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Kerwynn Williams, and juggling the roster

Posted by Darren Urban on October 11, 2016 – 10:09 am

The life of a player on the fringe of the roster is not easy. Kerwynn Williams knows this. The running back was re-signed by the Cardinals Tuesday. He had been signed a week ago after Chris Johnson went on IR, and then when the Cardinals needed an extra tight end because Darren Fells was injured — the Cards promoted practice squad tight end Hakeem Valles — Williams was the one they cut, just a few hours before kickoff against the 49ers. Now that Carson Palmer is just about healthy, the Cardinals found a roster spot for Williams again, letting go of quarterback Zac Dysert.

Williams lives a tough reality. He’s not a special teamer (he can return kickoffs, if needed) so he’s not a guy that makes sense to be active unless you need him to run the ball. He’s no longer practice-squad eligible. But he’s proven many times he can run the ball, and run it well. If he had been PS-eligible, he very well would have made it over Elijhaa Penny.

But with Johnson down (at least for now; there is a chance CJ2K will return this season) Williams makes a lot of sense as an extra runner. Andre Ellington will be David Johnson’s official backup, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Williams finds a way to get some carries over the next few weeks.

That is, of course, assuming the Cardinals don’t need to find a roster spot again.


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Posted in Blog | 29 Comments »

29 Responses to “Kerwynn Williams, and juggling the roster”

  1. By Scott H on Oct 11, 2016 | Reply

    Yes, let’s give some carries to Ellington AND to Williams. Continued work loads for DJ like we saw the other night are gonna wear out the tread on those tires. Right now, I’m hoping we have a post-season to look forward to. And if we get that, we need DJ strong and ready to go.

  2. By Kevin S Mesa on Oct 11, 2016 | Reply

    Amazing how fast Ellington went from being a focal point of the offense to nearly irrelevant.

  3. By Devin H on Oct 11, 2016 | Reply

    Let’s not forget that we still have Stepfan Taylor on the roster. Does he only play special teams now?

  4. By Amir on Oct 11, 2016 | Reply

    OT: Video clip issues

    What is the deal with video clips playing lately? When I try to play the clips they either do not start or immediately cutoff and end as soon as these start. This started last few days. I have tried both Chrome and IE. I can play clips from nfl.com without any issues.

    I have tried rebooting my system, cleaning all the caches and what not but no success.

  5. By Darren Urban on Oct 11, 2016 | Reply

    Amir —

    RE: Video

    I am not having those issues, but I will look into it.

  6. By Dr. G. on Oct 11, 2016 | Reply

    Looking at Kerwin’s stats, some may wonder why he is not on a roster by now. How many RBs have this type resume…short as it may be?

    Season Team Rushing Receiving Fumbles
    G GS Att Yds Avg Lng TD Rec Yds Avg Lng TD FUM Lost
    2015 Arizona 6 0 27 142 5.3 35T 1 2 16 8.0 12 0 1 1
    2014 Arizona 5 0 53 246 4.6 19 0 2 11 5.5 6 0 1 0

    I recall the long TD…he can get jiggy widdit. DJ needs some relief to maintain his stellar level of play. KW is just another guy who is on the bubble and needs some time to prove his mettle. I’m still really curious about Penney also. G’day Cards Fans… Gotta get on a roll now starting with the Jets….

  7. By Dr. G. on Oct 11, 2016 | Reply

    Darren…that chart was aligned when I sent it… I guess studious fan can interpret it though, huh? Thx

  8. By Amir on Oct 11, 2016 | Reply

    Whatever you “looked into” seems to have apparently fixed it🙂 at least for the clips that were having problems.

    Thank a bunch. Much appreciated.

  9. By joe holst on Oct 11, 2016 | Reply

    It’s good Fells is returning since Hakeem Valles was terrible vs 49ers ,

  10. By TLT on Oct 11, 2016 | Reply

    KW’s 5.3yds/carry avg speaks for itself. Stephan is a leader on Special Teams, we’ve seen how important they are.Nice depth from both.

    Re Stanton, consider: Even though he ranks among most inaccurate passers in league, he can:
    1. win;
    2. throw deep balls, make all throws;
    3. take a shot to the mouth and get up and answer the bell;
    4. run the offense, on no notice and little preparation.

