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Panthers playoff aftermath

Posted by Darren Urban on January 3, 2015 – 10:53 pm

The Cardinals didn’t have enough. They just didn’t, and while Bruce Arians said he doesn’t buy into that line of thinking – “We have to gameplan to win games” – it doesn’t make it any less true. For weeks even some of the players kept noting that eventually, Next Man Up would run out of bodies. It wasn’t just the quarterback situation, even though that was the most important position. Guys looked like they wore down in certain positions, and that’s what happens when you ask some guys to play at an ultra-high level for so many games and so many plays above what you originally intended.

It spoke to their effort that the Cards won 11 games, and to the coaching. That’s why Bruce Arians insisted there was no missed opportunity, because the Cardinals with what they had created the big season in the first place. I get the teeth gnashing and frustration over certain parts of both Saturday and the end of the season. But this was a good season, it was the most wins this franchise has had in Arizona, and it was another step forward under the Steve Keim/Arians regime.

That said, there are a ton of difficult and major decisions coming in the offseason and a lot of important question marks. I’m not going to address them all here now, because that’s what the coming weeks are for and I’m sure I will post about them soon (and often, I’m guessing my Larry Fitzgerald post from Friday will be the first of a few between now and early March, when his roster bonus comes due.)

— I’d have to dig it out, and I’m not sure if I tweeted it or wrote it in a post or said it on a podcast or on the radio, but at some point I know I said something along the lines – in regards to Logan Thomas as being raw – “if you are down to your third-string quarterback, you’re in trouble anyway.” That’s what the Cardinals had at the end, even if the third-stringer eventually became Ryan Lindley because Thomas was so raw he dropped on the depth chart.

That’s the NFL. You lose your best quarterback – and that’s assuming you have someone who you think is good, and the Cardinals believe they have that in Carson Palmer – and the road will be difficult. Everyone knew that’s what would happen with Lindley, and that’s what did happen. The Cardinals got the turnovers Saturday night and were trying to make it work, but the margin for error was thin at best, and had been for the last month.

— The officials had a bad game, starting when Ed Hoculi tried to give the Panthers the win of the coin toss when the Cardinals, in fact, had just correctly called it. Arians was right, it wasn’t why the Cards lost. But a couple of the calls didn’t help, particularly the Michael Floyd non-pass interference.

— Top things, in my mind, the Cardinals need to upgrade in the offseason (assuming there isn’t a good quarterback there to be drafted and Palmer is the choice for 2015): Linebacker (both inside and outside), more speed on offense, more defensive line depth. These things can change if certain veterans aren’t back.

— Defensive coordinator Todd Bowles will now organize his head coaching interviews. He reportedly has five teams that want to talk to him. I’ll be surprised if he interviews with all five.

— I’ll also be curious to see if Bowles leaving, if it happened, would be the only change on the coaching staff or if Arians makes any moves.

— I think, with the way Drew Butler finished up, Dave Zastudil has to be confident when he comes back this offseason.

— Arians, on the missed tackles in the game: “Missed tackling, that was way overblown for this game, that’s not even the story line.”

— That’s about it. Going to try and get a little rest on this flight back. The final locker room cleanout and wrap-up interviews are early tomorrow morning. And then we’re into the offseason.

CAR.LindleyThrowUSE


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89 Responses to “Panthers playoff aftermath”

  1. By Ottis Anderson Fan on Jan 3, 2015 | Reply

    As crazy as it seems, at this point in time, I get the feeling that this team could easily finish 5-11 next year. Yes, this year was an oddity with the injuries, but if the brain trust can’t figure out a way to make this offense more productive, especially early in games, the defense will be out-of-gas by game 12. I’d be really interested in knowing the final season time of possession stats. I would be surprised if the Card’s defense played a full one to two more games than the offense did in 2014.

  2. By SkeltonsRevenge on Jan 3, 2015 | Reply

    Darren, pretty fair assessment I must say, I also credit Lindley for hanging in and that is pretty much it. It was as expected and to be frank I fault Arians in the end for trusting that we could actually win a playoff game with Lindley or Thomas. That in my opinion was just arrogance built up by having a winning season.

    The Panthers challenged Lindley and his limited offensive passing attack to air it and he couldn’t end of story. To win in the playoffs given Stanton’s injury we needed to get a QB after Palmer was declared out for the season. One that had actually won games and could pull out a win under tough circumstances, one where he could have learn’t the system under Stanton before his injury ! By waiting so long it put the overall team in a situation where it had to win with the D and running game. Today was an obvious outcome and there were QB’s that were far better than Lindley available. Firstly in keeping him to begin with we sowed the seeds of today’s defeat. It seemed almost like a favour by BA to have him around. Thomas is practice squad material as proven in practice and games. We should have kept Skelton and worked out the kinks and seen what he was like with a decent line. Once again he went 6-2 down the stretch in 2011 pulling out wins in the second half. The latter is what Lindley was and always will be incapable of doing, ditto Thomas.

    We should have signed Skelton or Rex Grossman, both are capable given a decent line and have won tough games. Skelton winning four overtime games speaks volumes no matter what anyone says given that he was basically a rookie from the Patriot league. He would have matched Stanton or better and could have learn’t from Palmer. Today we saw what we knew in our gut. Last weeks SF game was a nothing game with a banged up SF secondary. Lindley shocked cause he actually did something beyond our memory of the Jets game !

    RIP Ryan Lindley, I like you but you are not going to come in and win the game for us. Kolb did it (as he should have given salary) as did Skelton, both maligned but they won games coming in with a brutal line and running game. Kolb turned around the opening Seattle game in 2012 although Skelton probably would have won it.

    We deserved better from Arians, he plays the… oh I knew him on such and such team let’s sign him. We needed a QB for the playoffs and many were available, if Lindley had completely bombed in SF who would we have turned to at that point ?

  3. By Daniel Sotelo on Jan 3, 2015 | Reply

    What happened to the defense is my question. The run defense? That was the greatest strength of the team. They couldn’t stop anyone for last 3 weeks or so. That’s what concerned me and also Ginn and butler need to go. With all that being said IF Palmer was still playing we probably wouldn’t be watching a game today cause we would have a bye, but it is what it is either way I’m proud of what they accomplished this season after all the key players they lost even Zasty. After the horrendous kicking today man us fans missed Zasty. Go cards

