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Jim Hart, and Friday before the Rams

Posted by Darren Urban on December 1, 2017 – 4:27 pm

When you’re talking about long-term quarterbacks, Jim Hart is a good example. Hart was basically the Cardinals’ starting quarterback from 1967 to 1981, work that is getting him inducted into the franchise’s Ring of Honor at halftime Sunday when the Cards play the Rams.

On either side of that halftime ceremony will be another guy who is trying to get himself in the discussion about being a long-term quarterback. Blaine Gabbert is back for round three – and from the sound of it, all the rest of the rounds this season. That doesn’t mean he’ll be the QB of the future, or what it might mean in terms of the thought process for Carson Palmer, but it’s a solid test drive.

It’s funny, since the Jaguars have arguably the best defense in the league, but it feels like the Rams present Gabbert’s biggest challenge. Given the questions about the running backs and Adrian Peterson’s health, maybe that’s why. The first time the Cards played the Rams in London, the run game was DOA, and that in no small part played into the 33-0 loss. A big reason why the Cardinals did just fine against that good Jacksonville defense was Peterson and the run game.

Perhaps Peterson can play with whatever problems his neck is giving him. Or Kerwynn Williams can deliver a herculean effort. As solidly as Gabbert has played, you don’t want everything offensively on his shoulders.

— If Peterson does play, he needs just 37 yards to surpass all-time great Jim Brown in career rushing yards. (Of course, Peterson, healthy, had just 21 yards rushing on 11 carries in the first Rams meeting.)

— I keep getting questions, but no, I do not think David Johnson is returning this season. He’s not even practicing yet, and he’s not talking like a guy who is expecting to play this season either.

— How far have the Rams come offensively? They scored on 21.8 percent of their possessions last season, according to profootballreference.com. This year, they are at 48.4 percent, second only to the Patriots.

— There will be a lot of work to do this offseason in terms of roster overhaul/building. Perhaps more than most years, depending on certain situations. But I think the Corey Peters extension was important. Of all their free-agents-to-be, there are only going to be a few I think that the Cards want to try and extend. Peters was one of them.

— Health matters. The Rams have started the same five offensive linemen in every game. The Cardinals, of course, have started six different offensive line combinations in 11 games. “Yeah,” Cardinals offensive coordinator/line coach Harold Goodwin said. “I’m jealous.”

— A focus of the defense Sunday will be Todd Gurley. I know. Duh. But defensive coordinator James Bettcher said the Cardinals focused on the London debacle, when the Rams ran for 197 yards on 40 attempts. The Cards went into that game having not allowed a 100-yard rusher in 19 games, the longest active streak in the NFL. Gurley gained 106 on 22 attempts. Gurley remains the only player to gain 100 yards rushing against the Cards this year.

— Bring your binoculars to see all the players taking part in My Cause, My Cleats Sunday. Or you can check out this photo gallery.

— LB Chandler Jones was fined $18,231 for his roughing the passer penalty last week on Jacksonville quarterback Blake Bortles. Kareem Martin and Frostee Rucker weren’t fined for their roughing the passer penalties. There was also no fine for Jags LB Myles Jack for his horsecollar tackle on Peterson.

— One big reason for the Cardinals’ current 5-6 record is the fact last week’s win against the Jaguars was the first time all season they were a positive in the turnover column for a game. In the seven games they have been even, their record is 4-3.

— It’s been a while since the Cardinals played the Rams at home with the Rams being the favorite. The Cards would like to mess with their playoff push. See you there.


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15 Responses to “Jim Hart, and Friday before the Rams”

  1. By joe holst on Dec 1, 2017 | Reply

    The Rams have put Carson Palmer on the IR in 2 of the past 3 years and also put Drew Stanton on it 3 years ago during their championship run I think its time for some payback.

  2. By dynosoar on Dec 1, 2017 | Reply

    That Rams uniform is among the ugliest I’ve ever seen. And I thought the throwbacks for Denver and the Steelers were bad. It’s the white horns, they don’t work with the navy/gold of the jerseys.

    I sure hope they go to the old royal blue and yellow.

    According to PlayoffStatus.com, last week we had <1% chance of playing in the playoffs, with the win we moved to a 3% chance. With a win against the Rams we'll move to a 6% chance of playoffs. All based on strength of schedule and records.

    We have to win out and even if we do we only have a 62% chance of making the playoffs. We do not control our own destiny, but wouldn't that be awesome to win out and make that push?

