfer
    Faniaka – Cooper
    Bell/Johnson – Honey Badger
    Mendenhal – Ellington and Taylor

    I think you can expect a similar offseason.

  21. By Big Ken on Feb 8, 2014 | Reply

    @Coach K I think your Morgan Moses is more of a right tackle. You seem to be real high on him.

  22. By jasonc on Feb 8, 2014 | Reply

    Now that Darren has educated us on the salary cap and we know that we have approximately 11 million in cap space what does that mean for the Cardinals? With the way this team finished 2013, the excitement about our defense and the possibility of making a super bowl run I think the first key would be to keep the core of this defense together as well as re-signing PP21. So, that leaves us with the need to improve an offensive line that finished dead last in PFF rankings two years in row? We have Jonathan Cooper coming back from injury which would improve both guard spots allowing Colledge to move back to right guard, Bobby Massie who played well down the stretch in 2012 as a possible upgrade at right tackle and the ever steady if not spectacular Lyle Sendlein at center…there is just that pesky left tackle position. Bradley Sowell improved as the season went on and I think that if we HAD to go with this line we would be ok, not great. If we want to attack this position in free agency we would need to free up more money and a quick way to free up 5-6 million would be to release Colledge/Brinkley/Williams. It is with this back drop that I offer you the top five players that the Cardinals should target in the draft @20.

    Justin Gilbert CB Oklahoma State: If you read my last mock this shouldn’t be a surprise to you because I mocked him at this pick, and if we make the cuts to secure a free agent left tackle (my choice would be Anthony Collins) we have the ability to attack the draft with the best player available. I believe that Gilbert will not only achieve the draft grade from our scouting department, but that he will make the most sense “need” wise due to pending free agents Antoine Cason and Javier Arenas who I don’t consider “core” players of our defense. He gives us another dynamic play maker in our secondary and is an upgrade to the aforementioned free agents we lost.

    Taylor Lewan LT Michigan: If we decide not to make a move in free agency for a left tackle then it will almost assuredly be our focus in the draft and I believe that the top left tackle with the possibility (albeit a slight possibility) to fall to us @20 is Lewan. This would be the best case scenario for the Cardinals allowing us to keep our defensive core together and upgrade arguably our biggest need. It would also let us keep Colledge at right guard allowing for more continuity and a veteran presence on the line which would be key with three new young starters in Lewan/Cooper/Massie.

    Zack Martin LT Notre Dame: Zack Martin is a stout 6’4 and has t-rex arms of 32 1/4 inches making him an exception to the industry standard NFL left tackle measurements, however I think that he is that rare player who defies the NFL scouting measurement logic and is able to play a position that scouts pre-determine he cannot. The best part about him is that if I’m wrong then we can move him to right guard (where he might be better and fulfill JTDG’s good/better/best logic) and release the overpriced Colledge…it’s really a win/win kind of pick for us and as logical a pick as Cooper was @7, maybe more so because it comes @20 and Martin has the versatility to play every position on the line.

    Dee Ford OLB Auburn: There will always be a premium in the NFL on protecting/pressuring the QB and as Darren wrote in an earlier blog if you can pressure by rushing four it is a huge advantage. In order to do that you have to have players that can get to the QB without scheming and blitzing. Dee Ford dominated the Senior Bowl practices and his dominance carried over to the game when he was named the MVP. He has an explosive first step but he also shows the power to bullrush…see the Texas A&M game where he walked Ogbuehi back to the QB.

    Calvin Pryor S Louisville: I love Calvin Pryor and think that he is the best safety in this draft class and he would be an instant upgrade to our secondary. With that said I was impressed with the progress of Tony Jefferson last year and I think he might have a future in this league…can he become a star or is he just solid? What about Rashard? He lost his free safety job to Mathieu but he was drafted as a strong safety and he, like Jefferson, has been able to perform when given opportunities. I think it comes down to both Jefferson and Johnson are solid while Pryor has the potential to be dynamic.

