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Lacking sacks, Cards blitz for “distruptions”

Posted by Darren Urban on October 29, 2014 – 10:17 am

The Cardinals looked hard for a pass rusher prior to Tuesday’s trade deadline. Nothing materialized. That’s really not surprising. In this league — especially when a team can flip into a playoff contender in one offseason — you just don’t trade decent pass rushers. You need them too much. And if you are willing to trade, you’re probably asking for more than they are worth, because they are at a premium, and a team like the Cardinals can’t just shred their draft options for that.

(Now, if Justin Houston was being offered for a first-round pick, yes, I make that move. I’d think GM Steve Keim would too. But the Justin Houstons of the world aren’t being offered.)

That leaves the Cardinals wanting on the pass rush. Yes, I’d think that will be the top target of the offseason, whether it is through free agency or the draft (or even both.) But the offseason is the offseason. That doesn’t help now.

The Cardinals have only seven sacks in seven games, and two of those are from defensive backs and one is from an inside linebacker. It’s no secret the Cards are blitz-happy out of necessity. It’s the only way they can generate consistent pressure, and it’s been a Todd Bowles staple, with the Cards blitzing about half the time. Would more sacks be welcome? Of course. But Bruce Arians sounds OK with the results so far. The last play Sunday is a great example. The Cardinals brought the blitz. They couldn’t sack Nick Foles — they couldn’t sack him all day, through 62 pass attempts — but it was the heavy pressure up the middle that forced Foles to backpedal and throw off his back foot. Jordan Matthews had been open in the back of the end zone, but the bad throw under pressure gave safety Rashad Johnson just enough time to recover and make sure the pass wasn’t completed.

“The thing we want to do defensively is be disruptive,” Arians said. “I thought we were disruptive (against Philadelphia). We created turnovers. Yardage doesn’t really matter. We want to lead the league in points (allowed) and we want to lead the league in sacks and turnovers. Sacks are the one thing that are obviously down, but there are disruptions there.”

At this time last year, the Cardinals had 19 sacks, en route to 47 on the season. A big part of that was John Abraham’s 11.5, and obviously losing Abraham — when the team had been counting on him to create some of those sacks — has left a mark. It was interesting to see that Marcus Benard is part of the outside linebacker rotation to create pressure, when Benard was one of the guys originally cut to add outside linebacker Thomas Keiser, who has mostly been inactive. Getting Calais Campbell back on the field will help, but it is, as Keim has said, beating a dead horse when talking about the Cardinals and creating/finding more of a pass rush.

The snap breakdown for the defensive line/outside linebackers against the Eagles, on 92 defensive snaps (92 – yikes!): Okafor 69, Acho 65, Campbell 62, Kelly 62, Stinson 51, Rucker 31, Dan Williams 18, Benard 16, Martin 10.

 

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Posted in Blog | 49 Comments »


49 Responses to “Lacking sacks, Cards blitz for “distruptions””

  1. By John The Draft Guy on Oct 29, 2014 | Reply

    Akeem Ayers was grabbed by New England for a 6th and 7th.

    Ayers had a sack in his first game for NE sunday.
    He also can play inside and outside, giving him versatility the cards could use.

    A productive LB at UCLA, had a nice 2012 as a 4-3 OLB. Injuring both knees limited him in 2013 and was in Horton’s doghouse.

    He was a pretty easy target, with a very low price tag.

    To say no one was out there isn’t true. Now is Ayers the answer? Only time will tell, but for a 6th and 7th, it was a no brainer to bring him in.

    Worst case, he would have given us depth on a team that has had multiple injuries, a ILB (Foote) who thought he was only playing 6 games, and two OLBs, who were out all last year.

    Seems like to me a missed opportunity.

  2. By Darren Urban on Oct 29, 2014 | Reply

    JTDG —

    RE: Ayers

    You assume the Cardinals believe Ayers is better than Okafor. Or Acho. Or Benard. If they do not, why would you give up draft picks for someone you don’t believe in?

  3. By John The Draft Guy on Oct 29, 2014 | Reply

    KC used their first round pick on a pass rusher (what a novel idea), which seemed to make Houston, a FA at the end of the year, available.

    The issue became, Houston went off, posting 10 sacks already and KC is still in the race. Many thought that Tamba Hali then might be available, but with his 12 million salary, most teams don’t have that kind of room. Also, again, KC is in the race and not ready to dump a vet and go with the rookie.

    Next year, Hali will have a 12 million cap hit with only 2 million of dead money. With KC needing to open the bank for Houston, Hali most likely will be released. I also believe that Orakpo will be available, as the skins used their first pick on a pass rusher and have Kerrigan having a great year.

