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Saturday before the Jets

Posted by Darren Urban on October 15, 2016 – 1:44 pm

The New York Jets are finally visiting University of Phoenix Stadium, in the building’s 11th season. The last time the Jets were in Arizona was 2004, and there is only one person in the locker room — player- or coach-wise — who remembers. Larry Fitzgerald rattled off a couple of details, including the fact Jets linebacker Jonathan Vilma led the “J-E-T-S, Jets, Jets, Jets” chant at Sun Devil Stadium.

“We’ve got some things we have to change about the culture,” Fitzgerald said he remembered thinking.

The culture has changed. The Jets come into town for Monday’s game and their head coach is actually from the Cardinals. Todd Bowles has a team struggling at 1-4, and he won’t find a stadium quite as inviting as the Jets did back in ’04. (Such an ugly game, too. Shaun King started at QB for the Cards and was bad. Josh McCown came in in relief but couldn’t rescue a 13-3 loss. Denny Green turned to — of course! — rookie seventh-round pick John Navarre the next week in Detroit. That didn’t go well either.)

This one needs to end with a lot happier ending for the Cardinals. A chance at .500 awaits.

— When Bowles was hired by Bruce Arians in 2013, Arians said he was hoping Bowles would groom his DC successor because Bowles would hopefully be getting a head coaching job soon. It took Bowles two seasons, and in fact, the new defensive coordinator did come within the staff when James Bettcher was hired. So, Bettcher was asked, did Bowles groom you?

“As a position coach you are trying to do your job the best you can, because one thing about coaching, if you don’t do a great job with the job you’ve got, the next thing doesn’t come,” said Bettcher, who had been outside linebackers coach. “Todd was great about explaining the whys — here’s why I’m doing this, here’s why I think this way. I had the office right across from his, so I had the opportunity to walk in and ask, ‘Why do you see it this way.’ Not questioning what he is doing, but to understand what he is thinking.”

— The Cardinals remain the only team not to score in the first quarter this season. Arians has tired of the subject. “I’ll just take a win,” Arians said. “I don’t really care anymore.”

That doesn’t mean the message as disappeared. “Trust me, we’re harping on it,” offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin said. “And trust me, they are feeling the pressure.”

— Along those lines, Arians continues to script his top 30 plays, the best the Cardinals have each week. Red-zone and short-yardage also get scripted. “You could do it, bro,” Arians said to a reporter, noting that they are already picked. In fact, Fitzgerald mentioned that the scripted plays are good — the players need to execute them.

— Fitzgerald weighed in on the issues teammate and fellow wide receiver Michael Floyd is having. “Mike’s fine. Mike’s fine,” Fitzgerald said. “We saw what he was able to do last year. It just takes one big plas to spark him. As a teammate, you just remind him how important he is to the offense.”

Arians has been doing the same thing, while trying to get Floyd to take too much thinking out of his game. The Cardinals will keep throwing Floyd’s way, Arians has repeatedly said.

“It’s just like lining up for a four-foot putt after missing five of them,” Arians said. “You don’t really feel good about the next one but you’ve got to make it.”

— Fitzgerald is rated as the top wide receiver in the NFL at this point by Pro Football Focus. His numbers are good — 31 catches, 361 yards, five touchdowns — but they are great in a passing offense that isn’t what it was a season ago (at least, not yet.) Fitz, however, shrugged off his personal start.

“I don’t care how we win,” Fitzgerald said. “At this stage in my career, if David Johnson runs for 160 yards every week and we win, I’m good. I’m good, man. And I think everybody else feels the same way.”

— Speaking of running, Goodwin doesn’t call the plays. But make no mistake, he’ll let Arians know what he thinks. And he’s also made no secret he’s of a more conservative bent when it comes to play selection.

“I’m always going to say run it, run it, run it, run it, run it,” Goodwin said. “But we pay guys to catch balls too, so we have to be nice to them.”

Goodwin said with a smile he was definitely in Arians’ ear in San Francisco, urging the ground game. “One of these times, he’s probably going to tell me shut the hell up.”

