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Arians after further review

Posted by Darren Urban on August 11, 2013 – 10:13 am

The Cardinals are back at practice this morning at the team’s Tempe facility for the first time since playing Friday night. A few notes and thoughts from coach Bruce Arians in his first media session since the game.

– The running back situation isn’t cleared up right now, starting with the fact running back Ryan Williams (knee), who insisted last week he’d be back for the Cowboys game, might not be back yet. “I don’t know if he’ll play this week,” Arians said. Andre Ellington is still being handled with kid gloves with his neck issue (he is sitting today) and Arians said Rashard Mendenhall is still trying to get the stiffness out of his knee.

– Safety/special teamer Jonathon Amaya suffered a slight MCL sprain in the game. Arians said he’d be out a couple of days,

– Arians liked the job of the offensive line and specifically praised LT Levi Brown for his work on Clay Matthews, although he noted Brown will have to deal with DeMarcus Ware this week. All four tackles played pretty well.

– G Daryn Colledge (leg) is close to coming back, but it’s clear Arians is looking at Paul Fanaika at right guard too. “We’re solidifying (the line) without (Colledge) pretty good right now,” Arians said. “Paul played really well. Hoppefully Daryn can get back out there. There’s competition now.”

– The Cards will practice half outside and half in their new bubble today. Long-term, it’s a big deal to have the bubble, Arians said. “We’ll be able to stay on a normal practice schedule,” he said. “It will show dividends I think throughout September. We’ll have normal teaching routine as opposed to having to bus over to ASU or morning practices or things that are different.”


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Friday before the Cowboys

Posted by Darren Urban on December 2, 2011 – 4:35 pm

With the toe or foot be a problem for Kevin Kolb Sunday? He doesn’t think so.

“It won’t hold me down too bad,” Kolb said. “I’m sure DeMarcus Ware would probably disagree.” Kolb chuckled. “When you are running from fear, you run faster and you don’t worry about your foot.”

(And it was a joke people. Save the jabs about Kolb and running.)

But here we are, to Kolb’s return after more than a month away from a game, with Ware – the NFL’s sack leader — set to face left tackle Levi Brown, who has played better of late, especially when the Cards have run the ball. How will it all wash out? The Cowboys are playing well, but they aren’t the Packers or even the Saints. And the Cards will be at home. Yes, I expect a good amount of Dallas fans. But not the majority.

Kolb seems like he has regained some confidence with this time away. I think it actually may have helped him, as was speculated by many it could. If the Cards can keep Beanie churning away, I think the offense can be OK.

– On the other side of the ball, there is also intrigue. Kolb hasn’t played with this version of the defense yet. Not with Sam Acho coming along and the scheme under control. The Eagles’ offense was actually playing pretty well at the point the Cards got to it and the Cardinals came out pretty good in that game. You’d hope they could do the same against the Cowboys, and turn the QB into the “bad” Tony Romo he can be sometimes.

– Completely unrealistic to think Beanie Wells will break out for another 200 yards. But I don’t think 100 is an unfair goal. The Cowboys do have a good run defense (10th in the league) but the Cards believe they have found a ground game.

“It was the commitment to the run game (last week),” fullback Anthony Sherman said. “Even if we didn’t get much we kept going to the same style of run plays and it worked.”

– Interesting take on Patrick Peterson’s progress as a cornerback from defensive coordinator Ray Horton. Horton reiterated that he thinks, eventually, Peterson will get respect from the officials despite being physical. He said Peterson is “right on pace” to develop as a corner.

Then he talked about what, in his view, was Peterson’s biggest problem early in the season.

“He assumed, if he had good coverage, they wouldn’t throw the ball at him,” Horton said. “You remember, Carolina, they threw the touchdown pass. He just stopped. Against the Giants, the same thing. Now he understands, ‘Just because I’m Patrick Peterson, they’ll still throw the ball at me.’ ”

– These are the games where Darnell Dockett really seems to pop. He had a very good game last week against the Rams – no sacks, but incredibly disruptive – and said it was simply because the game plan “gave me more opportunities.”

“They put a lot more on the D-line,” Dockett said, although he bristled just a bit at the idea he was playing harder. “Every time I step on the field, I’m going 110 miles an hour.”

– Safety Kerry Rhodes, out since the Vikings game Oct. 9 with his broken foot, got back out on the practice field Friday. I’d think he would still be at least a couple games away, but we will see how he does with his recovery.

– Over the last four games, the Cardinals have forced the opposition to punt 25 times. Only Atlanta (26) has forced more punts.

– Fans voted Beanie the “FedEx Ground player of the week” this week after his 228-yard game.

– There are going to be new security procedures for those coming to the games going forward, with handheld metal detectors instead of a patdown. Not every entry point will use this as of yet, but click here for all the details.

– Fitz needs 112 yards receiving to reach 1,000. For some reason, I think he gets it Sunday.

OK, then. Bring on the Cowboys.


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Not all Madden choices created equal

Posted by Darren Urban on March 24, 2011 – 10:50 am

This year, EA Sports has decided to make a contest out of who will be their cover photo for this year’s version of the Madden football video game. Given the past season, I guess I assumed Aaron Rodgers was a shoo-in for Madden ’12, but no, Rodgers is just one of 32 candidates — one from every team. It’s also set up in bracket form, so we aren’t just talking about the total number of votes.

There are many cover possibilities that make sense — Rodgers, Matt Ryan, DeMarcus Ware, Patrick Willis, Adrian Peterson, Julius Peppers, Andre Johnson — and others that I look at and think, ‘A good player, but a cover?’ — guys like Peyton Hillis, Jake Long, Josh Freeman. There are repeat candidates, guys who have already been on the cover before, like Drew Brees, Michael Vick and, for the Cardinals, Larry Fitzgerald.

But just when you find a couple of head-scratchers (The Bengals’ Carlos Dunlap, the Bills’ Steve Johnson, the Patriots’ Danny Woodhead, Tim Tebow?) you end up freezing on the option for Seattle. Apparently, they have no player worthy of the honor, at least none important enough to usurp “The 12th Man” — the name the Seahawks give to their crowd (which yes, can be very loud, but is generally a non-factor if the team is lousy — just like any other crowd).

The 12th Man faces the aforementioned Willis in the first round, so I’d guess Willis will be the one to advance there. But still, the Qwest crowd? Really? Not, oh, maybe Mike Williams? Marshawn Lynch?

Besides, how exactly does the Madden curse affect that group — I’d be afraid of a natural disaster on game day.


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