    So, he’s an anomaly. He started TNF on 3 days prep, no live/padded practice; then no picks, threw away form defenders, had 5 drops per Keim on 3rd down, won “easily”. I know, he scares the hell out of me too, but that single key stat, 8-5 as backup starter, best in league. Crazy, huh. But I’ll never not be scared when he starets.

  11. By Scott H on Oct 11, 2016 | Reply

    Anyone watch the Monday Night game last night? Been hard to not notice how the two teams from last season’s NFC title game have struggled so badly this year. And I found it interesting that the Panthers went into last night at 1-3 and starting their back-up QB against a pretty bad team. And needing a win REAL bad. Hmmm…where have I seen that before?

    I took great delight watching two of my LEAST favorite ex-Cardinals of all time – Derek Anderson and Tedd Ginn – have really bad nights, making mistakes that helped cost their team a game. It seemed like poetic justice. Ginn fair caught the first Buccs first punt of the night right on Carolina’s 10 yard line and I laughed out loud. He muffed / fumbled the next punt and the Buccs recovered. Meanwhile, Anderson looked as inept as ever. I loved it.

    The game was so bad, I bailed out at halftime but I fully expected to wake up to find that the Panthers got themselves together enough to win the game. But they didn’t. Wow. They are 1-4. It seems like they have a bit of the same virus the Cardinals have been affected by. Only worse.

    We’ve gotten off to a rough start, but….man, it could be worse! I really believe that if the Cardinals do turn this thing around, it will be a real sign of character and that will only build as the season goes on.

    One thing is for sure – and this is NOT a bad thing – at least we don’t appear to be in danger of peaking too soon!

  12. By CardinalChris on Oct 11, 2016 | Reply

    KW would have looked good running in those white socks!! Anyone else like the white pant/white sock look last week?

  13. By Kevin S Mesa on Oct 11, 2016 | Reply

    Scott H —

    The parallels in the Panthers’ season to ours up through the first 4 games were kinda weird. We both lost our openers against a team that was in the AFC championship last year by missing a game-winning FG at the end. We both won our 2nd game handily before dropping the next two AND losing our QB to a concussion toward the end of the 4th game.

    That said, the one thing about Carolina that would’ve caused you to predict a regression-to-the-mean is turnovers. They were +20 last year, well ahead of just about everyone. KC was +14, Cincy was +11, and no other team was in double digits. The Cards were 4th in the league — so obviously very good — in this department last year, and even we were only +9.

    To some extent, turnovers are within your control (a good QB doesn’t throw many picks), but a lot of it is just luck. Even if you expected the Panthers to have a better-than-average ratio, a “good” turnover margin for the year is something like +6 or so — you can’t expect much better than that; the rest is largely luck. Their problem is that they aren’t just regressing to the mean — they’ve gone totally in the other direction. They’re at -7 through 5 games, tied for 2nd-worst in the league. Last night was a perfect example — they outgained TB by nearly 100 yards, but turned the ball over at critical times. Same thing happened to them in the MN game. And same thing happened to us against the Rams.

    All you have to do is scan the turnover margin stats at any point in the season and it will often be a microcosm of the season. The top 5 so far this year? Vikings, Bills, Raiders, Eagles, Patriots — a combined 19-5, and probably a couple teams in there that are doing better than expected. The bottom 5? Jets are -10, 3 worse than the next-worse team. You also have the Panthers, Dolphins, Giants and Bucs in the bottom 5. Combined 7-18, and certainly there are several teams in that group that are not performing up to expectations.

    Turnovers will kill you.

  14. By Scott H on Oct 11, 2016 | Reply

    joe hoist –

    Yes, I will be glad to see Fells back as well. Once again, we are not utilizing the TE’s as effectively as we should. And that is just ridiculous. Fells has Antonio Gates-like size and has shown he can go up and make some catches. Gresham is a very talented player, too. BUT unlike last season when all our WR’s were just so lethal, we are seeing some of them struggle badly this year. Smoky has been in-consistent. Floyd had disappeared altogether ( literally – he wasn’t even on the field for much of the game last Thursday ) and Jaron is struggling to break through. And the QB is just struggling, period. So, it would seem that there SHOULD be more opportunities for the TE’s to help us out. But we’re not seeing it. I hope that with Fells return, we might see that change this week.

