Tags: Arizona Cardinals, AZ Cardinals, AZ Cards, Jay Feely, NFL, Walter Payton
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It only makes sense, as the offense rounds to form, that the points are starting to come for the Cardinals. At this point, the Cards have 254 points scored this season after 11 games. All of last season, the Cardinals scored 250. (And a h/t to Kent Somers for pointing it out.) But the points are coming in many ways that are new. The mere fact that the Cardinals have scored at least 20 points in seven straight games is nice, since last year, the Cardinals reached 20 points exactly once in their final 12 games of the season.
As was mentioned Sunday, the 40 points against the Colts was the most the Cards had scored since beating Denver, 43-13 — I like to refer to it as Jay Feely’s Fantastic Show – in December of 2010. It was also the fourth straight game the Cardinals scored at least 25 points. The last time that happened? Back in Weeks 3 through 6 of 1988, the Cards’ inaugural season in Arizona, when Neil Lomax and company scored at least 30 in beating the Bucs, Redskins, Rams and Steelers.
It isn’t as if the Cards are scorching the scoreboard. They are on pace for a respectable 369 points, although that falls short of the 400-plus points the Cardinals scored in 2007 and 2008. They are still only 18th in the league in points. But after last year, when they were next-to-last in points (to the Chiefs), the trend is encouraging. And pointed up.
Tags: Jay Feely, Neil Lomax, offense
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Tags: Arizona Cardinals, AZ Cardinals, AZ Cards, Jacksonville Jaguars, Jaguars, Jay Feely, NFL
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The Cardinals have changed up availability times for Mondays, so the players aren’t talking until later on, but a few notes from lunch with Bruce Arians:
– Rookie running back Andre Ellington continues to impress and it’s not like Arians only sees him has a third-down, change-of-pace guy. “This kid can carry the load,” Arians said. (And to clarify: “Can” carry it doesn’t mean he will. Rashard Mendenhall is the starter.)
– Of the seven game balls awarded for the Lions game, three went to special teamers: kicker Jay Feely, punter Dave Zastudil and Justin Bethel, who blocked a field goal and who has to be in the discussion as best gunner in the NFL. The others went to DE Calais Campbell, CB Patrick Peterson, WR Kerry Taylor and QB Carson Palmer.
– Palmer did have the pick-six interception, but Arians praised his leadership, especially late in the game with no Larry Fitzgerald and the offense struggling on third downs. “He sent the best signals (that) ‘We’re fine,’ ” Arians said.
– Arians was happy with the play of Taylor but he did not commit to keeping Taylor on the roster once Fitz returns to full strength. That, he said, will depend on injuries. The bottom five roster spots are always churning.
– The hope is tight end Rob Housler (ankle) will play this week. But it’s still we’ll-see mode, as it will be with the rest of the injuries. Arians said he wants to see where the Cards are Wednesday before talking about anyone else.
– Safety Yeremiah Bell actually was playing some linebacker Sunday (I can’t wait to hear from everyone who always wanted Adrian Wilson to do the same). It was part of the package to handle the Lions’ offense. “He played great,” Arians said. “We asked him to learn linebacker in two different fronts. I can’t say enough about the guy. He’s the ultimate pro.”
– Arians said the decision to stay back East after the Saints game came with the knowledge the team has back-to-back 10 a.m. Arizona time kickoffs. This will hopefully alleviate some of the issues with the early kickoff in Tampa.
Tags: Andre Ellington, Bruce Arians, Calais Campbell, Carson Palmer, Dave Zastudil, Jay Feely, Justin Bethel, Kerry Taylor, Patrick Peterson, Rob Housler, Yeremiah Bell
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Bruce Arians just met with the media, and the locker room will be open in about 10 minutes. So, before then, some quick notes:
– Left tackle Levi Brown had some technique problems and needs to play better. But Arians said he didn’t think the offensive line play was “the end of the world.” He also said on two of the sacks Brown gave up a running back should have helped with a chip and went out into the pass pattern too early. Clearly, a change is not coming. But Arians is aware of it. “It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see the most negative thing was the pressure on the quarterback and the sacks and the turnovers,” Arians said.
– The Cardinals got out the game “clean,” Arians said, although he said tight end Rob Housler (ankle) would probably miss another game.
– He thought the defense did well in a couple of key stands, especially after turnovers. Obviously the pass rush was a problem. He said he liked the push provided up front by Dan Williams and Calais Campbell. It was hard not to notice he did not mention Darnell Dockett, who did not seem to show up much Sunday. Pass-rush-wise, Arians said too many players forgot about the proper technique like going with power moves instead of speed they might not have had. “Don’t all of a sudden go rogue” and forget your strengths, Arians said.
– Clearly Arians wasn’t thrilled with kicker Jay Feely, who not only missed the 50-yard field goal but “was poor on kickoffs.” The early squib kickoffs of Feely were not planned, Arians said. But Arians also said the Cardinals were not planning on looking at any other kickers right now. “We looked at the best kicker” available, Arians said in a reference to Dan Carpenter. It’s also notable that Feely, as a vested veteran, is guaranteed his $1.5 million salary now that he was on the roster the first week.