    Honerable mention: Kony Ealy, RaShede Hageman, Hasean Clinton-Dix, Morgan Moses

  23. By Corgon on Feb 8, 2014 | Reply

    I already miss Andre. Like him. I hope he’ll have a nice career.

  24. By ored on Feb 8, 2014 | Reply

    our ground game improves everytime we improve the o-line,which is still a work in progress,so just stay the course and it will all come together.moses would be a nice pick,help the run blocking right now and seems to have the skills to pass block.don’t think gilbert will be there,besides the pass defense was improving toward the end and there’s still some nice cbs’ in later rounds.we’re probably gonna get a project with big upside.but only after a year or two,unless we can either package the pick for a proven vet or trade up for an impact player.

    that’s what makes the draft so interesting,you never know if a pick is an ellington,brady,or in our case a LT that blossoms.

  25. By Darren Urban on Feb 8, 2014 | Reply

    Dyno —

    RE: Fitz trade

    You don’t just trade a guy because he wants to be traded. Sometimes, you trade him because it’s the right thing to do for your team. Sometimes it’s not about what everybody wants but what needs to be done.

  26. By John The Draft Guy on Feb 8, 2014 | Reply

    jasonc,

    I think at this point, the 9 guys you highlighted will be our pick.
    I think Morgan Moses may climb into the first.

    Thanks for the good/better/best reference.

    Ealy continues to be an interesting guy at 20. If tackle isn’t the pick, he is someone to watch. I say this because of Shannessy. He did well in this defense even though he didn’t fit the traditional OLB. Ealy is explosive but is not an OLB. But he might be better than Dee Ford as a player. So, do you take the better player or the one that fits better?

    Of course, Cooks is still on my radar.

  27. By Donovan on Feb 8, 2014 | Reply

    And Fitz trade is still being discussed now why….again not gonna happen 2014 …not even an article on the topic…so plz and can we all knock it off…if it happens it happens what can the average person do about so….until then shut it he a CARD!!!!

  28. By georgiebird on Feb 8, 2014 | Reply

    Darren,
    I guess Roy’s stats do not jump out with others like they do with me. But if I was starting a team and could have any wide receiver at his best- it would be Roy Green’s 1984 season when he recorded 1,555 on 78 catches a ypc of 19.9.
    Why is 1984 a year of significance? For the following reasons:
    1) Roy became the 1st receiver in NFL history to go over the 1500 mark (Lance Alworth and Charlie Hennigan had surpassed 1550 in the old AFL prior to the merger. They played wide open offense in the old AFL. It was like the NFL of today.
    2) Roy performed this feat in the NFC East that had three SB winners in the 80’s- most probably the toughest division in football with definitely the best defenses.
    3) For most of Roy’s playing time the “other” Cards WR was Pat Tilley a rather slow 5’10” 178 lb receiver who Roy nearly turned into a star. The TE was Doug Marsh-(remember him?)
    4) The Cards were a respectable 9-7 thanks to Roy and Neil Lomax.

    So Roy’s lifetime stats are pretty ordinary but for a time in history he was the best.

  29. By jasonc on Feb 8, 2014 | Reply

    Coach K-

    Martavis Bryant is an excellent find. He definitely gets overshadowed by Sammy Watkins because there isn’t any buzz about him. If his sub 4.4 speed that is listed on cbssports.com is correct he would be an interesting pick.

  30. By bigsmarty on Feb 9, 2014 | Reply

    Watching the video in the above article – I don’t think it’s Teddy’s speed that gets him open. Fitz and Williams have about identical speed off the line, and when Fitz makes his cut towards the sideline, he draws the safety and second corner for a split second, allowing Teddy to get open. This play was created by Fitz.

    Maybe strategy is more important than pure speed.

  31. By Andy Kw on Feb 9, 2014 | Reply

    John The Draft Guy,

    You are right that Charles Tillman might demand a lot of money from a team. But if you think about it, he is an aging veteran that might be willing to sign with a contender and a guy that wants a team that can utilize his strengths. He said himself that he will “retire a Chicago Bear” and look at the successes that we had with John Abraham & Eric Winston, weren’t they demanding for a lot of money? Didn’t we get them at a cheaper cost than expected?