  4. By Todd C on Jan 3, 2015 | Reply

    This team did have an overachieving season mainly due the defense and Bowles coaching the defense. But as good as that was, the offensive coaching and play calling was putrid all season even with Palmer. How many up the middle calls for no gain or a loss did the cards have in this game and all season? And so many of those calls with 8 ot 9 defenders in the box? I coach je high football and any of us would know you cannot run through a brick wall and would adjust the scheme to make them pay for stacking the box with short high percentage passes, slant routes and dump offs to the backs. Where were the misdirection plays that other teams succeeded on with us? Where was the short high percentage passing game? Where were the passes to the tight ends? And when Lindley failed miserably in his first games, what do you have to lose trying a read option short passing scheme with Thomas or signing a Saavy vet QB and giving them a shot. Years ago the Cards were forced to do that and got Bryan Hoyer who did an admirable job with the Cards and did better than Johnny Football in Cleveland this year. As great as Keim and Arians did rebuilding the team and patching together a competent team with all the injuries, they completely blew it when filling the most important position at QB. Hell both Lindley and Thomas could barely complete over 50% of passes in college so ehat makes the Cards think that suddenly will change? I can tell you Aaron Rodgers, Andrew Luck, Peyton Manning, Big Ben werent 50% passers in college. Please Keim, go find better QBs as there is no guarantee Palmer ever recovers fully given his age and even if he does is prone to be hurt again. If you cannot figure out a way to draft Mariotta then go find another Kurt Warner playing in Canada or arena league or backing up somewhere and load this team with several quality QBs and big running backs that don’t get hurt all the time. And for Gods sake draft a real pass rusher in the first round this time. Isn’t it about time to end the curse of not drafting Suggs when we could have had him? And finally after this long vent, Coach Arians we love you for rebuilding this team but please don’t make the same arrogant head coaching decision Whusenhunt did and think you are the best to call the offense and find a real innovative iffensuve coach to call the plays and let him do it. Someone in the Patriots or Green Bay iffensuve staff. These guys succeed year in and out even with injuries. Thank you for the 11 win season and listening. God bless and best of luck next season.

  5. By Steve on Jan 3, 2015 | Reply

    Darren: For what it’s worth I think the Cards will have the 24th pick in the draft based on the losing wild card teams strength of schedule. Hats off to you again for another great season of blogs, well written articles and game reports for all of us fans who support and follow the team.

  6. By Cactus jeff on Jan 4, 2015 | Reply

    How do u go into a game with Lindley at QB. They had 3 weeks to prepare, anything would have been better,I mean anything. BA/Keim let the team/fans down. Know one with any IQ goes to battle with him at QB. Embarrassing and shameful. If they aren’t idiots I can only conclude they gave up on the season. Pitiful.

  7. By Canadian Redbird on Jan 4, 2015 | Reply

    Looking back at the season, I believe that it was very entertaining from a fan perspective. Although its easy to get consumed with what didn’t happen on Saturday, there were lots of games that we all felt proud to be wearing Cardinal Red. The interest in the Valley is continuing to grow evidenced by the crowds and fanfare around each home game. The coaching staff did a fantastic job with all the injuries.

    Not sure what Stanton’s status is but we definitely have to find a QB for the long term. Not so easy when your picking 24th or so in the draft. What we desperately need to upgrade is a punter that can impact field position, if that means taking one int the 4th or 5th rounds, then so be it. Zastudil has been injury prone during his term as a Cardinal.

    I really cant see Ginn fitting into our plans. He makes too many mental errors in returning kicks and punts. For a guy thats been inn the league this long, that shouldn’t be happening and probably indicative of why hes on his fourth team

    One more point would be for management / ownership not to extend contracts until the end of the season, when their body of work can be accurately analysed.. Patrick Peterson and Carson Palmer are great examples of contracts that have a huge impact on the salary cap. In Peterson’s case, I felt his play went downhill once the 70 million contract was singed.

    NICE EFFORT THIS YEAR CARDINALS

  8. By Birdland on Jan 4, 2015 | Reply

    Weird feeling this loss and predictable given Bruce Arian’s next man up strategy. When you have a guy playing in the playoffs that was cut months earlier for a rookie our chances were slim. Simply put we needed an offensive performance of some kind, maybe the Seattle game was the template for Carolina.

    In 2011 we won out the season and it was exciting with overtime wins, 2012 was horrendous all around, 2013 was looking up. This year once Palmer went down the brain trust did not have a sense of urgency, especially given we were probably going to have a playoff game. In my view Keim etc threw the season, who cares if we made the playoffs as fans we want more. Bruce Arians did not display a hunger to win out, rather a coolness and a sort of he had done enough to keep his job attitude, next up mean’t next season. Palmer was replaceable with someone and I agree even Skelton would have sufficed vs Lindley.

  9. By Richard L on Jan 4, 2015 | Reply

    Can’t understand why Bruce Arians said he doesn’t buy into that line of thinking – “We have to gameplan to win games” It looked like we didn’t had an offensive plan to beat Carolina! Shortsighted. BA needs to hire an OC to game plan and call plays in the booth not down on the field.

  10. By pnizzle on Jan 4, 2015 | Reply

    Darren,

    Have you ever talked with the coaching staff about how the development process goes for 2nd and 3rd string QBs? Does Logan get chances to practice his mechanics, or is it mainly studying film? For the record, I think B.A. did a smart and courageous thing. Ryan Lindley may never have been a star (or even above average), but I think those starts in 2012 couldn’t have helped. But I wonder how much development can really happen during the year for Logan (as opposed to the offseason).

  11. By Darren Urban on Jan 4, 2015 | Reply

    pnizzle —

    RE: developing QB

    The reality is, for any team, developing mostly comes in the offseason, unless you are willing to sink or swim with him playing games, there is very little you can develop in-season. Just not enough practice time.

  12. By Don on Jan 4, 2015 | Reply

    While I think there is almost no possibility we finish anywhere near 5-11 next season, I do think there is something to be said regarding knowing your personnel and its strengths and weaknesses. Even with Palmer, our offense sputtered all season long.

    This comes down to the coaching and knowing who is good at what. Arians is a phenomenal coach, but not a great play caller and I think that has been evident for most of the season. Even during the good times, our defense carried us and that simply MUST change.

    We need a new offensive system that is tailored to the talent we have. There is simply no reason why we can’t score more points, and no excuse why we haven’t scored more even when the team has been relatively healthy.

    The talent in terms of the players is right there, but it is up to the coaches to make adjustments to utilize the talent we have. That didn’t happen this season on offense, and that absolutely must change

    There is no margin for error when it comes to the NFC West.

    I am proud of our team, proud of the season we had, and can’t wait until next year.

    GO CARDS!

  13. By shannon robinson on Jan 4, 2015 | Reply

    What a great run! I wish to thank Bruce Arians for being the Cool Uncle we all needed – I got intrigued by his pattern of his play calling. We’re always going to be running our NASCAR offense, 90mph into the turn “no brakes” trading paint. For Todd Bowles, thank you sir for your Defense, I hope we can replicate what you bring. I’ll certainly be a fan of your new team coming up. To Mr. Keim, I read your Roster daily like a baseball boxscore and see we have at least 12 promising rookies on the roster resulting from only 6 draft picks. I just hope Bruce brings back my favorite coach : Pass Rush Specialist Coach Pratt! Most of all, a tip of the Cardinals Wing to you Darren for keeping us part of the team and bringing in talented Journalists like Kyle and Lisa who really added talent and fun to your Cards’ team coverage.

  14. By much.faster on Jan 4, 2015 | Reply

    it was a good season, a bit sad, it was so near, @14-13 and the offense in the red zone.
    and then arians made the sentimental call, to throw to fitzgerald. i understand it, but nevertheleyss, what if ……

    and for the offseason, the team need to evaluate two departments quickly, first the medical department (no, don`t tell me bad luck with the injuries, there is no such thing as bad or good luck, there is only preparation or lazyness).

    and the medical preparation was at least not optimal.

    and second the personal fitness, most of the near misses were due to exhaustion, and that should be avoided through better provision.

    now, thanks to the team for a exciting season, and i hope i will see most of the player again next season. i would even enjoy lindley as a third qb, if i know, the first and second are healthy. give this guy some time, and he could grow into a quality backup.

