Right before Carson Palmer arrived in a recent trade, there were a few stories speculating that Palmer might not want to come to the Cardinals — the team that was the main one linked to Palmer as a destination — because he might want to be a backup for a contender and try and get to a sure winner after all his years in Cincinnati and Oakland. Palmer wasn’t talking before the trade, and after the trade, he proclaimed how much he was excited to be in Arizona.
General Manager Steve Keim got a sense of that immediately, even before the trade was consummated.
Keim relayed this anecdote on the Big Red Rage Thursday night, after he noted that Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie had given the Cards permission to talk to Palmer prior to a trade. The Cardinals flew Palmer in and took him out to dinner, with the next day about taking a physical and some conversation at the team facility.
“Carson calls me at 6:15 in the morning, begging me to pick him up so he can watch tape,” Keim said. “For a 33-year-old quarterback, 10 years in the league, I love that passion.”
A few hours later, Palmer was a Cardinal in a move that — in hindsight — felt inevitable.
Keim watched the last three years of Palmer’s passes in scouting him before the trade. The Raiders were ready to dump Palmer for a song, yet Keim found himself midway through the process, “about 70 throws into it from (the) 2012 (season) and I was shaking my head trying to figure out, ‘What’s wrong with this guy?’ “
Obviously the Cardinals don’t see any issues.
Tags: Big Red Rage, Carson Palmer, Steve Keim
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A few odds and ends on a Monday morning during the second week of voluntary workouts:
– The Cardinals signed punter Will Batson Monday. Batson also can kick field goals and kick off, so he’ll fill the role of Ricky Schmitt for this offseason and preseason, I’d think — which means he’s a major long shot. Ultimately, Dave Zastudil (who was very good last year) will be the punter and Jay Feely the kicker. This just gives the Cards an extra helper with a 90-man roster. Batson was with the Titans in preseason last year.
– There will be a special edition of the Big Red Rage this Thursday night at 6 p.m. at the regular spot, Majerle’s Sports Grill in Chandler. Exact details are still being firmed up, but it will be live on Arizona Sports 620 and one of the guests will be General Manager Steve Keim.
– The 2013 Cardinals Cheerleaders will be announced on the site Friday. We will have a series of videos posted this week (1 p.m. so don’t miss them) detailing the audition process.
– I find it interesting that Kevin Kolb signs with the Bills after it could be argued that, had he not gotten hurt against the Bills last season, he might still be a Cardinal. (Then again, following that logic, there might not have been a coaching change at all. But I digress.) He’s got big plans for Buffalo.
– Presented without comment: Former Cardinals QB Max Hall has signed with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the CFL.
Tags: Big Red Rage, cheerleaders, Kevin Kolb, Max Hall, Senio Kelemete, Steve Keim, Will Batson
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Linebacker Daryl Washington, snubbed for the Pro Bowl Wednesday, is still chasing his 10th sack of the season. Notching one more would not only tie the franchise mark for sacks by a linebacker, but also make him the first guy with 10 since Bertrand Berry had 14.5 in 2004 and the first Cardinal ever to have 100 tackles and 10 sacks. Of course, Washington as been stuck with nine sacks since getting one against the Rams Nov. 25. Chasing down mobile 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick for one might not be easy. Washington did have two sacks the last time the Cards played the 49ers, but at that point, Alex Smith was still playing QB for San Francisco.
– Left tackle Nate Potter sat out Wednesday’s practice with a bad ankle. If Potter isn’t able to play Sunday, his backup is D’Anthony Batiste — who struggled so much when he was in there earlier in the season — and I’d think Batiste would likely get another start. That would definitely be something that bears watching.
– The Big Red Rage tonight at Majerle’s in Chandler will feature not only host Kerry Rhodes but also wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, so reserve your table quickly. The show starts at 6 p.m.
Tags: Bertrand Berry, Big Red Rage, Colin Kaepernick, D'Anthony Batiste, Daryl Washington, Kerry Rhodes, Larry Fitzgerald, Nate Potter
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Darnell Dockett appeared on the “Bickley and MJ” show on XTRA 910 Wednesday to talk about his latest kerfuffle. Bottom line? “It’s not my intention to leave,” Dockett said, and insisted he hasn’t brought up to anyone the desire to be traded. That said, he also said he didn’t want to be anywhere where he wasn’t wanted — I don’t think anyone has told him with the Cardinals they don’t want him, but again, emotions have run high.
Highlights from Dockett’s comments:
– “This was not my saying or my idea of me being traded or people thinking I might be traded or came up with this or said this. I never said that. At the end of the day, I will never be anywhere I’m not wanted or I’m not going to be somewhere where I am treated unfairly. Things like that. I want to be happy. I play with passion, I give everything I have on the field.”
– On his reaction when he first was told on the sideline that letting the Jets score the final TD was the right strategy: “At the time I really didn’t know what was going on. I really didn’t think about it or anything like that. I just didn’t have the ‘quit’ attitude. Once they explained it to me real fast, I just didn’t want to be a part of that. Our defensive coaches emphasize all week, ‘Don’t let a team score, don’t let a team score.’ That’s embedded in me. … At the time, looking back at it, maybe I could have done something different, but I don’t have regret on what I’ve done.”
