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Pick plays a secondary needs

Posted by Darren Urban on November 16, 2016 – 10:20 am

The Cardinals are playing well, statistically, on defense. They are second in total defense, and tied for third in scoring defense. But of late, the turnovers have dried up.

In their last three games, the Cardinals’ D has forced only one turnover — a fumble recovery in Carolina, a play that was negated by a Carson Palmer interception soon after. (The Cardinals did recover a fumble against the 49ers, but it was on special teams.) The Cards haven’t had an interception since picking off Jets QB Ryan Fitzpatrick twice on “Monday Night Football.”

It’s a big missing element right now. Perhaps it has something to do with the year Pro Bowl safety Tyrann Mathieu has had  — or hasn’t had — trying to come back from his knee injury and then sitting out last week with his shoulder problem (there is a possibility Mathieu will play Sunday in Minnesota). The Cardinals still have nine total interceptions this season, not a bad total given the bagel posted over the last month. But on a team that has struggled to score points consistently, those are the kind of plays that can change fortunes.

It could be tough Sunday — Vikings QB Sam Bradford has been careful with the ball, letting his great defense do the heavy lifting. Bradford has thrown only two interceptions this season in 283 attempts while taking 24 sacks. He’ll be smart. The Cardinals hope to get enough pressure to force a mistake — and maybe that can jump-start the Cards on the other side of the ball.

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Posted in Blog | 17 Comments »


17 Responses to “Pick plays a secondary needs”

  1. By D on Nov 16, 2016 | Reply

    This game will come down to one thing, who can protect their QB better.
    Both teams have Oline issues and both teams have good pass rushers.
    Both teams also have QB’s with a history of turning the ball over, albeit lately more Palmer than Bradford. But, as we have all seen while he was in Philly and St. Louis, Sam will throw the picks if pressured.
    If I were the play caller, I would run DJ 30 times during this game, and throw to Larry on short routes.
    Hopefully BA has them practicing the silent count this week because it will be loud. (would they pump noise in their shiny new crib like the old place?)

  2. By Wild Blue Yonder on Nov 16, 2016 | Reply

    Darren,
    How much is the Badger’s salary and how many years does his contract last?
    Thanks.

  3. By Darren Urban on Nov 16, 2016 | Reply

    Wild —

    RE: Mathieu deal

    Tyrann got about $21M guaranteed through 2017. He is signed through 2021 but the Cardinals could release him early in the 2018 offseason with about $9M of dead cap space but no more actual dollars paid.

  4. By LadyBird04 on Nov 16, 2016 | Reply

    Off topic – sorry – noted you had a preview of Arians miked up at last game….How many “bleeps” . Just watching the few times they show him on the sidelines, I’m surprised he hasn’t popped a vein yet.

  5. By Darren Urban on Nov 16, 2016 | Reply

    LadyBird —

    RE: Arians

    I haven’t seen the footage. I’m guessing a few.

  6. By Joseph Robinett on Nov 16, 2016 | Reply

    A tough one in Viking land, as the Card’s will face a team tired of losing, but the redbirds know they don’t have any slack with a loss, so it will be an interesting test of wills…

    Turnovers will come because the Cardinals have several students of the game in Swearing and Jefferson, with a little of P.P. sprinkled in, predicated on opposing quarterback’s throwing his way… In addition, with C. Jones lurking and Tyrann returning, interceptions and fumbles are in the Card’s future.

  7. By John The Draft Guy on Nov 16, 2016 | Reply

    Darren,

    I saw the cards signed Jaron Brown to a 1 year extension through 2017. Good move.

    Poor guy had a great camp and was poised to show what he can do and then was injured. Glad to see he is going to be returning.

    Do you think they will wait on what Fitz does to determine if Floyd is resigned? (Meaning, if Fitz returns, Floyd is not resigned) or, do you believe like me that Floyd will not be resigned.

  8. By Darren Urban on Nov 16, 2016 | Reply

    JTDG —

    RE: Brown

    Just did a post on it, as a matter of fact.