  3. By dynosoar on Dec 1, 2017 | Reply

    Jim Hart, Ottis Anderson and Roy Green were my favorite Cardinals players as a kid.

    John Jefferson was my favorite non-Cardinals player.

  4. By georgiebird on Dec 1, 2017 | Reply

    You won’t find two similar NFL players than Carson Palmer and Jim Hart- once you get past the fact that Palmer was a #1 and Hart was undrafted:
    1) Great guys
    2) long time starters
    3) won nothing
    4) great passers when not rushed
    5) no mobility
    6) played with teams that gave little defensive support..
    7) poor post season performances
    8) no signature moments
    9) always a bridesmaid
    10) played mostly with under-performing franchises.

  5. By Coach K on Dec 1, 2017 | Reply

    Darren,

    If the Cards defeat the Rams, I will make a prediction they run the table and make it interesting for the wildcard race.

    I’m not impressed with Seattle. and the Giants, Redskins and Titans are very beatable. The tiebreakers don’t look good now, but if we can end up with 10 wins, I think with help, we get in.

    Right now, it doesn’t seem likely, but if we beat the rams, I think 10 wins is a strong possibility.

    My prediction, 10-6 and we sneak into the playoffs barely. Gabbert earns a new three year contract and Cards shock everyone and play well.

  6. By Patrick on Dec 1, 2017 | Reply

    Congrats to Jim Hart, well deserved but a little before my time, wish I was following the Cardinals when he was playing.

  7. By Cynicalogre on Dec 2, 2017 | Reply

    Congrats Jim Hart, it was way past due !!!! He is one of my all time favorite Cardinals along with Terry Metcalf, Roy Green and Jim Bakken. Made the Cardiac Cards tick.

  8. By Cardinalchris on Dec 2, 2017 | Reply

    Loved watching Jim Hart when I was a kid!!! This is really exciting news for a long time fan. I have HATED the Rams since they knocked the Cardiac Cards out of the playoffs in the 1975 season! Terry Metcalf was awesome to watch back then.

    Can’t explain how enjoyable a win would be this week. Especially with some QB payback!

  9. By Scott H on Dec 2, 2017 | Reply

    Holy cow…..how was Jim Hart NOT in the ROH before now??? How did we forget about him??? Gee, maybe if he’d played a few more years…..

    I’d like to be going into this one with a healthy Adrian Peterson so we could really lean on the running game…..IF we are actually able to keep it close enough for it to matter.

    But then again, maybe this bodes well. These last few weeks, we have had all sorts of really good performances by players who are only just getting their chance now. You know those guys are eager to show what they can do and they are fresh and raring to go. Maybe that will help?

    One thing for damn sure – after getting smoked / humiliated 33-0 by the Rams a few weeks ago, it sure as hell can’t hurt.

    Just hoping to see some heart and a team that competes tomorrow. The Rams are a better team in every possible way. They should win, probably should win by double digits. But for 60 minutes tomorrow, anything will be possible IF the Cardinals take the field with a little bit of attitude. And after a 33-0 beat down by this same team a few weeks ago, you would hope we will see some of that.

    Oh, but above all else, let’s make sure we script an early catch for Fitz so we can “get it out of the way” and it won’t have to be a “burden later in the game.”

  10. By Scott H on Dec 2, 2017 | Reply

    Just keeping it real, but I’m not even entertaining any playoff “possibilities.” I’m not giving it two seconds worth of thought or consideration. Never mind records, tie-breakers, who we have left on the schedule, percentages……never mind any of it. Just ask yourself one simple question – are the Cardinals a playoff team? I think if you’re being honest, you’d have to say no, they are not. So….why hope they somehow make the playoffs?

    Good lord, the win against the Jaguars was the first time we beat a winning team, since…..anyone? Anyone? We couldn’t swing that until Week 11 and we’re gonna think about making the playoffs??

    Cue Jim Mora – Playoffs?? Don’t talk about playoffs…..PLAYOFFS???? You kidding me?

    FWIW, that is still the greatest coach’s post-game rant of all time. For me, the Dennis Green rant doesn’t even come close. Then again…..maybe I would just rather forget that one – and the game it followed!

  11. By Dr. G. on Dec 2, 2017 | Reply

    Why does it bug me when PP21 says dumb things like, “”We didn’t do this or we didn’t do that?”” …always comes across like he’s pointing blame…serious amateur social skills. ((He can say “”I”” a lot other times.)) Let the coaches handle those statements.

