Coach Ken Whisenhunt certainly noticed the spike in temperature Thursday: “We went from pre-heat to bake,” he joked. But he did say he was impressed with his team bringing up its level of play during the 11-on-11 session despite it all.
He also talked a little bit about his job of playcalling, quipping, “What I took away from last season was I can’t let Russ (Grimm) and Mike (Miller) call all those bad plays.”
“You lose a little touch with that when you are not involved with the playcalling,” he said. “There is a lot going on on game days, and it was nice to get back into that routine. It’s fun when you (call plays). You have to put a lot of work into it and a lot of preparation, and we have had guys here that have been good in helping with that.
“I enjoyed it last year, obviously because of some of the games where we were productive offensively. You think back to Chicago, you think back of the first half against Houston, even Green Bay, that’s rewarding. … It makes you feel like you contributed. And it is a rush. It’s as close as you can get to playing and being back on the field.”
Among other tidbits:
– Whisenhunt noted CB Trumaine McBride has “shown up” in offseason work and will be in the mix at the position.
–Speaking of defensive backs, safety Hamza Abdullah was active Thursday, making two interceptions, dropping a third and making a nice play to break up a pass to Andre Roberts. Abdullah was signed late last season when Antrel Rolle was banged up and Matt Ware was already on IR, and was forced to play a lot when he probably wasn’t ready, given his short shelf life on the roster. “It’s difficult anytime a guy comes in late in the season and he was thrown to the wolves like he was,” Whisenhunt said. “I respected the way he worked. There were no excuses. But he has stepped it up. It makes you think he has a chance to contribute to our team and I think, because of the way he came in and worked, you pull for him.”
– Injury update: G Rex Hadnot was on the bike after tweaking his knee Wednesday, but Whisenhunt said the injury wasn’t serious and Hadnot may return next week. The same goes for LB Gerald Hayes (back), who Whisenhunt said wanted to work out today but was kept out. Hayes will try it next week. “He’s made dramatic improvement.” DL Alan Branch has also been sitting with his back. Later, on the subject of injuries, Whisenhunt smiled and said, “I think they’re all out for the game this weekend.”
– WR Larry Fitzgerald, as he is prone to do, chucked a pass at me after making one of his own in early drills. Fortunately, I caught it. The Republic’s Kent Somers wasn’t as lucky, reaching up with one hand (Kent was holding his notepad in the other) and having a Fitz pass bounce off, leading to this exchange:
Fitz: “Comon, Kent!”
Kent: “I only had one hand!”
Fitz: “I catch it with one hand all the time.”
Kent” “But you can’t write.”
Fitz: “I wrote my paper for the University of Phoenix last night!”
Fitz is always thinking on his feet.
– DRC cut off the other side of his hair, making him look normal again (sorry, I didn’t snap a photo).
– It looks like I’ll have Steve Breaston on for a Tuesday afternoon chat next week, so keep that on the radar.
Tags: Alan Branch, Andre Roberts, Antrel Rolle, DRC, Gerald Hayes, Hamza Abdullah, Ken Whisenhunt, Larry Fitzgerald, Matt Ware, Rex Hadnot, Steve Breaston, Trumaine McBride
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The NFL released the compensatory picks for the 2010 draft today and the Cardinals did not get one. While there had been a lot of talk earlier about possibly getting one after losing defensive end Antonio Smith last offseason, I guess it was offset by signings like cornerback Bryant McFadden, to the point where comp pick guru AdamJT13 had already guessed the Cards were out of the loop (that link, by the way, explains well how the comp pick formula basically works).
The picks announced today, again, were based on last offseason. This month’s free agency transitions will affect the 2011 draft. In short, the Cards could come out ahead — possibly. Players have to be actual free agents (the contracts expiring) and not released, meaning the loss of Antrel Rolle won’t help but the signings of Joey Porter and Derek Anderson won’t hurt either. For now, the Cards’ 2011 comp formula will be Karlos Dansby/Jerheme Urban vs. Paris Lenon/Rex Hadnot.
UPDATE: Here is AdamJT13′s explanation on the Cards’ situation for this draft: “Arizona signed two qualifying players and lost two qualifying players, so the best the Cardinals could hope for was a net value pick, but as I projected, the difference in values was not enough to warrant one. Had the Cardinals not signed Jason Wright, they would have received a third-round pick for Antonio Smith.” I believe the players were McFadden/Wright vs. Smith/Terrelle Smith.