  15. By Jeff Armstrong on Jan 4, 2015 | Reply

    Every team has injuries, but the amount and more importantly, the critical players lost for the Cardinals was insurmountable. It’s a real shame because if this team stayed even relatively healthy they had a very good shot to be the first team to win a home Super Bowl. The two suspensions also really hurt, especially Washington. Losing one or two of Abraham, Washington, Dockett, Zastudil, Ellington, even Palmer could have been overcome, but all combined especially with losing the top two QBs? No way any team can overcome that.

    With some big questions about certain players on the roster, it’s impossible to prognosticate a record already. Will Fitz be back? Dockett? Washington? Williams? Cromartie? No point in trying until some of those questions are answered.

    As far as positions to upgrade for next year, I think the obvious answer is still offensive line. Although pass protection has really improved, the run blocking is atrocious. We still don’t have much of a receiving tight end although the QB injuries make it hard to truly evaluate. I agree on LBs, especially inside. Never really heard anything about Minter, good or bad, which isn’t good. Foote was great, but he can’t be put in position to cover speedy receivers/tight ends. That’s just not his game. If Washington comes back it helps ILB a lot. New return man would be on my list, too. Ginn had a TD and a few long returns, but also made a lot of bad decisions and struggled overall. Hopefully, Zastudil returns. Butler killed us all year long with short punts and Z is just so much better at pinning teams inside the 20. It was a big difference in several games.

    It’s funny how even with different regimes certain positions continue to hamper the Cards, notably offensive line, receiving tight ends and covering tight ends on defense. Those have always been weaknesses since I started following the Cards in the late 80s.

  16. By Jeff Armstrong on Jan 4, 2015 | Reply

    Oh, and I know they were trying to protect Lindley and limit his chances for turnovers, but running on first down on seemingly every drive, especially later in the game when it became clear they couldn’t run on first down was maddening to watch. They were so predictable on first down it was ridiculous. At least throw in some play action on first down occasionally or just throw it. Running was clearly failing and passing wasn’t going to work on clear passing situations.

  17. By Hammy on Jan 4, 2015 | Reply

    Darren first of all GREAT job this year covering Cardinals Football, really enjoyed your insight of our team. I am really proud of the way our entire football team fought this whole year even with all the injuries/ suspensions. We were just hanging by a thread when Stanton got injured. I really don’t think Ryan Lindley was better than Logan Thomas. I think BA just didn’t want to throw him to the wolves but again what did we have to lose???? Daryl Washington and Darnell Dockett might return and that would help solidify our front seven a little. Getting a true pass rusher in this years draft (Vic Beasley) would be awesome!

    Patrick Peterson was exposed a bit so I’d expect him to play up to his caliber this upcoming season and Mathieu to be at 100% will truly help us as well. I am very interested to see what we do with our quarterback situation. Is Jay Cutler a good fit? I don’t think we should sit back and “groom” the Palmer successor but rather get a young accurate and mobile quarterback to bring us into the future.

    Not to sold on Andre Ellington being the number 1 back, he is more of a third down back than number 1! Looking at upgrading the running back position is and should be our number 1 priority as well. All in all back to the drawing board and good luck to Todd Bowles ! In regards to Larry Fitzgerald, good luck to him as well, I just believe at 32 years old his dominant days are way behind him (We wasted that with all the different quarterbacks he’s had for most his career). Thanks KEN WHISENHUNT!!!

    At least we made the playoffs this year and had an opportunity to play in the Superbowl! We will rise again and prove all the doubters wrong!

  18. By Dave Chaney on Jan 4, 2015 | Reply

    Jared Veldheer said it best..”the loss was like rubbing salt into a wound”. All of us die hard fans certainly wouldn’t have guessed at this type of ending 6 games ago but that’s life in the NFL. It takes tons of skill, teamworK and some luck to become the Super Bowl champs and obviously our team didn’t have the luck with us toward the end. Way too many injuries to key players did us in. However, there is always a bright spot(s) to everything. We have ownership that truly wants to win, a GM who is proving he has a knack for adding the right pieces to the puzzle, a coach that is a proven winner and has the ability to develop young players, a staff that is top notch, a team that plays with lots of heart and togetherness and lastly, a fan base that believes in this team and will continue to. All that said…thanks for the great season and onto 2015. GO CARDS!

  19. By Marlin on Jan 4, 2015 | Reply

    Darren,
    Please let me know if you disagree with any of these O-Line observations:

    Jared Veldheer is arguably the team’s MVP in 2014.
    Ted Larson was really solid, but he is more of a super sub for all three interior line positions….than a dedicated starter.
    Sendlein was solid again, but aging.
    Cooper has the talent, not yet the maturity.
    Watford is a bust.
    Massie was strong until December, and he has had a rough end to the season.
    Fanaika is gone.
    Sowell is a concern as the primary backup at tackle.
    The O-line took a big step this year, but needs another big piece to take the next step towards being a dominant factor.

  20. By Darren Urban on Jan 4, 2015 | Reply

    Marlin —

    RE: OL

    I think the can make arguments in those areas. I think they were hoping Watford would have done more by now, and Larsen was signed originally as a backup. They will try and upgrade on the line, of that I am sure.

  21. By Marlin on Jan 4, 2015 | Reply

    My guess is Bowles won’t get a head coaching offer. I’m probably wrong, but I don’t think the league GM’s feel as strongly about him as we do. He’ll get all the interviews because of the Rooney Rule….but my sense is he’s back with us.

  22. By Marlin on Jan 4, 2015 | Reply

    Darren,
    Your comment about speed at linebacker is absolutely correct. To that point, my assessment of Kevin Minter’s season is………mediocre. I realize he started the season playing injured. But he is slow, can’t cover in passing downs and can’t make an impact in the pass rush. His type of old school “thumper” in the middle is fading away. My question is, what’s the situation with Washington? Is it possible he’ll be eligible? When will we know?

  23. By Darren Urban on Jan 4, 2015 | Reply

    Marlin —

    RE: DWash

    At least one calendar year, so he’s not eligible to be reinstated until May.

  24. By Marlin on Jan 4, 2015 | Reply

    We drafted Logan Thomas. He has been with us all pre-season and all season, virtually healthy all that time. With that, he didn’t show enough to get any real snaps in the critical QB situation we’ve had this year. That’s saying something………and what its saying is not good.

  25. By gbrim on Jan 4, 2015 | Reply

    Special teams were below average in ’13, even worse this year. Can’t blame both years on injuries. This is the one area that has slipped under BA compared to Whiz. Personnel (Ginn and Butler?) and coaching deserve a hard look.

  26. By Marlin on Jan 4, 2015 | Reply

    Ottis Anderson,
    Palmer is 13 and 2 in his last 15 starts…..6 and 0 this year. An offense is integrated….a lot of cause and effect when key pieces are out. You can’t judge this offense on the past 4 weeks.