    Funny, two teams who already had pass rushers used their first pick to take another. While teams who need one, passed.

  4. By John The Draft Guy on Oct 29, 2014 | Reply

    Darren,

    I have no idea how Keim and the cards feel about players. They just won’t return my calls.🙂

    But, in my opinion, I liked Ayers coming out of UCLA. I must admit, I don’t watch a lot of Titan games, but I do know he played in a 4-3 and produced, till injuries hit.

    I know the cards have a shot at being a super bowl contender.

    I know the cards for the last two years keep bringing in guys and then cutting them, looking for that pass rusher.

    With those facts, it seems logical (obviously it did to NE) to grab the guy for not a lot and see what he can do. Especially a guy with versatility.

    He rewarded NE with a sack after joining the team for a couple days, while Keim is still beating that dead horse.

  5. By beardinals on Oct 29, 2014 | Reply

    I think all of the fans can agree that Keim and Co. know a lot more about football than us and they have proven they will do what it takes to get quality players.

    I think all of the people who love to “play GM” are cute and all, but c’mon!!

  6. By Nor cal cards fan on Oct 29, 2014 | Reply

    Dumpster Dan only played 18 out of 92 snaps, and Alameda was a healthy scratch..? Last season both of these guys were receiving praise from the coaching staff for their stellar D line play, now they can barely get on the field..if at all. Has their play regressed that much? It’s a bit alarming, considering the lack of depth among the front seven.

  7. By Dynosoar on Oct 29, 2014 | Reply

    JTDG,

    another thought, maybe Ayers (and/or others) have been given offers and turned them down.

    Now I have a hard time believing someone wouldn’t want to play for the Cardinals right now, but it is possible.

    I’m with you, I’d love a decent pass rush and we had one in the offseason at draft time with Washington and Abraham, but like with our injuries we’ve been dealt a different hand than what was planned.

    No battle plan remains intact after contact with the enemy.

    Please don’t see my comments as disagreeing, I’m just looking at things from two different perspectives. IF D-Was and John had remained active, this discussion would be about something else.

  8. By Marlin on Oct 29, 2014 | Reply

    Dan Williams just doesn’t see as much action (past two seasons) as I thought he would have. He’s a good player…….But with Kelly and Ta’amu and Gaston……Calais and the two rookies…….Frostee…….etc……I don’t see Williams coming back next season. Nose tackles don’t get big bucks these days and he’ll be in demand.

  9. By azqfan on Oct 29, 2014 | Reply

    Darren, It’s because JTDG obviously thinks he knows more about the guy than Steve Keim. He had one sack, big deal. He can’t be that good or the Titans, whose defense stinks, would not have traded him.

    JTDG, for you to think trading 2 picks for Ayers makes me question your name.

    Good god man, get over the man crush on Ayers.

    This is NOT fantasy football. maybe he is a problem in the locker room? Maybe there are other factors? I will certainly give Keim the benefit of the doubt. Probably a reason he was GM of the year last year, and we are 6-1, and giving up 2 picks for a borderline bubble roster guy is not the way to do it.

  10. By Brad oneill on Oct 29, 2014 | Reply

    I think Acho has quite a bit of potential he may still be being slowed by his injury or maybe its the scheme but i wouldnt give up on him yet he seems to almost be there.

  11. By Dynosoar on Oct 29, 2014 | Reply

    We are 6-1 and tied for the best record in the NFL (well, as far as win-loss). So something is going right and I have to think with a healthy Palmer and another nine regular season games and two postseason games Bowles will keep figuring out how to limit other team’s offenses scoring and our offense will begin putting up much bigger numbers.

    I know a better pass rush generating sacks is the typical formula.

    What is awesome about our coaching staff and player execution is this, without the typical formula we’re the top of the pile (so far). The typical formula calls for pressure in the form of sacks to turn over the ball (downs, interceptions, punts, etc.)

    Our staff doesn’t have the pieces to do this so they’re finding different ways to create pressure and are still getting the ball back in Palmer’s hands often enough we are winning.

    Read Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War.” It’s all there. With our stopping the run (and that includes the Kaepernick’s (sp) of the League) the QB’s have to rely on their arm and we have the best secondary, so while they put up gaudy numbers, we win the game.

  12. By SteveG on Oct 29, 2014 | Reply

    Really need a “block” option on the comments here for some of the more repetitive blowhards…..