– Arians said the Feely miss, and the other red-zone visit that resulted in a Feely field goal instead of a touchdown, ultimately were scoring opportunities that cost the Cards the game.
– Arians talked about how the Cards had correctable problems for the most part. After the loss, he said he was “disappointed? Yes. Discouraged? Not at all.”
Tags: Bruce Arians, Calais Campbell, Dan Williams, Jay Feely, Levi Brown, Rob Hosuler
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The Cardinals have named their captains for the season, and they really come as no surprise: On defense, it is cornerback Patrick Peterson and defensive tackle Darnell Dockett. On offense, it is quarterback Carson Palmer and wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald. And on special teams, it is linebacker Lorenzo Alexander and kicker Jay Feely. Center Lyle Sendlein isn’t a captain for the first time in a couple of years, but I’m sure he doesn’t mind. There had been a void since there really hadn’t been a quarterback to step into that role. Palmer is definitely that guy. The choices were made through a player vote.
– Tackle Nate Potter will start playing guard as well in practice. It’s something Bruce Arians has long hinted at, but Potter is just now starting out. The more you can do …
– Tight end Rob Housler remains day-to-day with his bad ankle. He’s getting better, Arians said, but the coach added the Cards do not want this to be a lingering problem and would rather have him miss time now and knock it out than deal with it long-term. We’ll see whether Housler does anything at practice today. Otherwise, the Cards are healthy.
– Arians had his line of the day, when asked if patience was needed when judging this team out of the gate. “No,” Arians said. “I have no patience.”
– The Cardinals are just getting out to practice now (media availability this season will be before practice on Wednesdays.) More bubble work today.
Tags: captains, Carson Palmer, Darnell Dockett, Jay Feely, Larry Fitzgerald, Lorenzo Alexander, Nate Potter, Patrick Peterson, Rob Housler
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Tags: Arizona Cardinals, AZ Cardinals, AZ Cards, Jay Feely, NFL, Rams, St Louis Rams
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The Cardinals have been making a few cuts here and there as camp has been going on so it’s not like they just started Sunday. But teams must get down to the 75-man limit by Tuesday and so this weekend came the first wave of massive roster changes. With it was one surprise, not so much that he was released but when. Kicker Dan Carpenter is out less than a week after arriving, solidifying Jay Feely’s spot on the team. Bruce Arians had said the kicking battle would go through the end of the preseason, but Carpenter had a field goal blocked and Kent Somers reported the Cards didn’t think Carpenter kicked well in practice.
The rest of the moves aren’t unexpected. Again, with the rosters expanding by 10 beginning with the 2011 season, most of these guys wouldn’t have even been on a team just a few years ago. The harder cuts are coming in a week, when the trim must go to 53.
The younger players will get a lot more playing time against the Broncos Thursday. The Chargers’ game was the “important” one to the starters. So it is interesting to note the play totals from Saturday. A total of 25 offensive players got at least 10 offensive plays in the game. A total of 27 defensive players did the same. Some of the names getting significant playing time are interesting. Defensive end Kenny Rowe got 19 plays. Defensive line swingman Ronald Talley, whom Arians has talked up quite a bit later, got 37 snaps. Rookie OLB Alex Okafor, who has had a quiet camp, got 27 snaps.
New wide receiver Mike Thomas only got two plays; I’d expect him to get much more time in Denver as the Cards try to decide if they should keep him. Safety Tony Jefferson, after playing well in the second preseason game, didn’t get a defensive snap Saturday.
My guess is that Arians and Steve Keim have a pretty good idea who the 53 will be (or at least, say 50 or 51 at this point).
– Oh, and because I know somebody will ask, nothing else has been said on Jonathan Cooper aside from what Arians said yesterday about the leg being broken. I’m sure we will get an update tomorrow when Arians talks before practice. That includes all the other injured players. Not sure how much starters will play Thursday in Denver, if at all.
Tags: Alex Okafor, cuts, Dan Carpenter, Jay Feely, Jonathan Cooper, Kenny Rowe, Mike Thomas, Ronald Talley, Roster
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Ugly doesn’t even begin to describe what happened to the Cardinals Saturday night. If the Cards could have only left it at the stadium. If only a bad night for special teams or dropped passes or anything like that was the worst that happened.
But the long list of injuries the Cards had been avoiding – they only had five guys not able to play coming into the game, for goodness sake, and frankly, only Jeff King was among those guys who have a shot at the roster – came back hard. The most devastating is Jonathan Cooper’s broken leg. Here’s the guy who was drafted to jump start an offensive line resurgence. And now he could be out for the season.
