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(Football) life without David Johnson

Posted by Darren Urban on September 11, 2017 – 3:25 pm

So the news wasn’t good, with David Johnson (likely) sidelined for many weeks and many games because of a dislocated wrist. Bottom line, this isn’t replacing a guy who by default ended up at the top of the running-back-by-committee depth chart. This is arguably the best running back in the league. He comes out of the lineup, it makes a difference.

The Cardinals have to find a way to run the ball going forward. That will be some combination of Andre Ellington and Kerwynn Williams, I’m thinking. Reports that the Cards are signing D.J. Foster from the Patriots practice squad makes sense; Foster could in theory become a punt returner. The Patriots tried him a little bit there in preseason (Foster did not return kicks or punts at Arizona State.) If Williams is playing a lot of running back, I’m not sure he’ll stay with such a big return role. J.J. Nelson is an option back there, or Brittan Golden. (The punt return job can’t help but not be settled, right? It’s one thing or another.) Elijhaa Penny would be an option as a big back, although Sunday, after Johnson got hurt, Williams was still used inside on a couple of up-the-gut short-yardage plays.

The offense could look a lot more like the 2013/2014 model, before Johnson was drafted and before Chris Johnson’s resurgent 2015 season. The Cardinals didn’t run as effectively as they wanted to those seasons, but they made it work and they won games. Now, it’s about making whatever you can work, and hope Johnson can return late in the season for a playoff push the Cards still hope they can develop.


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52 Responses to “(Football) life without David Johnson”

  1. By joe holst on Sep 11, 2017 | Reply

    Defenses are going to come after Palmer now its going to be ugly.

  2. By Marlin on Sep 11, 2017 | Reply

    Ya had to know that every defense in the league was gunning for him. He became a poster boy for defenses to clobber. Better play calling may have spared him early in the season.

  3. By Adam Smith b1723 fka DTL on Sep 11, 2017 | Reply

    2nd half last season CP was getting the ball out in 2.7 sec, that’ll be the MO going forward as the obvious solution unless RB by committee steps up. Maybe we get well for a week in Indy….but I would expect a battle…

  4. By Bob yeager on Sep 11, 2017 | Reply

    Unfortunately, Carson Palmer will not make it to bye week.

  5. By Steve W on Sep 11, 2017 | Reply

    How about that decision to keep Ellington, who at least has some of the same skill set as DJ? Sure hope he can play like he was in the pre-season.

    Heal fast, David. Cards will need you down the stretch. Come on Big Red, we can do this. But it won’t be easy…

    Steve
    Biggest Cards Fan in VA

  6. By aschatte on Sep 11, 2017 | Reply

    All the best to DJ. Just dont see Palmer surviving more than 6 games this season, he will be blitzed like crazy. Hopefully common sense prevails in this organization and we start a mobile QB like Gabbert. He cant do any worse! And we really ought to sign Chris Johnson – need that experience at RB position. Lets salvage something this season! and not embarrass ourselves!

  7. By Dynosoar on Sep 11, 2017 | Reply

    Georgiebird,

    If you noticed in my comment from the last article, I mentioned the different defensive scheme of the Jaguars twice.

    I must ask,why do you feel we should use the 4-3 instead of the 3-4? What do you see as the benefits? I have no stake for either as I’ve seen teams be successful with either.

    I have to say, the injury bug was very cruel to us this week. And for a second season, our O-Line takes a hit.

  8. By Scott H on Sep 11, 2017 | Reply

    Well, this is about as bad a start to 2017 as anyone could have imagined. In addition to the other key players we are already without, we’ve just added key player #1. This hurts. Bad. This is the Patrick Peterson of our offense.

    Honestly? I think I would have preferred losing Palmer for whatever stretch of games this is going to be and leaning on either Stanton or Gabbert to keep us credible while we REALLY leaned on DJ to be the engine that drove us. Because I think that scenario is preferrable to putting it on the shoulders of a shaky looking Palmer to be the engine that drives us while we try to make it with a cast of RB’s that includes no one who really seems capable of being “the guy.” Unless Palmer finds it – and I mean REALLY finds it – that approach is not gonna fly. Let’s not kid ourselves.

