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Friday before the Seahawks, with Smoke down

Posted by Darren Urban on October 21, 2016 – 3:38 pm

All week, the talk was Carson Palmer, Carson Palmer, Carson Palmer. Then comes the Friday curveball: Palmer should be OK to play Sunday, but Smokey Brown isn’t OK. Brown has the sickle-cell trait that is causing leg pain, coach Bruce Arians said. I’m not a doctor and there is precious little information (Brown was not in the locker room to answer questions Friday), but it doesn’t sound great. But it does sound like it can be helped now that the Cardinals and Brown know about it — plenty of NFL players have the trait. One, former Cardinals cornerback Jerraud Powers, tweeted he has it (and that he recently talked about it for an article.)

No, I don’t know what this means long-term or even short-term for Brown, although Arians wouldn’t rule him out for Sunday’s game. Still, it’s a jarring finish to a week that I’m sure the Cardinals would have liked to be a lot more stable heading into such a game with the Seahawks.

— At least Palmer is playing. Is he 100 percent? Clearly not. But there never seemed to be any doubt about his availability. One way to read the tea leaves when it comes to the starting QB — given that Drew Stanton is the only other QB on the roster, as long as they don’t activate Zac Dysert from the practice squad, you have to feel that they are confident in Palmer. Otherwise, they’d want Dysert available just in case.

— Michael Floyd had fallen behind Brown on the depth chart. Now, it looks like Brown might not play. And Floyd frequently does well against the Seahawks. This is his time. Will he take it?

— With Palmer dealing with his hamstring and Brown hurting, it would seem to point even stronger in the direction of heavy David Johnson Sunday. Easier said than done against a very good Seattle run defense. If you look back to the lousy games the Cards have played against the Seahawks, the terrible imbalance in rushing yards (547 for Seattle, only 86 for the Cardinals) is a big reason why. Johnson himself was held to 23 yards on 11 carries last year.

— The Cardinals (who, yes, have trailed big most of the time in those games, costing them chances to run) haven’t rushed for more than 30 yards in any of those three games. In contrast, Andre Ellington’s game-clinching touchdown scamper in Seattle last season covered 48 yards.

— Tracking down Russell Wilson will be a key, as usual. Wilson isn’t running nearly as much (only 35 yards rushing thus far, after hurting his knee early in the season) but it’d be naïve to think losing track of him won’t kill the Cardinals’ defense. The Cardinals have done a great job with their four-man rush. Maybe that will help allow the Cardinals to use a robber/spy in the middle of the field to watch Wilson.

— You know the Cardinals are looking closely at the Seattle offensive line, and in particular, left tackle Bradley Sowell — the former backup here. “Bradley looks like he’s the same guy that he was here,” Arians said. “Tough, plays hard. Has had some problems, but he’ll play extremely hard against us.”

— Curious to see if the Cardinals feel there is a place to use the seven defensive backs-approach at all. The first time they used it against the Jets, it was three guys up front, money linebacker Deone Bucannon (who some might still see as a safety and therefore an eighth DB) and then a bunch of defensive backs.

It not only worked ex-Seahawk Tharold Simon into the mix but Justin Bethel saw his first defensive action of the season. If not for his foot problems, Bethel would’ve gotten a shot at that No. 2 CB job that has become Marcus Cooper’s.

“I like the fact that they came up with a package to start giving me something on defense,” Bethel said, who admitted it might not mean a lot more work. “We brought in a lot of good guys. Coop’s been playing great. Tharold has been playing great in ‘penny’ situations. As long as they’re playing the way they are, there’s no point in taking them out. I think they’ll find ways to get me out there, and I’ll do whatever I can do to help us get these wins.”

— A reminder that the parking lots will open at 1:30 p.m. Sunday afternoon.

— Another reminder: One week from today the NFL Network will premiere its “A Football Life” episode about Pat Tillman.

— One more thing to reflect upon with the Seahawks coming to town: Last year, the Cardinals actually were only down 10-6 in the second quarter (they missed an extra point) before it got sideways. In 2014, the incredibly short-handed Cards were leading 3-0 midway through the second quarter. It’s not just about matching the Seahawks’ intensity to start but matching it through the whole game. We’ll see if the Cardinals can make that happen.