    RB Donald Brown did not play to his potential in the beginning of his career. This team is looking for a guy that does not fumble the ball as much. Out of the 551 carries that he had, he only fumbled once. He had a stellar 2013 season averaging 5.3yds per carry. He would be a nice change in pace back that Bruce Arians has worked with in Indianapolis. A veteran with more experience is better in my opinion and he fits the criteria. He is only 26 years of age.

    DB Sergio Brown of the Indianapolis Colts should be brought to Arizona.

    KR/WR Dexter McCluster can be used in all sorts of ways. He is quicker than fast, can play in many roles in the offense, and can be the explosive KR that this team is looking for. He is the perfect man for the Slot position, I still want WR Andre Roberts though :(

    ILB Karlos Dansby is a priority and I said that he was. When it comes down to who can be a contender and what is best for the team, I think he will eventually come to his senses. Money will be an issue for Dansby but we will probably keep him for two more years until LB Kevin Minter can take over.

    You keep mentioning about money being an issue for this team. Signing guys like OLB Brian Orakpo or FS Jarius Byrd won’t be a money issue? We have FS Tyrann Mathieu as our future starter and right now he is rehabbing. If we sign Byrd, he will have to be at a cheap cost. OLB Brian Orakpo is a premier pass rusher that I love but with his potential and his urge to return to Washington, won’t he need a really good reason to leave? We are a contender but we don’t have enough money to sign a guy like him.

    When it comes to drafting, this team will address their needs but also draft the best guy available. If CB Justin Gilbert is still available or a needed pass rusher like Dee Ford is still available, this team should draft either one of them. I hope this team doesn’t make a big mistake like the drafting of Levi Brown or Matt Leinart. We should worry about offensive tackles after the first round pick but no later than the 4th round.

  32. By Mark on Feb 9, 2014 | Reply

    I really would be sad to see Roberts leave the desert. He is a stand up dude and can play a role great. I never once heard him complain after only getting so many passes this year. Plus, I really expected him to break out this past year, even in his first game he got like 9 catches. Obviously he faded as the season progressed, but I have faith in Kiem and Arians. What they did this year was unbelievable and shouldn’t be forgotten. I really just hope we get some more youth at defensive end and outside linebacker! Dockett is on the from side of 30 and Callias isn’t getting younger. Plus I want to make our defense even better then it already is. Seattle already proved defense is more important then anything. And Guess who beat the last!?!!?!! THE ARIZONA BIRDGANG!

    cheers to the offseason!

  33. By jasonc on Feb 9, 2014 | Reply

    Georgiebird-

    That was a well thought out argument and wonderfully expressed. For the record: Dallas didn’t win a Super Bowl in the 80’s they won in 78 and lost in 79 but that doesn’t take away from how tough that conference was in the 80’s. Five Super Bowl appearances during the decade with three victories is an impressive run for a division. Also, in your first comment Julio Jones jumped up the draft boards because he had top flight speed for his impressive size, he ran a sub 4.4 at the combine.

  34. By ored on Feb 9, 2014 | Reply

    my thinking also,we can’t afford any back sliding now,the rest of the league is scrambling to follow seattles blueprint,but we beat them in their backyard when it meant something to them,and that was with four turnovers,keim is already ahead of the game,and now we have some cap room,players that believe,and someone who knows talent and now has the authority to make the decisions.i know they’re looking for speed players,find them and a good chance it’s somebody who is a difference maker also.

    now that massie sees where this team can go,he starts to realize his potential at RT preferably,if not then as a probowl guard would be fine also,we need help across the whole line,cooper will be a welcome sight,but he still has’nt played when it counts,sowell has the offseason to gain strength and hone technique,while we all hope for the best,it’s not a given,unless we improve by alot,we might be at the bottom of o-lines for a third straight year.that by itself hinders the whole offense.until we fix that, the offense will always lag the defense.if we don’t fix it now,then when?players are aging and soon we’ll need another qb,we’ll be back where we started when KW retired.

