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Combine coming, so send in your questions

Posted by Darren Urban on February 16, 2015 – 8:37 am

It feels like that interception was just made to end the Super Bowl, and here we are in Scouting combine week. Time to head full speed into the 2015 season.

I, along with a few of my co-workers, are headed Tuesday to chilly Indianapolis (high of 16 degrees Wednesday and 14 Thursday, so there’s that) to cover the week. The combine has been moved up a day compared to years previous, so media availability runs Wednesday through Saturday as opposed to Thursday through Sunday. Cardinals GM Steve Keim and coach Bruce Arians are speaking to the masses again, tentatively scheduled to talk Wednesday and Thursday, respectively.

And, as has become the custom, I will host a pair of short video chats with each man while in Indy, asking questions from the fans. If you’d like to submit a question, you can do so in the comments below, you can submit it via Twitter using the hashtag #CardsCombine or you can email me at askdarren@cardinals.nfl.net. Make sure you specify for whom the question is intended — either Keim or Arians.

Things will start to move quickly here. Free agency officially opens March 10 (which is also when teams must be salary cap compliant.) The Cardinals’ offseason conditioning program starts April 20. And the draft is set to start on April 30.


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Posted in Blog | 46 Comments »


46 Responses to “Combine coming, so send in your questions”

  1. By LadyBird04 on Feb 16, 2015 | Reply

    Plenty of space has been devoted to Larry’s contract but little has been said about Dockett. Where are they in the process with him or are they being held captive until Larry’s deal is done? (Also our free agents and where they stand – I’m assuming they are in the same spot as Dockett.) It’s a shame so much hinges on the outcome of only one contract but that is what they have to deal with. I hope Keim doesn’t repeat this practice as his predecessors did with Larry Fitzgerald.

  2. By Darren Urban on Feb 16, 2015 | Reply

    LadyBird —

    RE: Dockett

    Dockett’s situation is not tied to Fitz. But like Fitz, I don’t see how the Cards carry Dockett’s cap number and it makes a lot of sense to try to lower it. Like Fitz, we’ll see how Dockett works with that.

  3. By CreditCard on Feb 16, 2015 | Reply

    Darren and Kyle,

    Not chilly at all (14 and 16 degrees), I was in Philadelphia last week with high temperatures reaching 6 degrees coupled with 50 mph wind.

    Being from a DII world as well as my children graduating from DII schools, I’ve been impressed with some of the DII talent as well as I have a soft spot for kids coming out of DII schools. My opinion, I think the Cards have made some in-roads with DII nation, and have picked up some very good talent, such as Greg Tolar, John Brown, Justin Bethal, to name a few…

    Because of the Cardinal DII gems, as a media person are you looking a DII combine participants a little more closely wondering if the Cards can yet again, land a late round wonder? Is there more curiosity with DII kids since they are relatively unknown?

    At the combine, do you converse with other team’s media? Overall, what organization tends to impress you the most year after year, and teams give you the impression that they’re always going in a new direction?

    Do you see participants stretching in the halls?, do some of them have personal trainers? Do you personally root for the kid, that is doing it on his own?

  4. By Dr. G. on Feb 16, 2015 | Reply

    Re: Fitzgerald – Square peg//Round hole? Bang for the buck?

    For Steve Keim:

    Will you offer significant money to utilize Fitz in 2015 as he was last year?

    Thanks Darren; you get the theme here…be well in the chill…!

  5. By rod (Eddie Goldman RD1) on Feb 16, 2015 | Reply

    This isn’t a question about the combine but still it’s something I hope you’d ask Mr. Bidwill and Steve Keim.

    My question is :

    Would they consider documenting the draft war room and sell it to their fans. I would love to be able to watch that. Even if it’s is just a couple hours of hilights and lowlights.

    I love the jog they are doing and it starts from the top and it would be awesome to get an inside look at my Cardinals!

    On a side note, remember last year when they acted for the camera and did that Rich Eisen thing? Friggin’ awesome!! That’s our organization, and I live it. At least tell that was great!

    Thanks Darren.

  6. By jeffgollin on Feb 16, 2015 | Reply

    Per,usual, I will look for CB’s with inhuman jumping scores and OK speed coupled with outstanding ball skills and go from there -you can never have too many of those guys.

