The shocking news Wednesday that Oregon coach Chip Kelly — who had long been thought of as the Eagles’ top choice for head coach but who seemingly made it clear he wasn’t leaving Oregon last week — was indeed going to be Philly’s new coach means there are two open head coaching spots left. Jacksonville and Arizona. (The Bears officially hired one-time Cardinals offensive coordinator Marc Trestman earlier in the morning.)
Seattle offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell is interviewing with the Cards today. The Cards are reportedly trying to get permission/set up an interview with Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians. The other known candidates are Ray Horton, Todd Haley and Jay Gruden, and that doesn’t preclude that there might have been unknown candidates at some point.
The Jaguars’ known list is Jay Gruden, Bevell, in-house defensive coordinator Mel Tucker, Seahawks DC Gus Bradley and Rams OC Brian Schottenheimer. They are also expected to wait for and talk to 49ers OC Greg Roman — untouchable until San Francisco’s season is over — who is close with new general manager Dave Caldwell.
In the meantime, we wait.
– Ken Whisenhunt missed out again. Just when it looked like he again was making a push to be a head coach — this time with the Eagles — the Kelly bombshell dropped. Whiz was apparently in the mix in Buffalo, Cleveland and Philly (he also talked with the Chargers) but instead, it seems likely that if he coaches this year, it will be as an assistant. The idea that he could end up in Denver as offensive coordinator with Peyton Manning seems to be gaining steam. He’s not going to be on Jacksonville’s HC list.
Tags: Bears, Brian Schottenheimer, Bruce Arians, Chip Kelly, Darrell Bevell, Eagles, Greg Roman, Gus Bradley, Jaguars, Jay Gruden, Ken Whisenhunt, Marc Trestman, Mel Tucker, Ray Horton, Todd Haley
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On a day when Mike McCoy chose to take the San Diego job, the Cardinals added a new name to their list of candidates. Multiple reports have the Cards hoping to interview Seattle offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell. Bevell not only worked with Russell Wilson this year but was a long-time coordinator/QB coach with Green Bay and Minnesota while Brett Favre was playing in those cities. He also happens to be a local product, having gone to Scottsdale Chaparral High School, playing QB there for his father and coach, Jim Bevell.
Bevell is a finalist for the Bears job and the Jaguars also want to include him on their search. Kent Somers reported the interview is scheduled for Wednesday. There hasn’t been any official word from the Cards yet.
Besides Bevell, Steelers OC Todd Haley, Bengals OC Jay Gruden and Cards DC Ray Horton are the known available candidates for the Cards.
UPDATE: And during the night, it came out that the Cards had requested permission to talk to Colts OC Bruce Arians too.
Tags: Bears, Bruce Arians, Darrell Bevell, Jaguars, Jay Gruden, Ray Horton, Russell Wilson, Todd Haley
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With the Broncos losing (an admittedly amazing entertaining playoff game) Saturday night to Baltimore, it means their season is over and it means offensive coordinator Mike McCoy is now available to negotiate for a head coaching deal. It also would seem like the Cardinals would be in position to figure out their head coaching situation sometime this coming week.
Now, I’m not saying the Cards want McCoy for sure. But none of their candidates — at least, the ones we know of — are impeded from talking contract now. Cards defensive coordinator Ray Horton, McCoy and Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden (and Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley?) are all fully available. There’s been a lot of talk the Cards want McCoy, but that’s assumption rather than anything based on fact. Last week was filled with interviews anyway, so nothing was coming down last week regardless of McCoy’s situation.
We’ll see how it plays out. McCoy has interviewed with the Eagles and Bears already as well as the Cards. All of them were in Denver, so I’d expect a second interview with anybody to come in that city. Gruden has upcoming interviews with the Eagles and Jaguars. There is a report the Jags would like to talk to McCoy. Horton also interviewed with the Bills and Browns, although both spots have already been filled.
Will the Cards have a coach this week? Perhaps. President Michael Bidwill has maintained the whole process he had no set timeline in place and I don’t think there is a rush to get this done. But again, if all the candidates can be hired, it makes sense this moves forward in the coming days.
Tags: Bears, Broncos, Eagles, Jaguars, Jay Gruden, Mike McCoy, Ray Horton, Todd Haley
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Yes, yes, I know I am early. Way early. But as long as the info is out there — and while we still have a little bit before we get to training camp — here is a look at who the Cardinals’ opponents will be for the 2013 season.
– Indianapolis (Andrew Luck!)
– Carolina (Cam Newton!)
– Houston (Arian Foster.)
– Atlanta (Roddy White?)
– NFC North team that matches Cards’ spot in 2012 standings
– and of course, St. Louis, Seattle, San Francisco.
– New Orleans
– Tampa Bay
– NFC East team that matches Cards’ spot in 2012 standings
– and, of course, St. Louis, Seattle, San Francisco.
