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A banged-up OL, and Friday before the Niners

Posted by Darren Urban on September 29, 2017 – 4:03 pm

Well, this is where the Cardinals are. In a week in which Friday finally felt like the day where the offensive line wouldn’t be the major topic, it became the major topic. It’s not so much that Mike Iupati is likely headed for IR – he hadn’t been playing – but Alex Boone is also missing time and Bruce Arians was anything but clear about D.J. Humphries’ availability.

I mean, even OC/OL coach Harold Goodwin is working on the gallows humor. “I’m planning on suiting up sooner or later,” he said.

It’s not like the game is going to be canceled. If Humphries is in there, fine, but if he can’t go, it’s probable we’ll see rookie Will Holden in the lineup, with he and John Wetzel in some combo of guard/tackle on the left side. Not ideal, and that’s even if the right side of Evan Boehm and Jared Veldheer were playing well, which has not happened of late.

Carson Palmer played well last week. The Cards moved the ball. Offensively, with John Brown back to at least play a little, the Cards have some guys who can help gain yards. But the line has to keep Palmer upright. It’s not unfair to wonder how that can happen.

“As you saw, because (the media) was writing earlier in the season Carson doesn’t have it anymore, that’s not the issue,” Goodwin said. “As long as he is protected, the ball is going to come out, it’s going to go to the right place and we’re going to score points. If he’s not protected, we’re going to struggle.”

— Bruce Arians was asked, now that the Cards have been through a couple of games, when the offense most misses the injured David Johnson.

“Every play,” Arians said. “Either fake it to him hand it to him or throw it to him.”

Sounds about right.

— I am curious to see how Andre Ellington is deployed. Brown may be back and I expect J.J. Nelson to play, but both probably won’t be their explosive selves. Ellington is really that only guy right now.

— Having Larry Fitzgerald go deep for a couple of long passes Monday night was some excellent nostalgia. How much it can happen, realistically, is another story. It’s not so much Fitz can’t make the catch in traffic. You still trust him in jump ball situations. But Fitz’s ability to get down the field fast to be in position to try for one isn’t what it was, and with the problems with protection, can the Cards keep Palmer up long enough to get Fitz where he needs to be?

— Deone Bucannon won’t be playing all the time, not yet, but this is where we get to see how the Cardinals want to deploy him with Haason Reddick and Karlos Dansby. I want to see the package – assuming there is one – that has both Bucannon and Reddick. DC James Bettcher said you don’t want to have too many specific packages, because it hampers the other nine or 10 players who would be on the field.

— Two numbers that, to me, are poison to the Cardinals right now: Allowing opponents to score TDs on 87 percent of red-zone visits, and averaging 2.8 yards per carry rushing the ball. One on each side of the ball. They have to change.

— Don’t forget Kurt Warner’s Hall of Fame bust will be on display at University of Phoenix Stadium Saturday from 12-4 p.m. if you want to get a picture. Warner will be presented with his Hall of Fame ring at halftime of Sunday’s game.

— Holden proposed to his girlfriend on the 50-yard line after the Monday night game.

“Football has been a big part of my life and a big part of her life now,” Holden said. “She’s been with me since day one at Vanderbilt. I felt like that was a special place.”

— See you Sunday. The Cardinals want to at least be .500 after the first quarter of the season. Even though the 49ers are 0-3, that’s not a lock.


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21 Responses to “A banged-up OL, and Friday before the Niners”

  1. By Scott H on Sep 29, 2017 | Reply

    The 49ers being 0-3 barely matters at all. No, scratch that. It really doesn’t matter at all. What matters here is that with how the Cardinals have played so far, there isn’t a team in the NFL right now you would feel the Cardinals are likely to beat. That is the sad reality we face after seeing what this team is. Yeah, there are injuries. Know what? Who cares? Nobody is feeling sorry for you.

    The 49ers aren’t feeling sorry for you. The 49ers are looking at this game as a game they can win. And why shouldn’t they? They have looked more competitive over the first 3 games than the Cardinals have.

    And IF Humphries is not going to play, will someone explain to us why we can’t put Veldheer back over on the left side?