  35. By georgiebird on Feb 9, 2014 | Reply

    Darren,
    One final thing on Roy’s career and stats- hate to bother you but this is the last of reflecting on Roy Green’s career.
    1979- Roy was a DB – no receptions
    1980- Roy was a DB -no receptions
    1981- 1st year converting to receiver -16 games -33recpt- 708yds- 21.5 ypc
    1982- strike season 9 games-32 453 – 14.5
    1983 – 1st full season as #1 receiver 16 -78- 1,227 – 15.7
    1984 – as the #1 receiver in NFL 16- 78 1,555 – 19.9
    1985- injured during season 13- 50- 693 -13.9
    1986- injured 11- 42- 517 -12.3
    1987- injured 12- 43 731 -17.0
    1988-another full season 16- 68 1,097 -16.1
    1989-injured 12- 44 703 -16.0
    1990-full season as a 33 year old 16 53 797 -15.0
    1991 & 1992 finished with the Eagles as a part timer
    Pretty impressive when you home in on his full seasons as the Cards #1 receiver.

  36. By TommyT on Feb 9, 2014 | Reply

    Is Slope really done for good. O remember hearing a few months back he wa o give it a year or so o see if symptoms went away. And what exactly does “Injured Retire” mean? Couldnt find a definition

  37. By Cactus jeff on Feb 10, 2014 | Reply

    Georgiebird

    Don’t sweat it, the best Sharpe isn’t in the HOF. Further, I would take Sterling Sharpe over Jerry Rice every time. Then there is Randy Moss, I just cringe when I hear a sports writer/media declare that there is no debate, Jerry Rice is best WR of all time. Did you not see Randy Moss play? Sorry, but there is a debate.

  38. By Judd S on Feb 10, 2014 | Reply

    Getting rid of Mendenhall is a huge step in that direction. And getting a new OT.

  39. By Darren Urban on Feb 10, 2014 | Reply

    Georgie —

    RE: Green

    Again, a very good receiver. Those YPC averages are exactly what the Cardinals would love to get even at 40-50 catches a season from someone.

  40. By Darren Urban on Feb 10, 2014 | Reply

    TommyT —

    RE: Injured/Retired

    Not sure where you are getting “Injured Retired” as a term.

    If you are talking about Swope being on the “Reserve Retired” list, that just means the Cardinals keep his rights, even though Swope retired, if he chose to come back. Otherwise, a player who didn’t like the team he was playing on could just “retire” for a year and then be a free agent.

  41. By Darren Urban on Feb 10, 2014 | Reply

    Cactus —

    RE: GOAT

    There is always debate. But as great as Moss was at times, to me, being considered the greatest is being great consistently. And Moss was not. Period. Maybe it was his own choice when he wasn’t great, but that just makes it worse in my eyes.

  42. By georgiebird on Feb 10, 2014 | Reply

    The epitome of a fast wide receiver:
    Roy Green running away from Darrell Green in a 1984 – Redskins Cards game.
    Significance:
    1) Darrell Green had the fastest NFL 40 time ever recorded at 4.09.
    2) Roy Green’s 40 time was 4.28.
    3) Darrell Green is a legend HOF cornerback
    4) Roy beat Darrell like a drum
    5) This is all documented read up on it

    Lifetime stats do Roy no justice- but I saw performances like the one above.
    There is no doubt in my mind that at his best, there were none better than Roy Green.

  43. By Big Ken on Feb 10, 2014 | Reply

    So we’re locked in with Fitz next year. It sounds like we might move on from Andre Roberts, ok player not great. Martavis Bryant in the third looks great if he’s still there. Brandin Cooks in the second looks good but others to consider too: Allen Robison Penn State, Jarvis Laundry LSU. How about the FIRST round?Mike Evans or Kelvin Benjamin? If one of those two are there at 20? What do you guys think?