    TE’s are often a QB’s best friend when the offense is struggling. Here in Arizona, Larry Fitzgerald is ALWAYS the QB’s best friend, but I think we can, and SHOULD, employ a bit more of that thinking here. Seriously. What defenses are expecting the CARDINALS to actively use the TE as part of the offense??? Um….probably none, since we never really do.

    Dammit, let’s get these big guys more involved and try keeping opposing defenses off balance a little by doing something DIFFERENT. Against Seattle, definitely.

    Also, more pitch outs and dump offs to Ellington in space so he can use that speed to get outside. Either of these will back off the pass rush if we are doing them effectively.

    And no matter HOW we do it, NOTHING will get this team – and the crowd – going on Monday Night like a TD on the first possession. We start to turn this season around in the first quarter Monday Night with at least 14 points on the board before the 2nd quarter starts.

    Damn….only Tuesday night and I’m already blowing all of my “Sunday Before The Jets” blog material! By Saturday, I’m gonna have to move on to the Seattle game!

  15. By dobie on Oct 11, 2016 | Reply

    What do they not see in Penny I think he got potential but I am not a coach

  16. By Wild Blue Yonder on Oct 11, 2016 | Reply

    Scott H.,

    There are probably many Cards fans, like you and me, that want BA to call more passes to the TEs.

    However, BA will probably not do that. It’s not in his DNA. Go for the “Chunk Plays”, no matter what. In a way, it’s curious since I believe that, when he was the Steelers’ OC, he frequently called for passes to Heath Miller, their TE, who could not only block very well, but catch passes in traffic.

  17. By Bay Area Bad Boy on Oct 11, 2016 | Reply

    Love Kerwynn Williams. Just wish he could stick and stay. He proves himself time and time again. The question I have is Stephan Taylor. I watched him excel at Stanford, but I don’t really see him contributing except clean up time. Maybe he is a special team player and that may be the difference. On any account, I wish Kerwynn the best.

  18. By Scott H on Oct 12, 2016 | Reply

    Kevin –

    Yes, I was noting many of the same similarities. Let’s just be glad there was a parting of the ways in Week 5 and that the Cardinals got a win in their game.

    I, too, was expecting a bit of a regression from the Panthers and Cam Newton this year. But certainly not to the extent we’ve actually seem. Opening week, I thought it was a bad sign that Newton was showing such a defeated look so early on in that game against Denver. Just like he did by the latter stages of the SB, he just looked like he wanted NO part of the Broncos. And when you see that in your QB, how does it affect the rest of the team?? Newton was entirely too demonstrative in his celebrations last year, on a weekly basis, and I was not a fan. But this year?? He has appeared so defeated and despondent, I almost wish he would bring some of his exuberance back, ya know?

    I wonder how Newton’s teammates really feel about him….

  19. By clssylssy on Oct 12, 2016 | Reply

    The Cards just don’t know how to use TEs to get maximum value for the offense. BA uses them as blockers and battering rams, in a strictly utility role. Gresham is big and has made some good plays in the past but rarely gets the opportunity (might be a poor man’s version of Jimmy Graham in the right scheme) b/c BA prefers using receivers.,,and, he is someone Carson has chemistry with. Fells has Antonio Gates size but is another undeveloped,underutilized talent. How about trying Penney at TE, he has the size, speed, physicality, good hands (from what I’ve seen) and it couldn’t be any crazier than moving a RB to Corner?
    With Carson coming back from a concussion, it might be a good time to start using our TEs more efficiently–certainly would be off script and couldn’t hurt to have a few of those plays in our hip pocket! Give the offense more options and an updated look!

  20. By John The Draft Guy on Oct 12, 2016 | Reply

    Monday’s game vs the Jets;

    – In the 2015 draft, my two favorite players in the draft were Todd Gurley and The guy the cards will face this week in Leonard Williams.