    Heck, we were a losing team last year with DJ doing about as much as any human being can do. And I attribute that to Palmer struggling as he did. If Palmer continues to struggle…..where does this offense go without DJ?

    That was rhetorical, folks. We know the answer.

    Honestly, we’re not even gonna look at bringing CJ back?? C’mon, man…..

  9. By Fred on Sep 11, 2017 | Reply

    Look like it might take most of the season for DJ to heal .All opposing defense need to do is come after palmer as the OL is not good and palmer cant move. we may have to put someone in that’s little more mobile. And bring back CJ2

  10. By shooter28 on Sep 11, 2017 | Reply

    the only good thing I can think of to come of this is if AZ is the mix for the post season getting DJ back in mid NOV along with TJ Logan could set them up nicely for a post season run

  11. By Coach K on Sep 11, 2017 | Reply

    Darren,

    I want to be positive for a change and focus on what we have, and not on what we lost.

    We still have lots of speed in the offensive backfield and in our receivers. It is now up to B.A. to be creative and develop multiple formations on offense to exploit our strengths. We have speed, but our receivers are small. This means BS must adapt more Bunch sets with three and even four receivers and flood zones with our speed. Use our running backs in those bunch sets and develop a system with 5 or 6 different pass plays from the same exact bunch look.

    The running game needs to be adapted to multiple play action with misdirection. Much like Oklahoma used to destroy Ohio State. Multiple looks to confuse the defense. Quick passing game off of the bunch sets. Swing passes to running backs behind those bunch sets. Bring in two tight ends with two back sets and overload the edge with sweeps and other runs attacking the edge.

    On defense, hopefully Kimdichi will be back and provide leadership along with Honey Badger and PP to keep our offense on the field. I believe we have enough athletes to keep the score low and give our offense a chance in every game.

    It’s up to BA now and his ability to create an offensive game plan each week that gives his QB, backs and receivers the best opportunity to move the chains. And I believe multiple lets and lots of bunch receiver sets will allow our speed people to get the most open space to make plays. Our small backs and receives are not built for smash mouth football. We need creativity and a rebirth of the greatest show on turf like Kurt Warner use to run in St. Louis. Multiple bunch formations getting our speed receivers in open space.

    What do you think Darren?

  12. By Darren Urban on Sep 11, 2017 | Reply

    Coach K —

    RE: What I think

    I think it’s been rare to get anything positive the last 24 hours.

    And I think this team won 10 games in 2013 and 11 in 2014 with similar running back situations.

  13. By dobie on Sep 11, 2017 | Reply

    Summers impress me in preseason could be a diamond in the ruff and need to use Penny more

  14. By AJ on Sep 11, 2017 | Reply

    David Johnson wasn’t playing all that great in this game before he was injured. The TV commentators commented right before the half he had 8 total yards running. Whether this was poor blocking or a tremendous D line is possible but I do not think he looks as strong as in the past. I don’t think it was a good idea for him to trim down, or be kept from practicing in the off season. And who’s idea was it to talk him in to becoming a vegetarian??? Protein from meat cannot be bad for a football player and will probably enhance strength and reduce injuries. Was it the same “experts” who Palmer kept talking about that he trusted regarding studies done that said he should throw less in the off season? Maybe the Cardinals stop wasting time and money on “experts” and go back to good ole common sense.

  15. By Darren Urban on Sep 11, 2017 | Reply

    AJ —

    RE: Johnson

    You seem to make a lot of assumptions about Johnson considering you do not know him or spend any time with him.

    1) Johnson had 91 total yards when he left the game, so even when he isn’t playing great, he’s effective.
    2) He dislocated his wrist. That has nothing to do with his diet. Zero.