    As for Fitz/Floyd, I don’t think the two are intertwined. I do not close the door on Floyd returning, but if I had to guess, I would guess he does not come back.

  9. By Scott H on Nov 16, 2016 | Reply

    JTDG –

    Doesn’t the Jaron Brown extension say to you that they are prepared to be without Floyd next year? Does to me. I think they like Jaron, anyway. But I think his extension clearly gives them a fall-back if Floyd is not going to be here after this year.

    As for Fitz, I think he is here in 2017, regardless. Palmer will be here and the team is definitely in let’s go for it now mode. As long as Palmer is here and the window remains legitimately open…..Fitz is not gonna walk away.

  10. By Joseph Robinett on Nov 16, 2016 | Reply

    It seems like a world away from the way the Cardinal’s had once dealt with player contracts, so, thankfully, it’s out with the old and thank God for the new and improved from father to son evolution of one generation learning from the past of what not to do….

    Jaron Brown is the latest of what to do and one of the many Card players who are now prospering in this new decade of regime change because of management’s proactivity, namely, and kudos to, Michael Bidwell and no offense to Sr.

    And, oh, by the way, Jaron Brown can play.

  11. By John the draft guy on Nov 17, 2016 | Reply

    Scott H,

    Fitz is here for 2017;

    I hope so. But a couple of things to consider. Fitz use to be a guy who goes deep and play outside. Now he is inside. He blocks and takes hits from safeties and LBs. lets face it, he has taken some shots. He thought he tore something last game and had an MRI. Doing the dirty work has a price to pay.

    Also, catching passes at 5-7 yards and fighting for yards kind of shows he isn’t the same guy as before. Even Larry said his old self would have had 200 yards last week. To me and you, he is still great, but he knows he can’t do the same things he use to.
    So, what if he calls it a career?

    One more thing to consider, Palmer has been beaten up and is showing his age this year. What if he hangs them up? Rumor is , Fitz walks too.

    Too many unknowns to say Fitz is back next year. We will see.

    So , with Jaron back, and Fitz returns, yes Floyd is gone. But what happens if Fitz walks? Do they panic and sign Floyd?

    Just saying…

  12. By Scott H on Nov 17, 2016 | Reply

    JTDG –

    As always, valid points to consider. But respectfully, I think the concerns for Fitz AND Palmer related to their ages / health are a little over-done.

    Fitz has never been injury prone. I’d be more concerned if he DID have such a history. He keeps himself in such great shape that I think he is up to AT LEAST one more year at a very high level. Hey, TO and Steve Smith played past their mid-30’s, so….why not Fitz, too? Fitz’ game has never been about speed. So, to say that he may have lost a step……that was never his game, anyway.

    Hey, look at what this guy did just last year in the playoffs against GB – weaved through / around and stiff-armed people for 74 yards to set up the winning score ( which he also brought home! ). So, he can still get yards after the catch. That part of his game is still there. Our man, Kevin, recently pointed out that it seems too many times our WR’s are getting the ball with guys right on them and they don’t even get a chance to get yards after the catch. That’s not always on Fitz. Look, if our speedier guys ( Nelson, Floyd, Smoky ) were getting lots or YAC stats but Fitz wasn’t, that would be one thing. But they aren’t faring much better. If those stats are down across the board for our WR’s, then there are other issues at work.

    I think Palmer AND Fitz are both guys who want that chance to get a ring before they end their careers. They are both in a place where they should have that chance. And they help each other maximize that chance if they are both here. So, I think they both stick around for 2017.