  27. By JohnnyBluenose on Jan 4, 2015 | Reply

    @Ottis Anderson….you are getting a lot of thumbs down (13 at this point) but I agree with you. We have a lot of work to do. I expect our 2015 Cardinals will look a lot younger than the 2014 version that played so valiantly this year.

  28. By Marlin on Jan 4, 2015 | Reply

    Two straight seasons now……I’ve had the consistent opinion that we need a new special teams coach.

  29. By Marlin on Jan 4, 2015 | Reply

    Ted Ginn has been a disappointment this season.

  30. By joe.holst on Jan 4, 2015 | Reply

    A week from now this loss will not matter as the Cards were not going to go in and beat Seattle or Green Bay, neither will Carolina. Pittsburgh lost their running back (Bell) and they were not the same team let alone the Cards losing there top 2 QBS, RB, Dockett,etc, . If Bowles leaves he could take more of the Defensive staff with him. Drew Butler and Ryan Lindley I’m sure a great guys but should not be allowed within a 1000 miles of this team. Next years schedule is brutal and the Cards better load up on Physical players for the Steelers, Ravens, and Coverage for Green Bay, Philly , not to mention the Seahawks and 49ers.

  31. By rick on Jan 4, 2015 | Reply

    Well it was an amazing ride and there`s definitely alot of what could have been lingering in my mind. What if we had Dockett, Washington, Abraham, Zasty, Palmer, Stanton, Ellington and Dwyer for the whole time ? There is no doubt we would have probably been undefeated. I know for sure we wouldn`t have been swept by the Seahawks and lost to Atlanta or Carolina for that matter. This team this year gave alot of teams problems at half strength I can only think of what problems we will cause some teams next year at full strength. We are going to be a scary team and I almost feel sorry for our opponents in 2015. GO CARDS!!!

  32. By sggrange on Jan 4, 2015 | Reply

    A thank you to the staff on this web site…A LOT more fun when it’s covering such a great team I am sure. LOVE the content you provide so routinely..THANK YOU.

    A disappointing end to a great year but only one team gets to go home happy every year, so let’s enjoy a great ride with a bumpy finish.

    We have our current franchise QB (tho injured) We have our tackles in place (Key behind QB IMO) and young talent across the squad.

    We have a top notch GM and a top notch coaching staff (Change happens but change does not mean worse)

    We have an owner that obviously wants to win.

    Could NOT say all those things as recently as two years ago…..

    So many of the players exceeded their contracts.

    Are there gaps to fill? Of course, happens to every team every year.

    But if you believe, as I do, that we have a great organization, then these things will be addressed as well as they possibly can be….

    Hard to believe it’s over for the team and almost over for the season so soon…

    So…..When’s the draft?

  33. By joe 67 on Jan 4, 2015 | Reply

    I have been a Cardinal fan more years than a lot you have been alive. Been some really tuff years and a few pretty good ones. The last two have really been fun to watch. Gut wrenching at times, but fun none the less. Think about it, 21 wins in 2 season.

    We have a lot to look forward to. The organization as a whole has come a long way toward being one of the class of the league. Still work to do but certainly headed the right direction.

    We really only had one really bad game (Atlanta) and then the one last nite was what we all kind of thought it might be. Nobody is at fault. I will take 11-5 every year and a chance at the playoffs

    Darren, again, let me say THANKS for all you do. GREAT JOB. Especially for us out of state.

    lets put these last couple games behind us and keep the year in perspective and get ready for next year!!

  34. By NJAzCardsFan on Jan 4, 2015 | Reply

    With Lindley being as disappointing as he was…. It says alot about the lack of ability Thomas has, for Lindley to start in front of him.

    I think the defense was worn out since the last Ram’s game. Mainly due to 3 n’ out Lindley. The defense was always on the field for most of the remaining games….

    Too lose to a 7-8-1 playoff team is embarassing……

    This was the season of what could have been because of all the injuries suffered to key personnel….

    It will be interesting on who comes back next year…..

  35. By Mike G on Jan 4, 2015 | Reply

    Hey Darren–Hope all is cool! Tough one for the Cards yesterday. They hung in there until half. Thought the game was going as they wanted it until the turnovers hit. With being limited at QB and RB the team could not afford to turn it over. Special Teams hurt them as well Regardless of yesterday the Team and Coaches deserve a lot of credit for keeping the team together and making the playoffs. Don’t know if too many teams could have went 11-5 with what the Cards had to deal with on the injury front. Hopefully next year those injuries will stop! The word for the 2014 Cards is Resilient. It will be an interesting offseason– just have to add a few more pieces in free agency and have a nice draft. Hey Darren was a little surprised the Card’s didn’t work Ta’amu into the DL rotation toward the end of the year. Thought Rucker and Kelly were wearing down a bit. Is Ta’amu still hurting with the ACL????

  36. By Darren Urban on Jan 4, 2015 | Reply

    Mike G —

    RE: DL

    Ta’amu is healthy and has been healthy. Agree that Rucker and Kelly were wearing down.

  37. By Cody Zarr on Jan 4, 2015 | Reply

    I’ve been watching this team my entire life here in the desert. This was by far the best season I’ve ever seen them have outside of ’08. In fact I would argue that the team was actually playing better during the regular season than the Super Bowl team.

    In a strange way, I’m kind of glad the season is over. Watching Lindley struggle under center was starting to grind on me. It was a sad ending, but anyone with half a brain can be excited that we have an impressive GM and HC finally. It should be scary to watch what Arians can do with a healthy roster next year.

  38. By Big Ken on Jan 4, 2015 | Reply

    Tough ending, but what’s better to finish with a great record and not make the playoffs or do a one and done washout? If you look at the Cardinals position in the draft we kind of broke even this year. There are lots of players on this team that just can’t be allowed back.

  39. By Andy Kw on Jan 4, 2015 | Reply

    Im anxious for Dave Zastudil’s return

  40. By rod on Jan 4, 2015 | Reply

    Darren-

    On the Ginn fumble, couldn’t the defender have been flagged for leading with the crown of his helmet?

    Thanks

  41. By Darren Urban on Jan 4, 2015 | Reply

    Rod —

    RE: Crown hit

    I’ll be honest, I have not looked at the replay.

  42. By navyboy0812 on Jan 4, 2015 | Reply

    Need to get a big bruiser of a runningback to compliment Ellington. Yeldon, Gordon, or Gurley come to mind.

  43. By Richard L on Jan 4, 2015 | Reply

    Ottis Anderson Fan –

    The snap counts for Offense and Defense were almost identical this year Cards Offense had 1,059 and Defense had 1,058

  44. By georgiebird on Jan 4, 2015 | Reply

    Darren,
    Your Panthers Playoff Aftermath is excellent. Considering you put it together right after the game makes it even more exceptional.
    Bottom line- BA squeezed what he could out of this season and that will get him the COY.