See you Sunday.

beforeseahawks


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Posted in Blog | 22 Comments »


22 Responses to “Friday before the Seahawks, with Smoke down”

  1. By Wild Blue Yonder on Oct 21, 2016 | Reply

    Palmer is showing his age.
    It’s (past) time for Keim to bite the bullet and move up in the draft and pick a “FRANCHISE” QB.

  2. By Richard S on Oct 21, 2016 | Reply

    It’s going to be tough going with both of the Brown brothers out and one of the Johnson Brothers out. David will need a 200 yard game.

  3. By LadyBird04 on Oct 21, 2016 | Reply

    Prayers for Smokey to find a way to deal with Sickle Cell trait. He’ll have the support of the team and organization and of course the fans through this process. Important thing is to get it under control and then follow the precautions deemed necessary to deal with the effects of this disorder. We’ll miss his play on the field if he can’t play this weekend but it is much more important for him to take care of himself.

  4. By Eazy E on Oct 21, 2016 | Reply

    It’s a common thing among Black People. I’m praying for him.

  5. By theoriginalfitzismyhero on Oct 21, 2016 | Reply

    SEA is going to be without Chancellor and strong-side linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis. So that will help us out too!

  6. By Scott H on Oct 21, 2016 | Reply

    Darren –

    Iupati? JARON Brown??

    Well, Floyd can’t hide anymore. Not that it’s OK he’s been hiding so far, but….now? With both Browns out ( I’m assuming )? No. I don’t care what Floyd does for the rest of his career, whether he’s a Cardinal or not. But he better show up for this game. If he disappears for this one, too? Ya know what? Just keep walking, dude. And good luck with your new team next year. But I’m hoping we will see a different result. Floyd needs to show some heart ( and maybe some other parts of the anatomy I can’t really mention by name ) and rise to this occasion. If not now….forget it.

    But the absence of the Brown Brothers also necessitates that we get the TE’s more involved. It shouldn’t take two of our top WR’s being out to make that happen, but….so be it. Larry Fitzgerald can’t be the ONLY guy catching passes on Sunday Night!!! But unless Floyd decides to ( finally ) show up and unless we ( finally ) get our TE’s more involved, that might just be what we end up seeing. It’s gonna take more than a Fitz and DJ show to beat the Seahawks.

  7. By Darren Urban on Oct 22, 2016 | Reply

    Scott H —

    RE: Iupati/Jaron

    Both are expected to play.

  8. By sbrown on Oct 21, 2016 | Reply

    Cards need to come out strong, take an early lead and play with a lot of energy.
    Both O-line and D-line will be the key in this game.
    Good play calling and no turnovers should help the Cards get the win on Sunday.

  9. By krehbieo14 on Oct 21, 2016 | Reply

    There is no reason for pessimism regarding this game. Our offense is running the ball effectively and David Johnson will continue his play of pounding the ball. It will set up the play action pass for Palmer. Floyd will come up big. Our defense has hit its stride and is playing against a patchwork OLine in Seattle. Our pass rush package, (including Okafor) will keep Wilson cradled in the pocket. This is the most complete team we have featured against the Seahawks. I think we will win.

  10. By georgiebird on Oct 21, 2016 | Reply

    Lee Nelson was a defensive back with the Cardinals in the 70s and 80s. My friend, Frank, played college ball with Lee at Florida State. Each year when the Cards came in to play the Giants, we would visit Lee at the Loews Glenpointe Hotel where I got to meet Cards players who hung around with Lee; guys like Bennie Perrin, Stafford Mays, Elois Grooms, Pat Tilley, Neil Lomax and the late Mike Dawson. Never met Roy Green though. These were very surreal visits for a big Cards’ fan like me.
    On one occasion my friend, said to Jim Hart- ‘If you could only run with the ball’.
    Jim Hart was a great passer, but he had so much trouble in the playoffs against strong pressure defenses of the Vikings and Rams. NFC East teams would blitz Hart when games were on the line. Hart threw the ball well when not harassed- but Hart couldn’t cope with pressure defenses even though he had an All-Pro offensive line.
    If I met Carson Palmer, I would say ‘If you could only run with the ball’. So much like Hart.

  11. By JWoodAz on Oct 21, 2016 | Reply

    I’ll just say it now.. Cards win 34-14. Defense shows up big and David “unstoppable” Johnson gets 2 more touchdowns.

