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Cards bring back OT McQuistan

Posted by Darren Urban on October 16, 2012 – 4:28 pm

The Cardinals added an offensive tackle Tuesday, and you know him — it’s Pat McQuistan, who was with the team the first three weeks before being released. It will be interesting to see if he gets a chance to play at some point in front of the struggling D’Anthony Batiste or Bobby Massie. It does produce another option, however, and at this point, options are good.

To make room for McQuistan, and in a good sign of the rehab process for Michael Adams and Greg Toler, the Cardinals released cornerback Crezdon Butler.

The Cardinals also made a practice squad move. Practice squad receiver Isaiah Williams, after hurting his finger in practice, has been placed on the injured reserve – practice squad list, clearing the way for receiver Gerell Robinson to return to the practice squad after serving his four-game suspension. Robinson had been suspended for violating the league’s policy on performance enhancing drugs.


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Tackle signed, practice squad named

Posted by Darren Urban on September 3, 2012 – 9:52 am

The Cardinals officially announced all the moves swirling around over the weekend. Veteran free agent offensive tackle Pat McQuistan was signed to a one-year deal and reserve lineman Jeremy Bridges (thumb) was placed on injured reserve, ending his season. The team brought aboard outside linebacker Jamaal Westerman via waivers. And the practice squad is filled like this:

– LB Colin Parker

– CB Larry Parker

– DT Ricky Lumpkin

– TE Steve Skelton

– OLB Ricky Elmore

– T Steven Baker

– WR Gerell Robinson

– WR Isaiah Williams


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Cards cut to 53

Posted by Darren Urban on August 31, 2012 – 4:52 pm

The key point anytime a team gets to the 53-man roster on final cuts is this: It’s never quite the final roster. That’s something to keep in mind when looking over the Cards’ cuts today, which leaves an unbalanced roster for now.

The team decided not to move tackle Levi Brown off of injured reserve, leaving 22 cuts to be made:

Injured reserve — RB Javarris James (knee), QB Rich Bartel (shoulder)

Waived-injured – LB Brandon Williams (shoulder), WR Stephen Williams (Achilles)

Released – CB Crezdon Butler, LB Antonio Coleman, S Blake Gideon, LB Clark Haggans, G Russ Hochstein, DT Ricky Lumpkin, LB Colin Parker, CB Larry Parker, WR DeMarco Sampson, TE Steve Skelton, RB Alfonso Smith, LB Quan Sturdivant, DE Ronald Talley, DE Everrette Thompson, TE Martell Webb, C Scott Wedige, WR Isaiah Williams, T D.J. Young.

So this is what we get out of this:

– The Cardinals cut Sampson and Stephen Williams, leaving five receivers and undrafted LaRon Byrd (pictured below) as No. 5.

– OLB Quentin Groves makes the cut but both Clark Haggans and Brandon Williams are out – you’d have to think another linebacker is on the way.

– Right now, the Cards have 11 defensive backs and nine offensive linemen, and you figure one or the other, if not both, will be trimmed down. All three OL draft picks are on the squad right now. The defensive backs will have to come down if you are looking for a place to cut to add at another position. In my guess at 53, I had guessed six WRs and eight OL, and the Cards took one from receiver to add to the line. And they took one of eight linebacker slots and added it to the 10 defensive back spots, so I was kind of close. We’ll see how it shakes out.

– Running back William Powell indeed makes the team too.

– This group probably won’t be the exact group that hits the practice field Monday. That’s the cold reality of the NFL.


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Odds and ends on a Friday afternoon

Posted by Darren Urban on January 13, 2012 – 4:13 pm

A few tidbits as we head into a long weekend in which we see if Tebow-mania lives another week in this NFL season and where I don’t expect anything to happen in Cardinals World (so don’t hold your breath waiting for news on the coaching staff, Todd Haley or otherwise.)

– The Cardinals added a couple of players to the roster Friday, bringing back a couple of wide receivers that have been here before: Isaiah Williams and Jaymar Johnson (actually, Johnson was here basically all season, while Williams was cut after training camp).