    Williams is listed as a DT, but in Bowles 3-4, he is an end like Docket was. The difference is, they will move Williams around. He will play NT or a 3 technique as well as his 5 technique. This gives him a chance to “work” different lineman to find a chance to make a play. Williams, as an inside player, has 5 sacks and 2 FF. He is a force.

    If only Williams was the only thing to worry about. Muhammad Wilkerson plays the other end and registered 12.5 sacks last year as a 3-4 end. They have 2 big OLBs , who are solid against the run and can get to the QB. And the ILBs are physical.

    Where they are weak, and I mean real weak, is the secondary. Revis struggles with speed and if I was Bowles, I would match him up with Fitz. But there is no one on the team that can hang with Floyd or John Brown if they are playing well.

    The card offense goes big this week if….. They can protect Palmer and if Floyd decides this is the week he is going to play. Also, the LBs are big and physical but no way they can hang with DJ out of the backfield. Look for DJ having a big day catching the ball.

    On Defense, This is going to be fun.

    Peterson vs Brandon Marshall. The stats when throwing against Peterson are unreal. ( I think I heard something like 1.1 comp for 19 yrd average per game). Now that is shut down. But this week, Marshall is big, physical and loves to push off. They also have a QB who will throw that way regardless. Peterson will finally get tested and I think he has a pick 6 this week.

    Our run defense has to be ready. Matt Forte is the older version of DJ. If you don’t see the similarities after this game, you aren’t paying attention. So, think power and deceptive speed. Catching the ball out of the backfield and lining up as a receiver. The cards #1 priority (outside of PP doing his thing) is to take Forte out of the game.

    If PP plays well and if the cards control Forte, Fitzpatrick will get impatient and begin turning over the ball. At home, Monday Night Football, this is the type of game the cards trip up on. But at 2-3, this is a must win at home.

  21. By John The Draft Guy on Oct 12, 2016 | Reply


    I noticed on the Bird chat, a lot of fans worried about DJ getting too many touches. I thought I would weigh in with my opinion.

    With the hole the cards dug, they must win at home every game. You have wildcard teams like the Eagles and Packers who have 1 loss. You have a Seahawk team that has a 2 game lead and an easy schedule the 3 games after us. A loss to the Jets and/or Seahawks could be devastating.

    So, there is nothing to save DJ for. You must win these games.

    The other issue is CJ. If Cj was healthy, you have someone of starting caliber to relief DJ. CJ can run inside the tackles and make explosive plays. We don’t have another back who can do that other than DJ. Ellington can help out on passing plays and a few carries, but to win, DJ has to go.

    As for January, If we turn this around and are in this race, people will say, we wore out DJ. and maybe so. But hopefully, we will have a fresh CJ coming back to take on more of the load.

    We win when DJ gets the touches. You can’t hold him back, basically, these next two games are playoff games. If we go 6-2 at home and 4-4 on the road, it gives us 10-6 and I don’t know if that gets one of the wildcard spots. We must go 6-2 at home and 5-3 on the road to get 11-5.

    It starts with winning the next two home games. Lose against the Jets and you will have to go 6-2 on the road. Lose against the Hawks, well….. turn out the lights.

    So, if this is playoffs, there is nothing to save DJ for. Give him as many touches as needed to win.

  22. By TucsonTim on Oct 12, 2016 | Reply

    MNF and the ex-cards

    Actually kind of felt bad for Anderson. I think he really tried as a Cardinal. Obviously, he’s not got what it takes.

    Fair catch Ginn. Was listening to ESPN last year when one of the guys said if there was a Hall of Fame for running out of bounds, Ginn would be a first ballot for sure. I surely don’t feel bad for him.

  23. By Dr. G. on Oct 12, 2016 | Reply

    jtdg…Your summary of the upcoming season is well taken…most fans can see that 11-5 is probably minimum to make January, although we had that record a few years ago only to go on vacation.

    My take on your post is that you think DJ is our savior for the season, but he cannot win all those games alone. I know you know that, but riding him like whipping a work mule will inevitably place him on the bench with serious fatigue or nagging injuries. It will affect his performance ala Ellington prior.

    DJ is a fantastic weapon even as a decoy, but our Cards need all phases ((D – O – STs & Coaching)) firing simultaneously to win comfortably while avoiding the desperate kick to take the lead in the closing seconds.

