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Bethel’s level gives him chance for “great” year

Posted by Darren Urban on August 8, 2017 – 12:26 pm

We’re a long, long way from “failure-in-progress.”

Bruce Arians was asked about Justin Bethel — who has looked pretty good in practice — and the coach was blunt in his assessment. This time, it was in a good way. “If he plays at the level he’s playing at right now, he’s going to have a great year,” Arians said. Bethel’s confidence has returned after his broken-foot-related struggles of a year ago, Arians added. Throw in some praise for Brandon Williams’ game against the Cowboys along with practices — Arians said as a press corner, Williams is going to get beat every so often, like he did on the long pass in the Hall of Fame game — and the coach sounds a lot more confident about his No. 2 CB role.

(Of course, after the signing of veteran Tramon Williams, this is what the Cards have to work with. Aeneas Williams isn’t walking through that door. But I do agree that Bethel has looked solid.)

“At the end of the day, I want to be the starter, but all three of us are going out there and work as hard as we can and we all want to see us all get better,” Bethel said on the “Red Sea Report” Tuesday.

— WR John Brown (quad) is back at practice today on a limited basis. T D.J. Humphries (hamstring) will miss another day.

— Arians said he wants to see more consistency from punters Matt Wile and Richie Leone. There is time to improve, Arians said. But over the next couple weeks, if he doesn’t see improvement, Arians said the Cards won’t be adverse to making a move there.


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16 Responses to “Bethel’s level gives him chance for “great” year”

  1. By Scott H on Aug 8, 2017 | Reply

    For our sake, I am wishing Bethel the best. Again, it’s one thing to look great in practice…..I’ll leave it at that.

    And I find this funny – we’re hearing that if the current punters don’t show improvement over the next couple of weeks, the team won’t be adverse to making a move there. Really? Where was THAT kind of thinking while we were suffering through entire seasons of horrible punting from Butler????

  2. By aschatte on Aug 8, 2017 | Reply

    Special team is just…..Not sure if its coaching or just the players. Seriously, there is chance we might have to look for a new punter..again! Sigh!

  3. By Steve W on Aug 8, 2017 | Reply

    Good to hear! If Bethel plays solid at that CB position opposite PP the Cards could be in for a VERY good year.

  4. By D on Aug 8, 2017 | Reply

    Cincy has loaded up with CB on their roster. So much that 24.7 million of their 2017 Cap Space is dedicated to CB’s.

    1- Dre Kirkpatrick has a new large deal, he isn’t going anywhere with a large cap hit.
    2 -Pacman Jones making over 8 mil. Probably the most likely to be released but I wouldn’t want him in AZ
    3- D. Dennard former 1 st round draft pick making $2.5 mil sitting on the bench.
    4-W. Jackson III, former 1st round draft pick making $2.2 mil sitting on the bench.
    5- J. Shaw, making less than $800k.

    If I were S. Keim, I would be looking to trade for Dennard or Jackson to compete with T. Williams at CB.

    If Bethel impresses everyone this year at CB, he’ll take the M. Cooper $ and be gone in free agency. Or he could flame out again when the lights come on in Week 1 and will be gone in the offseason. We must remember, he was drafted in the 6th round from a small school to be a Special Team player in which he has excelled as a Pro Bowler. As the kids say, I am not throwing “shade” at Justin, just that we have seen enough of him at CB to know he’ll probably only be a 3rd or 4th level CB in the NFL.