– The news Jeff Fisher was hired as Rams coach wasn’t unexpected. It means, at least right now, that Ray Horton will be staying in Arizona (I am assuming he won’t come up as a candidate anywhere else). It also makes less likely that Cards’ director of player personnel will be the Rams’ GM, because the expectation is that Fisher’s arrival will mean Lake Dawson, with whom Fisher worked in Tennessee, will probably get the GM job. We will see. (On a side note, Mike Jurecki said on XTRA 910 today that former Cards coach Dave McGinnis could end up in St. Louis on Fisher’s staff. McGinnis has been with the Titans ever since Fisher hired him after McGinnis was fired from the Cards following the 2003 season.)

– If you missed my Twitter link, and if you want to start looking at names, here’s a good free agent tracker as we move toward the March 13 beginning of the new league year.

– I know I said we shouldn’t be talking about this right now, but Charley Casserly, who created a big dust-up on national TV last weekend suggesting Peyton Manning would be a good fit in Arizona if he were cut by Indy, said on XTRA 910 with Mike Jurecki and Dan Bickley his comments were “strictly my opinion.” Not that it’s a shock, but anyone suggesting it was based on fact and not just connect-the-dots can put that in their back pocket.

– Former Cardinals defensive end Michael Bankston is going to be running for a spot in the Arizona Legislature.

– If you didn’t see it, posted an update on the rehab of the chronically optimistic RB Ryan Williams. I don’t know how he will do when he starts playing, but it’s hard not to think he’ll do well when you talk to him. (And I also liked this story around Rex Hadnot and his late brother, if you missed it).

That’s all for now. We’ll have updates over the weekend if there is anything to update (but I’ll probably be crawling around Twitter @cardschatter if you’re looking for me).


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Cards bring back the other Skelton

Posted by Darren Urban on November 16, 2011 – 10:31 am

The Cardinals re-signed tight end Stephen Skelton to the practice squad Wednesday, releasing wide receiver Isaiah Williams to do so. As Mike Jurecki mentioned, it’s a good week for the Skelton family. And yes, your math is correct — that brings the Cardinals’ total number of tight ends to five. But Todd Heap’s hamstring has kept him out, save for a play or two against the Rams, for basically five games, and Rob Housler has missed the past two games with a bad groin. You can’t have Jeff King and Jim Dray overworked in practice, especially if they have to do more in games.


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Cards cut Talley for Taylor, plus practice squad

Posted by Darren Urban on September 5, 2011 – 11:47 am

The Cardinals released DE Ronald Talley today to make room for RB Chester Taylor on the roster. Also officially announced were yesterday’s roster moves: Adding CBs Lindsey and Butler, cutting Spach and Sturdivant (Spach went to the Rams today, apparently).

The Cards also started building their practice squad: Holdovers CB Marshay Green, WR Isaiah Williams, T D.J. Young and DT Ricky Lumpkin, along with C Ryan Bartholomew (late of  Baltimore) and WR Brandyn Harvey (late of the Falcons). Both were undrafted.

More after practice.


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Cards get Chester Taylor and DBs UPDATE

Posted by Darren Urban on September 4, 2011 – 12:42 pm

As long speculated, the Cards have acquired veteran running back Chester Taylor, at least according to multiple outlets (including his agent’s Twitter). That comes as no surprise. The Cards needed a veteran running back to join Beanie Wells and LaRod Stephens-Howling. Taylor, even though he is older (will be 32 at the end of the month) and his numbers have been dwindling, seems a perfect fit. He can give you a few carries, he can catch the ball, he can block, he has long played a backup role (to Adrian Peterson and then Matt Forte) and most importantly, he was available. He was expendable in Chicago after the Bears signed Marion Barber.

I remember Taylor lighting up the Cards in November of 2006 for 136 yards in Minnesota when he was a starter for the Vikings (before Peterson came in the next year). He signed a big contract with the Bears before 2010, but only averaged 2.4 yards a carry.