  16. By Marcelof on Sep 11, 2017 | Reply

    It may be either time to panic or to enjoy the situation
    Joe said defenses are hungrily coming after Palmer… so be it, Ellington’s got good hands, explore him. Better the play calls. Both Ellington and Williams are good runners through the edges, explore it and spread defenses away, giving Palmer wider options vertically. I know it ain’t that simple, but there’s no time to give up or whine on losing THE guy. We can win we WILL win. Colts is a must win that will inject the necessary confidence to get the NFC West.

  17. By creditcard on Sep 11, 2017 | Reply

    Options with the O-line:

    Left Tackle Left Guard Center Right Guard Right Tackle
    Veldheer Wetzel Munyer or Boehm Boone John
    Wetzel Lupati Shipley Boehm Veldheer

    The 2nd line is the current o-line, the top line is what might / probably be the next couple of weeks. Lupati is playing with 1 arm, Shipley is short, Boehm is too small for guard, Wetzel was just awful at LT.

    The top line is more logical (since the 2nd line proved they were flat out bad last Sunday). Thus, the Cards will have to experiment with the right combo of players up front and allow them to coordinate themselves as one unit. This will take at least 3-4 weeks.

    During this o-line experiment time (which I think is drastically needed); I think the Cards need to play Gabbert over Palmer in this time period. Why — because he is more mobile. If you have this massive o-line changes with an immobile QB in Palmer; Palmer will not last till the bye week — he’ll be on the IR in no time.

    Get the line fixed, then insert Palmer (the better QB) when the line gets it act together. Yes, Palmer played poorly, but he will not last as long as he is getting hit as often as he did in Detroit. Palmer is much better than Stanton or Gabbert, but the simple fact is that Palmer is completely immobile, of which would equate to disaster with our current o-line.

    It is a shame the preseason was wasted on figuring who was the better punter than teach linemen to block better.

  18. By Darren Urban on Sep 11, 2017 | Reply

    credit —

    RE: “It is a shame the preseason was wasted on figuring who was the better punter than teach linemen to block better.”

    Yes, that’s right. Once they were trying to figure out who the punter was, that’s all the entire coaching staff paid attention to in camp.

  19. By dkerry5242 on Sep 12, 2017 | Reply

    If David Johnson has a dislocated wrist and needs surgery then he won’t be back this year. If they are saying twelve weeks then for sure he will miss the rest of the season. The Cards would/should not be willing to bring him back to soon and run the risk of further injury which could be career ending. DJ Foster is a waste of a roster spot. If he was any good he would not have been on the practice squad, he would be starting. They should still sign Chris Johnson. He’s a proven vet and in my opinion better than the running backs we have left. Let the others play the back up role.

  20. By Scott H on Sep 12, 2017 | Reply

    Darren –

    RE: Winning games in 2013 and 2014 with similar RB situations

    OK, can we be honest and acknowledge that our defense was better then than what we appear to have right now? Honestly, I don’t remember our running game winning the games for us during those seasons.

  21. By Scott H on Sep 12, 2017 | Reply

    Man, when you look at the avalanche of injuries all around the NFL after just one week…..it seems like maybe we ( all teams, not just the Cardinals ) need to be taking a look at how the off-season is being done and how the transition from that pace to the regular season seems to be taking a toll on too many players.

    I understand that five players from the Texans alone are currently in the concussion protocol and will not be playing on Thurs.

    But again, the injury report from Week one, across the league, is staggering. And you can’t not wonder how the current way of doing things during the off-season is contributing from this.

  22. By shannon robinson on Sep 12, 2017 | Reply

    This is the unfortunate aspect to American Football, catastrophic injuries happen to star players and the product is diminished. Concussions are endemic to our sport. I had three concussions playing running back in high school and several in my rugby playing years. Most kids I coached in rugby were unaware of the symptoms and wanted to play through it. That’s why trainers are critical to a team and are sometimes magicians but always have the last word. When you stand on the pitch over a player on the ground it’s a hard process to ask your trainer, “What do you think?” Injuries to a team are heartbreaking, but you have to develop the strength of character to go forward as a team together and not change your belief that the team still can. What I’ve learned about trainers is they are immediately moving honestly into ‘recovery’ – they work in a can do world. Now we let the Coaches coach and see how we win with one big man down.