  13. By texascard on Nov 17, 2016 | Reply

    John and scott
    Jtdg you are brilliant. If palmer and fitz return for one more “shot at a ring” what can the cards do to turn this ship around in the offseason. Several guys are leaving. Is there a dominant mike in the draft or free agent? And could that be the difference. Can an oline be assembled in one years time? A little early but this signing has some thoughts turned toward future endeavors

  14. By Scott H on Nov 18, 2016 | Reply

    JTDG –

    To continue, I didn’t say much about Palmer. And again, I really don’t know that I attribute the “drop off” we’ve seen with him this year to age. Sadly, we’ve seen Palmer play like this at other points in his career – like early 2013. Age / injuries weren’t a factor then. I find Palmer somewhat frustrating for how wildly varied his play can be from one season to the next. I mean….an MVP caliber season in 2015 to what we are seeing THIS year??? I swear, it’s killing me. BUT ( sadly ) I don’t think what we are seeing with Palmer this year is a product of his age OR injury, since there are no real injuries that would seem to explain this.

    Bottom line? Maybe Palmer just ain’t good enough to get us where we want to be. 2015 says he CAN be that good. But his career seems to suggest that that is probably his ceiling and we may never see that again.

    All that said? He offers hope and I certainly DO hope he is here to lead us in 2017.

  15. By Kevin S Mesa on Nov 18, 2016 | Reply

    Scott H —

    Re: Palmer

    It’s really hard to say what the deal is with him this year. You’re right, early 2013 wasn’t good, but pretty much everyone acknowledges the Cards were struggling with Arians’ new offense. 13 INT’s in the first 7 games, but Arians said many of them were on receivers for running the wrong routes — Palmer would throw to a spot and the guy wouldn’t be there, so it looked like Palmer threw it right to a defender.

    Starting with the last 9 weeks of 2013, though, Palmer was a top QB in the league for 2 1/2 years, when he played. His overall rating for the last half of 2013 plus 2014 (only 6 games) and 2015 is probably approaching 100… I just don’t know how to calculate it, but 2015 was 104.6 and 2014 was 95.6 in limited action. Plus 4 of the 9 games in the last half of 2013 he was over 110, with just one really bad game (4 INT’s vs. Seattle).

    Has he hit the wall, like Manning did, going from record-setting in 2013 to really good but not record-setting in 2014 to nearly the worst QB in the league in 2015? I dunno. I don’t see him floating tons of passes like Peyton was — arm strength still seems fine — but who knows?

    Like you, though, I hope he’s here in 2017 as well, because really, who else is there? We have no one in the wings.

  16. By John The Draft Guy on Nov 18, 2016 | Reply

    Scott, Kevin and Texascard,

    texascard- “Jtdg you are brilliant”. OK, you are my favorite poster now 🙂

    Scott

    I am not saying that Fitz cannot still play. To me, he is the GOAT, and I think he could play another 4-5 years.

    What I am saying is, he might not want to for the reasons listed above. With 100s of millions earned, it might be more appealing to be traveling the globe or sitting on the beach instead of the grind of training camp and the hits from safeties.
    Only Fitz knows when that time is.

    I really do believe it is tied to Palmer. I can’t see Larry playing for another year with Blaine Gabbert or some rookie.

    Which brings me to the point Kevin was making. Sometimes QBs get old over night.

    I agree with Kevin also that Palmer has been outstanding after his slow 2013 start. But the Palmer this year has not been the same. I claim it is because he is shell shocked from the hits he took. Maybe, maybe not. But if this is the decline, then he could walk and Fitz with him.

    Searching everything I see and know, I think they come back for one more rodeo. But do they get the ring if Palmer declines? If Keim pulls a 2016 and leaves gaping holes in the lineup? If the drafts continue to be poor?

    This is horrible for me to say, and I feel bad for saying it, but maybe it’s time to retool in 2017. You have 37 million. Let Floyd, Campbell walk, If Palmer and Fitz retire, I am not sure how retirement works, but it would save 17 million more giving them 54 million to deal with.

    Fix the defense and oline with the money.
    Go sign Tackle Riley Rieff as RT and Kevin Zietler as RG, release Iupati (saving another 2.5 million) and move Wetzel in to LG.
    Maybe contact the Jets for Nick Mangold in a trade to play center. The Jets are over cap for 2017 by 8 million. Mangold is due 9 million with no cap hit if traded.