The Cards have also apparently nabbed a couple of cornerbacks off waivers: Crezdon Butler of the Steelers and Korey Lindsey of the Bengals. The Cards need depth there and it can’t be a shock these were two names targeted: defensive coordinator Ray Horton coached Butler last year as DBs coach with the Steelers, and Cards defensive backs coach Louie Cioffi was in Cincinnati and still probably has knowledge of the Bengals situation (although Lindsey is a rookie).

Picking up three means the Cards will have to release three from the current roster — again, why coach Ken Whisenhunt mentioned the roster was “in pencil” Friday.

The practice squad won’t be announced until tomorrow. Wide receiver Isaiah Williams’ agent tweeted Williams would be coming back to the practice squad.

UPDATE: Some afternoon details that emerged on Twitter and elsewhere. An NFL source said the Cards had agreed on a practice squad deal for DT Ricky Lumpkin. St. Louis-based reporter Howard Balzer reported the Cards had released TE Stephen Spach, and Kent Somers reported the Cards also cut LB Quan Sturdivant. I’d expect Sturdivant to come back to the practice squad assuming no one claims him off waivers.


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A night at Coconino

Posted by Darren Urban on August 16, 2011 – 11:31 pm

The Cardinals held their one night practice of camp at Coconino High School. It was a little different than the ones of last season. With only a few days before the next preseason game, coach Ken Whisenhunt didn’t do a live goal line session at the end. In fact, there was no tackling. The practice ended with a series of plays starting at the 10-yard line with first-and-goal, but it was tough to tell exactly what would have happened — linebacker Clark Haggans was particularly vocal in protesting where the ball was spotted.

– Linebacker Joey Porter was sitting out on a veteran’s day off. O’Brien Schofield is next on the depth chart behind Porter at ROLB, but it was rookie Sam Acho who was in Porter’s place Tuesday night. Interesting. Schofield is the guy who needs to make the big step forward as pass rusher this season. Although it might have been just to balance out the position — with Will Davis a LOLB, the Cards could go Acho-Schofield at ROLB and Haggans-Davis at LOLB.

– Tight end Stephen Spach (calf) and offensive lineman D.J. Young (knee) were also sitting out. So too was guard Deuce Lutui, for what I would expect to be a continuing conditioning issue.

– Cornerback Greg Toler made a nice interception in front of Larry Fitzgerald at the goal line, ripping the ball away from Fitz. (Fitz did make a spectacular Willie Mays-style over-the-head grab earlier in the practice, but really, that’s no surprise, not the way he makes the spectacular routine.)

– Wide receiver Isaiah Williams made a fantastic touchdown catch from John Skelton, making the grab in the back of the end zone just over the outstretched hand of cornerback Richard Marshall. Williams, who scored the game-winning touchdown in Oakland, has looked good in camp — one of many receivers that have shown well.

– One of those receivers, rookie DeMarco Sampson, pulled down a deep pass early in the practice despite good coverage by cornerback Marshay Green. Sampson needs to continue his work but he’s got a real shot to make this roster.


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Whiz talks about developing receivers

Posted by Darren Urban on August 16, 2011 – 4:47 pm

The subject of wide receivers came up again today with coach Ken Whisenhunt. Obviously this has been a constant topic during camp, although it’s been clear the Cards want to look at their young receivers and have faith in them. In fact, if there was any uncertainty of that, the idea that veteran Chansi Stuckey might have a hard time making this team with Andre Roberts, Early Doucet, Stephen Williams and right now, Max Komar and rookie DeMarco Sampson ahead of him speaks loudly to the situation.

Whisenhunt also spoke bluntly about it too.

“We ask our receivers to do so many different roles, and just to have guys that you can believe in to do it, that’s the purpose of building a team is,” Whisenhunt said. “That’s why you draft guys, that’s why you develop guys. At some point, they have to step in and play.