  44. By ored on Feb 10, 2014 | Reply

    watkins is the only player to consider at 20,and he would never fall that far,i think there will be a run on recievers starting early 2nd round.andre’s been working hard with fitz and i think it’s beginning to show,but i think he does’nt have the speed we want,there seem to be better options avilable.since we won’t be in position for an obvious percy harven type player,we should keep taking a later round chance,just like we did with swopes,it’s all a risk,but the payoff can be huge if we hit,it happens somewhere every year,you can’t win if you don’t play.

    has anyone heard if we get a pick for cooper being out all last season,is that possible?

  45. By John The Draft Guy on Feb 10, 2014 | Reply

    Big Ken,

    I think the question is, what are you looking for in a WR?

    Do you want someone to take Fitz place in a year or two or do you want someone who is a burner and can come in as the number 3 and create big plays.

    Much of what Roy Green gave the cards, big play ability, is what the cards are looking for to win right now.

    In my opinion, Sammy Watkins is the best in this draft. Top 5 pick (I think PP will go against him twice a year as the rams grab him at two).

    The next guy that fits that mode is Cooks. Another guy is Paul Richardson.
    But a guy under the radar that would fit the cards is Robert Herron. He is a guy who can flat out run.

    Remember, you are not looking for a number one WR or even a two. We have that. We are looking for that guy who can catch 40 passes and stretch the field, back safeties off to open run lanes. Allow Fitz to get less attention from defenses.

    Now if you are looking to replace Fitz (which I am not) , a guy like Evans or the kid from Florida state makes more sense. But , unless you are making that move next year, I really do not see taking one of those guys as a logical move.

    Another guy being named is Martavis Bryant. This guy is a red zone threat and could be a solid number two receiver paired with Floyd. But he is not a slot wr.
    At 6’4″ and an outside WR, i see guys like Sherman jamming him on the line. I really do not think he adds much to this offense in the way it is today.

    So, if you plan on keeping Fitz past this year, I think Bryant, Evans, The Florida St kid, the Penn st guy all are no’s.

    In my opinion, you want to get your burner matched up on safeties or a nickle CB and blow by them. Or , as the seahawks play a lot of 3 deep zones, the burner will keep Earl Thomas in centerfield while Fitz and Floyd can work underneath.

  46. By jasonc on Feb 11, 2014 | Reply

    JTDG-

    FIrst things first….if you’re going to jump on the Herron bandwagon you have to give me my credit, I was the first to call his name.

    Secondly, I agree with most of your logic on these boards but….not always. Obviously we disagree on Logan Thomas, and when we talked about him I couldn’t get you to tell me what games you watched. I’m saying that to say this, have you seen any video on Martavis Bryant? I’ll admit that when Coach K first started calling his name I probably had the same reaction as you ‘6’5″ 200…way to slight he won’t be able to get off the line’ and I dismissed him without even giving him the time of day. I’ve since gone to the video and this kid is a built 6’5 200 and looks impressive in pads. He doesn’t get pressed a lot on video even though he is working outside most of the time which tells me, either he has the ability to beat press coverage or that coaches are too afraid to press a player with his speed. You say that because of his size he isn’t a slot receiver and I would agree with you if you’re looking for a guy like Welker who is more quick than fast and beats coverages underneath across the field and isn’t used to challenge teams vertically. Look at the Teddy Williams play above, he starts in the slot Larry motions behind him and then he runs past the d, Bryant and Williams have similar body types. I agree with you that he isn’t a “slot” wide receiver, but I don’t think we’re looking for a slot wide receiver BA likes be able to move all of his wide receivers around so we’re looking for a third wide receiver. Remember that when Housler got healthy is when Andre Roberts snap count and targets went down that is because we didn’t go three wide consistently. With Ellington probably being used in the slot role next season I think it makes looking for a slot wide receiver even less important. Bryant has the body type to evolve into Fitz’s eventual replacement and who better for him to learn the art of beating the press than Fitz? I think you’re wrong about Bryant as a prospect he is the most intriguing guy if he can prove that speed.