  7. By Dynosoar on Feb 16, 2015 | Reply

    rod (Eddie Goldman RD1),

    agreed on the camera acting and the “Eisen thing.” That was awesome.

    My question – “Understanding everyone you ask (including yourself) is a fan of the Cardinals first and foremost; as a kid growing up, what was your favorite NFL team and why?”

    Darren, it’d be cool to hear yours as well.

    I chose the Cardinals at eight years old when my dad showed me all the teams helmets and I liked the Cardinal best. (I was this close to choosing the cool lightening bolt, glad I didn’t do that.)

  8. By Dynosoar on Feb 16, 2015 | Reply

    I would imagine I already know Michael Bidwill’s favorite childhood team.

  9. By mike egan on Feb 16, 2015 | Reply

    more of a comment than a question. Rule changes!! Change should read that anytime the quarterback position gains 35 or more yards on the ground that position is now considered a running back, and no longer subject to immunity for the hook slide.

  10. By Greg in Annapolis on Feb 16, 2015 | Reply

    Ques. for Mr. Keim: Steve, given needs in this year’s draft, do you see the Cardinals more likely to trade up for that special player, or trade down in an effort to score additional draft picks, and why?

  11. By Seacard on Feb 16, 2015 | Reply

    Darren-
    Do you look forward to any particular part of the offseason? I personally am I fan of the draft and FA, seeing what new faces will lend their talent to achieve the common dream is exciting.
    Question for BA
    Going into year 3 of your offense, which young player do you think will shine the most next year?
    Question for SK
    Of all your FA signings, which one surprised you by going above and beyond what their role had originally been envisioned to be?

  12. By jwoodaz on Feb 16, 2015 | Reply

    Ty as always to you and your team Darren.. For Mr. Bidwell, what tipped the scales for you to say yes to your new endeavor with help for players with real issues at home with their spouses etc..?
    For Mr. Kiem.. what is your process for bringing in scouts for the organization, or when you do, what are some of the things you look for in Scouts?

    for Mr. Urban.. is there a chance at an underground while at the combine or is that just ridiculous….

  13. By Darren Urban on Feb 17, 2015 | Reply

    jwood —

    RE: Underground at combine

    Kyle and I are going to try and pull off a video version.

  14. By Phil on Feb 16, 2015 | Reply

    We need to come out OF FA and the Draft with a RB

  15. By Coach K on Feb 16, 2015 | Reply

    Darren,

    Do you think it’s possible the Cardinals will pick three offensive line prospects in this draft?

  16. By Darren Urban on Feb 17, 2015 | Reply

    Coach K —

    RE: OL

    Three? Sounds way high.

  17. By gerald on Feb 16, 2015 | Reply

    Did you guys will sing cromattie ot adrian petterson

  18. By Scott H on Feb 16, 2015 | Reply

    Credit Card –

    RE: Temps in Philly

    You ain’t kidding, brother! Temps overnight and into this morning out here were in the MINUS 15 – 20 degree range!

    16 degrees in Indy? HA! That’s sweater weather compared to what we have right now! Enjoy those mild temps out there!

  19. By Scott H on Feb 16, 2015 | Reply

    LadyBird04 –

    Well, no one is really being held captive by anything or anyone yet since FA hasn’t even started yet. Clearly, the intent of the organization is to have the Fitz situation resolved – one way or the other – by that time. From what reports we have heard, the two sides are talking now, so…give it a chance. I don’t think it benefits Fitz, either, to have this move slowly.

    I believe this front office knows what it is doing.

  20. By Beckett Priestley on Feb 16, 2015 | Reply

    Considering that larry fitzgerald is getting old and his glory days are clearly behind him now that the team finally has other strong wide receivers why not trade him for a strong pass rusher considering the team may be without darnell dockett antonio cromarty and daryl washington next season

  21. By Steve . on Feb 16, 2015 | Reply

    Darren: This question is for GM Steve Keim: .How talented and deep a group are the pass rushers and inside.linebackers in this years draft compared to last years college group and.can Cards fans expect linebacker to be .a top focus early in this draft?