Tags: Antonio Smith, Antrel Rolle, Bryant McFadden, Derek Anderson, draft, free agency, Jerheme Urban, Joey Porter, Karlos Dansby, Paris Lenon
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A few odds and ends early on a Thursday:
– Not sure if you saw, after Antrel Rolle signed with the Giants, that he talked about re-teaming with college teammate Kenny Phillips and that the two of them could be “the best (safety tandem) in the league. Hands down.” Didn’t see that? Adrian Wilson did. We were wrapping up our conversation the other day, A-Dub suddenly brought it up unprompted. “Best safety tandem?” he said, showing that look you get from your dad when you’re a kid acting like you know everything when you really don’t. “Hold on there now. Just hold on a minute.”
That’s all he needed to say. I’d guess Wilson is looking forward to working with Kerry Rhodes and seeing if the Cards can, you know, get into the equation.
– Wide receiver Jerheme Urban is signing with the Chiefs. No surprise. Urban was inactive a lot late in the season, he wasn’t tendered as a restricted free agent and I’m not sure — even if he made the team — he’d get to play much. Besides, the main reason he came to the Cards in the first place was because then-offensive coordinator Todd Haley liked him from Urban’s and Haley’s days together in Dallas. Now Urban is reunited with Haley. (Of course, on a personal note, my two young sons are going to be bummed. It’s not often as a kid you have a guy on a team who shares your surname and then you get to meet that guy. I know fans had mixed feelings about Jerheme the player, but you won’t find a better person).
– In case you’re looking for one free-agency clearinghouse when it comes to the Cards, go to our free agency page, which we will continue to keep track of the comings and goings as guys sign.
– Another big day today for the Cards, as they finish up free-agent visits with linebackers Larry Foote and Joey Porter.
Tags: Adrian Wilson, Antrel Rolle, free agency, Jerheme Urban, Joey Porter, Kerry Rhodes, Larry Foote, Todd Haley
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Everyone looking for good news has this: The Cards are getting Kerry Rhodes from the Jets in a trade to replace Antrel Rolle. ESPN is reporting it, and I have heard similar things — the Cards will give up a fourth-round pick in 2010 and a seventh-rounder in 2011. That was a quick and (relatively) painless quick turnaround after losing Rolle last night when he signed with the Giants. I’ll have a full story in a bit, hopefully. The Cards still haven’t officially announced anything.
Tags: Antrel Rolle, Kerry Rhodes
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I have written more than I care to on the subject of the trio of departures today. I have barely been away from my computer since 3:30 (and I was at work all day too) and now we are headed toward 11 p.m. In reality, nothing happened today that was unexpected. The Anquan Boldin trade was long a question of when rather than if (I will have more on Boldin tomorrow, both in his reaction and a blog retrospective).
Karlos Dansby and Antrel Rolle were always possible to leave, especially Dansby. The Cards offered big money to both, and both passed. Somewhat strange, and in the end, we’ll never be exactly sure why each made the decisions they did.
What does it mean for 2010? Well, right now, the Cards aren’t as good as they were yesterday. That’s obvious, and no one is arguing. But as I have written, the Cards need to get through free agency and the draft before knowing exactly what they will have for the season. They are going to play the 2010 season and the Cards have to show up every week. No reason to give up now; they are still going to make them play.
I leave you with Darnell Dockett, the man who watched his team shift dramatically and let us know his raw emotions all day via Twitter. Dock clearly wasn’t happy. But then, after Rolle made his call to finish the 3-for-3, Dockett had this to say: “And people don’t think just because we lost some key guys that we aint gone bust heads yall trippn we coming even harder and yeah “I SAID IT.”
The season will go on.
But I won’t, at least tonight. Time for bed.
Tags: Anquan Boldin, Antrel Rolle, Darnell Dockett, free agency, Karlos Dansby
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Darnell Dockett is breaking news: He just tweeted Antrel Rolle is signing with the Giants.
“I talk to antrell rolle and I’m happy for him and his family! He will be a giant, I wish him sucess and healt to the fullest that my dawg!” Dockett said.
I suppose it’s the perfect ending to a rough day for the Cards. Not one of the three moves are a surprise. To have them all happen in one day … Yikes.
ESPN is reporting Rolle got five years, $37 million, including $15 million guaranteed. That’s a lot of money for Rolle, and Adam Schefter said it makes Rolle the highest-paid safety in NFL history — so take that for what it’s worth. UPDATE: And I am hearing, as crazy as it sounds, the Cards were offering basically the same deal. Rolle just chose New York.