There are lots of ways to look at this and we won’t know exactly what can happen with Cooper yet. There are options to put him on short-term, bring-’em-back IR if the prognosis goes the right way. But that doesn’t make it any easier to replace him. Do we get more Chilo? Do we get a Paul Fanaika-Daryn Colledge guard combo? Bruce Arians isn’t sure yet. There will be much brainstorming tomorrow, I am sure. But it hurts.
“To see a guy like that go down, a young guy trying to go out there and prove himself, that’s always hard,” Colledge said. “Especially with an offensive line that lost a lot of guys last year. We’re used to this, but it’s always hard to see a friend and a teammate go down. I know it hurts him. I know he’s probably emotionally distraught right now.”
– It can’t be easy for Cooper. It might not be easy for the Cards. MRIs are coming for all the other injuries, but the offense alone saw Cooper, Rob Housler (ankle), Andre Roberts (quad) and Rashard Mendenhall (ankle) leave the game. Scary.
– As for the game, not good. The Rashad Johnson lateral was bad. Funny, Arians actually praised the lateral linebacker Jasper Brinkley made to Patrick Peterson earlier in the game following an interception, saying it was a legitimate choice. Johnson’s lateral? “Absolutely asinine.”
Johnson knows that. He was upset after a pass interference call on teammate Jerraud Powers a couple of plays before and let his emotions ride the moment. “I just felt like we needed to make a play, which we did, instead of thinking of the situation we were in and playing smart football,” Johnson said. “Coach is always talking about ‘Cardinals beating Cardinals.’ That was a big Cardinals-beating-Cardinals play.”
– Powers was hit with three pass interference flags. He said he felt a couple of them shouldn’t have been thrown, but took responsibility for not adjusting to the way the officials were calling the game.
– Ryan Williams said he was “fine” after a pair of carries (for 10 yards) and a catch in his first preseason action of the season. I thought he looked aggressive for what little time he got. He needed to be. With Alfonso Smith coming out and looking good as Mendenhall’s backup, this running back battle is very interesting. Could the Cards keep five?
– Not a good night for the tight ends. Housler dropped a touchdown (Arians didn’t seemed all that concerned about it), while Kory Sperry and D.C. Jefferson also had drops. Jefferson’s miss ended up an interception.
– Not a ton learned in the kicking battle, since neither got much opportunity. Dan Carpenter had a field goal blocked on what looked like protection issues. Jay Feely made an extra point. Feely had both kickoffs.
– Arians wasn’t overly critical of Levi Brown’s play against Dwight Freeney because, well, it was Dwight Freeney. Nate Potter had his own issues, so it’s not like there is someone there that would step in.
– Michael Floyd made a nice catch in the back of the end zone for the touchdown. Larry Fitzgerald’s one-handed catch to start the game was amazing. Other than that, a night to forget.
Tags: Alfonso Smith, Chargers, Chilo Rachal, D.C. Jefferson, Dan Carpenter, Daryn Colledge, Dwight Freeney, Jay Feely, Jerraud Powers, Jonathan Cooper, Kory Sperry, Larry Fitzgerald, Levi Brown, Michael Floyd, Nate Potter, Paul Fanaika, Rashad Johnson, Rashard Mendenhall, Ryan Williams
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UPDATE: Carpenter’s 2013 salary is indeed lower($715,000 according to the NFLPA website), but an NFL source said he has bonuses significantly raise his price, essentially doubling his salary. Carpenter would make $75,000 for making the team, and another $40,000 every game he was active kicking — which translates into more than $1.4 million for the season if he were to kick all 16 games without adding in other potential incentives. That would make the financial comparison to Feely a wash, and clearly take that part out of the equation.
Bruce Arians said he wanted to have Dan Carpenter kick the first half on Saturday and Jay Feely the second half, assuming the opportunities pan out. This is a kicker battle that will go through the preseason finale in Denver, he added. That isn’t a surprise.
But as everyone knows, there are sometimes other factors besides performance that play into position battles. We already know the age difference (Feely is 37, Carpenter is 27). There is a chance money could play into this one. Considering Carpenter apparently had some options with where to sign, GM Steve Keim again seemed to come out ahead in Carpenter’s one-year deal. According to overthecap.com, Carpenter is set to make a salary of $725,000 and got a roster bonus of $110,000. Meanwhile, Feely is scheduled to make $1.5 million. If released, Feely would cost $250,000 of dead space, so the Cards come out ahead and certainly, it would save in some actual dollars spent.
And if Feely stays, it only costs the Cards $110,000 of dead money for Carpenter, which is easily digestible. That too is a scenario that could happen
The Cards have about $6.1 million in salary cap space, according to the most recent update by the NFLPA. That will morph after the cut to 53, since right now the only cap numbers counted are the top 51 and dead money. After final cuts, teams have to account for all 53 plus practice squad, injured list and dead money.
– Apropos of nothing, check out this insightful peek inside Bruce Arians’ offensive meeting from an OTA this summer, courtesy of Peter King. A great read.
Tags: Bruce Arians, Dan Carpenter, Jay Feely, Peter King
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