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Blogs

Draft aftermath and the seventh-rounder

Posted by Darren Urban on April 30, 2011 – 7:15 pm

So the Cards finish up not with Mr. Irrelevant but close (five choices came after the Cardinals’ final pick) in San Diego State wide receiver DeMarco Sampson. Sampson is a big guy (6-foot-2, 204), with some speed (Whisenhunt said he ran a 4.41 this offseason) and a chance to add to the position that has some uncertainty in terms of contracts.

Otherwise, here are some other last thoughts after the last day:

– The wait for undrafted rookies now must wait – usually, the land rush to those guys has already started – until the current labor limbo is fixed. “We are going through our process of preparing to sign our (rookie) free agents like we normally would, except we’re not putting that plan into action until we’re allowed to do so,” GM Rod Graves said. “We’re taking it right up to the final step in the process.”

Coach Ken Whisenhunt said the Cards are attractive to UDFAs for a couple of reasons. He said the Cards actually pay decent signing bonuses for such things, which obviously grabs attention of players. More importantly, the Cards have shown they will keep UDFAs on the roster, and ultimately, that’s what those guys want.

– No offensive linemen drafted (for a second draft in a row), but I will guess there will be a couple or three undrafted rookies and some aggressiveness in free agency. Whenever that is.

– There will be plenty of time to assess what the picks mean for guys already on the roster at those positions (running back, for one). But the selection of a pass rusher not until the fourth round not only says something about who was on the board, it says something about O’Brien Schofield, the 2010 fourth-round pick who would have been higher if not for a postseason knee injury.

“It’s very, very difficult what he did, to not have played a snap (coming off knee surgery), come in and practice for a couple of weeks and then be playing,” Whisenhunt said. “(It) means he had to put a lot of time and effort into preparing. That’s what we really think is going to give him a chance.

– Inside linebacker Quan Sturdivant wears No. 52 in honor of a couple of his heroes, Ravens LB Ray Lewis and Panthers LB Jon Beason. Beason, Sturdivant said, was his model. “He’s not that big. He’s fast, instinctive, strong and makes plays, so I kind of like his game.”

– Speaking of uniform numbers, Sturdivant I’m sure wants 52, but right now, that is owned by LB Cyril Obiozor. I know new cornerback Patrick Peterson wants No. 21. But be cautioned (for anyone wanting to run out and buy jerseys), numbers aren’t in concrete yet. Veterans usually get first dibs and until there is a free-agency process at some point, uniform numbers will remain fluid.

– No quarterback, no real surprise, quite frankly. Just never got the sense the whole draft run-up they’d be looking in that direction.

–Defensive end David Carter may have been “all cried out” after an emotional day, but he sounded just fine on his conference call. So in the end, call-wise, he still can’t hold a candle to the Hyphen.

And finally …

– Whisenhunt broke out some draft humor after the team took linebacker Sam Acho from Texas.

“We’re going to make a request from the league he can wear No. 5 so we’ll have an Acho Cinco on our team,” Whisenhunt deadpanned.

Graves wasn’t going to let that go. “I wasn’t a part of that,” Graves said.


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Posted in Blog | 91 Comments »

Who is expiring?

Posted by Darren Urban on March 3, 2011 – 2:53 pm

Regardless of the status of the CBA, the Cardinals have a chunk of players whose contracts will expire whenever the league year ends. What that means for free agency is uncertain because the CBA will address those rules. But as an FYI, here is a list of the current Cardinals who will have their contract run out this offseason. If a player has an asterisk, he has at least four accrued seasons in the NFL:

  • FB Nehemiah Broughton
  • RB Tim Hightower
  • FB Reagan Maui’a
  • RB Jason Wright*
  • WR Max Komar
  • WR Steve Breaston*
  • WR Early Doucet
  • TE Ben Patrick
  • TE Stephen Spach
  • T D’Anthony Batiste
  • C Ben Claxton
  • G Alan Faneca*
  • T Brandon Keith
  • G Deuce Lutui*
  • C Lyle Sendlein*
  • DL Alan Branch*
  • DL Keilen Dykes
  • DE Kenny Iwebema
  • DL Bryan Robinson*
  • DT Gabe Watson*
  • LB Curtis Gatewood
  • LB Cyril Obiozor
  • LB Reggie Walker
  • S Hamza Abdullah
  • CB Michael Adams
  • CB Trumaine McBride
  • S Matt Ware*
  • P Ben Graham*

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Posted in Blog | 61 Comments »

Dockett active; Toler, Hyphen, Wright sit

Posted by Darren Urban on November 21, 2010 – 9:41 am

The inactives are out for the game. Defensive tackle Darnell Dockett is active today, which is a good sign for the defense. Cornerback Greg Toler (foot) is not. Alfonso Smith will get some work at running back as well, with LaRod Stephens-Howling (hamstring) and Jason Wright (concussion) both sitting out. Linebacker Clark Haggans is also inactive with the lingering groin injury.