  5. By shooter28 on Aug 8, 2017 | Reply

    I think CB Justin Bethel is going to be a very solid above-average #2CB now that his foot is fully healed. Last season once his foot was 100%, he end last year thru month of DEC playing at a very high level. At 6″1/200pds with length (32 3/4in long-arms) and elite athleticism with 4.45 40spd/40inch vertical jump w/ extremely fast feet (6.72sec 3 cone) & top end speed, Justin Bethel has everything you want in a Cornerback. Thru training camp Justin Bethel has looked excellent at cornerback making play after play, night and difference compared to last year, this year I’d bet he will put it all together as an upgrade over Cooper. Bethel also is both an excellent tackler & very good versus the run. I think CB Tramon Williams is really going to push Bethel thru camp as well & bring out the best in Bethel. As a 3X All-Pro/3X Pro-Bowl Special-Teams player/Gunner, Bethel MASSIVELY upgrades ST’s now fully healthy again.
    With CB Justin Bethel taking a pay-cut this off-season in return for taking years off his contract, Bethel is also betting on his self showing confidence in himself that he will have a big year, risking millions in the process which makes me believe that much more in Bethel. I think the bet will pay off, w/ Bethel having an excellent season, with Keim signing him to a 3yr deal opposite Bethel fixing that corner spot opposite Peterson.
    6ft/200pd CB Tramon Williams could end up being an extremely solid above average #2CB as well. Williams is older at 34, but injured 3 different times last year suffering the first injuries of his career in a down year, I think injuries are what affected his performance far more so than age as Bethel ranked as one of the top CBs in the NFL in 2015. Now 100% healthy, if called upon I think he’d be an excellent #2CB if called upon. Between Bethel/Williams, AZ is just fine at that #2 corner position going into 2016 n both will heavily push each other sharpening each others skills.

    Overall the Cardinals secondary is loaded with talent & will once again field one of the NFLs top 3 to 5 secondary’s in the NFL, Esp with one of the leagues elite pass rush’s w/ one of the leagues top front 7s. At the #1CB position AZ has the best pure shutdown cover CB in the NFL in 6″2/203pd CB Patrick Peterson(4.31 40), a very solid above-average #2CB in Justin Bethel, one of the best safety corps in the NFL w/ Elite All-Pro FS/CB Tyrann Mathieu(4.45) healthy & back to All-Pro form. Healthy Mathieu is one of the 5 best defensive players in the NFL, he should be in running for Defensive POY again. AZ drafted 1 of the best safety’s n the draft w/ a 1st rd grade in 5″10/200pd S/CB Budda Baker(4.43) has a skill-set identical to Mathieu’s outright excelling in all 3 phases especially in pass coverage n vs the run, Baker is extremely talented & could easily make the Pro-Bowl or win defensive rookie of year, thats how talented he is. I expect him to be a multi time All-Pro. 5″11/209pd FS/SS Antoine Bethea was signed to fill Jefferson’s old role in the box as a run stopper and thumper where he can still play at an extremely high level, given the top notch cover guys AZ has he won’t be asked to cover much at all. Rotational FS/SS 6″2/210pd (4.28spd) Tyvon Branch excels in pass coverage healthy, now healthy with a full understanding of the defense in year 2, I expect the vet will be much better. With one of the best pass-rushs in the NFL up front AZ should have their hands on a lot of balls this yr.

  6. By JohnnyBluenose on Aug 8, 2017 | Reply

    I hope Bethel stays healthy and contributes this year as a cornerback but I don’t believe much of anything Arians says…..not since he said Levi Brown was an elite tackle. I did not see much of the HOF game but I did see the interception by Brandon Williams. It looked to me as though the Cowboys receiver was in a good position to make the catch for a touchdown and the ball went through his hands to Williams. I think Williams just made a lucky play. Unless he shows much improvement over last year (and maybe he has) or unless he can play special teams like Stepfan Taylor used to I don’t think he makes the team. I was impressed with Baker’s play and I hope he continues to do well once he plays against starting football players. It’s early yet but wouldn’t it be nice to have two Honey Badgers on our team?

  7. By JTDG on Aug 8, 2017 | Reply

    Yep, Bethel is on his way. I can’t wait to start calling him Bethel Island. He will be a shut down CB. Forget the past 5 years, the fact he was hurt again this year, and has a couple practices since coming back. It is obvious he is playing out of his mind and will be a star. The only question about Bethel is how far he will go on the top 100 players next year.

    Brandon Williams, in spite of looking horrible everytime he has been on the field, continues to impress me. He is going to be great.