  22. By Canadian Redbird on Feb 16, 2015 | Reply

    Darren:

    Hope we don’t lose sight of the fact that we desperately need the best punter in the draft. If that means we select him in the 4th round, so be it. Can you keep us updated in this area.

  23. By Darren Urban on Feb 17, 2015 | Reply

    Canadian —

    RE: Punter

    I will be beyond shocked if the Cardinals draft a punter.

    They got Catanzaro as an UDFA. If Zastudil isn’t their guy, I’d expect a punter to come as an UDFA, or a guy who has already floated around a bit.

  24. By Coach K on Feb 16, 2015 | Reply

    For Coach B.A.

    Would you draft another quarterback in this draft to provide camp competition for
    Logan?

  25. By WVcardFan on Feb 16, 2015 | Reply

    For Keim: When considering how to structure a restructure, how much do you try to project what the cap might look like 4/5 years down the road when thinking about potential dummy years to put on the end of the deal (which create a dead money hit.) For instance, if Dockett is redone, a $4M dead money hit in 2018 won’t have the same bite as it would in 2015 if the cap continues to go up at this pace. The dummy year can significantly reduce the cap numbers at the front end, and might be much more palatable down the road with a quickly escalating cap. Of course, in a perfect world, you try to avoid dead money wherever possible, but sometimes it makes financial sense.

  26. By rod (Eddie Goldman RD1) on Feb 17, 2015 | Reply

    Dynosoar-

    I lived in middle of grape/raisin country, Fresno California. I was in to being a musician so consumed all of my time. I was a very casual sports fan, things might have been different had I lived in a city with a team.

    But in 1999 I started following the greatest show on turf and the story that was Kurt Warner ( I am a HUGE underdog guy ). Still a casual sports fan I moved to Phoenix in 2004 and started paying attention the teams here and started to get behind them, then when Kurt came that was it!! And ever since I have been a loyal fan. Even Though we sucked for 3 years after Kurt left and it was very uninspired watching the games I still watched. So I haven’t gone through the turmoil like the lifers, I have had the pleasure is seeing this thing turn completely around. And if you think about it, you could consider the Las two years a rebuilding but that’s hard to fathom because we’re winning.

    I still have never gone to a game in my life, but I watch and rewatch them all. I have my white kangol, my 2 baseball caps, my 4 or so shirts and my 2008 Kurt Warner Superbowl addition Jersey I acquired as partial payment of a car I sold.

    😊

    Go Cards!!

  27. By Marlin on Feb 17, 2015 | Reply

    Darren,
    Question for BA and the GM:
    If they only had enough cap space to sign one impact free agent, would they choose an interior offensive lineman, or a pass rusher?

  28. By CORMAC on Feb 17, 2015 | Reply

    Darren, do you have a favorite top three picks? If you three positions to address in the draft, what would they be?

    My top three positions I would hit in no particular order

    Inside linebacker

    UCLA
    Eric Kendricks
    Sr 6’0″ 230

    Right tackle

    Iowa
    Brandon Scherff
    Sr 6’5″ 315

    Defensive end

    Missouri
    Matt Hoch
    Sr 6’4″ 295

  29. By Darren Urban on Feb 17, 2015 | Reply

    Cormac —

    RE: Draft

    The draft definitely isn’t my forte. It’s fine on draft weekend when we see what players the Cards get. But I don’t watch enough college football to be able to make any decent judgments about these guys.

  30. By Dynosoar on Feb 17, 2015 | Reply

    rod (Eddie Goldman RD1),

    trading a Warner Jersey as a partial payment for a car? Yeah, I’d do that!

    The thing is as a lifer and never living in a Super Bowl market myself, I always watched only one or two games each year, just because the national markets wouldn’t put us on TV, so it wasn’t too painful.

    Still, I’m loving these last few years sooooo much and the last two especially.

  31. By Dynosoar on Feb 17, 2015 | Reply

    Darren,

    I am also interested in and so second the following questions from above.

    CreditCard’s – DII.

    Dynosoar’s – favorite team. (Hehe.)

    Mike Egan’s point about hook sliding is a good one. Also add we need OT rules to change for the entire season, regular AND playoffs to allow for each team’s possession.

    Greg in Annapoli’s – trade up or trade down.

    Seacard’s for Steve Keim – which FA surprised them the most.

    jwoodaz’z – Scouts.