The rest of the inactive list:

  • QB John Skelton
  • LB Cyril Obiozor
  • LB Reggie Walker
  • C Ben Claxton

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Posted in Blog | 70 Comments »

Dockett, Beanie inactive

Posted by Darren Urban on November 14, 2010 – 12:45 pm

Well, this one is a blow: Defensive tackle Darnell Dockett (shoulder) is inactive today, marking the first game Dockett has missed in his career. Dockett has been an ironman since arriving in the league in 2004. He usually does well against the Seahawks too. Not exactly what the Cards were hoping for in such a crucial  game. Dockett had played in 104 consecutive games.

Running back Beanie Wells (knee) is inactive again, no shock considering his lingering swelling problems and his relative lack of practice — in the last two weeks (six practices) he has sat out four and been limited twice. That opens the door for Tim Hightower, who now must be the guy even if he ends up with an early fumble (which cost him a chance to play most the game when the Cards and Seahawks last met). That means a bigger offensive role for LaRod Stephens-Howling — which sounds good, until you realize it probably takes The Hyphen off some special teams work and that does not help.

The rest of the inactive list:

  • WR Max Komar
  • QB John Skelton
  • CB A.J. Jefferson
  • S Hamza Abdullah
  • LB Cyril Obiozor
  • C Ben Claxton

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Posted in Blog | 63 Comments »

Iwebema to IR, Cards sign Obiozor

Posted by Darren Urban on November 9, 2010 – 12:50 pm

As expected, defensive end Kenny Iwebema’s knee ligaments are torn (surgery is to come), leading the Cards to place Iwebema on injured reserve and ending his season. The Cards went out and brought back linebacker Cyril Obiozor, who spent a little time on the Cards’ active roster earlier this season. Obiozor then moved to the practice squad, where the Chargers plucked him for their active roster — briefly. He then was moved to San Diego’s practice squad, from which the Cards have now signed him.

UPDATE: The Cards have signed DE Ronald Talley to the practice squad and they released LB J.D. Folsom. Talley was most recently with Green Bay.


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Posted in Blog | 48 Comments »

Bringing back Gant to practice squad

Posted by Darren Urban on October 5, 2010 – 3:58 pm

Now that his four-game suspension is over, the Cardinals have re-signed wide receiver Ed Gant to the practice squad. They had a spot when linebacker Cyril Obiozor was signed to the 53-man roster of the San Diego Chargers. Gant served his suspension after violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs.

The Cards needed to fill Obiozor’s spot at linebacker, so Curtis Gatewood was brought back to the practice squad (he was released from the practice squad a couple weeks ago), and wide receiver Tim Brown was let go.


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Posted in Blog | 85 Comments »

Shuffling in a new linebacker

Posted by Darren Urban on September 21, 2010 – 12:19 pm

The Cardinals have made a move in search of an outside linebacker, releasing Cyril Obiozor — who had been claimed on waivers after preseason cutdowns and was active only for the Atlanta game — and signing linebacker Alex Hall.

The Cardinals also released linebacker Curtis Gatewood from the practice squad.

Hall, 6-foot-5 and 250 pounds, was a seventh-round pick of Cleveland in 2008 (when current Cards’ director of pro personnel T.J. McCreight was still there). A college defensive end from St. Augustine, he was part of a multi-player-and-pick trade between the Browns and Eagles. The Eagles cut him before camp, he signed with the Giants, and then was cut before the season.