I was going to do a little analysis, but then I realized how foolish that was this far out.
Tags: 49ers, Andrew Luck, Arian Foster, Buccaneers, Cam Newton, Colts, Falcons, Jaguars, Panthers, Rams, Roddy White, Saints, schedule, Seahawks, Texans, Titans
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For a second straight year, the Cardinals couldn’t keep linebacker Chris Harrington on the practice squad. Last season, the Bengals signed Harrington away to their active roster. This time, it’s the Jaguars who have taken Harrington to their top 53. Replacing Harrington is linebacker Mark Washington, who spent training camp with the 49ers.
A couple of other things:
– To the victors go the spoils. That’s how the cliché goes. So it makes sense that when USA Football decided to put together an all-fundamental team, two Cards would show up. Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald is on the team for his ability to catch with his hands, while defensive lineman Darnell Dockett is there for his ability to defeat blocks (and the panel choosing such things has a pretty good collective résumé).
– The offensive line also picked up an award this week. With Jeremy Bridges subbing in at left tackle alongside Deuce Lutui, Lyle Sendlein, Reggie Wells and Levi Brown, the line was chosen as one of the John Madden Most Valuable Protectors winners — a new award given out to the top offensive lines every week.
“The closer you get to the end of the season you hope you have an offensive line that is achieving consistency,” Madden said in a press release. “It looks to me like the Arizona Cardinals offensive line is achieving that right now.”
Tags: Chris Harrington, Darnell Dockett, Deuce Lutui, Jaguars, Jeremy Bridges, Larry Fitzgerald, Levi Brown, Lyle Sendlein, Mark Washington, Reggie Wells
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The players are streaming back this morning and there is another hour-plus practice today with the Cardinals getting back into a groove following the bye. There isn’t a whole lot Cardinal-related going on yet, but otherwise …
– So if you’re with the Buccaneers, there’s got to be a part of you that is hoping with then 2010 schedule comes out in April you see a trip to Glendale in Week Two of the season. Yes, it could mean a loss, but it could mean so much more. Why? Well, the Dolphins played the Cardinals in Week Two of 2008 after losing their opener and were whacked by the Cards, 31-10. The Dolphins went on to win 11 of their final 14 games. This year, the Jaguars lost their opener and then were whacked by the Cards, 31-17, in Week Two. They have followed up with two big victories within their division. So it stands to reason that if you are a Florida team and the Cards run you off the road in Week Two, it’s a harbinger of good things, right? (And yes, Tampa Bay is already set on the Cards’ list of opponents in 2010. The Cards have home games against Tampa, New Orleans, Denver, Oakland and their “matching” NFC East finisher; they have road trips to Atlanta, Carolina, Kansas City, San Diego and the “matching” NFC North team).
– No, no one was expecting the Rams to be very good this season. But to see the 49ers dismantle them yesterday, well, I think the Niners have proven they are for real, especially in context of the NFC West.
– Early byes don’t have to hurt. Last year, six teams had byes after three games. Two were doomed for non-bye reasons: Seattle (injuries) and Detroit (just a mess). The other four did just fine: New England (missed the playoffs but went 11-5) and playoff teams Indianapolis, the Giants and aforementioned Miami.
– Good stuff from Peter King on Pat Tillman looking back into NFL prospects before his death. I knew about the part where he could have gotten out of the Army early and that he could have been on an NFL roster (Seattle, in case you’re wondering, is where former Cardinals defensive backs coach Larry Marmie, who coached Tillman, was and still is, in addition to the Ferguson connection). I agree with Dave McGinnis in the article about Tillman being great on special teams. Even if Tillman had returned to the Cards in 2003 and never joined the Army, he would have likely been beaten out as a starter by Adrian Wilson. But I always thought Tillman would have evolved into a long-term Bill Bates/Steve Tasker/Ron Wolfley/Sean Morey type star of special teams.
– Finally, props to the man behind Cardinals Underground/Big Red Rage and everything Cardinals radio, Jim Omohundro, for slaying the competition with his bowling game of 242 last week. I told him I’d give him a shout-out.
Tags: 49ers, Buccaneers, Dolphins, Jaguars, Jim Omohundro, NFC West, Pat Tillman, schedule
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OK, not like that. His jersey and a ball from his NFL record-setting day in Jacksonville (who knew something so great could come in such a suffocating climate?) has now been set up in a display at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. For those living under a rock (or not reading azcardinals.com, tsk, tsk) Warner completed 24 of 26 passes against the Jags for a completion percentage of 92.3 — the highest ever in an NFL regular-season game for a player with at least 20 attempts.
So, what can Warner do for on encore against the Colts in front of a national audience on “Sunday Night Football.”
Tags: Hall of Fame, Jaguars, Kurt Warner
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Now this is a case of better football through knowledge.