  13. By Dynosoar on Oct 29, 2014 | Reply

    We’re not sacking the QB which forces them to play our game, not their’s. How many times did we lose because Whizenhunt abandoned the run and went to the air only. We’re forcing other teams to do exactly what cost us all those games and him his job.

    Instead of chasing the QB, we stop the run and force the QB to throw to our secondary. If we chased the QB more, we’d have more sacks at the cost of stopping the run.

    I don’t care how we do it or don’t do it if there’s a “W” at the end of 60 minutes of play.

  14. By Dynosoar on Oct 29, 2014 | Reply

    My last thought on pass rushing (or lack thereof) has to do with the Broncos.

    IF we meet them in the Super Bowl, I believe Arians and Bowles and Goodwin have enough on tape from our previous game to have a solid plan in place to do to them something similar to what was done to them in last years Super Bowl.

    Someone has said they believe Bowles loses the first half to understand an opponent so he can beat them in the second half. Consider our first game with the Broncos the first half. The Super Bowl is the second half where we win.

    I’m not thinking pie in the sky, just not thinking the sky is falling. (Although, if there was pie in the sky I’d love for it to be falling.)

    We have some very tough opponents in our last nine games and each of those nine opponents has the Cardinals in their future, a tough(er) opponent. Let them fear us!

  15. By jason on Oct 29, 2014 | Reply

    I didn’t see the game but I’ll agree with JTDG that Ayers had a big debut with the Patriot’s last Sunday. Was is due to the lopsided score that he was just able to pin his ears back and get after the QB? I’d have to see a bigger sample size before I say the Cardinals made a mistake by not going after this guy.

    We are doing what we have to do to get pressure and if you think about the pieces we lost from last season it should be expected that we’re having problems rushing the passer. Dansby, Washington, Dockett, Abraham and Campbell accounted for 34.5 sacks last year or 73% of our total number of sacks. With the late losses of Washington, Abraham and Dockett along with the injury to Campbell it wasn’t realistic for Keim to be able to replace that kind of production. I look forward to Campbell coming back full strength which will help, but we are in desperate need of an upgrade next season.

  16. By georgiebird on Oct 29, 2014 | Reply

    Back in the 1970 season, the Cardinals had 3 consecutive shutouts- including the most surprising game outcome in Cards’ history- a 38-0 thumping of the Super Bowl bound Cowboys in the Cotton Bowl in the 3rd Monday night football game ever..
    After those three shutouts, the blitzing Cards defense of 1970 was exposed and the losses began to mount. Don’t forget, the Cardinals’ of the 1960s with Larry Wilson were probably the team who popularized the all-out safety blitz.
    My feeling is that the 2014 team has more play makers and much better athletes than the 1970 team. It’s up to Todd Bowles to figure out better/different ways to get his top athletes to sack the QB.
    In the game against the Eagles, it seemed our blitzers were running into one another more than they were running into the opposition.
    Waiting for Okafer, Stinson, Martin and Acho to get to the next level. And don’t underestimate Tom Keiser- what he lacks in physical tools he makes up for it with a good “nose” for the QB.
    And unless you’re a Lawrence Taylor, it’s better to have speed guys blitz off the edge; guys like Jefferson, Bucannon and Bethel (like he does on FGs).
    I’m another guy who would rather see Romo than Weeded.

  17. By Erik on Oct 29, 2014 | Reply

    I really don’t understand how JTDG keeps getting thumbs down. It is so obviously the weakness of this team and just as he stated, there have been players available. I don’t understand why Keiser has been inactive. I would like to see him get a lot of snaps in a game because he at least seems able to get around the edge. I was so hopeful after the Okafor two sack game, but it seems to me at this point he is a one trick pony, only using the bull rush. That is just not going to consistently work at his size.

    You have to assume Ayers is better than what the Cardinals have simply because he has actually produced at some point. I love this team, but can we beat Denver in the Superbowl without getting to Manning? Probably not.

  18. By LadyBird04 on Oct 29, 2014 | Reply

    Our linebackers are at least “servicable” and I don’t use the word in a derragatory manner. I don’t blame Keim & Company for not going for a “maybe” player just to do something. We know what we have, and they know the playbook. Any player brought in at this point would need to learn all new terminology and for us to take on a “maybe” player at this point of the season wouldn’t help us for at least 2-3 weeks. (See Grice)

    Now, if we could get a tier 1 linebacker, with a reasonable cap hit, with a reasonable contract, then yes. But as they say, “If wishes were horses…”

  19. By georgiebird on Oct 29, 2014 | Reply

    Darren,
    Let me first say that I am not a fan of JTDG. But in his blog, he mentioned the possibility of acquiring Akeem Ayers from the Titans. You took the stand that Ayers was not worth a 6th and 7th draft choices the Titans got from the Pats..
    The point here is that you constantly agree with what the organization is doing and to your credit, this FO is making better moves than any Cards’ organization I can remember.
    But once in a while, it would be refreshing to hear you say that one of us has come up with a thought or criticism that makes sense and goes against what the organization has done or failed to do. You can file it under the “blind squirrel” or “broken clock” theories of problem solving.
    And we all know that if the Titans got a 6 and 7 from the Pats for Ayers then Whiz would have asked the Cards for a 3 and a 4.