  23. By JTDG on Sep 12, 2017 | Reply

    Darren,

    Go back to the end of 2016. Palmer had been battered by the lack of protection, their were issues of communication between Palmer and the receivers, there was a lack of explosive plays, and the receivers struggled to get open. They also struggled to score TDs in the red zone. It seemed the only 2 receivers were DJ and Fitz.

    It would seem against the Lions, we saw that same offense, with the added twist of a lack of a running game, to start 2017.

    So, Tell me why Steve Keim shouldn’t be on the hot seat for doing virtually nothing to fix this issue?

    Seriously, looking just at the offensive side of the ball, what do we have to look forward to in 2017 and 2018? The oline picks aren’t panning out. The two high priced lineman did not have good games and should be released in 2018. Our QB is old with no real solution to the future behind him. Our receivers struggle to get separation and seem to be on different pages than Palmer.

    Maybe they right the ship but I ask, Besides DJ, is there anything on offense that the cards can boast about for 2018? Really anything? Maybe Humphries if he comes back and plays well. Anything else? Doesn’t that fall on Keim or do you feel it is a problem, as many have suggested, with BA and the play calling?

    Again, 2 of the next 3 games will be against the Colts and Niners, so I am sure the offense will look good against those teams. But to be a playoff type team, this offense has to do it against the cowboys, seahawks, even the rams.

  24. By clssylssy on Sep 12, 2017 | Reply

    How sad for Davod Johnson, DJ, Greshem, and the others. It has to be depressing to look forward to having a record breaking season only to have it cut short before it can begin. Hope these guys are fast healers and can keep their mental focus while rehabing.
    All offseason, this team’s operative phrase seemed to be “if we can stay healthy” What??? This is the NFL, when do teams ever really “stay healthy”–it’s usually more a matter of when they lose key players not if. This is why quality depth is important at skill positions but moreover why it’s important to build a good line to begin with as the QB’s first line of defense. iF our D-line was top tier we could hope to wear down opposing offenses with our defense but losing Campbell was a little premature until we were sure how consistent Nkemdiche was going to be.
    Denver’s offense is nothing special but they win with their defense. It doesn’t feel like Keim considers any worse case scenarios or plans accordingly.
    So, we ran out and signed another RB who has no real leadership or experience in the league, seems kinda a token gesture to me. I think I would have been looking to sign better linemen, players who can block and tackle and are somewhat athletic. It would appear that our defense is going to have to step up and be our strength, at least for awhile until the offense can figure it out.
    Watching MNF, i was in awe of the linemen for Minnesota, as well as the defense for Denver—WOW, what a difference as reflected in the outcome!

  25. By Tradersbrain on Sep 12, 2017 | Reply

    I would like to think “next man up” continues to be the team’s mantra …. and hope with the same success as 2014.

  26. By georgiebird on Sep 12, 2017 | Reply

    @Dynosoar
    The Cards should use a 4-3 because they have had no ability to cultivate linebackers in the past 60 years. The best Cards’ linebacker was Ken Harvey and he made his name with the ‘Skins. Next was DWash and he self destructed but he never could handle the running game at the line.
    Look at the current group. Golden is a tough guy but so slow for the OLB position. Chandler Jones disappears on a lot of plays-(Bellichick saw that). Bucannon is active but is pushed around a lot.
    I have watched Cards football for nearly 60 years and have never seen a Cards linebacker DOMINATE a game. Either they’re too small, too slow, or not tough enough. I could write a book on all the failed LB draft choices.
    In short, the Cards should go to a 4-3 because the 3-4 is exactly what they shouldn’t be playing. DD and CC’s skills were diminished in the 3-4.