    Patrick, please just cover your little corner, and try not to give up any home runs and friggin’ tackle somebody!!! Don’t play back so damn far on man.

    Here, I’ll do it for ya….. 👎👎👎

  12. By jeffcardinalfan on Dec 3, 2017 | Reply

    as hart is my favorite alltime cardinal heres 3 signature moments for him
    1 td pass with seconds left to send mnf into ot against skins. pass was to mel gray and resulted in a 10 minute conference of officials…gray had possession of ball for about a tenth of a second. in ot jim Otis carried 6 straight times to get cards in position for bakken’s gamewinner

    2 98 yd pass to guy who later changed name to ahmad Rashad(bobby moore?) against rams that wasn’t a td-can be tied but never broken as longest nonscoring play in nfl history.

    3 comeback win against boys on mnf…2 td passes to mel gray-the cowboy killer

  13. By mitchaz on Dec 3, 2017 | Reply

    The Quarterback Redemption

    Blaine Gabbert said this week that he had calls from other teams this off-season, but Arizona was the place and the offense that he felt was best suited for him.

    When Steve Keim signed Gabbert following the NFL Draft there seemed to be more to this signing than just a way to compensate for not landing one of the QBs in the draft.

    Sure, the team already had Carson Palmer entrenched as the starter and Drew Stanton on board as BA’s #2, but Keim knew that there would be plenty of snaps to go around during OTAs , mini-camp, training camp and the 5 game pre-season. Keim knew as well that he and BA have always liked Blaine Gabbert.

    The plan was to give Carson Palmer more days off than usual—which would give BA and the Cardinals a very good chance to see what kind of a fit Blaine Gabbert was in the system.

    From day one, Gabbert was turning heads—not only with his arm strength and mobility, but, most of all, with his propensity to pick up the offense at lightning speed. Perhaps learning six offenses in six years as a pro, aided and abetted Gabbert’s cause—but, regardless, Gabbert’s work ethic and diligent study habits impressed the coaches (BA, Harold Goodwin, Tom Moore and new highly touted QB coach, Byron Leftwich) big-time.

    Two games into his short tenure as the Cardinals’ starting QB, Gabbert has already shown that he has a command of the offense, that he can make the most difficult throws via a natural, quick and easy delivery, and, just as significantly, that a mobile QB in BA’s offense is made to order, given BA’s penchant for spreading the field and counting on the offense line to give the QB just enough time to find and hit the open man. And if not, BA said this week, “Blaine can use his legs and take off.”

    Gabbert has made 4 mistakes—three interceptions (one of which BA argued should never have happened had Brittan Golden played the ball better) and a costly strip sack fumble that was scooped up by Calais Campbell and run seven yards for what then looked like a back-breaking TD.

    On the flip side, Gabbert has thrown for 5 TDs, 3 of which to fellow scout team player TE Ricky Seals-Jones, one on a 20 yard strike to Larry Fitzgerald and the other on a 52 yard bomb to Jaron Brown. In addition, Gabbert was successful in converting a key 2 point conversion on a pass to Fitzgerald.

    In both of his starts, Gabbert has led the Cardinals to first half leads, the first of which was squandered in the second half in Houston, the second of which was turned into a stunning 27-24 win over the then 7-3 Jaguars by virtue of Phil Dawson’s 57 yard FG.

    Gabbert’s first half leads might have been more substantial had he not shown a tendency of throwing short of the sticks on 3rd downs, something that has plagued his performances in the past.

    However, in the second half of the Jaguars’ game, Gabbert made a concerted effort to pass beyond the sticks, epitomized by one of 4 throws he made in this game that were sensational:

    1. The 3rd down conversion in the 2nd half to Larry Fitzgerald thrown with laser precision to Fitz’s back shoulder between the CB and the FS.

    2. The TD pass in the first half to TE Ricky Seals-Jones, where Gabbert made a quick read and feathered a precisely times spiral with perfect touch to RSJ, who then was able to elude two tacklers with relative ease.

    3. The 52 yard TD to Jaron Brown where Gabbert was immediately threatened on an explosive rush from Calais Campbell, which Gabbert quickly side-stepped and then crow hopped back into the middle of the pocket to flick the ball 50 yards over the defense to Jaron Brown, just as the pocket was collapsing.