  20. By Darren Urban on Oct 29, 2014 | Reply

    Georgie —

    RE: Criticism

    I believe I have done that in the past. Maybe not to you personally.

    Look I get that JTDG wanted Ayers. He’s made that clear. My point was simply that the Cardinals might not see Ayers as any better as someone they already have — so why give up picks for him? Maybe the Patriots see him differently. Maybe Keim was willing to give up one pick but not two. I do not know. But in the Ayers case, JTDG keeps bringing it up when I and everyone else know how he stands. It’s kind of like you and your thumbs-down on every linebacker that’s played here since 1960.

    I will say this. Keim has made it clear multiple times his franchise view is always through a three-year prism. At no point is he going to ravage a future draft to take a guy who “might” work out. If, say, Justin Houston became available, then I can see it. But he likes his picks far to much to give two for a guy who’s had multiple major surgeries.

  21. By Patrick Hoog aka Don't Take Losses on Oct 29, 2014 | Reply

    Good article Urb. “…leaves the Cardinals wanting on the pass rush…” Perhaps. I’d offer that it leaves the Cards “working” on the pass rush. My bet is we’ll get more as we go. Sunday a good opportunity to find it…

  22. By Austin S on Oct 29, 2014 | Reply

    JTDG-

    With Steve Keim as GM our late round picks have become more valuable. Don’t forget where Ellington came from.

  23. By Ray ray on Oct 29, 2014 | Reply

    Bring back dontay moch his on bengals practice squad

  24. By John The Draft Guy on Oct 29, 2014 | Reply

    Darren and Austin;

    Keim picks in the 6th and 7th-
    6th round – Ryan Swopes (out of NFL)
    6th round – Andre Ellington (starting RB)
    7th round – DC Jefferson (cut by cards)
    6th round – Walt Powell (cut by cards)

    You be the judge.

  25. By Darren Urban on Oct 29, 2014 | Reply

    JTDG —

    RE: Picks

    Never said it’s worked out.

    But the piece you don’t know is what they think of Ayers.

    So you think they are sitting back saying, “Ayers could help us and we think he’s good, but we don’t want to trade for him just to keep picks”?

    Because that doesn’t track with a GM that hasn’t had trouble pulling the trigger on moves so far.

  26. By Scott H on Oct 29, 2014 | Reply

    Not that it matters now, but I just can’t help feeling really perturbed by the whole John Abraham situation and how it ultimately played out. His absence from the team and their activities throughout the summer was just odd and it had a very foreboding feel to it. For me, anyway. Obviously, the team had to have SOME idea of what was going on. And they don’t have to tell us anything they don’t want to. It doesn’t matter that I / we didn’t know what was going on. What matters is that there was clearly the expectation that he was gonna be back and ready to go and was still gonna provide a pass rush comparable to what he provided last year.

    The longer his return took just increased my general feeling that this WAS gonna be a problem. Then, a concussion in Week 1 and…well, that was that. Yes or no, it just didn’t FEEL like John Abraham was physically OR mentally ready to play football. And when it fell through, there went the guy who led the team in sacks last year. And what are we so obviously lacking in now? A pass rush.

    All of this is NOT meant to criticize the team for not being prepared for what happened. But it does prompt some wonder as to whether this was remotely expected or if it just blew everyone out of the water at the point that it was too late to really do anything about it. All of the other losses on the defensive side just eroded the pass rush even further.

    All the more reason why if Arians is NOT the coach of the year this season, then it SHOULD be Todd Bowles! Because NO defense in the league is doing more with less than the Cardinals, that is for damn sure. Nothing shy of amazing.

  27. By John The Draft Guy on Oct 29, 2014 | Reply

    Darren:

    “But in the Ayers case, JTDG keeps bringing it up when I and everyone else know how he stands.”
    It was the topic of you blog article!!! I didn’t bring up the topic.