Tags: Antrel Rolle, Darnell Dockett
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So I listened to Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland say at the combine this of free safety Gibril Wilson, who struggled last season: “We have our evaluation of Gibril Wilson. We know what kind of player he’s capable of being. I think he’s going to be a very good player for the future. He was disappointed in his play last year. I think he can play better. We’ll just have to see. I think he will.”
Sounded like a guy who was going to get another chance. Um, nope. His agent tweeted Wilson is being released today.
What does that mean for the Cards? Well, it makes me think the Dolphins are confident they have a shot at Antrel Rolle. And that Ireland apparently thought Wilson would be a “very good player” somewhere besides Miami.
Tags: Antrel Rolle, Dolphins, free agency
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Well now, that would be interesting, wouldn’t it?
Dansby, meanwhile is saying his “gate is wide open.” To me, that’s again code for, “I am receptive to whichever team wants to pony up.” Could that be the Cards? It certainly would get some Cards’ fans off the ledge. In that case, it’d be a good thing if ‘Los didn’t hurt his ACL getting off the plane today.
Safety Antrel Rolle, meanwhile, is visiting the New York Giants first, while Kent Somers is reporting backup safety Matt Ware is visiting an unnamed NFC West team. Possibly losing two safeties? Yikes. A-Dub could get lonely back there. All along, GM Rod Graves said Rolle was a top priority to keep, especially with Dansby likely out. Maybe, given the markets developing for the two, the Cards realize they have a better chance/are more willing to invest in Dansby going forward. I’m sure they’d like to keep at least one. Given that most everyone — including me — felt Dansby was gone for sure, it’d be quite the development if he stays.
Then again, that’s no lock — and again, another reason while you can’t get emotional with the ups and downs of free agency. You wait until after the draft, see what your team’s roster has, and — if you are a fan — then get upset if you think things look bleak. But on March 5? Not so much.
Tags: Antrel Rolle, free agency, Karlos Dansby
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As we head into the the night, here is what Darnell Dockett tweeted about his new free-agent teammate, Antrel Rolle:
“I just talked to Antrell Rolle!! And I already know what’s about to happen, mann I’m speechless I’m going to Bed. I’m done with twitter BYE!”
Is Dockett’s speechless because he can’t believe the money Rolle is about to be offered? Because Rolle is going elsewhere? Because Rolle is coming back to the Cards for more money than Dockett is getting? It certainly doesn’t come across like he is ticked Rolle is leaving, and he complained about that via Twitter yesterday.
Maybe Dockett is just yanking everyone’s chain. But if it is true that Dockett already knows what Rolle’s free-agent destination is, it better be Arizona, because otherwise — since the Tweet came right around 9 p.m. Arizona time — there was some serious tampering going on that’s interesting, and anyone — including me — would be an idiot for thinking it’d be tampering because, after he was cut, he was free to talk to whomever.
I’ll say this: The two teams I heard in connection with Rolle (like two or three weeks ago) if he became free were the Giants and Dolphins. We’ll see how that pans out. Rolle already has reportedly gotten an offer from Miami (and the same report talks about the Dolphins chasing Dansby hard).
Tags: Antrel Rolle, Darnell Dockett, free agency
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As time ticks closer to free agency, Karlos Dansby is that much closer to — as he said last offseason when the contract extension he seemed close to with the Cards suddenly wasn’t — “making a splash.” The question is how splashy will it be? Andrew Brandt of the National Football Post breaks down his pros and cons about paying Dansby big money. In the piece, Brandt talks about the scheme being important to Dansby, and while Karlos is versatile, obviously that will make an impact.
Then again, if a team ponies up big money for a guy, I think they do it with the idea that the scheme will fit and the team will even make the extra effort to make sure the scheme fits. The key line: “With sources telling me that three teams are making aggressive plays for Dansby and that the Cardinals are still in the picture, he could possibly eclipse the markers set by (Calvin) Pace and (Bart) Scott.”
Now, who chases Dansby? Is it the Dolphins? The Redskins? The Giants? The Cards haven’t shut the door, but judging by what Dansby looks like he’ll get on the open market, I don’t expect the Cards to stay in that bidding war. It’s funny too, the Dolphins are mentioned for every Cardinal who might be available (Antrel Rolle and Anquan Boldin too), even though each wants big money — which is why they are available in the first place. Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland acknowledged his team needs linebackers (not that he specifically said Dansby) and also said the team was counting on safety Gibril Wilson to play better this season (which would seem to eliminate a chase for Rolle).
But in the end, I still think someone will give ‘Los the contract he has been waiting so long to get.
Tags: Anquan Boldin, Antrel Rolle, free agency, Karlos Dansby
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