— In case you missed it, red-hot Markus Golden (six sacks) is all about setting an example for his family.

— Terrible news Saturday that former Cardinals linebacker Quentin Groves, who played with the team in 2012, died in his sleep at the age of 32. Groves was a good guy. Had a giant chain with a huge lock in his locker, meant to represent his family sticking together. He was a key figure in that crazy 2012 upset of the Patriots in New England, blocking a punt and sacking Tom Brady. Rest in peace.

— Bowles, on the difference between Arians now and Arians as 30-year-old head coach at Temple back in the day: “At Temple, he probably was fiery every second,” Bowles said. “Now, he probably can go every five minutes.”

Might be a little more often than that Monday night. This is a big one for B.A.



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Posted in Blog | 17 Comments »

17 Responses to “Saturday before the Jets”

  1. By faster on Oct 15, 2016 | Reply

    one man gang leads in sacks, i hope golden can catch up, or pass him.

  2. By Joseph Robinett (Lightwing) on Oct 15, 2016 | Reply

    All the world is a stage, so, too, on Monday night… May our home stage be one of a genesis to materialize into the Spirit of Being.

    Fly high Cardinal….

    Sincerely, JR Lightwing

  3. By clssylssy on Oct 15, 2016 | Reply

    So sad to hear of Quentin Groves’ passing at the young age of 32. I remember that game against the Patriots and that blocked punt. Thoughts and prayers for his young children, wife and entire family. RIP.

  4. By Scott H on Oct 15, 2016 | Reply

    Anyone –

    RE: Arians saying “I don’t really care anymore.”

    Yeah….anyone buying THAT?? Me, neither.

    He cares. But I don’t blame him for not wanting to answer any more questions about it. Ya know what? We can put it to rest by taking care of that business Monday Night. No issue, no more. And we really do need to take care of it. Because not being able to score in the first 15 minutes of a game, on-going, means you are having problems. THAT is typically a trait that is associated with bad or struggling teams. That sounds like the Bears. Or the Browns. Or the Dolphins. And guess what – none of those teams were being thought of as a SB contender. But we were. So….this is not OK.

    Scoring quickly in this game – and I mean a score of the 7 point variety – could mark a turning point for this whole season. It will get a BIG monkey off our back. It will ignite the crowd. And it will put immediate pressure on the Jets and a QB that has thrown more INT’s than any QB in the league so far. That’s good, that’s what we want.

    But another first quarter of Palmer missing throws….taking bad sacks…..the offense looking out of synch….the defense not getting off the field….punts on our first 3 possessions….that will take the air right out of that building and remind us that we are nowhere near where we are supposed to be, and we still haven’t figured it out. It will be VERY deflating and if it happens, I fully expect the boos to be heard. Regardless of what happens in this first quarter, that building should NOT be silent.

    I’ve said everything I can say about the game already, so….just win the game. And scoring quickly – AND DECISIVELY – will get us on our way. For the night….maybe for the season.

  5. By Mike on Oct 15, 2016 | Reply

    What about Antonio Cromartie coming back? He’s lost a step, but as a third CB he may be what the cards need.

  6. By Dan on Oct 15, 2016 | Reply

    Man, paid WAY too much for my season tickets…….see the prices for tickets for the Jets game? Any idea whats going on? I could buy my seats for over 50% -70% less and thats with my season ticket “discount”.

  7. By Scott H on Oct 16, 2016 | Reply

    No Iupati for Monday Night? That’s bad….

  8. By clssylssy on Oct 16, 2016 | Reply

    The Cards haven’t won a game against the Jets since 1975? We have to start getting off to a fast start and scoring to set the tone, then REALLY pour it on for a full sixty show Coach Bowles we are still as good as the team he remembers coaching. Can’t have interceptions and turnovers unless we are the ones doing the intercepting and forcing fumbles! We’ve had enough time off so no excuses!