    Come on D;
    No need to trade. CB2 is nothing to worry about. Keep that extra money Keim and save it for next year. Bethel and Williams are showing us there is no need to get anyone else.

    Jonnybluenose;

    Yes , he said it about Levi Brown. He said Cooper will be in multiple pro bowls. But this is different. Bethel and Brandon Williams are playing so good, it might be time to trade Peterson.

  8. By Mark on Aug 8, 2017 | Reply

    Darren who is the best punter available in your opinion

  9. By Darren Urban on Aug 8, 2017 | Reply

    Mark —

    RE: Best available punter

    I have no idea. I’d be disappointed if there was someone significantly better than what they have right now.

  10. By Big Ken on Aug 9, 2017 | Reply

    @ JTDG You crack me buddy!

  11. By erik on Aug 9, 2017 | Reply

    The sarcastic comment by JTDG actually made me chuckle a bit this morning. Keim does need to make another move even after signing T. Williams. Bethel is a special teamer who should only see the field as the 4th CB and B. Williams is just so god awful. Seriously, you are not being a bad fan by stating the obvious truth. If you believe Bethel and B. Williams have a chance at being solid, you are doing so with ZERO evidence to support that belief.

  12. By CARDS62 on Aug 9, 2017 | Reply

    JTDG and D – good stuff man.

    I know you two are hoping like me and every other Cardinal Fan that Bethel is named All Pro this season, but it was not smart not to do anything this off season to improve the CB position and depth in a meaningful way. I just hope we make a move in the next couple of weeks.

    Why we did not draft a punter or spend some dollars to bring in some free agent rookies to compete with these two guys is totally beyond me. I have to think a kid graduating from college and seeing what we have at punter would jump at the opportunity. Special teams are so important and we just do not seem to get that fact.

    I tell you what we all deserve a Super Bowl Champion for our years of devotion especially Michael Bidwill who is really impressing me with his deeds. We really have players and an organization to be proud of.

    Of course you have to have talent to win a Super Bowl and also some luck especially with injuries, but I will really hate it if everything goes our way in 2017, but we do not win the Super Bowl because of our 2nd and 3rd CBs or our punting game which every fan knew we had to greatlyimprove upon.

    GO Cards!

  13. By Mike on Aug 10, 2017 | Reply

    Of course Bethel will have to play special teams also right? It seems as if he’s he only guy capable of making a big tackle consistently

  14. By JTDG on Aug 10, 2017 | Reply

    Big Ken, Eric, Cards62

    I figured if BA can say what he said above with a straight face, Darren can print it with a straight face, I could too.

    Of course , none of us believe any of that.

  15. By JamesSamuels on Aug 10, 2017 | Reply

    The blog title…….. “Bethel’s level gives him chance for “great” year.

    I guess since things are progressing so well with Bethel, JTDG has to attack on a positive blog with sarcastic remarks that don’t equal to the positive strides of hard work Bethel has accomplished. Sounds like JTDG wants Bethel to be a “failure in progress”.

    I think this is the real reason for JTDG’s sarcastic remarks……….He wants to look right for all the negitive remarks he left in blogs about Bethel all previous months.
    It also makes JTDG look like he could be POSSIBLY wrong about Bethel becoming a great corner for the Cards.
    Funny what ego and pride can do to a man when all he can come up with is Hostle sarcasm…lol

    Question to think about?…….. Why do you think the Cardinals gave Bethel a 3yr/15 Million contract earlier?

    ……The Cardinals Staff wouldn’t offer a contract like that to Bethel last year thinking that he was not capable…just wouldn’t be good business sense
    Bethel now has to show his 2 year Foot injuries are behind him.

  16. By Scott H on Aug 12, 2017 | Reply

    JamesSamuels –

    Yeah, NFL teams never get it wrong with making contract offers to players…..that works out every time, right? Good lord….

    Look, you are as welcome to your opinion as anyone else is. But if you’ve paid attention to this blog at all, you would know that JTDG is a fan, first and foremost, and beings a lot of substance to this table.

    As for HIS “hostile sarcasm”…..um, how would you describe the flavor of YOUR last post????

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