  12. By clssylssy on Oct 22, 2016 | Reply

    So sorry to hear about John Brown, but, at least he is probably in one of the best places he could be for getting exceptional care and treatment with the Mayo Clinic available. Nonetheless, his absence will be felt just as he seemed to be finding his grove, as we have to go against one of our toughest foe’s with such a key man down. Hopefully, this will be a game that Floyd, Jaron Brown and JJ will shine and help Fitz, not only with the play making but also in providing some good and nasty blocking for Carson and our run game. Protecting Carson is going to be key, as well as opening up holes for our RBs so that our offense can be effective. Our TEs have shown they can be a valuable asset and using them effectively probably won’t be something that Seattle is looking at. They, on the other hand will have a very dangerous Jimmy Graham as well as another TE, Nick Vannet who we are less familiar with, and who i look to be a “secret weapon” Carroll has to unleash on the Cards, knowing our issues defending against TEs.
    Loved what our defense did against the Jets and hope to see more of the same. Love the physicality that DJ Swearinger and Thrarold Simon bring to the equation as well as the Golden/Jones combo and a more aggressive DLine; hope our guys are up for holding a “sack party” in honor of Russell on Sunday. As it stands, Cam is listed as doubtful, but until game time I would count him in. The Jets game was dress rehearsal for the real deal this Sunday.
    Everybody is expecting the tough and mighty Seahawks to come in and “show us” who the big dog in the west really is, but this Cards team has now had a sample of the sweetness of victory in prime time, so this is the perfect opportunity to make a statement that we will not be disrespected in our own house. We can do this and I know there are a lot of non-Cardinal regular fans who will be cheering for us.
    COME’N BIRDGANG, LET’S SHOW THE 12’S WHERE THE 11TH MAN NOW LIVES,,,We have to think like Champions in order to be Champions!

  13. By jwoodaz on Oct 22, 2016 | Reply

    I’ll just say this. Cards win 34-17. Defense shows big with their own score. David “unstoppable” Johnson scores twice.Cannon goes off. and Golden shines..Really..

  14. By John faile on Oct 22, 2016 | Reply

    The Cards offense has gotten much better over the last 2 games, and although they haven’t been able to hit the deep ball like last year yet, the running game with DJ has been getting better every week. Mix that with the efficient shorter passing game I saw last week, and that’s an offense that will be hard to stop. The Seahawks don’t look that good on offense. Wilson’s injuries have clearly limited his running, and the loss of Rawls’s has also hurt their running game. Their defense, while still stout, isn’t as dominating without Chancellor. If Carson’s okay, it looks like everything’s aligned for a big Cardinal win!

  15. By Scott H on Oct 22, 2016 | Reply

    Darren –

    Thanks for the up-dates on Iupati and Jaron. Very good news!

    I love the optimism above that the Cards win this game pretty handily. I absolutely believe there is no reason why the Cardinals SHOULDN’T win this game, but….look, I’m just trying to keep it real. Given how talented AND well-coached we are AND have been in recent years, there is no reason we should have been pounded by the Seahawks the last couple of times they have come here. But we were. I’ve gotta SEE us turn that around before I’ll make predictions of a 34-17 win for the Cards.

    Given the way both defenses have been playing, I wonder if either team is gonna score 30 or more. This could be more like a 23-20 or a 21-16 game.

    Much has been made about how well the Cardinals are running the ball and how well the Seahawks are stopping teams from running against them. But the Cards have to commit to the run in this game and keep it close so they can stay with the run. I do not see things going well if this one goes into the 2nd half with the Cards in a situation where they have to pass to try to get back in it.

    Both teams are going to try to impose their will on the other around running the ball / stopping the run. If the Cards win that battle, we’re in business!

  16. By Joseph Robinett (Lightwing) on Oct 22, 2016 | Reply

    Yes, oh, lord, do I look forward with such enthusiasm in watching the story of the great, one and only, Pat Tillman in the NFL series “A Football Life”… Although, I do have to take issue, abet it’s a small one, with the NFL when it comes to such a unique and brilliant soul in depicting his story within the timeframe of one hour, when it could have been better served in a two to three hour presentation. Anyway, I put aside my qualm and do look forward, oh yes, to watching the great Mr. Tillman. And, oh, by the way, NFL, thank you for honoring him.