    This was a good post. Thanks.

  32. By Dave on Feb 17, 2015 | Reply

    Question for Steve Keim: How much are compensatory draft picks considered when signing players in free agency? I’m envious of the Seahawks who Last year lost 9 players in free agency and didn’t sign a single player and therefore should get 4 compensatory picks in this year’s draft including a 4th, two 5th round picks and a sixth . Is that the ideal for a team – to not really need free agency?

    Question for Steve Keim: Would you prefer to have the draft before free agency? It seems like it would be better to draft Best Player Available and see what you end up with and then fill in other needs in free agency later.

    Question for Steve Keim: When considering targets in free agency do you try and guess at what needs you’ll be able to fill with the draft or is that not a consideration?

  33. By D on Feb 17, 2015 | Reply

    Darren-How much Cap space do you believe Mr. Keim and BA would like to have on March 11th? Between 12-18mil?

    Do you think John Abraham will come back for one more year since he has a good relationship with the DC? (not sure if he has any pending suspensions from the league)

    I am curious to see how Benardrick McKinney runs at the combine. He is raw but he can play both inside and outside with the size he has and probably would be still on the board at 24, could be an option for the new LB coach to work with. Since the Cards need help at both LB spots (even if DWash is still on the team) I would guess the Cards will be looking closely at him.

  34. By Darren Urban on Feb 17, 2015 | Reply

    D —

    RE: Cap space

    I think it’s unrealistic, given the current situation, to expect $10M of cap space. It can be done but it’s going to be tough.

    As for Abraham, we’ll see. He needs to have everything figured out for his health first.

  35. By John The Draft Guy on Feb 17, 2015 | Reply

    My questions are for Steve Keim;

    At the combine, At what point do measurements (i.e. 40 times, verticals, ect) change what you saw on film.

    Example, Kelvin Benjamin ran a 4.7 40 which had some thinking he was more of a TE. (obviously he proved everyone wrong) Or Jarvis Jones at OLB put up around a 5.0 40 even though he was a sack machine.

    So, if you see something that far off, do you trust the film or do you change your mind on that player?

    Second Question;

    When looking at QBs in the draft, how much does potential come into play? Let’s face it, Logan Thomas is a physical freak with a big arm. But he was very inaccurate most of his college career.

    At what point do you say, his potential is not showing up on film, or do you believe that if a player has the tools, a good coaching staff can bring out the potential of a player to be reality?

    How much does their heart and mental makeup come into play? (obviously everyone missed those measurements on Tom Brady)

    Third question;

    Going in to the draft, you have your big board with players ranked. You would have to believe that at 24 in the first round, you have a good idea of the players who will be there.

    But what if a player you did not expect to drop, fell to 24 and you felt it was a position of strength (i.e. Amari Cooper, WR) . Would you take Cooper, even though WR is not a need, because he is the obvious best player, or do you take the best player available in a position of need?

    Final Question;

    What a draft for some special D lineman. Guys like Leonard Williams, Danny Shelton, Malcom Brown, Carl Davis, Arik Armstead, Eddie Goldman, and Jordon Phillips are all potential first round 3-4 DEs or NTs.

    Without giving anything away on who you like, can you discuss this amazing group of dlineman and your thoughts of how they might fit/benefit the cardinals.
    (again, I know you won’t give anything away here) Well, I guess you can give away how you feel about Leonard Williams since there is zero chance he falls anywhere close to us.

  36. By rod (Eddie Goldman RD1) on Feb 17, 2015 | Reply

    BASK MB.,

    Question :

    We all know that you aren’t afraid to move around in the draft, the last couple years trading down. Do you devote a certain amount of resources to investigate other teams needs so you can feel fairly confident that the guy you want will still be there waiting for you when you pick after the trade down? Can you elaborate on that a little bit?