    4. The game winning frozen rope Gabbert threw up the left sideline to another of his scout team partners, D.J. Foster. Not only was this throw shot out of a cannon, it arrived on a beeline at the most precise spot where Foster could make the catch and drag his toes to stay in bounds.

    BA said two key things after the Jaguars’ win: (1) Gabbert made some throws that only a handful of QBs can make; (2) He would feel “very comfortable” with Gabbert as the starter in 2018.

    Gabbert himself said two key things after the win: (1) that beating the Jaguars felt nice only because the Cardinals as a team won the game (in other words, this win “isn’t about me” beating my former team); (2) that he felt perfectly prepared to win the game with only 20 some off seconds left because they had practiced the situation over and over.

    At this point, it appears that having a strong armed, mobile QB running who is already showing a solid, functional command the offense, has rejuvenated Bruce Arians at a time when Arians’ luster has been fading in Arizona.

    What this does for BA is it allows him to keep all of the aspects of his offense in place—but, moreover, Gabbert’s mobility allows him to expand the offense in ways he was unable to with Palmer and Stanton.

    Gabbert’s potential could be an added incentive for BA to return in 2018.

    The thought of having Gabbert behind center next year with a revamped offensive line and the return of RB David Johnson is very appealing. While Gabbert was not able to target Larry Fitzgerald as much versus the Jaguars because they were bracketing him all game, the fact that Gabbert was still able to connect with Fitz in a couple of key situations to add to Fitz’s 9/91/1 TD performance versus Houston may suggest that Fitz could be eager to return in 2018.

    While Gabbert’s win over the Jaguars was being immediately hailed as The Quarterback Redemption (Du-Blaine with QB guru Byron Leftwich) on the Cardinals’ own website (see image below)…an upset win this week over the 8-3 Rams would be a redemption of sorts for BA, who, like many Cardinals’ players and fans, must be struck by the irony that the team he publicly branded in 2014 as a “perennial 8-8” also-ran is now one game away from having its first winning record in 14 years, while BA’s Cardinals are now the the ones for two straight year hovering around the .500 mark.

    Obviously a win versus the Rams this week will take a Herculean effort on the Cardinals’ part—but what a sweet statement it would be for BA and the Cardinals to make it clear to the Rams that their 33-0 win in London was an anomaly and that the Cardinals have every intention of battling the Rams tooth and nail this week. As BA said this week to Dan Bickley, “Don’t bury us yet.”

    As Andy said to Red on the eve of Andy’s escape from Shawshank: “It really comes down to one simple choice…it’s either get busy living…or get busy dying.”

    Gabbert will have his hands full versus the Rams. There are likely to be many ups and downs and ebbs and flows in this game. But, for BA, Gabbert and the Cardinals, this game and the remaining games this year, may very well be a very interesting and hopefully exciting glimpse into the future. “Hope is a good thing, Red.”

  14. By Scott H on Dec 3, 2017 | Reply

    jeffcardinalfan –

    That was some cool stuff, your memories of Jim Hart. You must go back a good long way. I DO remember at least ONE of those amazing MNF comebacks against the Cowboys….trouble is, I never got to see it! I think it was in 1977 and going into the game, the Cowboys were 8-0 at the time. At the time, I’m 11 years old….maybe? So, I’m allowed to stay up for the first half of the Monday night games but that’s all. I start watching the game with my dad, in their bedroom, on the little black and white TV they had in there and the first half is a disaster. The Cowboys have a big lead and the Cards can’t do anything right. By half-time, I’m in tears and also very tired and my dad gently tells me it’s time for bed, get some sleep, your team just didn’t have it tonight.

    Then I ask my dad to leave me a note in the morning with the final score….although I’m pretty sure I didn’t even want to know.

    So, I get up the next morning for school, all grumpy and tired….and I find a note at my place at our kitchen table that says Cardinals 24, Cowboys 17. WOW!!!! Love, Dad.

    Now, I may not have the final score exactly right but the memory is still one of THE best I have as a Cards fan. I wish I had kept my dad’s note. Apparently, Hart threw 3 late-game TD passes to get it done. Like my dad said – WOW!!!!!

  15. By JTDG on Dec 3, 2017 | Reply

    Dr G,

    Pat Peterson;

    He says we, to include himself on things like “we didn’t play well” or “we need to improve things”

    Truth is, he can’t play much better and he didn’t make the mistakes, but instead of saying, “I did my job and these guys need to get better” (which would be true).
    He , instead, as a team player says “We” .

    I don’t understand why he is knocked for saying we?

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