    I am praying for you, Mr. John Brown, that your smoke (spirit) may make a speedy recovery.

    J.R. Lightwing

  17. By TLT on Oct 22, 2016 | Reply

    Why no love for “jwoodaz”??

    He nailed it. I think those past 3 at home v SEA count for nada. Seattle could be 1-4, have not looked great, just good enuff. Barely won at home last week, needed really bad call to survive. My bet is we smoke them. Feeling good into this one. Bradley Sowell, really? Think about it….turnstile…

    PS:
    “What is Sickle Cell Trait?
    Sickle Cell trait (AS) is an inherited condition in which both hemoglobin A and S are produced in the red blood cells, always more A than S. Sickle cell trait is not a type of sickle cell disease. People with sickle cell trait are generally healthy.”

    http://www.sicklecelldisease.org/about/sickle-cell-101/

    If PP can manage Diabetes, Smoke can likely manage SCT. Have faith in Smoke, he’s tough.

  18. By GARY HICKERSON on Oct 22, 2016 | Reply

    THIS is how i think the CARDINALS WIN THIS GAME !! cardinals need to start off with a “long” opening drive that results in a touchdown!! CARDS NEED FLOYD to show up again big time against the SEAHAWKS ,TE’s need to be used a little more””,need to produce a lot of first downs”,using DAVID JOHNSON and ELLINGTON/ FITZGERALD/ FLOYD/J.J.NELSON ,NEED THE BEST GAME OF THE YEAR PLUS!! FROM O-LINE,.NEED TO PROTECT PALMER,PRODUCE LONG SUSTAINED SCOREING DRIVES to tire out seattles defence!ON DEFENCE CARDINALS need to keep WILSON in check perhaps asighn 32 to cover him! also need to stop giving up the big play PETERSON GAVE UP 3 at least vs JETS!!..CARDINALS NEED THIS WIN BAD!! GO CARDINALS!! loyal fan since 1973.

  19. By shannon robinson on Oct 23, 2016 | Reply

    Tharold Simon in a key play tonight!

  20. By mitchaz on Oct 23, 2016 | Reply

    If you were watching the Cubs’ celebration last night, were you thinking of how amazing it felt for us Cardinals’ fans when we won the NFC Championship and were headed to the Super Bowl?

    I was.

    I was also struck by how avid and passionate our Red Sea is now—to the point where I believe we could rival any fan group in America.

    Then, when Cubs’ manager Joe Maddon was asked what his thoughts were over coffee yesterday morning, he said he was hoping to be able to “watch football on Sunday.” (Meaning—no game 7)

    I read a few years ago in article about Joe Maddon that his favorite football team is the Arizona Cardinals! He said he became a Cardinals’ fan as a kid when he was taken to a Giants/Cardinals game at Yankee Stadium in 1963…which was especially amazing to me because that was the day in the House That Ruth Built that I, as an 8 year old kid, became a Cardinals’ fan.

    Thus, GO RED SEA! GO CARDINALS! GO COACH MADDON! GO CUBS!

  21. By creditcard on Oct 23, 2016 | Reply

    This will be a tough game. Wilson tends to play outstanding in Arizona, more so than when he plays in Seattle against the Cards.

    Good to hear that Jaron Brown will play. Floyd needs to step up. The loss of Niklas is hurting the team, good blocker and catches the ball in traffic. TE’s need to step it up.

    Will be tough match for D-line, staying in lanes, while getting pressure on Wilson — tough task. Rotation of D-line will be key, having big games from bench players such as Mauro, Nkemdiche, and Gunter will be a huge, keeping starters fresh.

    Which team controls the line of scrimmage will win.

    Pete Carroll, tends to always make the right play calling against the Cards … this game makes me extremely easy. I hope the Cards win, but I’m nervous about this one.

  22. By Joseph Robinett (Lightwing) on Oct 23, 2016 | Reply

    Mr. Mitchaz, fantastic information, good sir, on Joe Maddon being a Cardinal enthusiast. He seems like a cool cat to play for…
    My mother was a Cub’s fan and my father a Sox’s loyalist, so it was the north side against the south side and I was caught in between, and I loved it.

    Moreover, being from the south side of Chicago, my father was a passionate Cardinal fan and passed his obsession unto me. He would be so very excited to see how far The Cardinal Organization has progressed.

    J.R.

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