  45. By Cory M on Jan 4, 2015 | Reply

    Even with a healthy Carson Palmer I don’t see the cards winning this game. Ryan Lindley will shoulder a lot of the blame (as he should) but there were several teammates of his that contributed to the loss as well. Bobbie Massie was eaten up, Ted Ginn had a Ted Ginn kind of game and Rashad Johnson can’t seem to find himself on the field at all. He got torched against Seattle and put up an even poorer effort in the playoffs. On the positive side when Kerwynn Williams had space to run he moved the ball. Cromartie had another outstanding game and I’d love to see him back next season

  46. By Dre on Jan 4, 2015 | Reply

    What can you say great run. There only so many things we can over come the officiating was bad. Missing d wash and Darnell is the difference between going all the way and where it ended and Palmer. Fitz is fitz if he don’t wNt to be here let him go he made enough money to help the team in any way. Lately he been a me first see what happens when we try to get him the ball three picks. Don’t get me wrong great person but don’t let no one be above the team. Ba called a terrible game on offense. We need to get bigger on the o line get a right tackle and that goes to the d line as well. Proud of the men for a great season only way to go is up. next year find what we need to correct what we were lacking.

  47. By Cliff on Jan 4, 2015 | Reply

    Our defense wore out … such an early bye week, the pressure always on the defense after Palmer was injured, and the low time of possession for the offense left the defense to finally succumb to fatigue and injury! I do agree with early comment that when Palmer went down we should have signed an available experienced QB who had a history of winning tough games! Lindley was not the best option!

  48. By georgiebird on Jan 4, 2015 | Reply

    Darren,
    Here is an observation on yesterday’s game that your not going to get from the Lindley bashers- (AND WE ALL AGREE LINDLEY IS NOT THE ANSWER).
    If the QBs were reversed in yesterday’s game the Cards would have lost by more points. Newton was awful. Newton missed open receivers all day. On his two TD passes, one was a goal line sell out and one was all Fozzy. Yes, CN had a few nice 3rd down runs. CM’s lateral “called a forward pass” was a joke call-never heard that explanation before.
    Lindley had no running game and threw in tight windows all day against an excellent Panthers’ defense.
    There is no doubt Lindley played bad against the Panthers’ swarming defense.
    But Lindley was the best QB on the field in the Panthers’/ Cardinals game.
    As you said in your article- “the Cardinals didn’t have enough”.

  49. By brad greenaway on Jan 4, 2015 | Reply

    The Cardinal, panther game suked… The refs sucked big time… I walked away
    from the tv just after half time… The BS calls were to much to stomach..ED needs to retire and ref pee wee…

  50. By Felix Macias on Jan 4, 2015 | Reply

    The way I see it,, The defense was wore out and kept fighting..Carolina looked good because of this..Lindley is no Q.B. Thomas should have been given the chance since he is on the team..Damn Q.B. can’t see left to right and should be let go..We get a strong Q.B with a great arm and we could do something..Palmer will be lucky to last the season next year..

  51. By brad greenaway on Jan 4, 2015 | Reply

    I felt bad for Cardinal fans…..

  52. By Chris Lewis on Jan 4, 2015 | Reply

    What a disappointing end to the season, we’re clearly a better team than Carolina, but we didn’t play like it. I know we had all the injuries, but the Cardinals could’ve put up a better effort, the defense has been very disappointing the last few weeks, tons of missed tackles, all of a sudden they can’t stop the run, too many big plays, I don’t understand, that’s not the team I watched all year. Then there’s the infamous QB situation, I partly blame Arians on this one, Lindley had a chance to redeem himself after the Seattle game and all I kept hearing after the SF game was that he was improved, so what, that’s not good enough, 3 interceptions against a beat up SF defense isn’t acceptable, and Arians throws him out there again against Carolina, I just knew it would be a train wreck, we had a chance to win that game and loser Lindley didn’t disappoint, he did exactly what I expected him to do, give the damn game away, 2 times deep in Carolina’s red zone and both times he throws costly interceptions, that just can’t happen. What did Arians have to lose by putting Logan in there, he couldn’t have done any worse than loser Lindley, I’ve never seen a QB make so many bonehead mistakes as Lindley except maybe for Skelton, it’s a toss up. I just can’t wait til next season and put this nightmare behind us.

  53. By Dobie on Jan 4, 2015 | Reply

    Thank you Cardinals for some of the great wins at home it is nice when you win at home not to harassed by the visiting team fans don’t look back what could have been 2015 you will kick ass THANKS AGAIN

  54. By Lynn Marble on Jan 4, 2015 | Reply

    Well written, Darren! Never known any team to go 11-5 playing 4 QBs. Players and fans alike should be nothing but PROUD of the season!

  55. By Patrick Hoog aka Don't Take Losses on Jan 4, 2015 | Reply

    Read some crap above, especially OA Fan… c’mon, sheez. Read some good notes, too.

    “This is a team,” Campbell said, “I’ll remember forever.”

    Best effort and results under severe adversity, ever. Strength of character shows when faced with it…our guys will all remember this year, forever, me too. So proud of the gutty 2014 Cardinals. May God get and keep them all very well.

    Would add to above: 1) we need 2 or even 3 faster, stronger OL. Only LT excelled this year, all other OL pretty spotty. We MUST be able to run the ball. Yep, Ginn a good guy, but many misjudgments in return game, some crucial, through the year. As much as I like him, his performance was net negative. DL wore down, but when healthy, pretty deep, talented. Surprise player of the year? Okafor.

    Go Cardinals, 2016 SB or nothing at all😉 Lol.

  56. By georgiebird on Jan 4, 2015 | Reply

    Darren,
    Re: injuries
    Every other blog to this site talks about injuries. But it is becoming a “crutch”. The only guy that stepped in this year to cover for an injured (or cut) player and did comparable or better were Rucker and Cat.
    The real problem is no one stepped up. Not Acho, T’Amu, Browns’, Butler, Larson etc, etc. No one became a star given the opportunity to fill in.
    Jon Gruden made a very poignant remark at the end of the 3rd quarter. “who are these Carolina Panthers- 11 new guys are making a big contribution”.
    It’s almost like Cards’ fans want to have all our players back and for other teams to play with all their injured players.
    This type of nonsense has to be cut off by you, Darren- it’s becoming an epidemic.
    We did lose our QB, that’s legit.

  57. By Scott H on Jan 4, 2015 | Reply

    Well, what more is there to say at this point? Injuries were the story of the season, every which way. They were the story early on when the Cardinals were over-coming all the losses and just kept piling up the wins….and they remained the story when all the losses started to become too much to overcome.

    And, really, what can ya expect from ANY team when they have been reduced to a 3rd string QB? It truly became a very cruel twist of fate that the Cardinals were clinching a playoff spot just as they were needing to announce that Ryan Lindley was now their starting QB. We all tried to keep our hopes up, but….really, I think we all saw what was coming.

    No team in the NFL – regardless of coaching, regardless of how great their defense was, regardless of who their RB was, regardless of how loud their fans could be, etc – was going to fare any better than the Cardinals did if they had been reduced to starting their 3rd string QB. Not the Seahawks, not the Patriots, not the Packers, not the Broncos. NOBODY. For that reason, the Cardinals have no reason to hang their heads. What happened to them was just a damn shame.

    The Cardinals really COULD have won that game yesterday. But I wonder if it’s better this way. Because what seemed almost assured to happen in either Seattle or Green Bay next week was probably gonna be a scene we would all best be spared from.