  27. By georgiebird on Sep 12, 2017 | Reply

    Before David was injured, he wasn’t doing that well- and that was against a pretty bad Lions’ defense. The Cards were going nowhere this year. An aside to BA- there are no 5 star players on this team.
    The injury to DJ might be a blessing in disguise- I had the Cards at a generous 8-8 before the injury- now it looks like 3-13. So maybe a franchise QB might be available with a little creativity at draft time.
    And to show how bad the Lions are- here’s a final score Giants- 38 Lions -0
    BA’s bet on Palmer just never worked out. Can’t blame BA for trying but CP- unlike Warner- had nothing left in the tank even with all the excuses.

  28. By Dynosoar on Sep 12, 2017 | Reply

    georgiebird,

    I think you should start the outline for that book and begin making notes this season AND as a punctuation you can show how Coach Whiz is still hurting this team because of the 3-4. (I am a little sarcastic, but serious at the same time, that’s just me. Because obviously BA is using the same scheme and so did Horton, Bowles and now Betcher, so there’s something to it.) I’m thinking if Calais performs like this every week, you have the exclamation mark for your Cardinals Linebacker book.

    I’ve only followed the Cardinals for 40 years, so you’ve easily got me beat, but I love that we love the same team. You could write it yourself or co-author with JTDG. Just throw in some of the good stuff as well.

    I will add a thought for your book, as much as we are lamenting the O-Line, I have to say in all my years watching this team, the last three or so have the best O-Line I’ve ever seen. And I do believe if we had a week O-Line, the defense can’t improve in practices and if we have a week D-Line our O-line can’t improve in practices. Probably why we hear often the phrase “It’s won in the trenches.” If we have the best Linebackers or the best Tackles/Guards, the other side will have to improve or they don’e make the team.

  29. By J. Craver on Sep 12, 2017 | Reply

    Is DJ’s injury really surprising? He WAS on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

  30. By Scott H on Sep 12, 2017 | Reply

    I’m hearing we just re-signed CHRIS Johnson? Well, that can only help. And this offense needs a WHOLE lotta help right now.

    But this still feels like a death blow for this team. Because the O-line doesn’t look good and when the O-line isn’t good, Palmer isn’t good. And if Palmer isn’t good…..

  31. By TucsonTim on Sep 12, 2017 | Reply

    georgiebird –

    How about D Wash. He could take half the field away from an offense. Hit M Vick,, perhaps one of the most mobile QBs of all time, so hard he broke his ribs.

    Of course, he’s joined the ranks of the persona non grata with all NFL owners.

  32. By georgiebird on Sep 12, 2017 | Reply

    @ Dinosoar
    Don’t know what you are talking about . Take a look at the SB. DD and Gabe Watson were the DTs. Gabe’s best game as a Cardinals and of course DD’s best game.

  33. By Marlin on Sep 12, 2017 | Reply

    Darren,

    I can not believe that you are implying that David Johnson had a good game before injury. He was HORRIBLE. Penalties, fumbles, bad cuts. I guess he has become too much of a poster boy to criticize. He stunk it up big time in game one. And Arians play calling stunk it up as well. I hope if anyone reads this I get a thousand thumbs down. Doesn’t matter. Maybe BA will have to get creative with play calling now and weave in a few players earlier in the game… as opposed to 10 straight plays to DJ.

  34. By cactus jeff on Sep 12, 2017 | Reply

    If he dislocated a certain bone in his wrist called the Lunate, he will have similar complications to Bo Jackson in that the bone has a poor blood supply. SO he will probably be out the rest of the season if they are not in contention.

    JTDG,
    When it comes to Watt, it is not complicated, he passes the eye test and its just not that hard. The WR Davis would have been the only player that would have made me reconsider. Yep, I saw him play once! He passed the eye, Minter and Cooper didn’t pass the eye test. Why can we do better with far less info?