    I do agree with you about the rest of the WR’s and I don’t think we pick WR before round 3 so any of the top guys I would think would be out. Herron and Bryant in rounds 3-4 is who I’d keep and eye on.

  47. By John The Draft Guy on Feb 11, 2014 | Reply

    jasonc,

    I watched Bryant a couple times including the bowl game. Let’s face it, you watch Clemson for the unbelievable talent known as Sammy Watkins. I noticed Bryant but your eyes keep going back to Watkins.

    First, let me be clear. I do not think we need to groom anyone to take Fitz’s spot. I think he has many good years ahead of him. I think we need a receiver who complements him and Floyd. A burner to open up the field, who catches 40 balls and 6-8 TDs. If BA wants to take 6-8 big shots a game, you need someone who gets the defense nervous.

    But I for one am not looking for a replacement. Therefore, I do not feel Bryant is a good fit. I think there are better options.

    Second, Now maybe I was not clear on Bryant. I think he could be a good NFL receiver. If you were looking to replace Fitz in a year or two, he would be a good pick. He is a good red zone guy as I think he had a TD or two in the bowl game that were jump ball type of throws. I wasn’t saying that he could not evolve into a number two or even a number one. I said I dont think he adds much to this offense if you believe Fitz stays the next couple of years. He is clearly an outside guy.

    So, bottom line, if Bryant isnt going to be a replacement, and he isn’t a true slot receiver, I don’t think he adds much to this offense. Sure there are ways to get him deep like they did Teddy above. That could be said on every play. Every play is drawn up to get someone open.

    But I do not see how he adds that much more to this offense, At least not in the way a Herron, Cooks or Richardson can. I’m not knocking the guy.

    My other question is this, when you have Watkins out there, do you get any attention? That is going to be a very tough question for scouts on Bryant.

    BTW, I gave you credit for the LT from Auburn. So I have no problem giving you credit. I just must have missed your Herron reference.

  48. By John The Draft Guy on Feb 11, 2014 | Reply

    jasonc,

    . “He doesn’t get pressed a lot on video even though he is working outside most of the time which tells me, either he has the ability to beat press coverage or that coaches are too afraid to press a player with his speed”

    Here is just a thought. I have not watched enough games on Bryant to know for sure.

    But, he is facing the second best CB on an ACC team and safeties are watching Watkins. When you have no help, you might play off. Not to mention a QB who can tuck and run. Staying on top of your receiver in that situation is probably best.

    As for Lagan Thomas, again, I must have missed when you asked me what games I have seen. Of course, UCLA and I believe it was the Alabama game early in the year.

    Bottom line is I am not alone in my assessment. Rated as a 7th rounder or RFA, he has never passed for a 60% comp ratio. You like CBS sports, here is what they say. Remember, I said it is easier to win the lottery than hit with him or something like that. I like this guys reference.

    We’ll often hear this draft season that Thomas has “what can’t be taught” when referring to his physical attributes, but can touch and accuracy be taught? It can be tweaked and improved from a mechanical standpoint, but from his performances the past two days along (senior bowl) with three years of game film, it’s tough to see the upside with Thomas. It wouldn’t surprise me if the Virginia Tech quarterback ends up hearing his name called on the second day of the draft. But a team that drafts him that high is living on a hope and a prayer – similar to many of Thomas’ throws this week. – Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com

  49. By Big Ken on Feb 11, 2014 | Reply

    @ JTDG and jasonc good stuff I like Teddy Williams but worried he’s a one hit wonder. Andre Roberts, the slot, maybe not returning. I say draft kind of high at WR. Bryant, Herron, part of some good names. It will be an interesting Scouting Combine and how some of these guys show.

  50. By ored on Feb 11, 2014 | Reply

    good comments and like always we’ll still be hoping for that diamond in the rough or for the bargain to drop to us.i believe the sooner we fix the o-line and someone to cover TEs,the better our options for a game changer will be,even if it means a trade up for a probowl type player.