    I am proud of the 2014 Cardinals and I look forward to 2015.

  58. By Richard S on Jan 4, 2015 | Reply

    Cards should have taken up my offer to return kickoffs. At age 65 I can guarantee you I wouldn’t be running any out of the endzone. When we do that, we get either illegal block penalties, don’t reach the 20 or fumble the ball away. I thought Ginn figured that out at the beginning of the season. Hope our regular punter gets well. We sure needed him Saturday. The only time to run a kick out of the endzone is when there’s 10 seconds left in the half.

  59. By Richard S on Jan 4, 2015 | Reply

    One area the Cards did improve in from years past is when they run the ball they seem to have stopped drawing the holding penalties that kill drives.

  60. By iammattyoung on Jan 4, 2015 | Reply

    Heck of a season for about 12 weeks. Thanks to BA and all the guys on this team that managed to play above their heads until the weight of losing your starting QB and starting RB simply crushed ’em. Thanks too to Darren Urban for another great showing covering the team.

    New Year’s Resolution: punt 100 footballs a day ’til OTAs start. If Drew Butler can punt in this league (and make over $300K doing it), anyone with the use of both legs can.

  61. By Dr. G. on Jan 4, 2015 | Reply

    Darren… Just THANKS… THANKS for all your efforts this season!!!

    Now, take a break; then off to your favorite time of year with all the speculative questions and draft postings…be well..

  62. By Coach K on Jan 4, 2015 | Reply

    Darren,

    I have said this before, and I will say it again.

    TERRIBLE PLAY CALLING BY B.A. ON FIRST DOWN.

    B.A. did not help Ryan at all in this game. Trying to run the ball on first down into the overloaded box put Ryan in a third and long situation on almost every series. You would think after several three-and-outs that B.A. would get the message. Apparently not.

    B.A. destroyed any chance Ryan had to have any success. On top of that, our offensive line is only average at best. They were easily bull rushed at the guard and right tackle spots. Bobby Massie needs to get bigger and stronger. Our best lineman are left tackle and center. Everyone else is average.

    It was a great season considering all the injuries, and I believe Carson healthy would have allowed us to get perhaps home field throughout the tournament, but all in all, it was a good season.

    I have a feeling we will see lots of changes to next years roster.

  63. By Scott H on Jan 4, 2015 | Reply

    Some more thoughts rattling around in my head…

    1) With the fade of the defense over the last month or so, ya wonder if that might have caused the appeal that Bowles has to other teams to fade as well.

    2) It was apparent from MUCH earlier in the season that Butler was not even an average punter by NFL standards. In fact, he was considerably BELOW average. As I watched one pathetic punt after another yesterday – and watched drive after drive for the Panthers start in Cardinals territory – I could only wonder WHY this organization couldn’t find a better punter over the course of an entire season than him. It ain’t like punters are that hard to find….

    3) As I watched our in-ability to run the ball over the past month – and this was also painfully on full display yesterday – I couldn’t help wonder if anyone who was so opposed to LeGarret Blount when he was released by the Steelers was having any changes of heart about that mistake ( the mistake, of course, being the Cardinals deciding they didn’t need him ). While the Cardinals and Steelers could only lament their mistakes yesterday, I would imagine that the Patriots are feeling pretty damn good about Blount right about now. Just watch how important he is gonna be for THEM during the playoffs.

    4) And, finally, what bitch session would be complete without bringing Ted Ginn’s sorry rear end into the discussion? Given how inexplicably pathetic and inept he was ALL SEASON ( and it only seemed to get worse as the need for some help from the return game increased ), how in the name of all that is good and decent is it possible that the Cardinals NEVER gave anyone else a chance to return a few punts??? Really, what could have possibly happened that would have been any worse than what we were getting from Ginn??? We were getting NOTHING from Ginn!!! HOW DO YOU ALLOW THAT TO CONTINUE WEEK AFTER WEEK???

    Seriously, where Ginn is concerned, I think we ( the fans ) are deserving of some explanation of why our return specialist – a FA acquisition that was brought here for that very purpose – seemed like he was literally trying to avoid making returns just about every time we put him out there. SOMETHING NEEDS TO BE SAID THAT ADDRESSES THIS.

    Frankly, I think something needs to be said about why the punter position wasn’t addressed, either. Because it is ridiculous that two positions on your special teams performed so horribly ALL YEAR, yet the players who continued to perform so horribly in those roles kept their jobs and continued to hurt the team week after week.

    Is no one else as outraged by this as I am????

  64. By Coach K on Jan 4, 2015 | Reply

    Cactus Jeff

    B.A. did not give Lindley a chance for success. His poor play calling on first down put Lindley in a third and long all night. Add to that Ted Ginn’s poor play on special teams, Lindley had a long field on almost every play.

    So I don’t blame Lindley, I blame B.A. for playing too conservative on first down and trying to run the ball against 9 men in the box. Ryan NEVER HAD A CHANCE.

  65. By John The Draft Guy on Jan 4, 2015 | Reply

    Not surprised with the results of the game. I was hoping that we could pull it out, but Lindley on the road was way too much to overcome.

    Also, I have been saying for weeks now the defense was getting warn down. Guys like Foote, Kelly and Rucker were not expected to play as many snaps as they did.

    With an inept offense lead by a guy who doesn’t belong in the NFL, coupled with a warn down defense, could not be overcome.

    Listen, take Rodgers, Romo, Brady, Wilson, Newton,Flacco, Manning or Luck off their teams and they are done.

  66. By John The Draft Guy on Jan 4, 2015 | Reply

    Dates to remember;

    January 15th – Last day underclassman can declare for the draft

    February 17-23 – Scouting Combine

    March 10th – Free Agency starts

    March 10th – Larry Fitzgerald gets his 8 million dollar bonus if on team with no new contract

    April 30th – NFL Draft begins

    If the cardinals can win the off season, they will be back to the playoffs next year.

  67. By Darren Urban on Jan 4, 2015 | Reply

    JTDG —

    RE: Fitz deal

    My understanding is that Fitz bonus due by fifth day of league year. That’d be March 15.

  68. By John The Draft Guy on Jan 4, 2015 | Reply

    Got to say the excuse to not play Logan Thomas was really weak.

    Arians said QB Logan Thomas has “great future.” One of reasons “there was no way I was going to put him out there & go thru growing pains.”

    If Thomas’ mentality is that weak, he will never be a good QB.
    The fact is, Arians declared him the starter for 2 days, but 1 practice was all it took to put Lindley back in.

    I like Bruce, but he likes to blow smoke. From the elite Levi Brown to this comment, he likes to keep his cards close to the vest.

  69. By John The Draft Guy on Jan 4, 2015 | Reply

    Cap numbers for players the cards could release.
    Who do YOU want released?

    Fitz would save 9.2 million
    Palmer saves 4.5 million
    Dockett saves 6.8 million
    Powers saves 4.25 million
    Ginn saves 2.5 million
    Stanton saves 3.2 million
    Shaughnessy saves 2 million
    Alexander saves 1.5 million
    Carlson saves 1.6 million
    Larsen saves 1.3 million

    The cards are possibly 10 million over the 2015 cap right now. So how do you clear the space?