    As for Iupati…..pretty much time to close the book on him. He is apparently not going to be part of 2017 and it didn’t seem likely he was going to be part of 2018, anyway.

    Ya know….I remember feeling that over the 2nd half of last season, our O-line started to come together a bit and they were playing better. Consequently – and not suprisingly – Palmer also started to play better. It felt like maybe some of the young guys getting pressed into service due to the losses of Mathis and Veldheer, though a rough road at first, might turn out to be a good thing going forward because now some of those guys had playing experience under their belts. I mean…..am I wrong?? Was I the only one who saw any of this? So…..what has gone so wrong between the end of last season – when it was looking better – and the beginning of this season?

    Um….more REALLY ppor personnel decisions??? More REALLY poor personnel evaluation? Well, if it ain’t that, then what is it?

    This is a damn disaster. We’ve got an O-line in complete shambles, a QB with no mobility who does NOT play well under pressure, and no running game.

    Folks…..teams that fit that description aren’t SB contenders. They aren’t division winners. They’re not wild-card teams. They aren’t even .500 teams. They are 5 or 6 win teams. Maybe. Face it, that is what we are looking at.

    The window is closed.

  2. By Coach K on Sep 29, 2017 | Reply

    This is a very simple game to project:

    If Cardinals use their tight ends, run the ball and take what the defense gives them, we can win.

    However,

    If B.A. stays with the failed No Riskit, no Biscuit high risk offense and puts Palmer in constant third and long situations. WE LOSE.

    It’s really that simple guys.

  3. By Marlin on Sep 29, 2017 | Reply

    Gut check time! We’ll be there cheering. Go Cardinals!!!!

  4. By dan on Sep 30, 2017 | Reply

    I’m done with John “Mirrors” Brown and Robert ” Pussinboots” Nkemdeche or whatever his/her names is. I say put him on IR too for surgery for implants and give him some pom-poms.

  5. By dan on Sep 30, 2017 | Reply

    Oh yeah, and if u wear an NFL uniform and take knee u can all kiss your big dollars goodbye. NFL has taken a massive hit since whats his face took a knee and Goodell fumbled the ball. play the Anthem without the teams present or show some respect for 1 minute and play a GAME. Keep politics out of sports, bring it in and out go the fans.

  6. By Corgon on Sep 30, 2017 | Reply

    That’s it. Palmer is going to die out there.

  7. By clssylssy on Sep 30, 2017 | Reply

    OMG! I don’t think you are being realistic about what we’re facing. It’s obvious that you just can’t read the handwriting that’s on the wall or look honestly at our situation.
    This is a DIVISION GAME, barely matter? Simple? That really sounds pretty arrogant and uninformed. Forget the previous seasons when we were riding high in the Division–we aren’t anymore! The Rams are leading the Division and are who we use to be a few seasons ago. It’s like the FO closed shop last year and just opened up again for training camp; we aren’t even as good as we were last season! And, this is what I have been complaining about all this for months when I was accused of being “negative” and “inappropriate” (interesting how people want to control how other fans feel and express themselves–oh gee, I’m in good company with the players on that).
    I agree with JTDG that we will continue to be a dumpster fire, and competitor in name only, until we have a sweeping change beginning with the guy who builds the roster and new staff.
    BA was good when he first came but is no young guy anymore and the past two years have shown. Last season, he had health issues and family losses but when you reach a certain age, those things come with age and are what can be expected down the road as a natural reality of getting older. With these kinds of losses, people tend to also become angry and less flexible; I guess we’ve seen that too. Some people age better than others and I think it’s time we got some young ideas infused into this organization if we are ever to be successful. Keim, IMO, was never qualified for the job and just hasn’t been able to keep up with the way things work at the National level. He would do well to return to the college ranks and build a resume there. Mr Bidwill has done great things to build this organization and pull us out of the dark ages but for progress to continue, we need to get younger, and money will need to be spent.
    I do think we have talent on this team but we haven’t kept up. Can we win this game at home–maybe, but I’m skeptical. And then what if we do? Records mean nothing if you bother to watch football. There are teams who are 0-3 who are playing much better than we are but are cursed with being in very strong divisions.
    It will be good to get some of our players back this week but we need to remember they haven’t played and so won’t be what we want to remember them to be prior to being out.
    Sure wish we had something going for us other than Fitz and wishful thinking! It may be up to the Birdgang and Cheerleaders to GET A WIN!