  9. By TLT on Oct 16, 2016 | Reply

    Just saw Seahawks win off a no call or 100% pass interference by Richard Sherman. We win division when we beat them twice. But back to Jets…style of game: If pick party, could kill them, if not, crooked ball, who knows, but “should” get to 3-3, huh.

    When beat Seattle next Sunday, 4-3 and Seahags 4-2…so…

  10. By Scott H on Oct 16, 2016 | Reply

    Man, what a strange year all around the NFL….Packers lost at home, looked horrible, Rodgers threw his first TD pass in the 2nd half TODAY….Panthers played better but still lost, they’re 1-5…..Bronocs have lost two in a row….Bengals are 2-4, Dalton has played very poorly…..Steelers are wildly in-consistent…..Seahawks barely escaped with a win today…..and the best reams in the NFC are the Vikings, Falcons, and Cowboys. I miss anything???

    The Patriots are the ONLY team that is truly who they are supposed to be. Thoe only other team that seems close to who they are supposed to be is – hate to say it – the Seahawks.

    Oh, and the Bills and Redskins have both won 4 in a row!!

    I am hoping the Cardinals will be joining the Patriots / Seahawks crowd soon. Let’s get back to being one of the teams you can count on.

    And we can still count on the Browns. God love ’em, they still suck! But isn’t that comforting, with all this other craziness going on? I mean, if the BROWNS were 4-2 right now, it really would be too much to take.

    Thank you, Pats and Brown, for giving us consistency in our lives!

  11. By Kevin S Mesa on Oct 16, 2016 | Reply

    What a cowardly non-call on the long 4th down pass to Jones in the Atlanta game. Should’ve been first down on the Sea 40 or so — and with a minute and a half to go and a timeout, Atlanta would’ve been in great position to steal a road win. Sherman basically mugs Jones who still almost makes the catch with his one free arm, but no call.

    There are so many pass interference calls that are questionable that do get called and then you have one like that where it’s so obvious an eight-year-old knows it’s PI and there’s no call.

  12. By Infitzwetrust on Oct 16, 2016 | Reply

    The big test with be on our offensive line as the jets have one of the best defensive lines in the league.

    If we can’t protect Carson this will be an ugly game.

    Here’s to getting to .500

  13. By Dan on Oct 17, 2016 | Reply

    Dick Sherman should have been flagged….unbelievable.

  14. By clssylssy on Oct 17, 2016 | Reply

    I would rather play the Seahawks any day than the Falcons…we have never done well in Atlanta and we have played the Seahawks enough to know their players and their game. So much for “lesser” teams; this is the NFL! Right now the teams that worry me the most are the Redskins, Saints, and Rams as they are winning against “better” teams and we have a tendency to think we’re better than we are, while we’re the ones who have never won a Super Bowl. Looks like Big Ben may be out for another season…and How Bout them Cowboys aka “America’s Team”?
    Even the Lions are looking good now that they have Boldin
    One of the commentators said every team in the NFL should take a page from the Patriot’s playbook and draft a QB every year whether they need one or not and sooner or later they’d find one that sticks. The main thing the teams have in common who are winning is a young QB (aside from Brady/Bree ) and I can’t believe that Jerry Jones had any clue that Dak Prescott would be anything more than a backup when he took him?
    Looks like the Panthers have now found their mojo, albeit perhaps a little late, but in time to play us! Sure hope we can do better tonight and break out of whatever it is that’s been ailing us…wonder if it’s OK to “panic” yet?

  15. By Hammy on Oct 17, 2016 | Reply


  16. By clssylssy on Oct 17, 2016 | Reply

    Let’s face it, officiating around the league, despite all the talk about “Player safety” etc., hasn’t improved and continues to leave a lot to be desired. The insignificant things like “celebrations” never gets “missed” while the game changers are overlooked by the officials but are crystal clear to everyone else. Until officials have to be held accountable through fines or suspensions, like the players, nothing is going to change leaving fans to speculate about the legitimacy of the game.

  17. By rod on Oct 17, 2016 | Reply

    Come-on Baby-Bubbaz!!! Let’s get back on trizzay!!


    And I hate the seahawks too !!

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