  51. By Dr. G. on Feb 11, 2014 | Reply

    Well, with all the dialogue and stats on WR’s, check out this CBS report. With all the Arians’ talk of TE’s, and no FB, he did not really get much production, and used them as blockers much of the time. Cards needs – OT, QB, WR, TE among others to continue upgrades. Amaro is rated as the #30 pick right now. A great TE would open up everything! Quote Edited: –

    Jace Amaro, TE, 6′ 5″ – 260 – Texas Tech: Adding a speedy seam threat to complement Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd and keep defenses from crowding the line of scrimmage to stop big-play specialist Andre Ellington – could be the next step in Bruce Arians’ transformation of Arizona’s offense. Amaro is a potential Jimmy Graham-like threat who caught 106 passes for 1,352 yards and seven touchdowns in 2013 breaking the NCAA all-time record for receiving yards in a season by a tight end with 1,352… A good day…

  52. By John The Draft Guy on Feb 11, 2014 | Reply

    Dr G,

    I like Amaro . Amaro is in the mode of Jimmy Graham and Jordon Cameron.

    But never has BA gone with one of these type of TEs. I wondered if he fit in BAs offense.

    What I see is he likes 2 TEs, one is an inline kind of guy and the other is more a Ken Whisenhunt type of H-back.

    From Heath Miller to Coby Fleener, I am not sure he likes his TEs to line up wide or in the slot. Plus Amaro is not a blocker. Does BA like the Gates, Graham Cameron types? Pass catcher who dont block much. I am not sure.

    It will be interesting to see.

  53. By Chuck 1 on Feb 11, 2014 | Reply

    ored,

    I agree with your priorities: LT and SS
    After that, pass rusher, DL, CB, TE, WR and RB.

  54. By jasonc on Feb 11, 2014 | Reply

    JTDG-

    I’m not looking for a replacement for Fitz (I said he could evolve into that…evolution in football terms takes years…and maybe he is Floyd’s replacement, you never know the future), I’m looking for a speed wide receiver who can threaten the defense vertically, why does it matter how tall he is? I said in my post he isn’t your ‘slot’ wide receiver in the Welker mode because we don’t run that offense. We don’t need a guy who is quick in space who can beat linebackers across the middle because we don’t employ a three wide out philosophy. We run predominately two TE sets so the majority of our offense there is no slot wide receiver which is the major reason Roberts targets were down this year. When we do put in extra wide receivers you know who ends up in the slot sometimes? Larry Fitzgerald….is he a ‘slot’ wide receiver? Andre Roberts TD in the finale was a deep pass…you say you want a burner but then you’re worried about how tall they are. Why? How does height affect you when you’re running a 9 route? I want a burner plain and simple and if he is 5’9 or 6’5 it doesn’t matter to me as long as he is running a 4.3 or less because I want him to scare the d and occupy the safeties. Right now cbssports.com has Cooks listed at 4.49 and Bryant at 4.38 which one would you prefer (no idea where they get these numbers, I believe Cooks will be faster than this)? Obviously we have to wait for the combine to determine who is the best player for us but I’m pretty sure that speed will be the determining factor, not height.

    I know you gave me props on Robinson, I was just giving you a hard time about Herron. I think I wrote about him on the first mock I posted but seriously I was just joking it’s not a big deal.

    So you watched the Alabama game which was the worst game of his collegiate career and the UCLA game where he was knocked out in the second quarter? What is your assessment based on? Yes I’ve read Brugler’s assessment and he is not a fan, neither was Matt Miller but then he mocked him in the third round of his latest 7 round mock (to us). My point is that you are on record as saying how terrible this kid is and you’ve only seen 5 and 1/2 quarters of football? Doesn’t seem like enough to be so down on him.