    Legitimately, I have seen only one player ever who could almost win a game by himself…memories of Bo Jackson…he left because of just wearing down..be well

  24. By Scott H on Oct 12, 2016 | Reply

    Tucson Tim –

    Thanks for caring enough to comment! I hear ya about Anderson. He’s not a bad guy, but….that image of him laughing on the sidelines during that Monday Night game when both he and the Cardinals were quite embarassing is hard to forgive.

    Not a bad guy but clearly not a good QB, either.

    And, yes, Ginn is much lower on my list. STILL pisses me off to look at his season stats for 2013, 2014, and 2015 side by side. Had a good year in Carolina in 2013 and a GREAT year in Carolina in 2015. In between? Absolutely horrendous for the Cardinals in 2014. It was like he took a year off but still got paid. I’ll NEVER forgive it.

  25. By John The Draft Guy on Oct 12, 2016 | Reply

    Dr G,

    DJ is the size of Adrian Peterson, not Ellington. Peterson averages 295 carries a year. DJ is on pace for 291 carries.

    Looking at the 2014 players who gained 1000+ yards, they averaged 267 carries with Demarco Murrey getting a whopping 392 carries.

    In 2015, the 1000+ yard rushers average 265 carries for the year.

    It seems that, if you get CJ involved in December, you could have DJ in around 265 carries. But even not, 290 carries isn’t that off based.

    Taking it a step further, every year, you can go back and see that the leading rusher in the NFL had over 325 carries or more. Many years, there were 5 guys over 300+ carries.

    Guys like Peterson, LaDainian Thomlison, Edgerin James, had over 300 carries every year and thrived for many years.

    Finally, Matt Forte, who is the closest to me to DJ, has 2 more carries and 2 more catches than DJ has in 2016 and he is 30.

    I really don’t think he is overworked, especially if CJ can help out in December and keep him at 265 carries. That is a perfect number for him.

    But for the Jets game, I don’t see him getting 30 carries. I think the cards can throw against the jets and if they can get a big lead, can get Taylor some work. I think there are going to be spots you can get him a blow, but yes, you have to ride him right now.

  26. By Dr. G. on Oct 12, 2016 | Reply

    jtdg… to clarify. ..no issues with using DJ as he has been… 18+ carries and 3+ receiving per game average . The way you explained in your post seemed to indicate a needed increase in his carries… Using him as usual is reasonable. His dialogue seems to agree with that…he is a happy camper.

    I always know the sizes of these guys ties to endure the wear and tear…never been a fan of Ellington up the middle a bunch of times. ???Your take on bringing up a dozer like Penney for some trial work??? …be well

  27. By Kevin S Mesa on Oct 13, 2016 | Reply

    Dr. G —

    The year we missed the playoffs under Arians, we were 10-6. We lost the finale to SF. SF and NO got the wildcards at 12-4 and 11-5. Had we won the finale, we, SF and NO would’ve all finished at 11-5 and one of the three would’ve been left out (I think us, because SF would’ve owned the tiebreaker over us due to division record and NO because of beating us). But it turned out we lost the finale so it didn’t matter. We got in the next year at 11-5 (but it was the Lindley year, so we may as well have missed.)

    Dr. G and JTDG —

    As far as this year, I would be shocked if the 2nd wild card team is better than 10-6. With Carolina faltering, no one out of the South is likely to end up at 11-5 or better, except possibly Atlanta who would then win the division. The Rams aren’t going anywhere; they’ll end up their usual 8-8, or maybe 9-7 if they overachieve. I assume one WC will go to whichever of GB or MN doesn’t win the North. So that leaves the East. Dallas has been impressive — I expect them to win the division. Philly has done better than expected, but they opened against Cleveland and Chicago, two of the worst teams in football. They pasted the Steelers, which was impressive, but then lost to Detroit. So how real are they? I don’t know, but their schedule is tough. They’ve got all six division games; 4-2 would probably be the best I’d expect them to do in division. If they can pull off 4-2 in division, that puts them at 7-3. Their other six games are the Vikings, Falcons, Seahawks, Packers, Bengals and Ravens. Highly unlikely that they win more than 3 of those, IMO. If they went 3-3 in those 6, which would be a pretty good accomplishment, plus 4-2 in division, they’d end up 10-6, and if we went 10-6 as well, we’d end up going to tiebreakers. (Where, incidentally, we currently have an advantage, because the first tiebreaker for teams not in the same division and that didn’t play each other is conference record, and since two of our losses are out of the conference, we’re actually AHEAD of Philly at this point, 2-1 vs. 1-1.)