  8. By clssylssy on Sep 30, 2017 | Reply

    I see that Carlos Hyde is suffering a hip injury and will be a game-time decision, can’t put much weight into these injury reports, but if that’s true it could slow their run game. If our defense can keep the pressure on and not quit when it counts, we might have a chance as until last week against the Rams the 9ers hadn’t had a TD. This should be a balls to the wall game with both teams battling to stay out of last place…sad.

  9. By Kevin S Mesa on Sep 30, 2017 | Reply

    Coach K —

    I agree. You had a more detailed post on the prior blog making the same point, which I agree with 100%. The question for this game — and for the rest of this year — is going to be whether Arians is willing to adjust his offense given the fact that our O-line has problems and he’s missing David Johnson.

    Some of us have been clamoring for the abandonment of the “biscuit” offense for a while. Or, I should say, not so much the abandonment of it, but for scaling it back. So frustrating to see the team move the ball for a couple first downs and then near midfield, have two straight 15+ yard passes fall incomplete (or for Palmer to get sacked while waiting for the receivers to run 20 yards) and then to know we’re about 80% likely not to convert on 3rd and 10-plus.

  10. By faster on Sep 30, 2017 | Reply

    did i mention lately, i want palmer start the game? but when i look at the opinions here, maybe i should reconsider, and ask for another qb to play? and the best would be kaepernick, what a hell of a firework that would be, lol. on and of the stadium ……

    oh, and joe thomas, that would then be the third left tackle on our roster, thats deepth …..

  11. By dynosoar on Sep 30, 2017 | Reply

    I echo what so many have asked,

    Why put a rookie at left tackle when we have Jared Veldheer? One of the best left tackles in the league. I don’t understand, I’d like to understand why he was moved to the right, but I don’t. I’d like to understand why he’s being kept on the right and a rookie is being considered to play the left, but I don’t. I wish I did understand and it appears so do many others.

  12. By dynosoar on Sep 30, 2017 | Reply

    Darren, you’ve taken suggestions for articles in the past, may I suggest an article that would get a lot of attention and comments and also help all of us understand a simple question, Why is Jared playing on the right side?

    Possible Titles:
    “The Reasons Moving Jared Veldheer From the Left is Right.”
    OR
    “Moving Jared from the Right is the Best Option Left.”
    (Depending on if a move back to the left is being considered or not.)

    Please consider this as I don’t think it’s ever been addressed in depth (I admit, there were articles in the offseason I missed with vacationing and all and it could’ve been covered then.)

  13. By Darren Urban on Sep 30, 2017 | Reply

    Dyno —

    RE: Veldheer move

    They have already talked about it, and so have I. They see Humphries as the LT of the future. They felt that Humphries is better on the left, that Veldheer would be able to make the switch, and that they were better off with Hump on the left and JV on the right rather than vice cersa.

  14. By clssylssy on Sep 30, 2017 | Reply

    Dan..
    Then why do people like you keep bringing the issue back up? The league spoke, didn’t you get that? What’s offensive is for some to say “Shut up and play football”‘, this is not just a Black community issue; it’s about inequality and saying that we do not live in a country where there is “liberty and justice for all”. This is NOT about for the military, the anthem, or flag but a reminder that those things stand for something.
    Trump very deliberately manipulated the facts at his rally in Alabama to fuel his racist agenda by pitting the two things Americans are most passionate about–patriotism and professional sports against one another. His unconscionable abandonment of the American Citizens of Puerto Rico, leaving these people of suffer and die, is a reason for everyone with an ounce of humannity to take a knee
    because they apparently have no voice either. I don’t get why kneeling in church is respectful but kneeling before the flag or the anthem are disrespectful?
    Respectfully sir, I think you are missing the message and being played by a self-serving individual who knows nothing about patriotism, the constitution or the people of this country and really could care less.