On the first field-goal attempt by the Jaguars Sunday, Gabe Watson – anchoring the middle of the Cards’ field-goal block team, said that as he came across the ball, the left guard went low toward his knees. Out of the corner of his eye, Watson said he saw the same thing from the long snapper and the right guard.
So Watson came to the sideline and told the coaches. And the next time the Jags tried a field goal, he told Calais Campbell as well.
“I told him, ‘Calais, I’m going to take a step forward, pull them toward me, you hit the gap and block the field goal.’ ” Watson said. “And right after that all you hear is ‘Boomp (the kicker kicking the ball), Boomp (Campbell blocking the ball).’
“And I was like, ‘Damn, it worked!’ ”
Tags: Calais Campbell, Gabe Watson, Jaguars
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The plane ride home is so much different after a win. Why wouldn’t it be, after a big win like the Cards had Sunday? Get into the Way-Back machine for a moment, and try to remember Jake Plummer’s middle screen to tight end Freddie Jones for a touchdown, and Bill Gramatica’s late field goal. That 16-13 win on Oct. 6, 2002 was the last time the Cardinals won a game with a 10 a.m. Arizona time start. Since then they had played nine eight such games, all of them losses:
- 9/7/03 @Detroit 42-24
- 9/26/04 @Atlanta 6-3
- 9/11/05 @NY Giants 42-19 (Oops. Realized in the shower Monday morning this game was a late start)
- 10/1/06 @Atlanta 32-10
- 9/23/07 @Baltimore 26-23
- 10/21/07 @Washington 21-19
- 9/21/08 @Washington 24-17
- 9/28/08 @NY Jets 56-35
- 10/26/08 @Carolina 27-23
So now you can understand the significance of Sunday (and FYI, the Cards don’t have another 10 a.m. game this season).
On to other thoughts:
– Coach Ken Whisenhunt on Beanie Wells’ fumbles: “Trust me, he may be carrying the ball around all day now.” So why wasn’t it surprising to see Wells at the end of the game when the defense was on the field, helmet on his head and ball tucked firmly in the crook of his arm – despite sitting on the bench?
– The punt returns were (very very) ugly. But the whole reason Antrel Rolle is back there was on display during that field-goal return of 83 yards. Six touchdowns on 11 “quick change” plays is insane. His teammates know what’s what. This is Darnell Dockett: “When he gets the ball in his hands, there’s an 80 percent chance he’s gonna score. When he took off I was like, ‘Don’t nobody block in the back, just let him do his thing.’ We learned the lesson when we played Seattle a couple years back, when he gets the ball, everybody just move out of the way. He’ll create his own plays and we don’t want nothing called back.”
I’m not sure if Dockett meant the infamous Cincinnati game where Rolle lost a third touchdown return in the game, but he made his point.
– It was weird hearing this from Whisenhunt: “It is funny, people say practice isn’t important, but it is for us.” I don’t know if anyone doesn’t think practice is important for this team, because the players and coaches often talk about how it matters. I get fans and cohorts asking me all the time how they look at practice, when a) one of the big rules about being able to watch is that you can’t talk about it and b) I can’t really tell who’s having a good practice or not, not when I don’t know exactly what’s being worked on. I think Whiz’s message has to be more for the players, to remind them what practice means.
– Larry Fitzgerald tried to pretend he wasn’t getting upset at not getting many passes, including one point after he looked to be open down the field but didn’t get the ball. “I was just tired,” Fitz said, trying to suppress a smile. “It was humid out there today I was just trying to save my energy so that’s why I walked off so slowly. That’s all that was.” Nevertheless, Fitz got a TD catch in his eighth straight game, including that playoff run.
– Think NBC, which has Colts at Cardinals next Sunday night, is breathing a sigh of relief that the Cards’ offense got out of its funk, and that they aren’t 0-2? Me too.
– The defensive front continues to impress. Calais Campbell is going to be a player (Nice field-goal block, by the way). Clark Haggans had a good game. And Bertrand Berry has two sacks in two games. That’ll be important against a guy like Peyton Manning.
Tags: Antrel Rolle, Beanie Wells, Bertrand Berry, Bill Gramatica, Calais Campbell, Clark Haggans, Colts, Darnell Dockett, East coast, Freddie Jones, Jaguars, Jake Plummer, Ken Whisenhunt, Larry Fitzgerald, Peyton Manning
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As the rain pours down here in Jacksonville a little more than three hours before kickoff …
Wide receiver Anquan Boldin, who got about 120 tickets for this game in his home state, didn’t need them all for family. Boldin, as part of his ongoing efforts with his Anquan Boldin Foundation, is hosting the entire football team from his hometown high school in Pahokee. Here’s hoping he gives them a good show, which inevitably helps the Cardinals.
Tags: Anquan Boldin, Jaguars
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