    You wrote ” you just don’t trade decent pass rushers” .
    I actually agree, but like Bilicheck and the Pats, I felt he was worth a shot for Walt Powell and DC Jefferson.

    “At no point is he going to ravage a future draft to take a guy who “might” work out.” – Ravage a draft? 3 of the 4 guys were cut and as this roster gets stronger, it will be harder for late rounders to make this team (see Powell).

    azqfan,

    “He had one sack, big deal.”
    That would place him tied in second on this team.

  28. By John The Draft Guy on Oct 29, 2014 | Reply

    Jason,

    ” Dansby, Washington, Dockett, Abraham and Campbell accounted for 34.5 sacks last year or 73% of our total number of sacks.”

    There is one OLB in that bunch and he was what , 36 yrs old? I am not talking about DE’s or ILBs. The issue is we need OLBs. And Don’t give me Shaughnessy because he is not an edge rusher.

    So what I am hearing is Keim had no way of knowing a 36 yr old OLB might get hurt and now we can’t recover?

  29. By BirdsSTC on Oct 29, 2014 | Reply

    I got your back Darren

  30. By georgiebird on Oct 29, 2014 | Reply

    Darren,
    The point of my post was NOT to say we should have taken Ayers. The point was to say that there has got to be a time or two a year when one of us may have a better take on a problem than the organization does. As an analogy, in the same way, the “Random Walk” theory of picking stocks can trump the best stock picker in the country. We are the ones throwing the darts, we have to hit the bulls eye once in a while. When we do -give us credit.
    And yes Darren, after 50 something years, I’m still waiting for one of our linebackers to be a perennial All-Pro- like a top 5 linebacker in the NFL.

  31. By Alex on Oct 29, 2014 | Reply

    i am bit shocked that dan williams just played 18 snaps…i thought he is the guy from last year front seven w/ calais, and he will be one of the leaders of our defense sooner rather than later. what have happened? he isnt as good as he was, or just our rookies getting better and better? i always watch our games, but i couldn’t really focus on the substitutions of the d-line.
    anyway, i can not imagine from Hungary that a home-field-superbowl how affects the whole season and how affects the local fans, but in mind it equals a dream-come-true feeling. So, i understand the pass-rush problem and the (non) possibilities, but i think, because of that year, and because of 6-1, maybe Keim should have got a pass rusher in exchange for a higher draft pick. But yeah, if no one was available, its a hard thing…it is the only hole in the team, in a home field superbowl year, w 6-1…and just one guy.. lets ask for santa claus.

  32. By Eazy E on Oct 30, 2014 | Reply

    We’re missing so many pass rushers(Dockett, Calais for 2 games, Shaughnessy, Abraham, Washington, and Dansby) along with others we’re a gargantuan part of our pass rush, and all but Calais as of now are gone whether by injury, suspension, or they left. It’s kinda like, what do you expect us to do, NOT BLITZ with all those losses?! We’re going to blitz anyway because that’s our philosophy whether it’s with Ray Horton or Todd Bowles, but we HAVE to do it anyways!

  33. By shannon robinson on Oct 30, 2014 | Reply

    Don’t forget we have my favorite coach, Pass Rush Specialist Coach Tom Pratt! He’s working diligently to break through with our young Outside Linebackers and get some sacks – Hook ’em Horns! Dan Williams will get twice the snaps this week versus Dallas. The Cards really value him and he will be re-signed to a good contract. Ask Ron Wolfley, have you ever tried to move a dumpster? There is a huge difference in stopping Shady McCoy versus the Cowboys running attack. I’m irritated to hear complaints about roster makeup at this stage of our campaign. Our first round pick covered the Eagles TE in the closing seconds knocking away a TD pass that would have broken our hearts last year. I enjoy JTDG’s intense analysis, just remember he’s as wrong as often as I am. No, Minter, the Centaur, is not a disappointment, Stephon Taylor is an exceptional running back, and a great draft pick, and it was the pass rush that won the game for us Sunday. It’s not possible to have a great team like ours, be 6-1 with the best record in the NFC and still not have problems to solve. We have a roster you have to study each week, but for the Cards to put a team on the field that wins games on the last play or series or possession is marvelous – ask BA why he called the same play twice against us on the last play in the Super Bowl. Just win baby.

  34. By jason on Oct 30, 2014 | Reply

    JTDG-

    Pressure/sacks produce the same results no matter where they come from. If you’re comfortable with the pressure you are able to bring with your DE’s and ILB’s and you have a player like Abraham returning along with Acho and Okafor coming off of IR and you re-signed Shaunessy then I can see why OLB wasn’t a need during the draft.