  70. By John The Draft Guy on Jan 4, 2015 | Reply

    Darren,

    You may be right but SB Nation has this;

    March 10: Prior to 1:00 p.m., PT, clubs must exercise options for 2015 on all players who have option clauses in their 2014 contracts.
    Top-51 Begins. All clubs must be under the 2015 salary cap prior to 1:00 p.m., PT.
    All 2014 player contracts expire at 1:00 p.m., PT.
    The 2015 league year and free agency period begin at 1:00 p.m., PT. The first day of the 2015 league year will end at 8:59:59 p.m., PT, on March 10. Clubs will receive a personnel notice that will include all transactions submitted to the league office during the period between 1:00 p.m., PT, and 8:59:59 p.m., PT, on March 10.

    Fitz is a bonus and not an option, so you may be right

  71. By rod on Jan 4, 2015 | Reply

    Darren-

    If it was a crown hit, is it against the rules in that instance?

  72. By Darren Urban on Jan 5, 2015 | Reply

    Rod —

    RE: Crown

    I’d have to look that up. No one said a word about it, so I doubt it was a problem.

  73. By Big Ken on Jan 4, 2015 | Reply

    John TDG–Looking at your hit list, it might be easy to slice 10 mil off the salary cap. Why wait to March 10th?

  74. By Mark on Jan 5, 2015 | Reply

    We need special teams help. Ginn is not a punt returner and our punter is the worst in the league and both need to be cut immediately. We need new guys on the right side of the offensive line. Lindley had no time in the pocket as it kept collapsing the entire game on him from the right side. The defense needs an overhaul. We need new corners, a healthy honey badger and a bigger defensive line. Foote is done. Great guy but he is too old. We need youth like every other team in the league. Look around. The best teams have young guys. I know it saves money bringing in Vets that are washed up but they run out of gas at the end of the season. Dansby did nothing this year. Glad he left. Lots of off season work. I don’t think we can repeat this season next year if we keep what we have. 8-8 maybe at best but not enough in the toughest division in the NFL to make the playoffs. Bruce will find a way to get with Keim and get new blood in here. Don’t peak so early next year!!

  75. By Mark on Jan 5, 2015 | Reply

    For cap space let Dockett, Ginn, Carlson (worthless and can’t catch a freaking ball if his life depended on it), Brown and Larsen go. That would save $12.2 million right off the top. Let Foote and Kelly retire. Get rid of Massie and Fanaika. Worthless and can’t block. Trade them. Draft a right guard and a tackle. Then go after a real line backer and a running back like Faulk. Then we can have a run at the Superbowl. Great year Cardinals. I have been a fan since day one and always will be but we all have to say, What if?

  76. By Cactus jeff on Jan 5, 2015 | Reply

    JTDG
    Keep Palmer and restructure DD. Let the rest go. Love to keep Fitz but Fitz is gone. He doesn’t want to be here. He wanted to be FA all along, that is why the contract is structured the way it is. It will be the offseason of Fitz. He will be visiting a bunch of teams with ESPN following him everywhere he goes.

    My biggest concern is PP. He is not a franchise DB. Huge mistake moving forward. Finally, JTDG what is your assessment of the rookie class?

  77. By rod on Jan 5, 2015 | Reply

    Thanks Darren, you’re probably right.

  78. By Xeano on Jan 5, 2015 | Reply

    With Lindley and Stanton under center, you didn’t see the Cardinals take 6 minutes on an 80 yard drive. It’s my personal opinion that the defense was tired. They carried the team the past few weeks, and the offense never moved to complement their efforts. Three plays, 120 secs off the clock, and they are right back out there.

    Darren-

    Know it’s a while out, but what do you think will be the main positional need that will be addressed this off-season? Not much else to discuss at this point. Thanks for your reporting efforts this season, while I would have liked it to continue, I see nothing wrong with how it ended. Great year.

  79. By Darren Urban on Jan 5, 2015 | Reply

    Xeano —

    RE: Positional need

    Off the top of my head, I’d say pass rusher.

  80. By Scott H on Jan 5, 2015 | Reply

    JTDG –

    From my venemous posts recently, you might have guessed I would happily release Ginn. Whatever he made this year, it was entirely too much. Good riddance to him and I hope the door DOES hit him in the ass on the way out. After all the hits he did NOT take this year during all the returns he did NOT make, I would feel better about him getting hit by SOMETHING.

    I hope Fitz is back but I wonder about what HE wants. If HE wants to be gone and that is accomodated….obviously, it helps the cap. It just won’t be the same ( for me ) without him here.

    I would also say ( and I do hate to say it, but ) Dockett might have to go. I love the guy and all that he has been for this team over the years. But his age…the injury he’s coming back from….his cap number….it all just points to him being a candidate to be a cap casualty. My preference, of course, would be for him to stay IF his knee is healed to where the expectation is he should be fine and ready to roll for 2015.

    Alexander and Larsen can go. Neither saves us a ton, but every little bit helps.

    I like Carlson, but….what’s the point of having a solid TE here if we are going to continue to under-utilize the position? Speaking of which, I am hoping we can finally be done with Housler. Fells has the basketball-player size that makes so many other TE’s so dangerous, so…why not just roll with him? Of course, you still have to throw him the ball, but…..that just doesn’t happen here.

  81. By Dr. G. on Jan 5, 2015 | Reply

    JTDG….. Now, it is the time you like best, the draft and assembling a team, so we expect to read more accurate research from you than the average Cardinal Fan.

    On Arians, I have pulled no punches the past 2 years…definitely a “”smoke blower”” as you term it. Your disclaimer, “”I like him, but,”” is also a puff of smoke. Truly, I don’t know if BA and I could “”like”” one another;; there may be diversion issues. My disclaimer is that I respect his determination to organize a bunch of young, immature men into a team operating on the same page and still maintain some sense of sanity. Herding cats may sometimes be easier…!

    Over all, I give him an “”A-“” for the speed in which he helped to get the myriad things underway and functioning well. For the media he deserves “”B-“”… It takes supreme confidence to “”successfully”” run a program like this. We cannot expect a blue collar guy like BA to be smooth with the media and never spout a clumsy item. We should just expect honesty or the old “”let me get back to you on that”” comment. ‘Tis not necessary to know everything right now.

    As arm chair GMs, HCs, QBs etc., we must own our commentary flaws as well…g’day…

  82. By John The Draft Guy on Jan 5, 2015 | Reply

    Cactus Jeff,

    2014 draft class; Only time will tell. But here is my feelings about this draft class.

    Deone Bucannon
    Bucannon was our first round pick and , because of the depth at safety and the lack of ILBs, played out of position all year. I know the buzz word was, “he is the dime LB” but he was playing ILB on first and second downs also.

    As a players, he gave the cards some good play from the LB spot. He tackles well and and can cover the short to intermediate routes. I compared him to ADub coming out of college and quickly realized he is not the intimidating force that was ADub. But he is a solid player.

    I would expect him to be an in the box safety next year. Of course Tony Jefferson will be battling for the spot too.

    Troy Niklas
    tough to grade out a guy who was often injured. He is a big , physical guy and will be a TE that Arians likes. Not a big impact in the passing game but should be able to block.
    But his year can be summed up disappointing.