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Posted in Blog | 58 Comments »

Beanie, Watson inactive

Posted by Darren Urban on September 12, 2010 – 11:44 am

RB Beanie Wells (knee) is indeed inactive today. No surprise. Slightly a surprise is NT Gabe Watson, who is the odd man out on the defensive line — and it means rookie Dan Williams has moved ahead of Watson on the depth chart behind starter Bryan Robinson. WR Andre Roberts is also sitting, so fellow rookie WR Max Komar was the choice to be active and probably return punts. The rest of the men sitting out today:

  • QB John Skelton
  • CB A.J. Jefferson
  • CB Brandon McDonald
  • LB Cyril Obiozor
  • C Ben Claxton

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Posted in Blog | 56 Comments »

The roster and other thoughts

Posted by Darren Urban on September 7, 2010 – 4:01 pm

Veteran linebacker Clark Haggans came off the field Monday exhausted. It was pretty hot and humid, and given the dearth of linebackers — the Cards that day had just three outside ‘backers, since newcomer Cyril Obiozor had yet to arrive  and practice squaders Pago Togafau and Curtis Gatewood weren’t there yet either — the 33-year-old Haggans was basically taking every rep. No one on the team is in better shape than Haggans, but he still joked that “I was looking for rookies to take my place and he’s out there next to me,” referring to Daryl Washington.

By the time the team was running gassers at the end of the workout, “I was seeing heat monkeys,” Haggans said.

That’ll change by Wednesday’s practice (which, because of the temperatures breaking a bit, will be back at the Cards’ Tempe facility, as will Thursday’s, instead of a planned visit to ASU’s Dickey Dome). Obiozor, Gatewood and Togafau are in place to take some snaps. Still, now that the Cards have a roster in place — at least for week one — it is an interesting breakdown.

The Cards are clearly still looking to find the right combination in the secondary, which is why they have kept six cornerbacks right now. A.J. Jefferson (pictured below) has upside — I doubt he’ll be active on game days at first — and they aren’t sure yet what they have in Brandon McDonald, the newcomer from Cleveland. I am also guessing there will be a lot of nickel and dime looks, like strong safety Adrian Wilson playing in/near the box. That’s one way to not worry about needing too many linebackers.

Still, the Cards only have seven LBs on the active roster and one — Obiozor — has to show he fits.

– Interested to see what the Cards do with their seven defensive linemen, although since a guy like Gabe Watson actually play more special teams than most nose tackles, they may just make all seven active on game days.

– WR Andre Roberts is still listed as the No. 1 punt returner, but he is going to have to show something coming back from his shoulder injury (he said Tuesday he is healed) to have that job out of the gate. Is Max Komar active in the first game? Do the Cards stick Steve Breaston back there until Roberts is ready?

I was wrong. Washington is starting by opening day. I was right. Tim Hightower is starting opening day.

– I don’t know much about fullback Jerome Johnson, but they feel comfortable enough that he is the only FB on the roster. Wonder how that will work, or if the Cards use more two-tight end stuff in St. Louis.

– Notice Jorrick Calvin actually made the Eagles’ roster. I don’t think he was going to make it here. Now that Marshay Green is back on the practice squad (in case you missed it, Green and Togafau rounded out the eight-man reserve group), the Cards still have the young untested group in the secondary as they search for one or two to develop.

– Four undrafted guys — QB Max Hall, WR Stephen Williams, Komar and Jefferson — made the roster. Green made the practice squad. Not a bad undrafted haul, even if only a couple pan out (and it’s hard to believe Williams, at least, isn’t well on his way).


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Posted in Blog | 67 Comments »

Filling out the practice squad (and ice cream)

Posted by Darren Urban on September 6, 2010 – 3:05 pm

The Cardinals have put together a practice squad. Three newcomers are joining G Tom Pestock, T Herman Johnson and WR Isaiah Williams. RB Ian Johnson, cut by the Vikings, is best known for being the Boise State hero in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl who ended up proposing to his now-wife at University of Phoenix Stadium after the game. The Cards are also adding WR Tim Brown — no, not that one — who was cut by the Giants (and who played for receivers coach John McNulty when both were at Rutgers) and LB Curtis Gatewood, cut by the Redskins. Gatewood has bounced around with the Lions, Chiefs, Eagles and Steelers as well as an inside ‘backer. The Cardinals still have two spots to fill, although that is expected to happen sooner rather than later.

Oh, and it’s now official the Cards brought in the three waiver claim players: FB Jerome Johnson, LB Cyril Obiozor and CB Brandon McDonald.

P.S. Adrian Wilson and his foundation are hosting an ice cream social on tomorrow (Tuesday) from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Cold Stone Creamery headquarters in Scottsdale. (9311 E. Via De Ventura). Stop by and help A-Dub help the less fortunate. For more info: http://www.adrianwilsonfoundation.org/


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Posted in Blog | 66 Comments »