  15. By Shooter28 on Sep 30, 2017 | Reply

    So long as DJ Humphries is back which Keim has said he will be, I think the O-Line is going to be just fine and perform a lot better this week with starting 6″5 LT DJ Humphries back, 6″7/330pd John Wetzel has been a hell of a find, he is both a very good LT (WK2 4TH Ranked LT WK3 8th ranked LT) and in the last including last year he has played OG at an extremely high level. Wetzel is good in pass-pro but is an absolute people moving mauler in the run game. The Left Side will be rock solid legit. 6″2 A.Q Shipley is a solid above average Center. Young 6″3/320pd RG Evan Boehm overall is a very good RG who’s only getting better currently ranking 32nd of 74 ranked OG’s via PFF, Its when the mental errors that kill him and causes problems as he has the athleticism/power to be a mauler RG in the NFL. Lately he has gotten better and outside of one play vs Dallas he played at a very high level, he needs to keep that up.
    The problem has obviously been 6″8 Jared Veldheer struggling at RT. Veldheer has been so good in the NFL for so long ranked as a top 10 OT at LT for the last 6yrs now or so that I believe he will get his issues worked out and come out Sunday and play a much better ball game. Veldheer is a very prideful hardworking guys and he HATES getting Palmer hit, I think he will use his hands/punch much more getting his hands on people and have a better game, Arians will likely keep a big blocking TE ready just incase.
    Arians has said Alex Boone very likely could play next week which will make this offensive line MUCH better when that happens as well because they will likely plug Boone in at RG, with John Wetzel at LG, that is a dominant run blocking O-Line and outright dominant interior line that can protect Palmer much better in pass protection.

    Will all of the skill players back fully healthy with Palmer playing lights out at an extremely high level right now as well as he is throwing the ball as long as the protection is just decent Arizona is going to stomp out the 49er’s. The 49ers have one of the worst secondary in the NFL and their CBs are amongst the NFLs worse, they most definitely cannot cover 5″11 John Brown (4.31) , 5″11 JJ Nelson (4.28) n once Palmer starts hitting those two it will open up everything underneath for Larry Fitzgerald, Jaron Brown, Chad Williams , Jermaine Gresham and Troy Niklas etc. Fitzgerald also isn’t just lining up in the slot they will target him out on the peremieter and they definitely have no one to cover him, they cannot cover the middle of the field either. As long as the protection is just decent which AZ should be able to do easily, Palmer is going to have a 300+YD 3-4TD day with the Cardinals throwing the ball up and down the field because SF just can’t cover John Brown, JJ Nelson, Larry Fitzgerald or Jaron Brown.

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

    Darren –

    RE: They thought Veldheer would be able to make the switch

    OK. And at what point do THEY admit this is not working at all and it appears to be a big mistake?

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

    Coach K –

    How sad is this? That we are actually at the point of saying that IF we can do A, B, and C, we can win.

    Against the 49ers.

    Again, how sad is this??? Back in 2015, we played maybe one of the worst games THAT team was capable of playing against the 49ers and we won. Now, we’re feeling like if we do everything right, maybe we can win. Maybe.

  18. By JohnnyBluenose on Sep 30, 2017 | Reply

    Coach K…..last week you optimistically predicted 25 carries for CJ2K and five targets for Niklas. CJ2K had eleven or twelve carries for 17 yards. Niklas is not injured yet rarely set foot on the field and had one reception. I don’t know if he was targeted more than once. BA said that CJ2K was “rusty” which means, I guess, that our o-line created some holes but CJ2K failed to take advantage of them. I did not see any holes but BA is never wrong. I will be surprised if anything changes offensively this week, especially with the unfortunate state of our o-line and an immobile quarterback. We have two weapons, Larry and Palmer. Pressure Palmer and blanket Larry and we have no answer. I expect this to be a low scoring game. I hope we find a way to win because I actually picked the Cardinals this week in my Survival pool (having second thoughts now) but if we continue to struggle in the red zone (assuming we get there), if we continue to not return kicks for meaningful yardage and if we turn the ball over or fall behind by two scores early, this could be an ugly game….and a sign of more ugliness in the weeks ahead. Hoping for the best but not liking our chances too much right now unless our defense steps up and pitches a near shut-out.. We will soon know.

  19. By Dan on Oct 1, 2017 | Reply

    yawn

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