  35. By clssylssy on Sep 12, 2017 | Reply

    I also heard we were re-signing Chris Johnson which would make this bad situation a whole lot better! Chris is basically a plug’n’play guy who knows what we’re doing. It would be almost like going back to 2015 personnel wise, which is doable. Then, hopefully DJ could possibly be back in time for the end of season which would be great. Just need for BA to use the talent in the room rather than depending upon one or two guys.
    Now, if we can do something to fix the 0-line, that should be our priority, I think we are OK at QB at least until we play the Cowboys although I hope we don’t sleep on the Colts as that could be a trap game that we can’t afford to lose.
    i think it’s going to be a fight for the NFC West, and the Rams are going to be a team to worry about.

  36. By georgiebird on Sep 12, 2017 | Reply

    @Tucson Tim-
    You are correct, DWash could run all over the field UNTIL teams decided to run right at him. DWash was very good but too small to stop big time running games.

  37. By georgiebird on Sep 12, 2017 | Reply

    @Dinosoar
    Yes, right before you came aboard as a Cards fan, the Cards had great OLs in the 60s and 70s. Guys like Ken Gray, Bob Young (strongest man in the world), Bob DeMarco, Ernie McMillan, Bob Reynolds, Tom Banks, DD, Dobler, Finnie, Brahaney. The OL kept Jim Hart vertical. In the mid 70s playoffs, the Great Vikings and Rams defenses were too much for the slow footed Hart, but the OL tried it’s best

  38. By Scott H on Sep 12, 2017 | Reply

    Folks….D Wash coming back right now is about as likely as Kurt Warner coming back. So…..what’s the point?? He’s not an answer to anything because he isn’t even an option ( apparently ). He basically doesn’t even exist.

    Move on to one of the MANY other concerns we have to deal with right now.

  39. By Scott H on Sep 12, 2017 | Reply

    CJ saved us once before…..maybe he can do it again. Until / unless it is clear he has nothing left……I think this group of pretty un-distinguished RB’s looks better with his name among them. I think we KNOW he is coming to play. He still wants to play. Look, if Palmer doesn’t get his sorry rear end on track REAL fast, it ain’t gonna matter. None of these RB’s are gonna save us.

    And to be fair to Palmer’s sorry rear end, the O-line has to play better than it did on Sunday.

    But….I think CJ offers help that CAN help if the O-line can be better.

  40. By Big Ken on Sep 12, 2017 | Reply

    At least signing CJ he doesn’t have to carry the team on his back just be part of that RB by committee. Time to re-load!

  41. By Coach K on Sep 12, 2017 | Reply

    Darren,

    I know this may sound crazy, but I think our offensive is more unpredictable without David Johnson. When he was in, he was the center of attention for the defense and I think BA relied on David too much in his play calling.

    Now, I think balance is in our favor. Like you said above, we won 10 and 11 games before using multiple sets and bunch sets with our receivers and it worked.

    So as crazy as this may sound, offensively we may be more dangerous without David being to focal point.

    Do you think this sounds crazy Darren?

  42. By Darren Urban on Sep 12, 2017 | Reply

    Coach K —

    RE: Crazy

    I think it sounds, understandably, like someone trying to rationalize the loss of one of the best players in the NFL.

    Can they still win? I think so. But others have to play much better.

  43. By georgiebird on Sep 12, 2017 | Reply

    @ J Craver
    About two weeks ago, I said the same thing about David being on the SI cover-
    must have received all thumbs down. Some people just don’t know history

  44. By YOKIE on Sep 12, 2017 | Reply

    Sorry…time to pump the brakes on the crisis train for a moment. Although the loss of a stud running back this early in the season is a tough hit, I believe the team can, and will, persevere through it until his return. The signing of CJ and Alex Boone should shore up key areas. Bottom line, the rest of the team needs to step up their performance. Have to remember the Cards were up 17-9 in 3rd quarter prior to the DJ fumble. I assume DJs’ hurt wrist, which was injured on the prior possession, had more impact on the fumble than the Lions D. Don’t think he should have come back in so soon. On top of that, Palmer was handing out INTs like candy. A bigger issue is that it seems the Cards still haven’t figured out how to protect a lead late in the game.