    Kareem Martin
    Big guy who is long and lean. Seemed to be picked for his pass rush ability. After 5-6 games, he seemed to fall out of favor and never got on the field much. He needs to have a nice camp to stay in the rotation.

    John Brown
    The savior of this draft. He drops more balls than I like, but his speed is something you can not teach. Great body control and good route running. 2015’s version of TY Hilton? Maybe.

    Logan Thomas
    I said it was a wasted pick when it happened and nothing changed my mind during the year. In fact, I would say he was exactly who I said he was.

    Ed Stinson –
    Played well for a rookie and was alright in rotation till an injury slowed him. I don’t see him as a starter any time soon, but if he could have a Frostee Rucker kind of career for a 5th rounder, he is a nice pick.

    Ronald Powell
    Looked alright for a 5th or 6th receiver. Was drafted by the wrong team. Never really had a chance to break into this top 5. Was probably another wasted pick.

  83. By Kevin S Mesa on Jan 5, 2015 | Reply

    I don’t really give a rat’s behind what lines BA feeds to the media. What do you expect him to say when he’s lost Palmer and Stanton. “Oh man, that sucks, season’s over.” We all knew the Cards were unlikely to get far in the playoffs. This game was winnable, but only if things went right in other phases of the game. Ginn gifting a TD to Carolina, Butler not being able to punt further than a high schooler, etc. didn’t help much. We did get some of the turnovers we needed but Lindley handed our best scoring chance right back.

    It was a great season. But we were unlucky at QB (which is different from 2012 when we played 4 QB’s but none of them were very good). I was reading an article ranking the 12 playoff QB’s. The next worst (according to this article) afer Lindley was Andy Dalton who is pretty good. And while you can quibble with who the #11 QB among the 12 playoff QB’s is, you can’t quibble with the fact that whoever it is, is miles ahead of Lindley. What other team is going to advance in the playoffs if you take away not only their starter but also their backup QB? I can’t think of any team that would be favored to win a playoff game with their #3 QB.

    And as far as Lindley, I harbor no ill will and hope he finds success in the game of football. We asked him to do the impossible… come in as a 3rd string QB and win games with no running game at all. 15 rushes for 27 yards? I’m surprised we even got 27… seemed like most of the rushes were for a loss. Meanwhile we’d have Stewart in the grasp at the line of scrimmage and he’d just move the pile and gain 3-4 yards seemingly every time. It might have been a different situation for Lindley, and the team in general, if we had any ability to run the football. Without that, though, he was toast.

    Gotta say, even though our offense didn’t really earn the TD’s (the drives were very short, after the Cromartie INT and the punt that the returner let hit him), it was pretty cool to be ahead 14-10 at one point. Not too long after the game started, I thought it was going to be a blowout, given our offensive ineptitude. I mean, we’d have had zero points if we actually had to make a sustained drive.

    I will be very interested to see what we do this offseason and even more interested (given my gambling addiction) to see where Vegas sets the over/under line on Cardinals’ wins this year. That’s been an easy money maker 2 years in a row. (This year was 7 1/2; it was a winner after 9 games.) I have a feeling that there’s still not a lot of faith in the Cardinals since we squeaked out several games and never blew anyone out, and play in a tough division. I’m guessing 8 1/2 will be the line, in which case I’ll be betting the over again.

  84. By Scott H on Jan 5, 2015 | Reply

    JTDG –

    I agree with what you say about Logan Thomas and I expressed the same very recently. It appears there was just NO confidence in Logan Thomas late in the season when our QB situation became rather dire. And if the concern was truly for his emotional psyche and the damage that would be done there by letting him play, then I really don’t think playing QB in the NFL is what he is truly suited for.

    I would much rather see a guy that the team feels like it CAN turn to or that it WANTS to see play because the confidence is there, either on the part of the player or the coaches or BOTH! It felt like there was none of that with Thomas. And now that we KNOW what can happen if / when you have to roll with your 3rd string QB…..no thanks. Give us somebody that offers a glimmer of hope that the Cardinals could remain somewhat competitive if the other phases of the team can hold down the fort.

  85. By John The Draft Guy on Jan 5, 2015 | Reply

    Scott H

    We are in total agreement. But I see the thumbs down. I wish those who defend Thomas would speak up and give us their side.

    But then again, what can you say, “Arians is saving him for 2017”

    Arians is a modern day Frankenstein, thinking he can build the perfect monster out of the dead. It went terribly wrong in the classic novel and I have a feeling, things won’t turn out great here if he continues with this path.

    Just learn from Whiz, you can’t fix inaccurate and indecisive.

  86. By NJAzCardsFan on Jan 5, 2015 | Reply

    Mark…
    Dansby was good with the Cards because of the players around him. The Browns didn’t have the same quality of players/coach so Dansby was mediocre.

    Scott H…..
    Thomas would make a great TE, especially with the matching bookend Fells…
    Think about it, the Cards with two 6-5 & 6-6 TE’s… who is going to cover that height…..???

  87. By Richard S on Jan 5, 2015 | Reply

    Cards need a pass rush without blitzing so much which allows big plays like the 3rd and long TD to Boldin in the SF game. Get a pass rusher, your punter back, and a DC like the Seattle coach who doesn’t blitz as much but doesn’t allow big plays either. I liked Skelton too. The Cards seem to give up on QB’s who then go to places like Chicago years later and look good. Of course the Cards did get Palmer and Warner who other teams gave up on.

  88. By Scott H on Jan 5, 2015 | Reply

    Kevin –

    I agree with you that the game on Sat was absolutely winnable. You would never think so from looking at the stats ( disparity in total yards ) or average starting field position ( Thanks, Butler ). And yet, after falling behind 10-0, there they were – leading 14-10 later in the first half.

    The defense – as worn down as they were – was able to give the offense the opportunities they needed. And Ryan Lindley gave them right back.

    THE reason I believed that game was winnable for the Cardinals was what I thought I was seeing in Cam Newton, both physically and mentally. Physically, he looked like he was hurting and was fatigued. Emotionally, he looked tense, anxious, lacking in confidence. He just LOOKED like a QB that was not in control of himself or the game. I’ve never been much a Cam Newton fan, really. And he was NOT what won that game for the Panthers. Honestly? In terms of the QB’s that played in that game? I would have to say OUR QB did more to help the Panthers than THEIR QB did.

    And in the closing minutes, I could NOT have been more annoyed with that same QB ( Newton ) as he was all smiles, strutting around and playing to the crowd, posing for pictures with teammates on the sidelines while the damn game was still going on, etc. Real professional, huh? Cam Newton needs to learn to act like something other than a child.

    As much as I hate the Seahawks, I’m kinda feeling like I want to see them put a major league beat down on Cam Newton after his act at the end of the game on Saturday. Heck, the Seahawks are probably winning that game easily, anyway, so….why not?

    Seeing the Seahawks get a first round bye and now a home game against the Panthers ( who are NOT a legit playoff team ) is just making me feel like this is entirely too easy for the Seahawks. They were practically assured a place in the NFC title game before the playoffs even started. Even more frustrating to think maybe that’s the road WE could have had if Carson Palmer were healthy.

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