– On clearing the air with coach Ken Whisenhunt: “Maybe at the end of the season we’ll talk or whatever, but as of right now, my main focus is going out and playing hard. That’s my main focus. As far as a conversation of me being here or a conversation of our relationship, that’s not really my concern right now. He’s got a job to do, I have a job to do. I’m thinking we’re both frustrated at being on a nine-game losing streak.”
– The Big Red Rage tonight at 6 p.m. will feature kicker Jay Feely joining host Kerry Rhodes. As always, it is as Majerle’s Sports Grill in Chandler.
– No one is going to argue the Cardinals’ offense has been anything but poor. But FootballOutsiders.com, which measures DVOA (basically a system to compare units and players to the average unit or player), points out the Cards aren’t among the worst they’ve tracked, and even note that by those measurements, the Cards struggled more in 2010 through 14 weeks. It’s an interesting read.
Tags: Big Red Rage, Darnell Dockett
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As Pro Bowl voting continues, the folks over at profootballfocus.com are prompting readers to pick three Cardinals as Pro Bowl worthy. Two are the same as their last list, with linebacker Daryl Washington and defensive end Calais Campbell getting the nod. The third was safety Kerry Rhodes, who has been having a solid bounce-back season after injuries wrecked 2011. Rhodes had an interception in Atlanta this past weekend.
– Running back LaRod Stephens-Howling, after his 127 yards rushing in Atlanta, is up for the FedEx Ground player of the week. You can vote here until Friday. He’s up against the Bengals’ Ben Jarvis Green-Ellis and the Buccaneers’ Doug Martin.
– Speaking of Stephens-Howling, he will be the guest on the Thanksgiving week edition of Kerry Rhodes’ Big Red Rage, which will be held Wednesday night because of the holiday. The show starts at 6 p.m. as usual at Majerle’s Sports Grill in Chandler.
Tags: Big Red Rage, Calais Campbell, Daryl Washington, Kerry Rhodes, LaRod Stephens-Howling, Pro Bowl voting
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Safety Kerry Rhodes still hosted his weekly radio show Wednesday night, getting to the Big Red Rage at Chandler Fashion Center. But when asked about the pain he was in at the show with his messed-up back, Rhodes said “on a scale of 10? It’s 13.”
Rhodes, who didn’t practice Wednesday, was plain about his back problem. “(It’s) not good,” Rhodes said, joking it was “a case of old man-itis.”
“My back is pretty jacked up right now, but I’m trying to get back,” Rhodes added.
Rhodes said it wasn’t back spasms. He thinks he did something near the goalline early in the game, but when it went away, he didn’t think much of it. He came off the field in the fourth quarter when it started to bother him, but ran back on the field even though he was still in pain. He thought he could make a difference. “I wanted to help my team win,” Rhodes said. “The coaches didn’t know I went back in. I just kind of ran back on the field.”
That, it turned out, was a mistakes. Rhodes’ back locked up on him during his final play and the pain “went all the way down to my calves.” Watching the replay, you can see Rhodes freeze and a Bills blocker bear down and ram him with a block. Rhodes couldn’t move at that point and just had to take the hit.
“I thought it was kind of dirty, but it’s part of the game,” Rhodes said. “The block didn’t do any damage. It was all back issues.”
Rhodes said he has never had back problems. “It hurts when I do normal stuff,” Rhodes said. “I can’t brush my teeth, I can’t tie my shoe.”
Tags: Big Red Rage, Kerry Rhodes
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There are a lot of questions I am getting about trades when it comes to a running back. If the Cards go get another running back, I think it will be the free-agent route. That way you don’t surrender a draft pick at a position that you need short-term help with. It’s tough when people start throwing out names like Chris Johnson or Maurice Jones-Drew or even Mark Ingram, all of whom apparently have been suggested as targets. Stop. Those aren’t going to happen for a multitude of reasons.
The one trade name that does make some sense to me is Chris Ivory in New Orleans. He’s shown before he can perform and he is buried deep, deep on the Saints’ bench behind Ingram, Pierre Thomas and Darren Sproles. But the Saints know the Cards need a back, and they might just hold up the Cards for a higher pick. Frankly, in this day and age where backs have become more and more disposable, it’s hard to think that’s a good idea. Ivory was undrafted and has shown well — maybe William Powell can do the same for the Cards.
Free agency makes more sense to me, if and only if the Cards decide they need someone. That’s no sure thing right now.
As for available free agents, well, the name that comes up over and over is Tim Hightower. He knows the team and the offense. But Hightower isn’t healthy right now. The Redskins, who cut him in camp, thought about bringing him back when Roy Helu went down for the season and not only is Hightower still coming back from an ACL tear, Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said he had a setback and was having an arthroscopic procedure on his knee. That was a couple weeks ago. (The Redskins signed Ryan Grant instead.) Could Hightower be in the mix down the road if he heals up? Maybe. But the Cards have had their fill of injured backs. They don’t need another so they would have to be sure where Hightower stands health-wise before that could be explored.