    I am not a fan, bordering on critical, of the limited reps approach used this off-season for players like Palmer, Fitz and Johnson. That lack of game reps showed in the form of rust; which will come off in time. Palmer looked out of sync with receivers all day. Was it Palmer that was off or were WRs running bad or wrong routes. Likely, a combo of both. Further, I don’t know if this is a factor that led to the number of injuries sustained in Week 1. Still undecided on the new look O-Line that moved LT mainstay Veldheer over to RT; was it really that broke.

    Also note, key defensive players, Nkemdiche and Buchanon were also out. Without Nkemdiche, just didn’t seem like the defense got much pressure on the QB. The rotation of Bynes and Reddick just didn’t work; both looking lost on most plays. Dansby is a solid vet and leader on the field, but definitely lost a step or two. With big contract in the wallet, Chandler just didn’t seem to have the same intensity and motivation. Aside from the gimme pick 6, it was hard to watch Bethel get burned repeatedly all over the field. Nothing to note on safety play. Honey Badger, PP and Bethea were solid in coverage and run support.

    Finally!!! special teams didn’t absolutely suck. Quite happy with the combo of Dawson, Lee and Brewer. Bottom line, just one game does not make a season. Its up to BA to make some corrections, clean up some mistakes and pump up team intensity moving forward. And please everyone, do not even get the Gabbert train started; Palmer is our QB, period.

    Darren, is there any interest in bringing in a vet CB, like Revis, at this point from the Cards front office? If not Revis, who is still available on the street? Did Chad Williams play or have any impact on the game? And is he being looked at for kick/punt returns?

  45. By Darren Urban on Sep 13, 2017 | Reply

    Yokie —

    RE: Questions

    1) No on Revis.
    2) Chad Williams was inactive and figures to remain inactive as long as the other receivers stay healthy.

  46. By Scott H on Sep 13, 2017 | Reply

    Bottom line, the guy who needs to step to the front and carry this team is Palmer. Period. I hear a lot being said that Palmer can’t be expected to do his job if the O-line is playing poorly. And, yeah, that is a basic reality of the NFL. Got it. BUT…

    ….sometimes, you need your QB ( and / or the play calling but let’s just stick to the QB right now ) to overcome an O-line that just isn’t that great. And I question if Palmer is that good of a QB, I gotta be honest. Look, when Kurt Warner was here, our O-line was probably a below average O-line. In comparison to the rest of the NFL at that time, they would probably have graded out as below average.

    But did that kill our offense? No. Because we had a QB who was exceptional at reading defenses, knowing where to go with the ball, getting the ball out quick, and delivering the ball with accuracy that was, at times, simply un-believable. Hence, we had a QB who could make the O-line better. Or, who could take a below average O-line help the offense rise above it.

    Palmer? That just had not defined him as a QB recently. But that IS the type of QB this team needs now. He’s either gonna be that kind of QB, or he’s not. And I think the season is going to go however that goes. Period. We don’t have the 2015 Denver Broncos defense and we don’t have a 2,000-yard RB. If it ain’t coming from the QB and the passing game…..it ain’t happening.

  47. By JTDG on Sep 13, 2017 | Reply

    Scott H,

    Palmer vs Warner;

    Warner just went into the HOF , so , yeah, he was pretty good.
    And yes , his oline was far worse than what we have now. I’m not sure he had more than 1 or 2 guys that belonged in the NFL, let alone starting. So I totally get your point.

    Warner ran an offense that allowed him to read quickly and get the ball out of his hands. Teams who blitzed him found out quickly that was a mistake.

    Palmer has a different offense. They are trying to go to a quicker passing game (which to me is a joke that Keim could not figure out the oline). But that quicker passing game, I’m not sure that is Palmer. He seems like that guy who works off of 5 and 7 step drops, sits in the pocket, throws down field with a big arm. That is difficult, especially when his receiver is covered and the oline is letting defenders through.