    I doubt Washington gets to 10-6, but if they do, one of their losses will (hopefully) be to us head-to-head, so if we also get there, then we get in over them. And if we don’t beat the Redskins, I doubt we’ll be 10-6 anyway. I’d be shocked if the Skins got to 11-5.

    And if, somehow, one of Philly or Washington DOES do really well, odds are they’ll be beating the Cowboys in the process, which means it’s less likely Dallas ends up with a great record, and we’d potentially be battling the ‘Boys instead for the last spot. I feel pretty confident that we’re not going to see two teams from the East going 11-5 or better.

    IF we can right our own ship, go 8-3 from here, and end up 10-6, it’s not a lock but I’d expect us to be in.

    My route to the playoffs has us winning all 5 remaining home games (the only elite home opponent we have is Seattle), finishing 6-2 at home, winning 3 of the remaining 6 road games, finishing 4-4 on the road, and sneaking in at 10-6. If we can win 4 road games, great, but that means at least one of them would have to be against SEA, MN, or ATL, all of which look pretty tough right now. And if we DO manage to win one of those road games, but then we lose one of the other games we “expect” to win, then we’re back to 10-6 anyway.

    Win all the games we “expect” to win, lose those three road games, and we’re 10-6. As JTDG says, because of our slow start, we’re pretty much already playing playoff games. We can’t afford to lose to someone like the Jets.

  28. By Scott H on Oct 13, 2016 | Reply

    Again, I can’t even bring myself to be thinking about scenarios about how things might play out in the NFC. And I’m even less concerned about what anyone else is doing. Because until / unless THIS team starts showing that it should be taken seriously….what’s the point? Hearing anyone say “go 8-3 from there” makes me cringe. Until this team can put TWO wins together in consecutive weeks, I’m not even gonna try to sell myself on an 8-3 run.

    But I DO hope that this team will find itself soon and start to build momentum toward playing their best at the right time.

    All this team can do this week is win ONE game against the Jets. Nothing beyond that matters until / unless they do that. I agree with Kevin, we cannot afford to lose to someone like the Jets. Because if you are losing to the Jets ( at home ), what place do you even have in ANY discussion, anywhere, regarding the playoffs???

    We lose this game, and it will be time to cue Jim Mora’s famous words – Playoffs? You kidding me? Don’t talk about playoffs….Playoffs???

    10-6 is already a down-grade from what this team appeared capable of this year. We lose Monday Night….and then what? We make adjustments and start hoping for 9-7, and that some other teams start to struggle as well just to keep our wild-card hopes alive? No thanks. I’m not going there!

    So, just beat the Jets. That’s all you can do this week, so do that. Should NOT have taken until Week 6 to reach the .500 mark. But until you can do that, well….cue Jim Mora.

  29. By Kevin S Mesa on Oct 13, 2016 | Reply

    Scott H —

    Yeah, I know, playoff talk is kinda premature. That said, we all assumed we’d be in the hunt, and after our start, it’s reasonable to ask what we need to accomplish to get there.

    I brought up the 8-3 because there isn’t really THAT big a difference between this year’s Cardinals and last year’s, and last year we lost 3 games all year. So there’s no reason to think we can’t go 8-3 over an 11 game stretch.

    Almost every team in the NFL loses some games they shouldn’t have lost each year. Last year’s Patriots lost at home to the Eagles (who ended up 7-9) and, in the last week of the season, with home field advantage throughout the playoffs on the line, lost to the Dolphins, who ended up 6-10. So let’s hope our losses to the Brady-less Pats and to the Rams, games we were in a position to win, are the only losses in games we “should” have won. If so, I’m confident we’ll end up 10-6.

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