    If there was an edge rusher that Keim thought was going to be an impact player when the Cards were on the clock he would’ve taken him. Keim has proven that he is an exceptional GM and so I’m positive that he is aware of the premium put on having an elite edge rusher.

    Finally, whether or not you are a fan of what Keim has produced in the draft you have to admit that he is an above average evaluator of talent if you encompass his free agent signings as well and therefore I’m comfortable with him passing on Ayers. If Ayers continues his strong play it might be a miss…but no one is perfect.

  35. By joe67 on Oct 30, 2014 | Reply

    I also wish we had more sacks, but, “hurries” can sometimes be just as effective as a sack. “Hurries” quite often create intercepts. Coach is right about being disruptive, but like all coaches I’m sure he would like more sacks.

    One thought on the trade we are all discussing. If they were offered a 6 & 7 that means we probably would have to give more, maybe a 5 & 7. How much ARE you willing to give??

  36. By rdixon50 on Oct 30, 2014 | Reply

    Darren,

    Don’t argue with JTDG. It belittles your position. Just know that he thinks he’s correct, and you’re representing what you think the Cards’ opinions are, without having the actual facts. Big difference between the two.

  37. By Kevin S Mesa on Oct 30, 2014 | Reply

    Whether they specifically looked at Ayers and said, we’d give up one pick but not two, or simply didn’t feel he was the guy for our team, or whatever — I’ll never know.

    Keim is aware of the issue around the pass rush and I’m quite sure he’s trying to address it.

    I like reading JDTG’s and others’ posts on these things because it’s why we’re here… I learn a ton from this blog. If we didn’t have strong opinions we wouldn’t be bothering to post on a blog. That said, I don’t operate under the delusion that just because a fan can put together a hypothetical trade that he thinks benefits the team, therefore the GM should have done that trade. It’s interesting fodder for discussion.

    Also let’s not be too selective in our arguments (and that goes in both directions). Darren makes a point that a 6th round pick could be Andre Ellington and then JDTG points out that our other 6th and 7th rounders in Keim’s tenure are all guys who didn’t make the team. At that point I think it’s a draw. Then in his later post JDTG says he thinks going after Ayers was worth a shot “for Walt Powell and DC Jefferson” — so now we’re assuming again that those picks are basically going to be for guys who aren’t even going to make the team.

    There’s two sides to every trade story. OK, the Pats thought it was worth it for a 6th and 7th rounder. But that means the Titans were willing to part with him for only a 6th and 7th rounder… which you’ve essentially just argued (by analogy to Powell and Jefferson) are close to worthless picks.

    I think JDTG’s better argument is what he’s been saying since the beginning which is that we should have targeted a pass rusher with our top draft pick. These arguments about grabbing a marginal guy like Ayers aren’t quite as persuasive.

    I’ll give the edge to Darren on this one.

  38. By Darren Urban on Oct 30, 2014 | Reply

    All —

    RE: “JTDG vs Darren”

    The last thing I’m trying to do is have some kind of competition. JTDG brings a lot to these comments. No one can argue that. I’m not trying to “beat” him in the argument either.

  39. By John The Draft Guy on Oct 30, 2014 | Reply

    Darren,

    I agree. I just voice my opinion. You voice yours. In the past, you might call me out on something and I might call you out, but it is just opinions.

    I guess I don’t get a world where everyone has to agree and think the same.

    To those who don’t like my post, oh well. I am not trying to please everyone. I am trying to make them think. Funny, usually I fall in line with drafts by the saints (I wanted Vacarro, Armstead and Stills in 2013) or what the Pats do (wanting Jamie Collins and Akeem Ayers) . Being that those two franchises have been successful and have super bowl wins, I can’t be that off.

  40. By John The Draft Guy on Oct 30, 2014 | Reply

    Jason,
    Always love to discuss with you because you stay focused on the point and don’t get emotional. I like people who 1) think for themselves 2) Are logical.

    I don’t care if people agree as long as they back up what they say with logic.

    With that, you make a good point. The pass rush does include everyone. If you get no push in the middle, speed guys will just go by as the QB steps up. So yes, there is a point there.

    Now with Ayers, it isn’t even so much the player as knowing our lack of pass rush needs something and doing nothing is not going to improve things.

    The point of Ayers is more taking a chance on a guy who could produce vs doing nothing and hoping for a new result. (definition of insanity)

    I think Keim did a great job with his hiring of BA. He did a great job with trading for Carson. Picking up Cro, Veldheer,Powers, Foote and others was huge.
    His draft, he got a real good one in Stinson, I like Bucannon, and John Brown is a playmaker. Ellington is a nice back and HB is a playmaking safety.