  55. By jasonc on Feb 11, 2014 | Reply

    DrG-

    A new TE I think will be in the mix but as I’ve written many times on here: just because Arians likes to use multiple TE’s hasn’t translated into the TE being a major weapon in any of his offenses. Perhaps it’s because he’s never had a Graham to utilize before…I don’t know. I believe that first and foremost we need a TE who can both block and receive effectively in the mold of a Heath Miller. What is the point of running a multiple TE set to keep the defenses base unit on the field and in constant guess mode if you have a TE who sucks at blocking or vice versa is a terrible receiver? That is my only concern with Amaro and Ebron and why I like Niklas.

  56. By John The Draft Guy on Feb 12, 2014 | Reply

    jasonc,

    Let me start by saying I am not always right. So, I could be wrong here.

    I like pocket passers who are big, have a strong arm and are accurate. I like guys who can make all the throws. I like guys who study the defense and know where to go with the ball pre snap and throw to spots. I like guys who are workers and don’t get too high or low. I like guys who climb the pocket with eyes down field. Are comfortable in the pocket as it is falling apart around them. Guys who will throw to a spot as the defender is hitting them, believing the wr will be there to make the play, even though they never see it.

    Guys like Peyton, Aikman, and even Palmer are my types.

    I would have passed on Kaepernick and Wilson. I would have been wrong.
    I liked Landry Jones, and although too early to tell, I might be wrong.

    So, I went back and watch Thomas vs Georgia Tech in 2012. I will say he looks the part. Stood tall in the pocket, has a strong arm. Looked off safeties and seemed to know where his check downs and second reads were. He had zip and dropped a long TD in the lap of his receiver. He also missed wide open slants, missed guys deep, on simple outs he overthrew them. This is what has scouts going crazy.

    Then you put in the tape of better competition. Alabama and UCLA were disasters. His TD to INT isnt good. He never completed more than 59% and that was two years ago. I do not know his work ethic and can’t ask him questions so it is hard to know his character, but you know the NFL is better than Alabama and UCLA.

    I get why you like him as a late rounder. I just believe this team is close. I dont want to waste a pick on a back up QB. Before you say Brady, Warner or Romo, understand there were hundreds of QBs who were never remembered. Hitting on a late round QB is next to impossible. Sure there are thousands of late picks at all positions who never made it. But it just seems different with QBs.

    You keep putting him in as a 7th rounder. Could he beat out Lindley? Possible.
    Could he ever grow into a starter? I doubt it but he is worth looking in to.

  57. By jasonc on Feb 12, 2014 | Reply

    JTDG-

    YES!!!! I’m glad you gave him a second look and I appreciate that you can at least see some good in him. If you reread the posts I’ve written about the kid I always preface it or end it with something to the effect of there is a reason this guy isn’t being talked about as a first round player. My only thought was that if we could get this kid with a late round pick, and we know Keim isn’t going to just take a flyer on a player so that means Keim likes what he has seen or has seen enough to validate the pick, then we have a guy who has time to develop who has that big, strong arm that you and BA are looking for. If you ever are intersted draftbreakdown.com has 10 videos on him and if you want to see him at his best watch the Miami game.

    Final point, I know that the NFL is better than Alabama and UCLA but from a talent standpoint Logan Thomas hasn’t been playing with Larry and Michael at WR…the NCAA has a talent gap that is far greater than the NFL so while he will face better teams in the NFL he will have better teammates too.

  58. By Dr. G. on Feb 12, 2014 | Reply

    jasonc – jtdg – I’m lovin’ these analyses of differing prospects… As for this TE thing, as we have all seen, I think BA thought he had some good receivers in the TE’s we had in 2013, and we had problems blocking because of Levi’s ineptitude. It has been much less than optimal. I think BA has steamed on this…

    The write-ups I review show Niklas to be a blocking specialist who rounds off his routes and not too explosive. If we want a great blocker, he is our guy. On the other hand, Amaro is faster, quicker, and shows potential for 1,000+ yards…and he is said to have a mean streak, which can be good if properly directed.

    Bottom line may be – It is easier to teach (insist) a great receiver to block than it is to teach a great blocker to catch and run sharp routes to get open.

    The Pat’s will take Amaro to replace Gronk and Hernandez is the Cards balk…. Be well

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