    Thanks
    Rod

  37. By Dr. G. on Feb 17, 2015 | Reply

    Question for Coach Arians:

    Prior to the 2013 season you said you will call plays until you find someone better. Obviously, you love that job. How do you grade yourself; and do you ever see that changing so you can be more hands-on for the entire team, especially now that you have a rookie DC? Thank you

  38. By Andy Kw on Feb 17, 2015 | Reply

    Right now, let’s talk basics:
    -FA’s to let hit the market: QB Ryan Lindley, RB Jonathan Dwyer, TE Rob Housler, OG Paul Fanaika, OT Bradley Sowell, OLB John Abraham, OLB Marcus Benard, ILB Larry Foote, CB Antonio Cromartie
    -Players to cut: C Lyle Sendlein, WR Ted Ginn Jr, TE John Carlson, OLB Lorenzo Alexander, S Chris Clemons
    -Players to negotiate new cap friendly deals (final yr in contract): QB Drew Stanton, CB Jerraud Powers
    -Restructure the expensive: WR Larry Fitzgerald, DE Calais Campbell, DT Darnell Dockett, ILB Daryl Washington
    -Players to resign: DT Tommy Kelly, NT Dan Williams, NT Alameda Ta’amu, OLB Sam Acho, LS Mike Leach
    -Player position battles for spots on 53 man roster:
    RB2,3,4, TE3,4, WR5, Backup OT&C,
    -Position battle to be starters: TE1/2, LG, C, L/ROLB, L/RILB, CB2,
    (I fully expect this team to target at least one of the top 2 guards in FA (Mike Lupati (SF) & Orlando Franklin (DEN)))

  39. By Andy Kw on Feb 17, 2015 | Reply

    Hey Darren,
    Do you think the Cardinals will potentially look at FA OLB Vernon Gholston?
    You said Steve Keim is looking at all options at pass rusher and some say that includes Michael Sam. For a guy that big and muscular, Gholston still has a lot of speed.

  40. By Darren Urban on Feb 17, 2015 | Reply

    Andy Kw —

    RE: Gholston

    We’ll see but he’s been nothing so far in the NFL.

  41. By Michael from Stl on Feb 17, 2015 | Reply

    -random thought-I hope we look for a bigger back in FA or the draft to compensate Andre. I didn’t watch my fair share of college football this year as I was more excited for Sundays, so I can’t really suggest any players that I would have in mind besides one. I do live in MO, so I can only say the Mizzou defensive linemen are a force and a little about DGB. They’re already hyping him up which as I did when he signed with Mizzou, but he’s potentially the next great or fallout WR to come into the league, and I believe the Cardinals could turn the dude around.. We don’t need a WR, because I’m confident Larry wants to be in AZ as much as we want him here, It’s interesting thought, The Cardinals have good team chemistry and maybe that’s all he needs.

    Question(s): Darren, how likely do you think it is possible to keep Cro here? W/ Bowles gone, is Deone moving to SS and what that would mean for the possible future of Jefferson or RJ? What are the chances DW58 plays in AZ uniform? How does B.A feel about his o-line and how likely is it that they draft one? Are we able to keep Dan W., Acho, and Kelly? We need all the PR we can get, so keeping them would seem like a must. Any RB’s you personally like or think could be a fit from the FA, or the draft?

    I don’t mean to ramble,and sorry if I restated a previous question I didn’t read all the comments.

  42. By Darren Urban on Feb 17, 2015 | Reply

    Michael from Stl —

    RE: Questions

    1) Guessing he’ll get money-whipped elsewhere.
    2) Deone is going to be a safety sooner rather than later.
    3) Depends on how NFL deals with him for 2015.
    4) They wouldn’t mind upgrading.
    5) We’ll see.

  43. By JohnnyBluenose on Feb 17, 2015 | Reply

    If Keim cannot come to an agreement with Fitz within the next couple of weeks does he then consider making a play for Demarco Murray (assuming he will be available)?….and Andy Kw, Ta’amu played very well in 2013 but he hardly played in 2014 eventhough he was supposedly recovered from his unfortunate knee injury. Why are you so keen to have him re-signed?

  44. By Michael from stl on Feb 18, 2015 | Reply

    Thanks Darren. Knew we would resign fitz

  45. By SSmith on Feb 18, 2015 | Reply

    Darren,

    On a scale of 1-10, what is the odds of letting go of Ginn? (In your opinion)

  46. By Darren Urban on Feb 18, 2015 | Reply

    SSmith —

    RE: Scale

    You failed to let me know what 1 represents and 10 represents. I’m in limbo.

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