    Maybe bringing in an Oline of Veldheer, Wetzel, Mangold, Zietler, and Rieff, could make us a run first offense with DJ.
    In round 1, I think we could have a shot at Deshone Kizer. Getting a QB, who I have seen compared (and I think fairly) to Steve McNair. He can push the ball down the field or use his legs.
    Then draft in round 2 a guy like Jake Butt or OJ Howard as TE.
    Then sign a receiver to compete like Terrence Williams or Bryce Butler.

    On defense
    This draft has some amazing 3-4 DE’s and LBs. But, because we need a QB, we need to use our money. So, I am signing some players on this side of the ball too.

    The browns want to deal Joe Haden, and that would be awesome, but it might be too hard to swing. I would offer 2018 draft picks. a second and 4th?

    At safety, I move Bucannon to SS and Branch is FS, and let our two good safeties walk. And then target ILBs. I would sign Zack Brown and Kiko Alonzo.

    As for Dline, trading back up into round two and landing Watkins and maybe another in round 5 would help.

    With the cards freeing up another 25-30 million more in 2018 from the retirements and cuts, they could work contract to fit under caps.

    sorry, i got carried away.

  17. By clssylssy on Nov 19, 2016 | Reply

    You guys all make very compelling points.
    Regarding Fitz: I believe Fitz is his own man and not driven by factors that drive others. He is a perfectionist and the ultimate competitor, has approached attaining his goals from a very calculated and even scientific methodolgy. He takes care of himself nutritionally, cross trains in the off season, as well as mixes his outside interests such that they dovetail with his career as a professional athlete without taking away from important relationships while enhancing his overall well being. I believe he will be the master of his destiny, including deciding when it is time to move on to a new endeavor. That being said, I think he is only linked with Palmer to the extent that he doesn’t want to do the whole breaking in of another QB dance. Of late, Romo’s name has started to be linked to the Cards and I could see Fitz possibly seeing that as an opportunity to keep the window open while playing with another future HOFer–Romo’s health issues, IMO, would not make him a good choice, but, I can see how Keim would jump on such an opportunity to buy time, and, Romo would be a “Brand” that might sell tickets. I could see him being another Kolb at this point.
    Regarding Palmer: While BA/Keim have consistently denied that Palmer was suffering from weakened arms strength, I suddenly hear BA, commenting on “Palmer’s improved arm strength”???…hmmm, hard to believe anything these guys tell us. While I don’t think that has been the sole issue with Carson, we’re not complete idiots either; I don’t buy that everyone is happy with where we are! – I still think a lot of Palmer’s circumstance (which are completely different from Fitz) have to do with more personal issues, having sustained more frequent and potentially serious injuries at an age where his priorities are now more on his growing family as he enters the twilight of his career. This year we just have not seen the fire in his gut, although I still think he is very smart and more capable than he has shown. This week the media is referring to Palmer in the past tense while speculating about his replacement and how this will impact the rest of the team.
    Regarding the Cards: I think SK has been on a different path since the early part of the season, and has been in rebuilding mode with the contracts to the HB (who has hardly played to this point), negotiations with Chandler Jones, extension to Brown, etc., with little attention to ensuring the success of the team this season. The contract extensions to Palmer and Fitz were, I think, more marketing gimmicks designed to put fans at ease while inspiring ticket sales. While every team has to constantly be in rebuilding mode to some extent, the intelligent manager earmarks a portion of the budget for paying replacement players, which monies Keim has hoarded, probably planning to pay out big signing bonus, etc.
    I have been completely unimpressed with Keim’s drafts for the most part, and now , it would appear he’s not able to put quality replacements on the field instead ,going to the PS (in playoff season) or resigning failed experiments.
    And, BA has not been himself either. I have to wonder if Keim’s unwillingness to find quality replacement players has impacted BA’s ability to do his job the way he was led he would be able to, and he’s just tired of the whole NFL political dance!

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