    He has done a great job and he will miss some.you are right.

    But you know my post. I don’t second guess, I put my stuff out there before hand and I don’t think it is a bad thing when I see a guy like Vaccaro in the draft and I say why take a guard. Then later I point out that a game like the rams or eagles last year kept us out of the playoffs because Keim missed on getting a quality safety, who was right in front of him.

    I have no doubt we are in the playoffs last year with a Vaccaro pick. Cooper was a mistake. No doubt about it. It cost us. I hope not finding someone (like Ayers) this year doesn’t cost us again.

  41. By John The Draft Guy on Oct 30, 2014 | Reply

    Kevin S Mesa,

    “I think JDTG’s better argument is what he’s been saying since the beginning which is that we should have targeted a pass rusher with our top draft pick. These arguments about grabbing a marginal guy like Ayers aren’t quite as persuasive.”

    I’m with you on that.

    The reason I went to a marginal player to take a chance on was the top guys weren’t going anywhere. Both Darren and I agree that Houston is staying in KC. Orakpo got injured, and older guys have a big price tags and won’t fit under the cap this year. Plus, giving up draft picks for old guys is never a good idea.

    So, putting everything together, I thought who “might” help us and be available, would not break the bank, and is fairly young. That lead to Akeem Ayers.

    Obviously, Keim didn’t come to the same conclusion. But for some reason, if you disagree with Keim, people get mad on this board. I can’t figure out why they can’t do what You, Darren and Jason did and put together an argument why I am wrong.

    When they throw insults or other dumb comments, it just makes me think they don’t know football, because that is all they got.

  42. By John The Draft Guy on Oct 30, 2014 | Reply

    joe67,

    I absolutely agree the pressures are just as important as sacks. But my argument is, how are we getting the pressure?

    If we were playing Warner and we had to send the house to get pressure on him, what would happen?

    But to your question, yeah a 5 and 7 might be too much. But if we both offered a 6 & 7, it would come down to who will end up further this year, the cards or Pats. Maybe you are right and we would have needed a 5.

    If Ayers was proven a little more, yes. But to take a chance, 5’s become valuable.

  43. By jason on Oct 30, 2014 | Reply

    Here are some free agent edge rushers that could be available next year:

    Justin Houston-he should be a priority for KC, which could make Hali expendable
    Jason Pierre-Paul-working on his 3rd straight disappointing season
    Pernell McPhee-has 4 sacks on the season in a reserve role
    Cliff Avril-has been quiet this year so far and at 29 maybe Seattle lets him test FA
    Jason Worilds-had 8 sacks last season
    Brian Orakapo-injuries have cut short 2 of his last 3 seasons
    Jerry Hughes-broke out with 10 sacks last year has 5.5 already this year
    Jabaal Sheard-consistently average

    It will be interesting how many of these players will be available and what they will be demanding monetarily.

  44. By John The Draft Guy on Oct 30, 2014 | Reply

    jason,

    As much as I want to believe he will be available, Justin Houston is not escaping KC next year. 3 straight double digit sacks years.

    JPP – not sure what’s wrong. But talk about disappointment after his huge 2011 season.

    McPhee- That’s a big boy. Grabbing someones back up, hoping he will be a star is dangerous.

    Avril – proving he was over rated leaving the lions.

    Worilds – interesting. potential, but potential gets you fired.

    Orakpo- injuries is an issue, but only 2 of his 6 seasons has he reached double digits. My favorite of the bunch but there is issues.

    Hughes- Myself and other posters wanted this guy in 2010. Instead, the cards went with Dan Williams. He flopped in Indy. Has been awesome with Buffalo.
    But remember, he is not the main guy in Buffalo (Super Mario), so is he benefitting from his situation (see Avril) Still, my second choice.

    Sheard- My first thought when Horton went there last year is Sheard is gone. He just fits DE better in a 4-3. I don’t see him as a fit, but I didn’t think Shaughnessy was either.

    But let me throw out one more name to keep an eye on. Cameron Wake.
    Why? Vernon (the other end) is a double digit guy whose contract ends in 2015, They drafted Dion Jordon #3 overall. If Jordon pulls his head out, can you keep Wake at 10 million and pay both Jordon and Vernon?
    Throw in the fact that Tannehill and Pouncey are due, Wake could be a salary cap casualty.

    This could be the top target. Cameron Wake.