“It would be kind of counterproductive if we didn’t continue to try and bring in (young) receivers and develop them. I don’t understand what people think from the outside about how you build your football team. You don’t just go and get a receiver in free agency (every time) when you lose one. At some point, you’ve got to have young players that step in and play well.”

Whisenhunt pointed out Steve Breaston as an example of a receiver who showed promise in practice and the Cards leaned on him.

“At some point you have to put guys in the game and see if they can do it,” Whisenhunt said. “I have seen Andre make plays in games, I have seen Early make plays, Stephen Williams make plays. It’s not like it’s a complete unknown entity. Isaiah Williams (pictured below scoring against Oakland) has looked good, and I think we all know about Sampson and how he has performed. Everybody wants to beat the drum about a second receiver. I think we have some young receivers that I would like to see what they can do.”


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Raiders aftermath

Posted by Darren Urban on August 12, 2011 – 7:52 am

A successful first step. That was the general theme coming from the Cards Thursday night after beating the Raiders. It’s hard to look at it any other way. I will say this, the game looked to me a lot like any other preseason game. In other words, it wasn’t overly sloppy, it didn’t reflect to the naked eye (or typical fan) the lost offseason or lack of practice time. We’ll see if that holds true once games start for real.

– Running back Beanie Wells said he could speak for the team when he called the performance “encouraging.” On being unable to get into the end zone with those four straight rushes, he admitted on one, “I knew I was going to get in, but I was too high. I thought it was a walk-in. If I had been lower, I would have gotten in.”

– Quarterback Kevin Kolb, on the playcalling on the failed TD drive: “Of course, we were trying to find out a little bit about ourselves. Some of the guys were tired, there is a lot of strategy that go into those four plays. We didn’t execute down there, but we learned a lot. We’ve have had some pretty intense goal line drills in practice and been pretty successful, so when we get back down there I think we’ll be pretty successful.”

Translated: That wasn’t what will happen in the regular season.

– Running back Ryan Williams looked explosive at times in his first work, but he played behind both Beanie and LaRod Stephens-Howling. I thought the Hyphen flashed on a few of his runs too.

– You could see the experience working for the second-unit offensive line, especially when they took on the Oakland backup defenders.

– The first-unit pass rush didn’t create a ton of pressure. It’s early but that’s something to keep an eye on. The defense did make a lot of third-down stops when it had too, though, with batted balls and some hurries.

– You can see why the coaches like cornerback A.J. Jefferson. I still don’t know if he holds off the competition to remain a starter, but it is hard not to see him ending up in the mix for playing time.

– The first-unit offensive line improved on Kevin Kolb’s second drive, and on a couple of his incompletions/scrambles, he had time just no one open.

– Rookie fullback Anthony Sherman, as both a blocker and special teamer, looks like he is going to be a good one.

– The Raiders’ captains screwed up on the coin toss, which is the reason the Cards got to receive the kickoff to open both halves. The Raiders won the toss, but instead of electing to defer, they said kickoff. They wanted the ball to start the second half, but language counts and it let the Cards get the first kickoff and then choose to take the second kickoff.

– Speaking of kickoffs, it was interesting to see so many kicked short as teams looked at their players on special teams. I think, with kickoffs moved up to the 35 this year, we will have more touchbacks than that.

– The outcome is meaningless and usually Whisenhunt doesn’t go out of his way to ensure a win in preseason, but his mood definitely reflects a win. It was also hard not to notice last night, after Janikowski belted the 57-yard field goal to take the lead, that the Cards were going to give some end-of-the-roster wideouts playing time – Sean Jeffcoat, Daiveun Curry-Chapman and Aaron Nichols – yet before the drive started, the Cards instead decided to give Max Hall better weapons in Isaiah Williams, Chansi Stuckey and DeMarco Sampson.

– On that point, however, the Cards did go with their end-of-the-depth chart rookies on the offensive line on that drive.

– Tight end Todd Heap was the only injury, and he looks like he’ll be fine long-term. That may be the best news of all.


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