    I noticed in the game with the Lions he was clearly affected by the pressure of the dline. He was throwing the ball before he was ready, not driving the ball, and throwing balls erratically.

    If Palmer was behind the cowboys line, it would be different. But I think time and style has caught up with Palmer. I think he can still win games and put up numbers, but to lead us deep in the playoffs and continue playing in 2018, I don’t see it. Palmer has been a good QB for the cards (arizona’s second best), but that window has closed and it will be time to change this offense and QB in 2018.

  48. By JTDG on Sep 13, 2017 | Reply

    Scott H,

    One more point.

    Warner had Fitz in his prime, Boldin in his prime and Breaston.

    Palmer has Fitz (still as good as ever) and ……. Sometimes John Brown…. um JJ Nelson is OK….. Um …….

  49. By clssylssy on Sep 13, 2017 | Reply

    Scott…
    Gotta disagree with you on blaming Palmr. He took responsibility but BA needs to step up and take his lumps too. It all runs down hill and Palmer takes his marching orders from his boss, BA. BA calls the plays and makes the decisions,
    It wasn’t that long ago that Palmer was questioning whether or not he wanted to come back and nearly everyone panicked. Where you one of those people?
    Just say’n,everybody has a bad day at work only for most it’s not with a audience of thousands plus, I don’t think it’s that simple. I expect Palmer will have his ups and downs but there are a lot of teams around the league who are struggling at the QB position but are working on solutions so that the rest of the team can help sholder the load. If I were Palmer, as a Team Captain, I probably would have suggested BA put in Stanton or Gabbard when it was obvious things weren’t straightening out but I have a feeling that BA wouldn’t have been open to that, even at the cost of the game. I remember Kurt Warner having some pretty iffy games at the beginning and fans wanting Whiz to put Leinert in but that worked itself out in the longrun. We’ll just hope this does to and everybody can keep their eye on the prize

  50. By Scott H on Sep 14, 2017 | Reply

    clssy –

    I see what you are saying. If “panicked” is the word you are going to use, then yeah, I was one of those people. But…..OK. Now what? We were pretty much all one of those people.

    Yes, I believed the Cards were a better team with Palmer than without him. That is pretty obvious.

    But here is the point and the bottom line – just because we are better with Palmer right now than we would be with Stanton or Gabbert or a rookie QB, does that mean we are good enough? Good enough to be a legit SB contender? Well, we can only say that question has yet to be answered.

    I’m not saying neither the coaches or the play calling or the personnel decisions are not also factors in how this plays out. Sure they are. But IMHO, you still can’t have a QB making erratic throws and throwing 3 INT’s in a game. That KILLS you. Palmer still has to do HIS job on the field. Period. And on Sunday, he did not. Just like too many times last year, he did not. And like in the 2015 playoffs, he did not.

    It is fair to question this and have concerns, even if ALL of the blame is not Palmer’s. Which, no, it is not.

  51. By clssylssy on Sep 14, 2017 | Reply

    Scott…
    I hear you and agree we were all feeling that the bottom was about to drop out when both Palmer and Fitz were questioning whether they wanted to return; it was too much like when Kurt announced his retirement with a year to go on his contract even though I think everyone knew when he got hit in New Orleans it was probably game over for the foreseeable future. But, if nothing else, I believe in our guy Larry Fitz and he believes in Carson so, I have to hope that Carson has at least that much belief in himself and we’ll get through this year and ride the waves of adversity. I tell myself that I will take it one game at a time, it is what it is, and I only hope at the end of the day we can all hold our heads up. Everybody needs to do their job, we need to reset and begin again. Palmer is a good leader
    As for David Johnson, I have a feeling that we will get him back before Christmas and BA gave us the worst case scenario, as every case is different and best not to get hopes upl It’s a wrist, not a weight bearing injury and he is young and in great shape, doesn’t impress me as a guy who is going to spend a lot of time on the couch eating junk food and feeling sorry for himself. He’s going to be doing his rehab exercises when he’s not at the facility or on the sidelines and will be on top of things!

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