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Needing Smoke and Floyd

Posted by Darren Urban on November 10, 2016 – 10:43 am

When Carson Palmer strongly promoted how he expected big things from wide receiver Michael Floyd over the second half of the season, it shouldn’t be a surprise. The quarterback is there to pump up/prop up his team. That’s what leaders do (which is partly where his “I know people don’t believe it and probably don’t want to hear it, but I like where we are. We’re the underdog” comment came from Wednesday) and it was also no surprise to hear Palmer talk about how wide receiver John “Smokey” Brown has responded excellently to his protocol for the sickle cell trait and looks like a different player and person.

So yes, you’d expect to hear such things from Palmer about two key wide receivers. It’s also important to note — at least from my perspective — the Cardinals need at least one of those two guys, if not both, to play like they did in 2015 for the Cards to make the playoff push they are hoping to make.

This is a different season. But you can’t take away a 1,000-yard receiver (which Brown was) or a receiver who had five 100-yard games among the last eight he played (which Floyd did) the next year without expecting at least similar production from at least one of them. Larry Fitzgerald is playing at the same level he did last season. J.J. Nelson has taken a step forward now that he’s healthy. There’s no question Palmer hasn’t been exactly himself at times, but he’s been good of late. The pass protection has had some fits and starts, and could be searching a bit now that left tackle Jared Veldheer is done.

We’ll see if Floyd can indeed “explode” and if Smoke is a different player now. If either translates into production, that’d be a big step for the Cardinals and their second-half rally.

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13 Responses to “Needing Smoke and Floyd”

  1. By Scott on Nov 10, 2016 | Reply

    Just throw smoke the ball more, deep.

  2. By s brown on Nov 10, 2016 | Reply

    in what was a deep WR / TE room to start the, now has been really thinned out by injury.
    Cards really need their WR’s / TE’s not named Fitzgerald to make big improvements in route running and making tough catches, for the Cards to have a chance to win the division.

  3. By John The Draft Guy on Nov 10, 2016 | Reply

    During the bye week, you get to watch more games of other teams more closely.
    Here is one thing I noticed.

    The Bills and The Jets run man coverage almost every play. They love to blitz from every angle and want the Qb to go down often. Pressure is what it is all about. It is who Ryan and Bowles are, gambling defensive minds. I, for one, love their style of football.

    But, if you don’t have the CBs, the defense gets beat time and time again. Watching the Bills Monday night, I watched the young CB for the Bills repeatedly get beat. It’s tough to hang with a receiver with no pressure and no coverage means you can’t get the pressure.

    Watching this, makes you appreciate Peterson that much more. Bottom line, he’s got his guy. And with the 2 OLBs the cards have in Golden and Jones, the pressure is getting there.

    But after the first 8 games, I got to say the unsung hero has been Marcus Cooper. Yes, he has been beaten and even cost us a game. But, he is playing the opposite of Peterson, meaning the QBs are looking his way.

    I would say, his game has improved enough, that QBs have begun picking on the slot CB more and more. In fact, they would try to run their best receiver from the slot to get PP off of him. Point is, Even with LBs inside and Safeties who can take your head off inside the hashes, teams have gone after the slot guy (mostly Matheu). That says a lot about Cooper.

    So after a 6 game tryout, what is his future? He is a FA in 2017. Being a starting CB on a team that runs a lot of man, is a value in the NFL. So what is his value and can/will the cards be able to match it?

    That brings me to my next point. With Matheu out and same with Simon, rumor is Williams will get another chance. This time playing the slot. As pointed out, with Peterson playing out of this world, and Cooper playing well enough, Williams will be the target. It will be interesting if Betchler goes back his his crappy zones or allows Williams to man up.

    Interesting week.

  4. By John The Draft Guy on Nov 10, 2016 | Reply

    As for the receivers,

    John Brown has had medical issues all year. It reminds me of the Peterson year of 2014. I think Brown will bounce back.

    But, I just don’t see anything redeeming about Floyd. I would never resign him and can’t for the life of me, understand why he wasn’t traded at the beginning of the year or at least by trade deadline.

    If there were no trade partners, then that would say volumes of how Floyd is viewed. But I got to believe Philly would have traded for him.

  5. By NPP fka TLT fka DTL on Nov 10, 2016 | Reply

    Well … Cards can’t afford to be snowflakes. Love C. Palmer comment ‘like where we are”. The Cards dug a hole, but if they want to get to #SB51, they have to beat all the teams coming up anyway…so the 1st half is irrelevant history. Are we better, can we beat these teams and dominate? If we do, it should be fun.

    Darren Fells health may be key, need great blocking from TEs to help Ts and Gs.

  6. By Wild Blue Yonder fka Chuck 1 on Nov 10, 2016 | Reply

    NPP,
    Alright. What does NPP stand for?
    I’ll bet that you’ll have at least one more moniker before this season’s over. 🙂

  7. By Scott H on Nov 10, 2016 | Reply

    An understatement. I think Floyd’s mysterious disappeaarance ( even as he remains healthy and on the field ) has been the primary culprit in the disappearance of our big-play capability. I fail to come up with a reason that explains the Floyd disappearance, but….it has had a tremendous impact on our offense. He has tended to come on strong in the latter half of the season since he has been here, so….I guess we are either going to see him “explode” real soon or maybe we aren’t going to see it at all.

  8. By Joseph Robinett on Nov 11, 2016 | Reply

    I think we all, from time to time, have a tendency to get in our own way, as coach has pinpointed to the mediocre play of Michael Floyd. With a little time away from grind and some serious mind over matter, Michael could relax enough and let his body do what it already knows how to do… Just let it happen, the team is counting on that will be the case.

  9. By Robert on Nov 11, 2016 | Reply

    why is their more outrage about the pathetic and i mean awful draft SK had produced the last 2 years. I think the charm of BA and SK has quieted the questions from the media, but as a season ticket holder, this needs to be addressed. How about some answers

  10. By rod on Nov 11, 2016 | Reply

    I’ll have my eyes on Wetzel, maybe we have a diamond in the rough.

    Go Cards!

  11. By John The Draft Guy on Nov 11, 2016 | Reply

    Robert,

    Maybe no one is on Keim more than me about his drafts. (I am sure Darren will confirm). But I also am fair.

    His draft in 2013 was horrible. You can’t miss with a top 10 pick, you got an average LB and a slot CB (who I like) but is always injured. Not much.

    His 2014 draft netted an undersized LB and a pretty good number 3 receiver. Again, not much.

    But his 2015 draft , you have to give him credit for finding Marcus Golden, David Johnson, a pretty decent DLine man in Gunter, and JJ Nelson, who has climbed up to the number 2 spot. Yes, his round 1 pick was bad. You just can’t get average lineman in round one, you just can’t. But I will give him credit for 2015.

    As for 2016, to early to tell, but not a good start for these rookies. Nkemdiche is flirting with that first round bust label. His play is poor so far. Williams has been a disaster and how can Boehm not beat out Shipley.

    But I remember Steve Breaston, who was nothing but a punt returner and came back in year two as a valuable asset as a receiver. So, I will give these rookies a off season to figure it out. We will see next year on the 2016 class.

  12. By NPP on Nov 11, 2016 | Reply

    Wild Blue Yonder fka Chuck 1

    Lol. The fka s are funky huh! New Patriot Party. Urb understandably disdains politics on his page, but this one needs no explanation. Also, I go with acronym to avoid “appearance of politicalness” 😉

    Would only further comment that I am thrilled to focus solely on the crooked ball through the Cards playoff run.

    NPP

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