  45. By JohnnyBluenose on Oct 30, 2014 | Reply

    Dan Williams is a first round draft pick, taken 26th over-all in 2010. We moved up in the second round to take Daryl Washington. One would think that those picks should be reversed. Neither pick has worked out as desired but at least DWash was a playmaker. It is hard for Williams to make plays from the bench. Hopefully he has not run out of opportunities and he will still get a chance to prove that he is worthy of such a lofty pick. No chance though for the player taken at #25, just before Williams. That ship has sailed….Tim Tebow is long gone.

  46. By John The Draft Guy on Oct 30, 2014 | Reply

    jason,

    Forgot one other guy.

    Junior Gillette of the saints. He is due a 12.5 million dollar bonus next year and the saints are most likely over the cap in 2015. Do they redo Gillette’s contract? Possibly. But someone to keep an eye on.

  47. By clssylssy on Oct 31, 2014 | Reply

    Now that we are at the halfway mark, and it’s apparent we’re not going to pick up a pass rusher, we have plenty of tape to review and see what has worked so far and what some of the differences are in last years defense to adjust accordingly. One glaring difference I see is the lack of sacks which I would imagine our defensive players would be thinking about as this is one of the measuring sticks when looking at a defensive player’s career in retrospect and consideration of the Hall etc. We began the season #1 against the run and have dropped to #3 already because we are not getting pressure on the QB and are allowing offenses to pick up yards, not only passing (where we are around the bottom) but also on the ground. While our defense is still considered pretty scary, there is much room for improvement and we simply cannot allow those breakout runs to score that we’ve seen lately. If we could have held Manning down like we did Wilson last year, the Denver game would likely had a different ending; we did it against Kaepernick? I think this team, despite the injuries and substitutions, are still capable of rising to the occasion.
    I love that this team has played with a “team first” mentality and functioned as a smooth running cohesive unit, but I also think there is room for individual goals; when one guy succeeds in being a sack master or picking off interceptions or achieving the most TDs or rushing yards etc., the entire team shares in these achievements. If the success of an organization is measured by the strengths of it’s employees, working towards individual goals, measurable objectives and time frames within the framework of the team, might help as we enter the crunch time of the home stretch. The Redskins won by bringing pressure on the Dallas QB; we need to do even better–sacks go a long way psychologically! LET’S DO IT!

  48. By Kevin S Mesa on Oct 31, 2014 | Reply

    Clssylssy —

    I wouldn’t put too much stock in the difference between 3rd and 1st OA in rushing. First of all, it’s a difference of 5 yards a game (over only 7 games), so you’re talking about 35 yards. Second of all, we are tied for 1st in average yards per rush which is probably the better measure anyway. Now, don’t get me wrong, Denver has a good defense too, but part of the reason Denver is leading the league in rushing yards per game is that they are almost always ahead by double digits so the opponent spends the whole second half passing.

    And as far as being last in passing yards, yes, that’s a bigger concern, but there’s a few reasons for that… Bowles is taking chances (so we’re getting burned sometimes but we’re also tied for 3rd in INT’s, and two of the teams in the top 4 have played 8 games to our 7 so we’re actually ahead of everyone but the Giants in INT’s per game). Also, teams are passing against us all the time because the run D is so effective (41 attempts per game, 3rd in league). And on top of that, the teams we’ve played so far are, in general, good passing teams on average… we’ve played the 3rd, 4th, 7th, and 9th highest-rated teams in passing yards per game and no one in the bottom quartile. Finally, as good as Peyton is, the Denver game is something of an anomaly… especially after we put Thomas in, we could do nothing on O and the D was gassed and he piled up a ton of yards. Is that really the D’s fault? Take out the Denver game and our passing yards per game drops by around 30… still not good, but not standing out like a sore thumb either.

    I just saw Arians quoted recently as saying the only defensive stat that he cared about is points per game. I agree. I don’t mind if we give up some yards as long as we can force turnovers and, when needed, hold the opponent to FG’s instead of touchdowns.

  49. By clssylssy on Nov 1, 2014 | Reply

    @Kevin in Mesa…
    You are correct and I agree with you in principal, however, I don’t like “settling” for less than we are capable of and a “getting by” mentality. It’s the old “aim for the stars and you might land in the treetops” thing LOL! It’s the philosophy of holding oneself to a higher standard.
    As long as were’re winning, whatever works…I’m not a stats person and have always believed that the Cards were a much better team than was reflected on paper and it was the play on the field that really matters. You’d be surprised at the “experts” and multitude of fans who can’t see beyond the numbers on a page!

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