– If you missed it, check out this story of defensive lineman Nick Eason, his mom , and why this month of pink in the NFL is so meaningful to him.
– The Cardinals, in case you missed it on Twitter yesterday, will be wearing their black uniforms again Sunday against Buffalo. Because of the various NFL rules in place for alternate uniforms — you can’t wear them in nationally televised games, you can’t wear them after flex scheduling starts — this is the last opportunity for the Cards to do so.
– The Big Red Rage has been moved to Wednesday night because of ASU football, so anyone heading to Majerle’s — special guest Vonnie Holliday — make sure you adjust your schedules accordingly. Same time (6 p.m.), same place (Chandler Fashion Mall).
Tags: Big Red Rage, black uniforms, Chris Ivory, Saints, Tim Hightower, trade
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A couple of tidbits I wanted to put out there while waiting for practice:
– Safety Kerry Rhodes, past his surgery to repair his broken foot and into rehab, returns to host his Big Red Rage radio show Thursday night with Larry Fitzgerald as his guest, so get your reservations now at Majerle’s in Chandler. The show begins at 6 p.m. (and will be live on Arizona Sports 620).
– One of Rhodes’ co-hosts, Paul Calvisi, will be trumpeting his newest Rocky Mountain Southwest Emmy for best sports reporter (OK, maybe he won’t be trumpeting it, but he did win). So too did the Cards’ quartet of Tim DeLaney, Jonathan Hayward, Bob Adlhoch and Martin Tarr for their 2010 preseason game broadcasts in the sporting event/live and unedited category.
– As part of Hispanic Heritage month, each of the 32 NFL teams are honoring someone local with a leadership award. The Cards’ winner, to be honored Sunday against Pittsburgh, will be Arizona State University wrestler Anthony Robles, who won a national title in the 125-pound weight class despite missing a leg.
With support from sponsor Bud Light, each winner gets $2,000 for an organization that serves the Hispanic community. For his donation, Robles chose the Wiggle Your Toes Foundation, dedicated to helping amputees and their families regain independence and mobility.
Tags: Anthony Robles, Big Red Rage, Emmy, Paul Calvisi
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Linebacker Joey Porter (tricep) and running back LaRod Stephens-Howling (hamstring) improved a bit and coach Ken Whisenhunt said he was encouraged by their efforts. “Whether that means they play Saturday, that’ll be tough,” Whisenhunt said. The players seem matter-of-fact about their situations — “Can’t do nothing about it,” Porter said — although with only two games left, there has to be optimism they can at least return for the San Francisco game, because otherwise, the team might just find another option and put them on injured reserve.
– Quarterback Derek Anderson and tight end Stephen Spach also were absent today because they were ill. But in the spirit of the season, Whisenhunt, while talking about Anderson, deadpanned “it wasn’t reported like Tom Brady was, when he was out with the flu, but it’s a similar situation.”
– Whisenhunt touched on the notion of giving some playcalling duties to passing game coordinator Mike Miller, saying it is a natural progression that will only continue to grow for Miller.
“There are a lot of things going on on game day you have to be on top of, and fortunately we have a number of good coaches on the staff to help with that,” Whisenhunt said. “I get a lot of personal satisfaction when you call good plays or call a game with good success. That’s part of what I have done successfully for a number of years and it’s hard to step away from that.”
– The next-to-last Big Red Rage is tonight. Adrian Wilson’s guest is kicker Jay Feely for the broadcast, which is live at 6 p.m. at Majerle’s Sports Grill at Chandler Fashion Center (give yourself time withe the traffic, if you plan on going). It will be aired live on Sports 620 KTAR (and also streamed live right here).
Tags: Adrian Wilson, Big Red Rage, Derek Anderson, Jay Feely, Joey Porter, LaRod Stephens-Howling, Mike Miller, Stephen Spach
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Quarterback Derek Anderson remains sidelined with concussion symptoms, a moot point in one way since John Skelton was going to start regardless but now something that has to be a concern. No matter how you feel about his play, having a concussion knock a guy out into a second week is scary.
Seven players were limited today, including two newcomers from last week’s group. Running back Beanie Wells said he is “trying” to get past the leftovers of what took him out of the game Sunday (and since I apparently have been afflicted with an illness myself — thanks, son — let me say working in this environment not so much fun). Linebacker O’Brien Schofield also was limited with a hamstring injury, but I don’t expect any of these to cause a problem Sunday.
As a heads-up, rookie nose tackle Dan Williams will be Adrian Wilson’s guest on the Big Red Rage tomorrow. It’ll be at Majerle’s at 6 p.m. and air live on Sports 620 KTAR (and be streamed live on video here at azcardinals.com).
Tags: Adrian Wilson, Beanie Wells, Big Red Rage, Dan Williams, Derek Anderson, John Skelton, O'Brien Schofield
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